Logan Square is a diverse, family-friendly neighborhood with a growing number of restaurants, nightlife and stores, and so much green you'll forget you're in the city. Wide, landscaped boulevards are characteristic of Logan Square - remnants of the past that continue to define the area today. Off the boulevards are a hodgepodge of residences that cover every housing preference, from old mansions to contemporary condominiums. Local eateries and cafes are favorites among Logan Square inhabitants who will find an extensive selection of dining options in all directions. A handful of bars are thrown into the mix, as are theaters and other entertainment venues. Logan Square also offers a decent assortment of retail outlets that embrace both national name brands and those of the homegrown variety. During certain months of the year Logan Square is home to one of Chicago's many farmers' markets, and for anyone who wants to skip out on the Taste of Chicago, you can come to the Taste of Logan Square for a downsized version of the massive food festival.
Logan Square Facts
Location: 5 miles northwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Humboldt Park, Avondale, Bucktown, Hermosa
Boundaries: Diversey Avenue to the north, Western Avenue to the east, Armitage Avenue to the south and Pulaski Road to the west
Then and Now
This westside neighborhood is named for Union Army general and Illinois senator John A. Logan, who helped settle the area in the early 20th century. Incidentally, he was also the guy who established the holiday commemorating our nation's soldiers, Memorial Day-so it's a namesake to be proud of.
But before John A. Logan came along, there were plenty of immigrants building up the area. Originally called 'Jefferson Township,' the land was settled by immigrants who had established themselves and became quite wealthy since arriving in America. Naturally, they would have loved to live on the South Shore with Chicago's elite families, but the aristocracy turned up their noses at the new millionaires and made it quite clear they weren't welcome in their neighborhoods. Thus, the immigrants chose the wide-open westside boulevards as the perfect place to erect their mansions. They lived in conjunction with working class immigrants, who constructed smaller, bungalow-style homes on the nearby streets. The arrival of the elevated train system in 1890 prompted a population expansion. And when the city paved the boulevards and added lush greenery around the squares, Germans and Scandinavians began building more homes in the area.
Post World War I, the Scandinavians and Germans left Logan Square for different pastures, so Russian Jews and Poles began to take their place. The new group built up more flats and apartment buildings around the mansions, changing the look of the area. Logan Square had hit a peak of vibrancy and vitality, but in the 1930s, it all started to deteriorate. As in the rest of the city, population declined, resulting in deterioration of the beautiful architecture that characterized the area.
However, 30 years later a sense of community brought the neighborhood back. The formation of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (which still exists today) started an initiative to restore old buildings and improve housing conditions in the area, and rehabbing the aged mansions became a real estate trend for many developers. In 1980, the neighborhood's boulevards joined the National Register of historic places, making it official-Logan Square's rich history, long-standing architecture and abundance of grass and trees earned it a spot as one of city's most beautiful, and desirable, Chicago neighborhoods.
These days, not too much has changed. The area continues to be residential and family-oriented. As the years go by, Logan Square has maintained its draw for immigrants, attracting a large number of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, as well as some Eastern Europeans. Filling in the holes are artists and young working adults, many of who made the move west from nearby gentrifying neighborhoods.
Strolling Down the Boulevard
Have we mentioned the boulevards yet? They're an essential part of this neighborhood. The city's boulevards were developed in the 1800s to serve as a stretch of wide, green-filled roads for scenic carriage rides. Today, Logan Boulevard, Kedzie Boulevard and Humboldt Boulevard are some of the most beautiful streets in the city, lined with large brick and stone houses, tons of grass, rows of flowers and towering leafy trees. One stroll down any of these streets and it's obvious why these roads have been designated 'Logan Square Boulevards Historic District.'
In addition to the boulevards, this neighborhood is home to two squares: Palmer Square, and of course, Logan Square. Palmer Square is considered a small pocket neighborhood nestled within the confines of Logan Square, defined by Fullerton Avenue to the north, Armitage Avenue to the south, Kedzie Boulevard to the west and Milwaukee Avenue to the east. Right smack dab in the center is a 10-acre open green area (the 'square' in Palmer Square) providing west siders a place to walk, run, read, bring your dog, or rest a bit on one of the many park benches.
The Square of Logan Square, a circular patch of grass formed by Kedzie and Logan Boulevards and Milwaukee Avenue, is visible for miles, thanks to the mammoth Illinois Centennial Memorial Column. Built in 1918, it is a 70-foot tall Doric column topped with an eagle, and was built to commemorate the 100th year of the statehood of Illinois. Fun fact: the memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, the same architect of the Lincoln Memorial.
Logan Square Real Estate
Logan Square real estate blends old mansions, new condos, and everything in between. People from all walks of life-young singles, married couples, families-are drawn to the good schools and sense of community that Logan Square offers.
A mix of two-story houses, modern condominiums, older apartment buildings and beautiful brick townhomes are available in the Logan Square neighborhood, which give this neighborhood a truley authentic vibe.
What's on the Menu?
As Westside development moves into Logan Square, new restaurants are slowly popping up. We always love a new spot, but there are some tried and true Logan Square restaurants that should not be missed.
When Chicagoans think Logan Square dining, the first thing that comes to mind is Lula Cafe (2537 N Kedzie Ave, 773-489-9554). Located a hop, skip and a jump from the Illinois Memorial column, the tiny restaurant has long been a staple of this neighborhood. Environmentally-friendly folk flock for the organic fare, artists visit for the gorgeous art on display, and foodies come for the unique, almost sinful menu. Lula serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the biggest crowds come out on the weekends for their delectable brunch menu. With favorites like beef sirloin Eggs Benedict and mascarpone stuffed brioche French toast, it's worth the wait and everyone loves the low prices. If you're looking for something a little quainter and less crowded but equally as delicious, there's The Hot Spot (2824 W Armitage Ave, 773-770-3838). It's quite possibly the happiest-looking place in town with a bright green, orange and yellow interior, and large windows to let the sunshine in. Their homage to the neighborhood is a stack of Logan berry sour cream pancakes, topped with lingonberries and honey butter. The Hot Spot's lunch specials are equally as yummy, with a variety of sandwiches, salads and soups to choose from. The Brown Sack (3706 W Armitage Ave, 773-661-0675) is another low-key place, catering to professionals from all over the city who drop by to pick up to-go food for the folks down at the office. There's a handful of tables to eat at, though, and you might need to take a seat once you sample their mouth-watering soul food-inspired soups and sandwiches. Don't forget to save room for dessert-the incredible baked goods at this Logan Square restaurant are homemade by the chef's aunt.
If you want to step it up a notch and head out to something a little less casual, Logan Square has a few options to suit your fancy. If it's carbs you're craving, head to Buona Terra (2535 N California Ave, 773-289-3800). The rustic decor of this Italian spot (housed in a former grocery store) is the perfect compliment to an order of rigatoni buona terra, or a serving of bruschetta. Again, save room for dessert-the tiramisu here is heavenly. For something from the other side of the globe, Hachi's Kitchen (2521 N California Ave, 773-276-8080) is right down the street. With a combination of both raw (sushi by the piece) and cooked (Chilean sea bass with jalapenos and onions), this contemporary Logan Square spot has fare for all kinds of seafood lovers. Brand new to the neighborhood is Azucar Tapas Restaurant and Cocktail Bar (2647 N Kedzie Ave, 773-486-6464). The space-which has room enough for just 10 tables-is a reflection of the restaurant's emphasis on small plates and portions. Prepared in true Spanish tapas-style, we enjoy Azucar's petite servings, which allow everybody a few bites of everything-just order an assortment of cold and hot dishes and let the taste testing begin! Late night, the long bar gets busy, making this a fun neighborhood spot for a quick cocktail, too.
The Logan Square neighborhood has some of the best bar food in the city. Dunlay's on the Square (3137 W Logan Blvd, 773-227-2400) is a great spot for the sports enthusiast, but it's the wood-fired pizzas, juicy burgers, and wild mushroom meatloaf that keeps us coming back. Their sidewalk cafe, right across the street from the square, is one of the best summer spots in this area. If you're craving the spicy zing of barbeque, you're in luck. One of the city's best joints is right around the corner. Calvin's BBQ (2540 W Armitage Ave, 773-342-5100) serves up baby back ribs, chicken, beef brisket, fried catfish, sweet potato fries and pulled pork sandwiches. The prices are inexpensive, and it's BYOB, so drag along your favorite libation to compliment the messy barbeque sauce.
In a neighborhood like Logan Square with an extensive Latino population, you can bet there are going to be some amazing restaurants serving up homemade tortillas, extra-caliente salsas and south-of-the-border specialties. Mexicans have made their mark in Logan Square, making this is one of the best neighborhoods to visit for authentic, inexpensive Mexican food. El Cid (2115 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-252-4747) is a staple here, with cheap eats, refreshing margaritas and quick, friendly service. Bonus: El Cid 2 (2645 N. Kedzie, 773-395-0505) is only a few blocks away. For one of the best Latino music jukeboxes around, check out 2 Amigos (2320 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-292-0106). The service can be slow, but portion size more than makes up for it.
Okay, who's ready for dessert now? If a classic banana split is what you're after, hit up Margie's (1960 N Western Ave, 773-384-1035), a charming old-fashioned Logan Square ice cream parlor. It's been around since 1921, and they create masterful sundaes and shakes with their own handmade ice cream and candy. For a lighter dessert, mosey on down to Miko's (2234 N Sacramento Ave, 773-988-9664), where you can have any combination of Italian ice flavors stacked into a cup. Coconut, raspberry, strawberry, passion fruit-we assure you, they're all made from real fruit, and all amazing. Miko's is only open in the summer, making it a sad day in Logan Square when Miko closes its doors in the fall.
Best Shopping Stops
As you move west down Milwaukee Avenue, the string of cute little boutiques dwindles, disappearing altogether by the time you reach Logan Square. But don't worry, there's still plenty of shopping in this Chicago neighborhood-without those steep boutique prices.
Who doesn't love fresh cut flowers? Fleur (3149 W Logan Blvd, 773-395-2770) makes it easy to pick up a bunch on your way home from work. They have a knack for combining exotic and unusual flowers in their arrangements. Fresh bouquet in hand, stop by Provenance Food and Wine (2528 N California Ave, 773-384-0699) to really impress that special someone. This Logan Square boutique grocery store specializes in affordable old and new world wines, and also deals in artisanal cheeses, meats, breads, pasta, sauces, chocolates and much more. It's the perfect little pick-something-up-for-dinner Logan Square stop.
Logan Square is full of bike enthusiasts, so thank goodness there's Boulevard Bikes (2535 N Kedzie Blvd, 773-235-9109). Dedicated to all the needs of the urban biker, Boulevard Bikes does repairs, sells parts and bikes, and even has a bike wash, so you can keep your wheels looking squeaky clean. Catering in large part to the population of Latino families in Logan Square, MegaMall (2502 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-489-2525) is a huge bazaar where scores of merchants sell everything from jewelry to sneakers to stereo equipment to clothes. There's even a food court-in case you need to recharge during your shopping excursion.
People love a deal in Logan Square, so it's fitting that the neighborhood houses a Gap Outlet (2778 N Milwaukee Ave 773-252-0594). Like any outlet store, the selection and prices vary day to day, so make your stop-ins frequent if you want to score a few bargains. Family Thrift (2160 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-394-1115) is another Logan Square shopping spot to find a good deal. It's semi-organized and absurdly inexpensive. The prices at Threads, Etc. (2327 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-276-6411) may be higher than those at Family Thrift, but the shopping experience is also less chaotic than your typical thrift store. The second floor is a great place to find furniture, and the first floor houses racks and racks of reasonably priced clothing.
Night on the Town
Nightlife in Logan Square has a whole different vibe than the dress code nightclubs in downtown and surrounding Chicago neighborhoods. These neighbors are just looking to have a drink, chat with friends, and keep things easy and breezy.
Maria, the owner at Whirlaway (3224 W Fullerton Ave, 773-276-6809) is practically a Logan Square celebrity. She's behind the bar almost every night, and has a knack for remembering your name-even if you've only been in once. A great jukebox, dim lighting and cheap drinks characterize this typical Logan Square nightspot. Right down the street at Bob Inn (2609 W Fullerton Ave) you'll find a blend of longtime regulars and neighborhood newbies sharing an enjoyable evening of bottled brews and on-tap specials at this favorite Logan Square bar. Cubs fans beware, this is a bona fide Sox bar. Helen's Two Way Lounge (2928 W Fullerton Ave, 773-227-5676) is named for the bar's two entrances-one on Fullerton Avenue and one on Milwaukee Avenue. It's a big old-timers spot, but it draws the occasional youngin' with $1.25 Old Style.
Blues lovers-you've found your home. Rosa's (3420 W Armitage Ave, 773-342-0452) has been filling this Chicago neighborhood with authentic sounds of the blues since 1978. Drawing both aficionados and amateurs, these soulful tunes make for sweet listening and amazing evening entertainment. For those special occasions when you want something in between dance party and beer fest-Logan Square folks are lucky to have a fun bowling alley right in their backyard. The Fireside Bowl (2648 W Fullerton Ave, 773-486-2700) seems out of a movie, with a small bar, wood paneling, pool table and cloudy haze of smoke. You can bowl here for only $20 an hour, so grab a crew and lace up those bowling shoes.
Music lovers in Logan Square frequent both the Congress Theater (2135 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-252-4000) and the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N Kedzie Ave, 773-252-6179). Housed in an ancient theater where the lower-level seats have been removed for better up-close-and-personal stage access, the Congress hosts a mix of popular musicians, DJs and even Mexican wrestling. The Logan Square Auditorium leans more towards acts that are popular on the Chicago scene, but have yet to make the pages of Rolling Stone.
Mark Your Calendar
What's the point of all these beautiful boulevards if you're not going to host a street festival or two? Perhaps that's why the calendars in Logan Square are jam-packed with events.
The Logan Square Farmer's Market kicks off in June, and every Sunday through September it's possible to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, and fresh baked bread, cookies and other goodies. They set up shop on the busy corner of Logan and Kedzie boulevards and Milwaukee Avenue, so you really can't miss it. In August, nearly 100 restaurants, bakeries and other food-related establishments convene for Taste of Logan Square. A wide variety of Logan Square restaurants participate, setting up booths in the center circle of the neighborhood, fully demonstrating the culinary diversity of the neighborhood.
In mid-September, The Historic Mansion House and Garden Walk gives people the chance to check out Logan Square's gorgeous houses and learn a little about the history of the area. In addition to taking you around the landscaped grounds and intricate gardens, this tour goes inside as some of the most magnificent homes in the neighborhood are opened up, allowing visitors to see the exquisite architecture and fabulous interior designs. The Walk has been taking place for a quarter of a century, and is one of the Logan Square neighborhood's most popular events.
In a neighborhood with so many picturesque trees and fragrant flowerbeds-why wouldn't you want to walk everywhere? Well, depending on your threshold for activity (and your punctuality), most places in Logan Square are easily walk-able. If you'd rather cab-it, you'll want to head to one of the major intersections-like Fullerton and Western Avenue, or Logan, Kedzie and Milwaukee-to start your flagging.
On the other hand, public transportation in this Chicago neighborhood can take you anywhere you need to go. The Armitage bus (#73) will take you east, straight through Bucktown and right into the heart of Lincoln Park-and all that amazing Armitage Avenue shopping. A ride on the Milwaukee bus (#56) will either take you northwest to Jefferson Park, or the opposite direction, right into the Loop. The Kedzie/California bus (#52) runs south down to 63rd Street and up to the intersection of California and Roscoe-your best bet for heading up north.
But most Logan Squarers use the elevated trains (referred to as the 'El'), which have two Blue Line stops within the area. The California stop is on the south side of the neighborhood, while the Logan Square stop is further north, and rests right on the perimeter of the neighborhood's namesake plaza. Conveniently, the Blue Line goes straight to O'Hare International Airport (get used to booking your flights out of there) or down to the Forest Park suburb, passing through the Loop, near Union Station, and by the University of Illinois Chicago campus on its way out of town.
For car owners, we have good news. Logan Square isn't as infuriating as other neighborhoods. There is far less permit parking, more garages, and-believe it or not-you can usually find an open space on any number of blocks.
School's in Session
Logan Square has a history of quality schools, both public and private. For a complete listing of Logan Square schools and locations, check out our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Brenato Elementary School 2723 N Fairfield Ave - (773) 534-4100
Charles R Darwin Elementary School 3116 W Belden Ave - (773) 534-4110
Funstein Elementary School 3616 W Armitage Ave - (773) 534-4125
J W Von Goethe Elementary School 2236 N Rockwell St - (773) 534-4135
Monroe Elementary School 3651 W Schubert Ave - (773) 534-4155
Mozart Elementary School 2200 N Hamlin Ave - (773) 534-4160
Salem Christian School 2845 W Mclean Ave - (773) 227-5580
Solomon P Chase Elementary School 2021 N Point St - (773) 534-4185
St John Berchman's School 2511 W Logan Blvd - (773) 486-1334
St Sylvester's School 3027 W Palmer Blvd - (773) 772-5222
Here's a quick list of those places you will undoubtedly need at some point.
Logan Square Public Library 3030 W Fullerton Ave - (312) 747-4300
Chicago Transit Authority - (888) 968-7282
Post Office 2339 N California Ave
Walgreens 3320 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 252-8331; 3110 W Armitage Ave - (773) 235-6758
Fullerton-Western Ave Medical Center 2412 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 384-7977
Riteway Pharmacy 2551 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 394-7404
Farmacia San Judas 3143 W Logan Blvd - (773) 278-2333
Provenance Food and Wine 2528 N California Ave - (773) 384-0699
GymsCheetah Gym (opening in late 2007) 2618 N Milwaukee Ave Curves 3143 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 384-9200
Logan Square Farmers' Market Logan Blvd & Milwaukee Ave - (773) 489-3222
Congress Theatre 2135 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 252-4000
Logan Square Auditorium 2539 N Kedzie Ave - (773) 252-6179
Realism Update Theater 2957 N Pulaski Ave - (773) 761-4486
Fireside Bowl 2646 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 486-2700
Boulevard Bikes 2535 N Kedzie Ave - (773) 235-9109
Disco City Records No. 6 2630 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 486-1495
Family Thrift 2160 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 394-1115
Fleur 3149 W Logan Blvd - (773) 395-2770
Gap Factory Outlet 2778 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 252-0594
Megamall 2502 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 489-2525
Threads, etc. 2327 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 276-6411
A Touch of Vintage 2506 N California, 773-384-8427
Wolfbait and B-girls 3131 W Logan Blvd - (312) 698-8685
We only had a chance to mention a few favorites and popular places in Logan Square. Here's a list of other places you might like to explore.
2 Amigos 2330 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 292-0106
Azucar Tapas Restaurant and Cocktail Bar 2647 N Kedzie Ave - (773) 486-6464
Cafe Ay Caramba 2714 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 772-1662
Cafe Bolero - 2252 N Western Ave - (773) 227-9000
Caliente 2556 W Fullerton St - (773) 772-4355
El Cid Tacos Inc 2115 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 252-4747
El Cid 2 2645 N Kedzie Ave - (773) 395-0505
El Nandu Restaurant 2731 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 278-0900
Fonda del Mar 3749 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 489-3748
La Calesa 2523 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 235-0018
Zacatecas Mexican Restaurant 2934 W Diversey Ave - (312) 278-4828
Andy's Deli & Bakery/Mikolajczyk Sausage Shop 3121 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 486-8160
Czerwone Jabluszko (Red Apple) Restaurant and Deli 3121 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 588-5781
Paul Zakopane-Harnas Restaurant 2943 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 342-1464
Staropolska Restaurant 3028 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 342-0779
Atlas Cafe 3028 W Armitage Ave - (773) 227-0022
Calvin's BBQ 2540 W Armitage Ave - (773) 342-5100
Cozy Corner- 2295 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 276-2215
Chef's Palace- 4413 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 278-7007
Fat Willy's Rib Shack 2416 W Schubert - (773) 782-1800
Golden Nugget 2406 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 342-1050
The Hot Spot 2824 W Armitage Ave - (773) 770-3838
Lula Cafe 2537 N Kedzie - (773) 489-9554
Margie's 1960 N Western Ave - (773) 384-1035
Buona Terra 2535 N California Ave - (773) 289-3800
Father and Son Restaurant 2475 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 252-2620
Giordano's 2855 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 862-4200
Miko's Italian Ice 2234 N Sacramento Ave - (773) 988-9664
Friendship Restaurant 2830 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 227-0970
Hachi's Kitchen 2521 N California Ave - (773) 276-8080
Lee's Chop Suey 2415 W Diversey - (773) 342-7050
Sai Mai 2532 N California Ave - (773) 276-8424
The Spice Thai Cuisine 2886 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 252-9959
The Brown Sack 3706 W Armitage Ave - (773) 651-0675
Alice's Lounge 3556 W Belmont Ave - (773) 478-5975
Helen's Two Way Lounge 2928 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 227-5676
Relax Sports Bar 2937 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 227-5499
Ronny's 2101 N California Ave - (773) 235-6591
Rosa's Lounge 3420 W Armitage Ave - (773) 342-0452
Tini Martini Ultra Lounge 2169 N Milwaukee Ave - (773) 269-2900
Whirlaway 3224 W Fullerton Ave - (773) 276-6809
Logan Square Preservation- Lewis Coulson - 3024 W. Logan Boulevard, 773-252-4859,
Logan Square Neighborhood Association - 2840 N. Milwaukee Ave 773-384-4370,
Logan Square Walks
Logan Square Chamber of Commerce - 3147 W. Logan Blvd, Suite 12, 773-489-3222
Sometimes it makes more sense to view the city of Chicago as a bunch of separate neighborhoods-especially when it comes to real estate. Whether you are in the market for a loft, condo, townhome, or house, it is just as important to inspect the surrounding area as it is to inspect the home's foundation. Logan Square neighborhood is just one Chicago community with an abundance of residential properties, and a life all its own. From where you send your kids to school to where you dine at night, the information we provide is an essential piece of the puzzle when you're trying to decide whether or not to buy that beautiful loft or adorable house in Logan Square.