Logan Square is a beautiful neighborhood of mansion-lined boulevards and tree-silhouetted squares, located five miles northwest of Chicago's downtown Loop. Named after Union Army General John A. Logan, an early settler to the area, Logan Square has been a destination for many different immigrant communities throughout the years and is currently home to a diverse population (with a large Latino influence) and a Chicago culture all its own.
Logan, Kedzie, and Humboldt boulevards all run through Logan Square and comprise the Logan Square Boulevards Historic District. Many of the city's most beautiful mansions line these streets. Of course, Logan Square isn't limited to mansions (there's a little bit of everything here in terms of housing stock), but these stately single-family homes are an impressive part of the neighborhood that deserve a mention. If you are interested, the Historic Mansion House and Garden Walk offers Chicagoan's the opportunity to learn a little bit about the history of the neighborhood's residential designs. The tour, which has been in operation for over 25 years, takes place every September and features inside glimpses of the art and architecture of these notable Logan Square abodes. Aside from million-dollar manors, Logan Square has an assortment of newer construction condos, brick townhouses, private lots and apartment complexes.
Logan Square is also home to many fine restaurants and taverns. Using organic ingredients and boasting a very vegetarian friendly menu, Lula Cafe is a hit among foodies both in and out of Logan Square. Serving burgers and pizza, Dunlay's is a distinctly American bar and grill with great outdoor sidewalk seating. Street Side Bar and Grill is another American-style pub and a popular hangout for Logan Square residents. If you want baby back ribs, chicken or pork done up BBQ-style, head over to Calvin's BBQ and bring the family for a mouthwatering, finger-licking-good dining experience. El Cid is a neighborhood favorite for Mexican fare with two locations in Logan Square. El Cid Tacos on Milwaukee is the original with El Cid 2 a few blocks north on Kedzie. Whichever site you pick, you can't go wrong for great south-of-the-border food and incredible margaritas (which many say are best enjoyed sitting in the outdoor patio). For strictly Spanish cuisine, share some tapas with your friends at Azucar Tapas Restaurant and Cocktail Bar. Or, for more upscale Mexican, dine at Real Tenochtitlan or Fuego Mexican Grill.
It looks like Margie's Candies, in business since the 1920s, has a good shot at the century landmark. This neighborhood ice cream parlor has been an anchor for the Logan Square community for generations. With more than 50 versions of the classic sundae on the menu (all prepared with hand-made ice cream, of course), Margie's is a real sweet treat year-round, but especially during Chicago's sweltering summers. Another neighborhood institution that satisfies summertime sweet-tooths is Miko's, where Italian ice refreshes with real fruit concoctions.
Thanks to skyrocketing fuel prices, the demand for bicycles is on the rise. Get yours at Logan Square's Boulevard Bikes or, if your old bike just needs a tune-up, take it to Oscar Wastyn Cycles. Although this family-owned cycle shop has changed locations a few times, it has been in the Logan Square neighborhood since 1910. Another way to save a few bucks is to seek out the places bargain shoppers delight in. Thrifty shoppers can find great deals in Logan Square at stores like the Gap Outlet, Family Thrift and the ultimate discount retailers MegaMall.
Switching gears from popular shops to popular nightspots, the Whirlaway is a true Chicago neighborhood bar great jukebox, friendly bartender, unassuming decor and a favorite among the locals. This small place can get jam packed on a weekend night so be prepared to squeeze in. Another Logan Square mainstay that doesn't disappoint is Bob Inn. TVs, a pool table, local sports talk wafting through the air, you could waste away an afternoon in worse places. But for that true dive bar atmosphere and live music, The Mutiny can't be topped. Referred to as Bands Wanted about as often as by its real name, this neighborhood haunt is a good venue for hip tunes and fun evening entertainment - and there's never a cover! For live blues on the northwest side (away from the throngs of tourists) there's no better place than Rosa's to catch old-time blues players as well as up-and-comers. For bigger musical acts making their way through Chicago, Logan Square Auditorium and the Congress Theater handle the larger crowds with ease. These vintage stages are always booked with national and international acts that often sellout months in advance. The once decrepit lanes of Fireside Bowl enjoyed about a decade-long run as an important all-ages venue in Logan Square for live underground music. While it has still got a little bit of rock-and-roll left to it, Fireside Bowl has returned to its bowling alley status.
CTA buses in Logan Square run diagonally north and south along Milwaukee Avenue as well as straight northsouth along Western, California and Pulaski avenues. The Armitage, Fullerton Belmont and Diversey buses run eastwest through the neighborhood. And for Logan Square residents with their own vehicle, the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) passes through its northeastern tip, providing a quick route to the Chicago Loop.