City Cast

Get to Know Humboldt Park

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on June 7
People walk down a street with a large sculpture of Puerto Rican flag in the distance

Paseo Boricua on Division Street in Humboldt Park. (Emily Barney / Flickr)

Next on the street fest circuit? Puerto Rican Fest in Humboldt Park.

The community named after German explorer Alexander Von Humboldt became part of Chicago in 1869. A neighborhood long home to immigrants, Puerto Rican culture and influence can be found all over Humboldt Park today.

Paseo Podcast host Joshua Smyser-DeLeon grew up in the area and has seen it change. He told the City Cast Chicago podcast what to check out.

Something to eat: “Nellie's has one of my favorite breakfast dishes: avena, which is basically Spanish for oatmeal. They call it avena de coco. They use coconut milk, and it is probably the best oatmeal I've ever had. I have failed to recreate it.”

Something to drink: “Esmeralda's Tiki Bar has great drinks and a great ambiance. What I love about it is even though it's Cuban owned, they still respect the imprint of Puerto Rican culture.”

Something to see: “Definitely check out the Paseo Boricua flag. It’s not every day you have the largest monument to a flag in your backyard. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture is also a beautiful place.”

Something to do: “Paseo Boricua actually does a mural tour, and it’s pretty affordable.”

A map of Humboldt Park

Boundaries of Humboldt Park. (Google Maps)

🇵🇷 What can you expect at the fest? Carnival rides, a plátano cook-off, salsa music, the annual parade, and more from Thursday to Sunday.

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