A thriving Mexican American enclave dubbed “the Mexico of the Midwest,” there’s nothing quite like Little Village in Chicago. The taquerias and panaderias here are top-notch, and the streets hum with energy and delicious smells — especially along 26th Street, the second-busiest shopping district in the city after the Magnificent Mile. You’ll find an array of street merchants, food vendors, Mexican gift shops and boutiques selling everything from Western wear to wedding dresses.
Meet your local
Adeshina was raised by an African-American mother and Nigerian father in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood on the Far North Side, where he studied journalism at Loyola University in Rogers Park.
Where I live: Uptown, a diverse lakefront neighborhood on the Far North Side, home to many immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Best way to get around the city: Most of the popular neighborhoods are accessible by train or bus, but if you’re looking to go off the beaten path, you’ll want to rent a car, grab a cab or use a ride-hailing service.
Don’t leave without having: Chicago-style pizza — both deep dish and thin crust (the one cut into squares).
But the local favorite is really: “The Tamale Guy.” If you’ve ever barhopped in the cluster of hip northwest neighborhoods such as Logan Square, Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village and found yourself famished near closing time with few prospects for sustenance, you know he saves lives. The Tamale Guy arrives just in time with a red cooler full of warm tamales in zip-top bags.
If I moved, I’d most miss: The lakeshore.
Little Village Arch
“Bienvenidos a Little Village” — this terra cotta gateway welcomes visitors to the area.