City Cast

Get to Know Washington Park

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on June 28   |   Updated on June 27
City Cast Chicago podcast host Jacoby Cochran poses with a camera at the Bud Billiken Parade

City Cast Chicago podcast host Jacoby Cochran at the Bud Billiken Parade Aug. 13. (Blair Charleston)

The African Caribbean International Festival of Life is back with vegan food, reggae music, and more this weekend in Washington Park.

The South Side neighborhood is home to the 345-acre namesake park. The Great Migration brought Black residents into the area. More recently, advocates unsuccessfully pushed for Washington Park to be the home of the Obama Presidential Center.

City Cast Chicago podcast host Jacoby Cochran grew up going to the area to play football and cook out. As an adult, Jacoby lives nearby and still bikes through the area. He shares his recs.

Something to eat

“I tend to stick with the shrimp and grits or the honey buffalo shrimp at Truffle Grill. The french toast is good at Skidoes Cafe!”

Something to see

“The namesake park has a nice walking track, lagoon, and outdoor pool! Plus, don’t miss the Fountain of Time or the tulip garden.”

Somewhere to shop

The Retreat at the Currency Exchange is a great place for a coffee or a cocktail with a side of live music. Miyagi Records has great soul and funk throwbacks. You can even sell your vintage collection.”

Something to do

“The DuSable Museum has been in Washington Park for 50 years. The Bud Billiken Parade is the largest Black parade in America, and I 'Ferris Bueller-ed' my way in last year.”

A map of Washington Park with recommendations

Washington Park boundaries. (Google Maps)

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