Explore the West Side
The Bank of America Chicago 13.1 course travels through the historic parks and boulevards of Chicago’s West Side. Before and after the event, we encourage you to explore restaurants, sights and activities in Garfield, Humboldt and Douglass Parks!
Continue reading for recommendations and highlights provided by members of the West Side community.
- Monday Coffee: A coffee bar located inside the Garfield Park Conservatory, Monday Coffee was founded by Amanda Christine Harth and Felton Kizer. The coffee is brewed and bottled in small batches in Chicago and roasted in Grand Rapids, MI.
- Cocoa Chili Restaurant: Cocoa Chili Restaurant & Catering is an educational foodie experience serving up Afro-Caribbean-Soul fanfare with a sweet and spicy flair.
Things to do or see
- Neighborhood Market: Started in 2012, enjoy a unique farmers market selling hyper-local produce grown in community gardens, baked goods, bath and body products, and innovative new foods like traditional African snacks, barbeque sauces and herb-infused salts.
- Garfield Park Conservatory: Built in 1907 and one of the world’s largest conservatories and a host of programs led by Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance promoting community health and encouraging the larger community to explore the fundamental connection between plants and human life.
- Garfield Park Community Plaza and Roller Rink on Madison: This project is part of a joint initiative between the Chicago Mayor Lori E Lightfoot, 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, members of the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative, residents, Studio Gang, and the Goldin Institute. The plans for this plaza emerged from community members as a way to create safe gathering spaces and opportunities for youth programming for residents of Garfield Park.
- Peace Runners 773: Peace Runners 773 is an organization that advocates for health and wellness on the city’s West Side of Chicago through fitness forums, youth outreach, and community service events.
Recommendations from, Jason Ferguson, Executive Director and Coach at GOlympians; the Garfield Park Community Council; and Jordan Campbell, Co-Founder and Director of Alt_Space Chicago.
- Nellies: This restaurant is home of the famous “avena de coco” (coconut oatmeal). For something more savory order the pollo frito with a side arroz con gandules and platano maduro. Traditional Puerto Rican music plays throughout the restaurant. Visit them in person at 2458 W. Division Street or on Instagram @nelliesretaurant.
- San Juan Bakery: A family owned and community staple that offers more than pastries. Order the classic egg and cheese sandwich (made with pan sobao-a white bread) with veggies, extra pickles and a side of jupina pineapple soda.
- Café Colao: This panaderia offers a taste of traditional Puerto Rican pastries from quesitos to the budin. Stop by for a classic cafe con leche. Any pastry with guava is sure to be a hit.
Things to do or see
- Little Cubs Field: The baseball park is on Luis Munoz Marin Dr. and Javy Baez Way. The Chicago skyline can be seen from the top of the hill next to the stadium.
- Paseo Boricua art display: Paseo Boricua is filled with art, curated by local Puerto Rican artists meant to showcase Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture. The Humboldt art display was created by local Chicago Puerto Rican Artist AntBen (@_antben_ on Instagram).
- Puerto Rican Cultural Center: The Puerto Rican Cultural Center serves as a place where people gather to address critical problems confronting the community; recover history, and share in the music, poetry, and drama of Puerto Ricans at home and throughout the Diaspora.
- 3Run2: Three Run Two is a community that’s organic, relatable and reflective of Chicago proper. Membership ranges from first-time runners to ultra-marathoners. They don’t define themselves solely by speed or distance – they are a decidedly diverse crew that celebrates each other’s differences. They break bread and personal records while striving to be good sports both on and off the field.
Recommendations from Melanie Lopez, Community Liaison for Somos Arte.
Douglass Park (Little Village/North Lawndale)
- beelove cafe: North Lawndale Employment Network presents beelove® café, where they serve up not only sweet treats and drinks, but also jobs supporting their not-for-profit mission to the community. Their objective is to advance the economic lives of residents in North Lawndale through innovative financial and job-readiness programming. beelove® café, strives to be a welcoming destination for everyone, celebrating the spirit of coffee and its power in connecting communities.
- Dulcelandia is a massive candyland of Mexican products. It is also the biggest importer of Mexican piñatas and candies to the Midwest.
Things to do or see
- Douglass 18 Mini Golf: Tucked behind the Douglass Park Cultural Center, this course replaced the old Douglass Park Miniature Golf Course. With a combined effort of teens from the community and various organizations transformed it into what it is today. An oasis for all life, a fun summer activity, and your new summer getaway. Reopens June 4!
- Little Village Arch: In January 2022, City Council voted to make the iconic Little Village Arch an official Chicago landmark. The Arch was designed by Chicago architect Adrián Lozano and built in 1990. It stretches over West 26th Street, a predominantly Mexican community, and one of Chicago’s busiest commercial corridors. The designation marks the first time a Mexican architect’s work has been granted landmark status.
- Viento Little Village Running Club: Viento is a running group whose mission is to motivate and empower our community by providing a safe space for all to run and promote a positive change in Little Village. Viento, which means Wind, was chosen to represent the Windy City.
Recommendations from Stanley Ratliff, Social Entrepreneur, Author, Music Producer, Minister and Executive Director of Celestial Ministries Association; and Jordan Campbell, Co-Founder and Director of Alt_Space Chicago.