With a modest suburban atmosphere and all the conveniences of city living, Hollywood Park is perfect for people who want the quieter side of Chicago life. The eastern edge of the neighborhood is bound by a stretch of peaceful riverside paths, lush vegetation and the calming sounds of water rushing over river rock. Hollywood Park residents really love their open green space on the other side of the neighborhood are 46 acres of nature preserve and recreation grounds where locals come to trek the trails, join free environmental education courses and just enjoy the wildflowers that grow throughout the area. The interior of Hollywood Park is mainly occupied by long blocks of single-family homes with neatly-trimmed shrubs. Any restaurants and businesses are found on the major thoroughfares to the north and south.
Hollywood Park Facts
Location: Approximately 11 miles north of the Loop
North Park, Peterson Woods, Peterson Park, Peterson Park Grounds, Budlong Woods
Boundaries: Peterson Avenue to the north, the Chicago River to the east, Bryn Mawr Avenue to the south and Central Park Avenue to the west
Then and Now
Adjacent to North Park, Hollywood Park carries a shared history with its neighbor to the south that starts out like many Chicago area settlements-as a small agrarian community with a long road of change and growth ahead of them.
A territory bound by waterways, the area where Hollywood Park and North Park now exist was a prime piece of real estate back in the day. Flanked to the east by the North Shore Channel and on the south by the North Branch of the Chicago River, this fork of fertile, river-laden land was perfect for farming. During the mid 1800s, German and Swedish farmers settled the area nearest to the riverbeds growing vegetables and enjoying the fruits of a rural existence.
As the twentieth century progressed, farming was still the main economic interest in these parts, but it also remained an attractive locale for folks immigrating to Chicago. In fact, the establishment of Hollywood Park neighborhood arose out of the growing number of immigrants who settled in North Park and as the population expanded, so did the inhabited land, spreading further north from the city's center.
The peaceful river setting and distance from the overcrowded city center made the site an ideal neighborhood to raise a family. And as word caught on, many middle-income families, sick of the pollution and dense population of downtown, began to move out towards the farmland between the two rivers.
During the economic boom after World War II, Hollywood Park overflowed with new families looking for housing, more space and a less hectic lifestyle. The middle class tradition continued as these families settled into comfortable yet modest houses that suited their needs. Today, Hollywood Park has come a long way from its agrarian roots. Now it is a mostly residential neighborhood where homes have sprouted up like vegetable stalks in a garden. And what many residents find best of all attributes-Hollywood Park is close enough to the Chicago Loop for professionals to commute in everyday, but as soon as they come home, it's the subdued surroundings of a peaceful suburb setting.
Not only is Hollywood Park located on the scenic banks of the North Shore Channel, it has acres of picturesque park space to boot.
Hollywood Park is a cozy (meaning small) neighborhood, yet it manages to provide nearly seven acres of tree-shaded public commons and recreation grounds. Founded in 1926, the namesake Hollywood Park (3312 W Thorndale Ave, 773-478-3482) is this north side community's retreat from the everyday routine of work-school-and-home. In case you were wondering, both the neighborhood and the park were named after Hollywood Avenue that cuts through the area running east/west.
Hollywood Park has two baseball fields, an outdoor basketball court, tennis courts and a playground with water spray features and a rubberized surface. There is also a community garden where anyone can volunteer time to have a go at the relaxing work of pulling weeds and cultivating a green thumb. While the young at heart are exercising and enjoying the greenery, the youngsters are kept busy with day camp activities, seasonal arts and crafts programs, and after school clubs for teenagers.
Hollywood Park also has an onsite community assembly hall for town meetings and very small productions put on by the locals. Speaking of shows, this is also a site for the Chicago Parks District's 'Movies in the Park' series where families and friends can see evening screenings of American film classics and family favorites-all while sitting under the twinkling stars with the faint city lights in the distance.
Hollywood Park Real Estate
Every Chicago neighborhood has its good points, and in Hollywood Park those good points feature heavily on lush greenery and tranquil waterways. Surrounded by local parks and two separate branches of the Chicago River, Hollywood Park real estate feels more like a suburban refuge than a big city neighborhood. With seven acres of parkland to the northeast and the neighborhood-size grounds of Peterson Park to the west, Hollywood Park is a peaceful respite from the concrete confines of downtown Chicago.
As we've mentioned, the majority of Hollywood Park is residential area that caters to an eclectic mix of Chicagoans. The tightly-packed grid of streets is dominated by single-family houses which include older brick ranches and two-stories, split-level designs and new-constructions with modern layouts. A number of low-rise condos and vintage residential buildings have also been built along the neighborhood's main thoroughfares.
What's on the Menu?
Hollywood Park may no longer have room for the farmland that once produced the homegrown goodness early residents ate, but from the same soil have sprung a cornucopia of restaurants that are sure keep present day Hollywood Parkers nourished and satisfied.
Booill Restaurant (3346 W Bryn Mawr Ave, 773-588-3112) is a Korean barbeque joint where you're going to have to get your hands dirty. Patrons prepare their own barbequed items at the table-kind of like a do-it-yourself hibachi. There are limited grilling tables in this intimate eatery, so be proactive and make reservations, especially if you want to go on a weekend. Korean sake is to be had (served cold, not warm like Japanese sake) for the adults and plenty of exotically flavored ice creams keep the kids at the table happy. Soo Jung Crystal Korean Restaurant (5800 N Lincoln Ave, 773-275-0489) is another option for Korean food in Hollywood Park. Visitors insist you try the dumplings, which are described as "yummy and big."
At So Gong Dong Tofu House (3307 W Bryn Mawr Ave, 773-539-8377) just saying the name puts a smile on your face-try it aloud, it's fun! The food here is definitely better than the fluorescent light and out-dated wooden decor. Bear with the Korean cafeteria feel and have some soon dubu jigae (soft tofu stew). Don't be put-off by the name, So Gong has more than tofu. Try the dolsot bibimbap. A dolsot is a stone bowl and bibimbap is a collection of vegetables and meat with rice and a fried egg sizzling on top. The ingredients are stirred together at the table and heaven then goes into your stomach. Food is ready quick, but the waitress will still probably give you a Korean magazine to look at while you wait.
And we can't forget about Minari Oriental Restaurant (3311 W Bryn Mawr Ave, 773-267-3590). This place has been a part of the Hollywood Park neighborhood for a long time, and they work hard to keep up the standards of traditional Korean food. The restaurant has a big menu, so there are a lot of opportunities to explore.
But if you are craving Japanese sake, Katsu (2651 W Peterson Ave, 773-784-3383) is a great spot in Hollywood Park to get it. This gem is known for the amazing quality of the fish and the elegant simplicity of the rolls. The owner goes to the fish market each morning and designs the menu based on what was on display. For serious sushi lovers, this is not the place to try out a California Roll or another gimmicky sushi concoction- instead, high quality, classic sushi prepared expertly will dot your plate and tantalize your taste buds. For another take on sushi, Midori Japanese Restaurant (3310 W Bryn Mawr, 773-267-9733) is a great place to try. It's known for courteous service and a whimsical menu of well-prepared Japanese favorites. Diners rave about the Roberto special, calling it "pretty yummy."
Open from lunch till late-night, Sergio's Taqueria Pizza (3253 W Bryn Mawr Ave, 773-866-1965) is a fantastic hodgepodge pizza dive. The small digs don't deter the delight from the mega-huge cheeseburgers and crispy thin-crust pizza. If you are feeling adventurous, try the brain tacos. If not, the 'regular' tacos are just as tasty. This cozy neighborhood joint gets crowded quick, so don't be shy to get your food to go.
Another time-honored pizza joint in Hollywood Park is Martino's Restaurant (3431 W Peterson Ave, 773-478-5410). The interior is reminiscent of any old-fashioned family restaurant. You can order pizza for delivery, pick up, or sit-down service in their charming dining room. Deep dish pizza is a big deal in Chicago and Martino's has some of the best-never soggy, and always amazing. When you tire of pizza-if that is even possible-try the mostaccioli with meatballs or the eggplant, both house specialties and an appetizing alternative to the traditional pizza pie.
If you like hot dogs-and if you live in Chicago, you probably do-you're going to want to check out Wolfy's (2734 W Peterson Ave, 773-743-0207). This spot opened in 1967, devoted to providing hot dogs, hamburgers, and other American classics to hungry customers. You know you're in the right place when you see the sign of a giant fork piercing a hot dog. Wolfy's serves Vienna Beef hot dogs and the fries are fresh to order, and you can't beat that.
As the evening gets later, the Ugly Hookah Cafe (3415 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, 773-279-9812) begins to fill up. Known around Hollywood Park for being open until 4 am on the weekends with the kitchen fully functional, the Ugly Hookah Cafe is a great place to both start and end your evening. First round: Get food-the hummus is to die for and the baba ganoush won't let you down. Second round: Sit back and enjoy puffing on a hookah (pick from 25 flavors). Third round: Get the baklava-if you can handle it! You can also enjoy the hookah at My Hookah Cafe (5806 N Lincoln Ave, 773-293-2233). This spot is open until 2 am Monday through Thursday and 3 am on the weekends, so you'll be able to hookah the night away.
Hollywood Park is located on the northern edge of Chicago. This almost suburban location brings a little less hustle and bustle to the neighborhood, making streets safe for daily bike riding and walking. If time is precious or the weather is fierce, there are plenty of other transportation options in Hollywood Park.
A short drive south takes you to I-90/94, which can be followed south into the Chicago Loop and further into the far reaches of the south suburbs. If you plan on taking a taxi downtown, be prepared to call ahead-there's not much cabbie traffic out in Hollywood Park.
Car in the shop or just prefer to not drive? The end of the CTA Brown Line (Kimball stop) is in Albany Park, just a short jaunt south of Hollywood Park. It'll be about a ten minute bus ride to the Brown Line and then at least another half-hour to an hour before you reach the Loop. If you drive and park at the Ravenswood stop of the Metra Rail Union Pacific North Line, you'll make it into downtown by train in 30 minutes or less because there's only one stop in between.
School's in Session
In addition to the following list, you can find out more information about the Hollywood Park schools and other Chicago schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Bais Yaakov Parochial School - 3333 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-1494
Learning Center High School 3 - 730 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 534-5180
Ohr Somayach International - 3557 W Peterson Ave - (773) 583-4567
a beginner's list on the what and where of Hollywood Park-all the best places
to get your daily necessities from frozen pizza to library books.
Chicago Transit Authority - (888) 968-7282
Care - 3553 W Peterson Ave - (773) 463-2755
Bryn Mawr Fresh Market -
3318 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 279-8020
Albany Park Public Library - 5150 N Kimball Ave - (312) 744-1933
Drugstore - 3201 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 267-2400
W Devon Ave - (773) 583-8640
Park - 3312 W Thorndale Ave - (773) 478-3482
Legion Park - 3200 West Hollywood Avenue
When it's time to get loose and kick back, Hollywood Park has plenty of places to relax. Check out this list of places to wine, dine, and unwind-but don't forget to explore Hollywood Park for yourself!
Zone USA - 3441 W Peterson Ave - (773) 539-1045
Townhouse Interiors - 3455 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-0476
Petersons Beauty Shop - 3447 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-0555
True Discount Cigarettes - 3417 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-4170
AHM Wireless - 3358 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 539-5330
Java N Mug - 3247 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 539-0407
Outdoor Cafe - 3257 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 539-6078
Gold Coast Dogs - 3525 W Peterson Ave - (773) 267-8180
Northpark Grill - 3401 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 588-1125
Wolfy's --2734 W Peterson Ave - (773) 743-0207
Dalpangyi - 3236 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 588-0305
Hunan Wok - 3411 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 539-9650
Midori Japanese Restaurant - 3310 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 267-9733
Minari Oriental Restaurant - 3311 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 267-3590
Il Song Jung - 3315 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 463-2121
Martino's Restaurant - 3431 W Peterson Ave - (773) 478-5410
Sergio's Taqueria Pizza - 3253 W Bryn Mawr Ave - (773) 866-1965
As one of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods, Hollywood Park offers homeowners a wide range of residential properties. Hollywood Park homes include lofts, condos and townhomes, to name a few. In addition to Chicago real estate, you can get detailed neighborhood information from our comprehensive online Chicago neighborhoods guide. With features like dining, shopping, entertainment, and resources, we've done all the leg work already to make your home search that much easier. Now, when a listing in Hollywood Park catches your eye, you can read all about the surrounding area and what it has to offer, all without setting foot in the neighborhood. Like a Yellow Pages, Metromix and MLS database all rolled into one, this site is your ultimate Chicago neighborhoods visitors' guidebook.