Humboldt Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago – hence why I call it home.
The park for which the neighborhood is named is a sprawling 207 acres dating back to 1877. A walk through the park gives a glimpse of the diversity of the neighborhood, from young kids playing frisbee, to couples running with their dogs, to the local seniors sitting around playing dominoes and listening to salsa music. I love escaping to the park’s boathouse, which allows me to enjoy nature while still being in the city!
The Humboldt Park neighborhood has experienced a lot of change over the decades, but one thing that has remained a constant is its strong Puerto Rican community. The portion of Division Avenue between Western Avenue and California Avenue is nicknamed “Paseo Boricua” which translates to “Puerto Rican Promenade” and is home to several local businesses, restaurants, and cultural centers.
My mother is Puerto Rican so I grew up eating the cuisine. It’s the best. The jibarito, a sandwich made with fried plantains as the bread, was actually invented here in Chicago. One of my favorite spots for authentic cuisine is a little restaurant called Papa’s Cache Sabroso – a must try!
The neighborhood is also home to a fabulous selection of retailers, cafes and local bars.
Adams & Sons
Adams & Sons is a nursery and plant store located on California Avenue. Any time I’m looking for a small gift, a floral prop for photography, or a new plant to decorate my home with, I head to Adams & Sons. My favorite feature is the wall of succulents and their selection of air plants.
I’m an avid record collector. Vintage Quest has one of the best record selections in the city. Hidden amongst their vintage rugs, furniture, and knick knacks are several bins of vinyl albums that are in fantastic condition (and very well priced)!
I am one of those people that require large amounts of caffeine to make it through the day. The spot I go to the most is C.C. Ferns, a coffee shop that is a part of the very popular Hogsalt restaurant group. The decor, designed by their neighbor Humboldt House, is vintage perfection with a very homey feel. It’s also connected to the California Clipper, a cocktail bar, so they offer boozy coffee and tea drinks! It’s my home away from home. In the fall, the must-have is their pumpkin (not pumpkin spice) latte made with their homemade pumpkin syrup.
And if you’re looking for a decaffeinated cocktail – head next door to California Clipper. Originally opened in the 1930s, the Clipper’s classic cocktails and décor take you back in time to the prohibition era of Chicago. They also have live music, making for a great night out with your friends or your date!