City Cast

What Else to See in Little Village During Mexican Independence Day Parade

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on September 13
The Mexican Independence Day Parade in Little Village in 2017

The Mexican Independence Day Parade in Little Village in 2017. (Xinhua / Liu Yifang / Getty)

Thousands are expected to attend the Little Village Mexican Independence Day Parade Saturday along 26th Street. While you’re in the area, be sure to explore other parts of the neighborhood.

Injustice Watch’s Carlos Ballesteros grew up in the Southwest Side neighborhood, once an Eastern European immigrant enclave that has since become known as the “Mexico of the Midwest.” He shares his recommendations.

Boundaries of Little Village

Boundaries of Little Village. (Google Maps)

Something to Eat

“You might’ve seen quesabirrias pop up on your TikTok feed. I’m not a fan (it’s too much cheese), but I do like birria, sans queso, especially from Birrieria La Tapatía de Ocotlán near Marshall Boulevard. I recommend ordering two of their birria tacos and a small side of the consommé. It’s cash-only, so you know it’s the real deal.”

Something to See

“Walk off the food by taking in the historic architecture heading west on Cermak. First up is Apollo’s 2000, an old movie palace turned into an events venue. A block ahead is Mother of the Americas Catholic Church, where my grandma baptized my mom and her siblings. Across the street is my personal favorite: an ornate two-story bluish-gray building at 3052 W. Cermak Rd. I’ve never seen a building quite like this one.”

Something to Think About

“Take a left on Christiana Avenue. Keep going straight, and you’ll see the colorful mosaics that wrap around Farragut Career Academy. Follow the mosaics until you hit 24th Street. Make a left, follow Farragut’s old school building, with all of its windows bricked up, until you hit a wooden fence at the entrance of an alley. Turn left, and you’ll see a memorial for Adam Toledo. Take a moment here to reflect on the history of this neighborhood, its people, and the place it occupies — physically, mentally, spiritually — in our city.”

+ Carlos showed us around the Little Village Discount Mall before half its vendors had to relocate.

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