Jefferson Park—the “gateway to Chicago”—has been an important transportation hub and link for decades. The nabe also has a strong cultural history centered on the historic Gateway Theatre, an old movie theatre that now hosts theater performances and concerts. Jefferson Park is filled to the brim with bungalow-style housing and a dizzying array of shops and restaurants. The nabe is also famous for hosting two large annual music and food festivals: Jeff Fest in June, and Taste of Polonia over Labor Day weekend. The latter is known for drawing prominent political figures to Jefferson Park.
Jefferson Park, Chicago Data : Neighborhoods & Travel – Score out of 100
Jefferson Park, Chicago Reviews
Gateway to Chicago
No matter which mode of transport brings you to Chicago, if you’re coming from the north or west, you’ll probably be heading through Jefferson Park. Buses, the El, Metra, and old and new highways converge in this neighborhood. Even travelers flying into O’Hare must pass through Jeff Park, as it’s sometimes known. Despite all the traffic, Jefferson Park is generally quiet and pleasant. Tall trees line the streets and most of the houses have modest yards. The neighborhood’s got all the Chicago trimmings—the corner bars, the summer festivals, the ethnic (in this case, mostly Polish) specialty shops.
Although Jefferson Park stays out of the spotlight most of the time, its Chris’s Billiards poll hall was the filming location of the Martin Scorsese film, The Color of Money.
One of the major transportation hubs in the city (Metra, Blue Line, Freeways), Jefferson Park is a charming nabe on the northwest side of Chicago. A large population of Polish inhabitants help to distinguish this nabe from others with tree lined streets and charming houses thanks to the Taste of Polonia Festival that occurs each year. Do you want neighborhood bars and great ethnically diverse food? Come here.
Jefferson Park wins for location
Situated in the crotch of two expressways (Kennedy & Edens) and THREE train lines (Metra UP-NW & MD-N and CTA Blue Line), near the convergence of multiple bus routes, and served by multiple dedicated bike lanes, Jefferson Park is (perhaps) second only to The Loop for transportation access.
Great food and festivals
Jefferson Park is located in the northwest corner of Chicago and is home to a major transportation hub for both the Metra commuter rail and the Blue line of The L. This nabe has a huge Polish-American population which has spurred the creation of the Taste of Polonia, a huge festival that happens every Labor Day, celebrating Polish culture and heritage, along with providing a venue for high-profile politicians to woo the Polish population of Chicago. With such a strong ethnic background, you might assume that the restaurants and shops in this nabe would be equally as strong. You would be correct in this assumption. The restaurants are mind-blowing-ly delicious and diverse.
The transportation hub makes getting in and out of O’Hare International super easy and quick, while also allowing residents convenient access to the rest of the city.
The nabe is also a center of performing arts in Chicago, hosting both the headquarters of the Copernicus Foundation, and the award winning Gift Theater Company.