Pilsen is the main neighborhood in the lower west side of Chicago. It lies three miles southwest of the Chicago Loop and is near the Heart of Chicago. Pilsen was historically German, Polish, Italian, and Czech, with Czech immigrants being the most prominent. In the 1980s, the Mexican population of Pilsen grew, and by 1990, about 33% of the population of Chicago that was originally from Mexico lived in Pilsen.
The neighborhood has been diversifying since the 2000s, but there is still a prevalence of Mexican culture in the wonderful restaurants and bakeries. Along Halsted Street is one of the largest art districts in Chicago, home to the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Pilsen is decorated by murals and street art celebrating the cultural heritage of this area. Walking through East Pilsen with your dog is exciting, as you can appreciate the beautiful murals. While most restaurants don't offer much in the way of outdoor seating, there are a few exceptions.
Pilsen is a primarily flat neighborhood with a mix of business areas and residential homes of two to three stories that are closely spaced. Walking through most of Pilsen is relatively tight, with a sidewalk that is right on the road, but there are lots of great places accessible to you in Pilsen to enjoy with your dog. You can walk to most places in the neighborhood, but since the walk is a bit tight on the city streets, you may decide to drive to some of the attractions within and near Pilsen. This is not the best neighborhood for bicycling with your dog.
The University Village Dog Park is just outside of the area. This park is not large, but it does provide somewhere for your dog to stretch her legs off-leash, and it provides a dog height water supply so your dog can drink her fill while she plays.
The Jefferson Playlot Park is a lovely park with a wide grassy expanse and plenty of pleasant trees scattered around. It is the perfect place to let your dog walk on a loose leash along the pleasant path or play a game of fetch on the wide grassy area, although since this park is not fenced, you will need to keep your dog on a leash.
Addam/Medill Park has lots of large, grassy areas for you and your pup to enjoy, as well as paths to walk between the playing fields.
Across the South Branch of the Chicago River which cuts through Pilsen is the Ping Tom Memorial Park. This huge and beautiful park has plenty of natural grassy areas for you to explore with your dog. Some paths are paved while others are sandy and natural, giving your dog the opportunity to experience varied terrain as well as sniff out interesting wildlife.