When you're looking for that ideal Chicago neighborhood, Kilbourn Park is the picture perfect place to settle down. This small northwest side community has it all - appetizing restaurants, notable shopping and excellent educational facilities. Kilbourn Parkers live in a mix of housing options that include contemporary lofts and condos, and single-family homes. Outside the residential blocks are an international tour of dining spots. Asian cuisine tops the bill, followed by Mexican cantinas, a couple pizza places, and a slew of bar and grills. Retail runs the gamut as well, supplying shoppers with everything from sweaters for Fido to a long, white gown for the bride-to-be. Residing in the big city doesn't mean you have to forego green grass and open spaces... Kilbourn Parkers have their very own community park and organic greenhouse where residents can get their fill of outdoor legroom and all-natural plant life.
Kilbourn Park Facts
Location: About nine miles northwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Old Irving Park, Portage Park, Avondale, Kelvyn Park, Cragin
Boundaries: Addison Street to the north, Pulaski Road to the east, Belmont Avenue to the south and Cicero Avenue to the west.
Then and Now
It’s always interesting to learn a little history about your neighborhood, including how a hometown like Kilbourn Park was officially named.
Kilbourn Park was developed along with Old Irving Park during the end of the nineteenth century, attracting mostly middle-class Protestants who sought the solace of quiet, tree-lined streets. The community was serviced by streetcars and light commuter rail, both of which have since been discontinued. Until the Great Depression, most of the area was relatively wealthy and it was noted for its large homes; however, during the Depression, many of those homes were converted into multiple-family units. In the following decades the racial makeup of the neighborhood began to shift from a solidly white, native-born population to one of greater ethnic diversity. Swedish and German immigrants arrived to Chicago in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and they were later followed by Polish and Russian Immigrants in the years following the First World War.
With the flood of immigration in the first half of the twentieth century, the demographic makeup of the neighborhood was shaken-up and the median income of neighborhood residents was greatly reduced. The population of community gradually shrank in the following decades as well, until new waves of immigration started in the 1980s. Mexican and Asian immigration increased dramatically beginning in the late ‘80s, and they now make up more than a quarter of Kilbourn Park’s population. Today, Kilbourn Park is an ethnically diverse working-class neighborhood in the northwest side of Chicago.
The Park Is the Place
Living in the city does not have to mean giving up your gardening skills and hard-earned green thumb.
In 1910, before Kilbourn Park officially separated from the Irving Park subdivision, the Irving Park District was developed to help take care of the park areas in the neighborhood, among other things. Fifteen years after it was developed, the Park District took over an area of land to make room for a new park addition to the community. This newly designated recreation spot was named after an adjoining road, Kilbourn Street (which was named for a town near Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin). But it was the actual park—not the street—that was the inspiration to name the surrounding neighborhood. Needless to say, knowing that Kilbourn Park was named after a welcoming place where children play, families have picnics and people enjoy each other’s company and relax, the name speaks appropriately for the type of community Kilbourn Park neighborhood is today.
In the heart of the Kilbourn Park neighborhood is the Kilbourn Park and Organic Greenhouse (3501 N. Kilbourn Ave., 773-685-3351). This distinctive facility works with plants, flowers, and trees year around. Kilbourn Park grows greenery indoors all winter so that come spring, fresh flowers and plants are ready to be welcomed to soil outdoors. The Greenhouse also sells more than one-hundred varieties of organic vegetable, herb, plant and flower seedlings at their annual organic plant sale to promote organic plant growth and healthy organic eating. The sale of these seedlings goes to renovating the Kids Organic Garden so that children (ages 8 to 12) can learn hands-on about pollinating and gardening as part of the park’s Harvest Gardens class program that runs from June to August.
Even if you’re not much of a green thumb, Kilbourn Park and Organic Greenhouse also hosts other programs like basketball and day camps for children. For the older crowd (those eighteen and up), get sun and exercise with a summer of sixteen-inch softball games and some healthy competition amongst friends.
Kilbourn Park Real Estate
The humble neighborhood of Kilbourn Park rests outside the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s hectic city center. This northwest side community is home to elegant gardens and cozy well-kept homes and condos. The residential streets of Kilbourn Park are lined with a mix of housing options that include English Tudor-style condominiums, newly constructed lofts and spacious townhomes, situated near biking trails and transportation.
Some of the newer lofts have features like tall nine-foot windows, hardwood floors, granite countertops and expansive balconies giving the living space an elegant, bright feel. A number of the vintage condominiums and apartments have been renovated to provide modernized amenities, complete with stainless steel appliances, marble baths and hardwood floors—all while maintaining the classic appeal of charming, older architecture.
The average sales price for a one- or two-bedroom condo in Kilbourn Park is around $261,000, although there are several units in the $150,000 to $200,000 price range. A standard three-bedroom single-family detached home here cost about $360,000. Of course there are some houses of this size that ring in a bit higher with a price tag in the mid $600,000s.
What’s on the Menu?
Not up to cooking—again? In Kilbourn Park, you’ll be happy to know there is a variety of family-owned restaurants, ethnic food treasures and everyday eateries in Kilbourn Park.
We’ve found an exceptional place to dine in this northwest side Chicago neighborhood at La Oaxaquena Mexican Restaurant (3382 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-545-8585) where the fare is akin to the likes of Oaxaca, Mexico. Many of us have discovered the food at this 'south of the border' culinary delight is authentic. Enjoy succulent dishes like the pollo en mole, a half chicken breast drenched in a tasty sauce, or one of their seafood delicacies like the large shrimp stuffed with bacon, ham and cheese. Another popular dish is the chiles rellenos Oaxaquenos, cheese, almonds, cinnamon and potatoes in a sweet pineapple sauce stuffed inside ancho chiles. From what we’ve sampled, everything at La Oaxaquena (we have no idea how that is pronounced), is outstanding and when you pair your meal with a Mexican beer or fresh lime margarita, you’ve got a winner. An additional bonus, the restaurant’s environment is child-friendly and the prices are very affordable.
Keep it casual and satisfying at Oddo’s Pizza (3535 N. Pulaski Rd., 773-583-6163) where the pizza is served hot and the smells of garlic drift across the room and their thin crust pizza tops many patrons’ list of local favorites. This is a great Chicago eatery to meet up with friends and kin, and has been hand-making dishes for over 50 years. The atmosphere at Oddo’s is family-friendly with comfortable booths to sit in and caricatures of famous celebrities decorating walls. Aside from the various pizza offerings, Oddo’s also serves up traditional Italian dishes like your pasta marinara and toasty garlic bread.
Kilbourn Park locals like to spice it up with cuisine from Thai Aree House (3592 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-725-6751). Choose your spice-temperature, and fill your mouth with tantalizing meals like the nam sod, a juicy combination of ground pork with peanuts, chili and a splash of lime. All meals are prepared with the freshest meats and vegetables and decked-out with flavorful Thai herbs and spices, but Thai Aree is BYOB so bring your beverage of choice to cool your mouth off.
Best Shopping Stops
Whether you’re power-shopping with credit card in hand, or just out window browsing, Kilbourn Park provides a mix of retail stores, bargain bins and one-of-a-kind shops.
How about taking your home decorating one step further by designing your own custom-built fireplace mantel? We know, not your typical interior design direction, but Kilbourn Park’s VAS Designs Inc. (3356 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-794-1368) will work with you to create hand-crafted fireplace mantels and adjoining bookcases, whether it’s based on the staff’s suggestions or on your own imaginative ideas. The talented design staff begins by taking the exact measurements of your fireplace and then drawing a sketch to scale to give you a preview of what your room will look like upon installation of the actual piece. They will match the new wood to your home’s existing timber in mahogany, cherry, solid birch, maple or oak. VAS Designs mantels are durable quality and long-lasting—made from one solid piece of wood. These guys are not only professional and creative in their wood-crafting skills, they’ll even deliver and install their masterpieces in your Kilbourn Park home.
Switching gears from home decoration to human decoration, another shopping stop in the neighborhood is Finest Fashions Wholesale Jewelry (3433 N. Knox Ave., 773-725-2600). Uncover sparkling earrings, delicate necklaces, beautiful wrist watches, glittery bracelets, and a whole slew of precious gems and metals—all for less than other retail jewelry stores. We’ve stumbled upon a number of dazzling gift ideas—for others and for ourselves—while perusing Finest Fashion’s huge selection of eye-catching pieces that are sure to dress up any outfit.
Night on the Town
Residents of Kilbourn Park don’t have to look any further than their own backyards for a fun night out with friends and loved ones.
For a taste of Kilbourn Park’s Polish flavor—and beer—My Place on Milwaukee (3394 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-286-4482) offers a unique selection of Polish beer and liquor. This casual neighborhood hangout has a long bar where you can pull up a stool, have a brew and chat with the locals. Once you’ve made a few new friends, challenge them to a game of darts or shoot some pool while sipping down some Okicim, one of the most popular Polish style beers.
A great place to unwind in Kilbourn Park is Little Rascal’s Bar & Grill (4356 W. Belmont Ave., 773-545-1416). The two friendly owners have made this bar a great place to watch sporting events with plenty of TVs and great drink specials Sunday through Thursday. The bar seats up to twelve people and the rest of the room has great window-side seating for the people-watching patrons. Aside from sipping down their sweet blended daiquiris and smooth frothy ales, Kilbourn Park locals are seen in this neighborhood hangout grabbing a tasty bite. Little Rascal’s also serves up some mouthwatering grilled chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, as well as Italian sausage and beef sandwiches, all sided with crispy French fries.
Perhaps you’re not looking to lounge at a pub and rest your feet after a day at work, instead you’d rather kick up your heels to a Latin beat—then dance, drink and dine at Club Mambo (3336 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-481-2050). Club Mambo is definitely an entertaining hotspot worth a visit because here you’ll find something for all types of people. The menu consists of a combination of Cuban and American cuisine with everything from tender steaks marinated in authentic seasoning to a simple club sandwich. You’ll find occasional cabaret shows or Latin musical events sponsored by the likes of Hoy! (the local Hispanic newspaper) and other area businesses. When the sun goes down, this exciting club is equipped with two full bars and two VIP areas, not to mention the state-of-the-art sound system and creative lighting. You’ll also want to plan ahead for New Years’ Eve at Club Mambo by buying tickets online because they throw one heck of a party.
Kilbourn Park neighborhood is a hop, skip and a jump away from all major transportation means including bus, train, and the expressway.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line stops a few blocks east of the Kilbourn Park neighborhood in Avondale with a station at Belmont Avenue and Addison Street. The Blue Line goes all the way out to O’Hare International Airport, or if you’re headed the other direction, it will take you through the Loop and out to Forest Park. A single fare only sets you back $2, and travelers can transfer to other lines at no charge.
Another way to take advantage of the CTA public transportation is to hop on the #56 bus which travels northwest and southeast making frequent stops along Milwaukee Avenue, and some in Kilbourn Park. The fare is also just $2 a ride and all of CTA buses are handicap accessible.
The Metra Rail’s Milwaukee District North Line runs straight through the Kilbourn Park neighborhood. Prices vary depending on where you’re headed so be sure to pick up a schedule at one of the local stations or check online. The train makes scheduled stops just outside of Kilbourn Park at Grayland (3805 N. Kilbourn St.) and Healy (4014 W. Fullerton Ave.).
If you’ve got wheels of your own, Lake Shore Drive gives you easy access to any of Chicago’s nearby museums, cultural centers and a look at all the historic homes and buildings along this busy waterfront thoroughfare. Kilbourn Park residents with a car can purchase a city sticker at City Hall (121 N LaSalle St, 312-744-6881, Mon.-Fri. 8am to 5pm), or the local substation. Kilbourn Park’s nearest substation is the North Substation (2550 W. Addison St, Mon. 8am to 5pm Tues.-Fri. 8am to 6:30pm Sat. 8am to 3:30pm). This sticker may be moderately pricey, but by keeping it in your window, it will help you avoid unnecessary tickets and towing throughout the year. Parking in Kilbourn Park and the city as a whole can definitely be tricky since residential zone restrictions are in effect between certain hours and readily available street parking can be limited. If you planning to have guests over, make sure you have visitors passes that allow your guest(s) to park on the street ticket-free.
School’s in Session
School bells are ringing in Kilbourn Park and kids—and adults—are rushing to get to class. For more information on schools in this and other Chicago neighborhoods, go to our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Carl Schurz High School – 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 534-3420
Chicago National College of Naprapathy – 3330 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 282-2686
Midwestern Christian Academy – 3465 N. Cicero Ave. – (773) 685-1106
Scammon Elementary School – 4201 W. Henderson St. – (773) 534-3475
We give you the scoop on where to go for groceries, pet care and even bridal gowns—if you happen to be in need of a long white dress …
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) – (888) 968-7282
Metra Rail – Weekdays 8am to 5pm CT, Metra Passenger Services – (312) 322-6777
Kilbourn Park and Organic Greenhouse – 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave. – (773) 685-3351
U.S. Post Office – 3319 N. Cicero Ave. – (773) 725-5762
Aldi – 3363 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Golden Trophy Steaks – 3548 N. Kostner Ave. – (773) 282-2900
Irving Park Community Food – 3801 N. Keeler Ave. – (773) 283-6296
Super Saving Food – 4424 W. Belmont Ave., – (773) 725-9772
Finest Fashions Wholesale Jewelry – 3433 N. Knox Ave. – (773) 725-2600
Herrera Angeles – 3256 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 545-6553
La Mart – 4040 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 286-1182
Pay Half Stores – 4202 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 286-1350
Payless Shoe Source – 3311 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 725-4870
Stu’s Bargain Outlet – 4200 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 685-7582
Mattress World – 3302 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 205-5576
VAS Designs Inc. – 3356 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 794-1368
Lily’s Bridal and Gifts – 3246 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 685-8494
Lorraine Lingerie – 4220 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 283-3000
All for Doggies – 1760 N Kilbourn Ave. – (773) 395-0900
Delta Restaurant – 3205 N. Cicero Ave – (773) 545-4343
China Chef – 4600 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 283-2828
Chinese Kitchen – 3539 N. Cicero Ave. – (773) 283-2121
Manee Thai Restaurant – 3558 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 725-6751
Siam Taste Noodle – 4323 W. Addison St. – (773) 286-6020
Thai Aree House – 3592 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 725-6751
Bel Park Deli – 4752 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 777-1047
Cubby’s Red Hots, Inc. – 3329 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 736-5200
McDonald’s – 4038 W. Belmont Ave.
Cardona’s – 3210 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 202-8155
La Oaxaquena – 3382 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 545-8585
Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant – 3243 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 685-2250
Michael’s Restaurant and Pizzeria – 3384 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 777-8550
Oddo’s Pizza – 3535 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 583-6163
Belford Tavern – 3200 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 725-7112
Janina’s Tavern & Banquet Hall – 3457 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 685-6676
Little Rascal’s Bar & Grill – 4356 W. Belmont Ave. – (773) 545-1416
Big Teddy Bar, Inc. – 3513 N. Pulaski Rd. – (773) 267-5490
Mambo – 3336 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 481-2050
My Place on Milwaukee – 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave. – (773) 286-4482
Astoria Lounge Inc. – 3208 N. Kostner Ave. – (773) 725-2277
Our neighborhoods guide is meant to give potential homebuyers a general overview of what every Chicago neighborhood has to offer and what makes it unique from the rest-and believe us, no two neighborhoods are the same! Searching for a new home isn’t just about finding that prefect condo or house, making sure the setting fits your style and needs is just as important. And whether Kilbourn Park neighborhood is your ideal locale to settle down, or you’ve found the scene here just isn’t your cup of tea, we’re here to help you find the right place to make sure your home purchase a is total success. From the type of restaurants to the outdoor venues to the local schools, every detail is an essential factor in what makes a property of dream home. By utilizing our comprehensive accounts of each community, such as this one for Kilbourn Park, we hope to provide a detailed picture of not only the residential real estate available in the area, but also the additional features of the neighborhood. A quick glance and you’ll know exactly what shopping, dining, entertainment and resources are in Kilbourn Park, all without ever having to go anywhere.