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“Sweet Home Chicago” by Stuk One
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Where to Eat and Drink in McKinley Park

This South Side neighborhood has a wealth of breweries, doughnuts, Mexican food, and a beachfront shack

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“Sweet Home Chicago” by Stuk One
| Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

A quiet, mostly residential neighborhood just south of the Stevenson Expressway and bordered by Western Avenue and Bubbly Creek, McKinley Park tends to be overshadowed by its neighbors: Bridgeport in the east and Back of the Yards in the south. But its namesake park is a pleasant oasis, with a pool, a skating rink, and a pond with a nature walk — and nicely positioned for a stroll up Archer Avenue, the neighborhood’s main restaurant street, lined with cafes, diners, and taquerias.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. One City Tap

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3115 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 565-4777
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One City Tap is more than a corner bar: it’s also a neighborhood hub, with board games, karaoke nights, weekly Sábado Gigante dance parties, and scary movies during the month of October.

2. La Palapa

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2000 W 34th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 376-9620
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Walk into La Palapa and be transported to a beach in the western Mexican state of Nayarit: palm trees, thatched umbrellas to shade visitors from the scorching Midwestern sun, a bright blue dining room that could be the ocean.... And also a full menu of seafood, starting with the complementary ceviche and continuing on to shrimp, langoustines, and the house special, filete relleno (tilapia stuffed with shrimp, octopus, crab, onions, tomato, cilantro, and cheese).

3. Huck Finn Restaurant

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3414 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 247-5515
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A longtime neighborhood standby, Huck Finn serves up diner breakfasts, soups, and sandwiches 24 hours a day. But what it’s really known for is its enormous Texas doughnuts which cover an entire plate and can be ordered with ice cream and sprinkles.

4. Filbert's Old Time Root Beer

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3430 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 847-1520
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There’s a wealth of breweries in Chicago, but Filbert’s is the only one that makes root beer. Since 1926, the family-owned company has been mixing and bottling soda pop and experimenting with new flavors; they are now up to 30, including green apple, champagne, and banana. Visitors can watch the assembly line at the bottling plant and then pack up a selection to drink at home. Take a moment also to admire owner Ron Filbert’s vast collection of beer cans, on display in the shop.

5. Laura's Pizza and Pasta

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1546 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 801-0099
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Laura’s has been serving up pizza, pasta, sandwiches, flavored ices and other Italian-American classics since 1976, but the sunny patio is a recent innovation. In the mornings, Rosie’s Donuts — and coffee — takes up residence; order them at the drive-thru in the back.

6. New Archview Restaurant

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3480 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 254-4862
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The New Archview no longer serves dinner and drinks as the sign advertises, but it still has breakfast and lunch — and also a pleasant, shaded place to enjoy pancakes, tacos, burgers, soup, steak. Like any true family restaurant, there’s something for everyone.

7. Chile Toreado

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2022 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 823-7793
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Chile Toreado serves up a smaller menu than its older sibling, 5 Rabanitos in Pilsen, but if it’s vegetarian options you’re after, this is the place for enchiladas, sopes, and tlayuda. The tequila menu is also extensive, and there’s a nice little patio on 35th Street where you can sit and observe neighborhood goings-on.

8. Kristoffer's Cakes

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1735 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 801-1831
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The original Kristoffer’s in Pilsen was famous for its tres leches cakes, praised by the likes of Diana Dávila and Rick Bayless before owners Carlos and Cristina Chavarria sold the place and moved to Florida to open a bakery there. But after just a few years of sunshine, they returned and opened Kristoffer’s Cakes in McKinley Park. They still serve tres leches, but they’ve branched out into other cakes, and have experimented with gluten-free and keto baking.

9. Pochos

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2025 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 475-7829
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This small, cozy spot serves up lunch and brunch six days a week, including skillets, pancakes, burgers, salads, chilaquiles, and empanadas. Visitors are welcome to bring their own booze to liven up pitchers of fruit juice or micheladas.

10. Marz Community Brewing Company

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3630 S Iron St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 579-1935
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Nelson Algren once wrote that no one should ever eat at a restaurant called Mom’s, but he never got to visit the taproom at Marz Community Brewing, which serves up Japanese-influenced snacks, sandwiches, and noodles Thursday through Sunday, including kaarage fried chicken, katsu sandos, and ube mochi waffles. If that didn’t change his mind, he might have been persuaded by the 24 beers regularly on tap (plus the many more available in bottles and cans) and the devotion of owner Ed Marszewski (Maria’s, Kimski, Pizza Friendly Pizza) to literature, in the form of the beer journal Mash Tun.

11. Las Delicias De Maria

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3685 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 823-1464

The complementary chips at Las Delicias De Maria come with pickled vegetables and three kinds of salsa, one so hot it still has chiles floating in it. There are also tacos, quesadillas, and gorditas served on freshly made tortillas, plus daily specials like enchilada, caldos, and mole.

the exterior of Las Delicias de Maria Aimee Levitt/Eater Chicago

1. One City Tap

3115 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

One City Tap is more than a corner bar: it’s also a neighborhood hub, with board games, karaoke nights, weekly Sábado Gigante dance parties, and scary movies during the month of October.

3115 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

2. La Palapa

2000 W 34th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Walk into La Palapa and be transported to a beach in the western Mexican state of Nayarit: palm trees, thatched umbrellas to shade visitors from the scorching Midwestern sun, a bright blue dining room that could be the ocean.... And also a full menu of seafood, starting with the complementary ceviche and continuing on to shrimp, langoustines, and the house special, filete relleno (tilapia stuffed with shrimp, octopus, crab, onions, tomato, cilantro, and cheese).

2000 W 34th St
Chicago, IL 60608

3. Huck Finn Restaurant

3414 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

A longtime neighborhood standby, Huck Finn serves up diner breakfasts, soups, and sandwiches 24 hours a day. But what it’s really known for is its enormous Texas doughnuts which cover an entire plate and can be ordered with ice cream and sprinkles.

3414 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

4. Filbert's Old Time Root Beer

3430 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

There’s a wealth of breweries in Chicago, but Filbert’s is the only one that makes root beer. Since 1926, the family-owned company has been mixing and bottling soda pop and experimenting with new flavors; they are now up to 30, including green apple, champagne, and banana. Visitors can watch the assembly line at the bottling plant and then pack up a selection to drink at home. Take a moment also to admire owner Ron Filbert’s vast collection of beer cans, on display in the shop.

3430 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

5. Laura's Pizza and Pasta

1546 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

Laura’s has been serving up pizza, pasta, sandwiches, flavored ices and other Italian-American classics since 1976, but the sunny patio is a recent innovation. In the mornings, Rosie’s Donuts — and coffee — takes up residence; order them at the drive-thru in the back.

1546 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609

6. New Archview Restaurant

3480 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

The New Archview no longer serves dinner and drinks as the sign advertises, but it still has breakfast and lunch — and also a pleasant, shaded place to enjoy pancakes, tacos, burgers, soup, steak. Like any true family restaurant, there’s something for everyone.

3480 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

7. Chile Toreado

2022 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

Chile Toreado serves up a smaller menu than its older sibling, 5 Rabanitos in Pilsen, but if it’s vegetarian options you’re after, this is the place for enchiladas, sopes, and tlayuda. The tequila menu is also extensive, and there’s a nice little patio on 35th Street where you can sit and observe neighborhood goings-on.

2022 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609

8. Kristoffer's Cakes

1735 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

The original Kristoffer’s in Pilsen was famous for its tres leches cakes, praised by the likes of Diana Dávila and Rick Bayless before owners Carlos and Cristina Chavarria sold the place and moved to Florida to open a bakery there. But after just a few years of sunshine, they returned and opened Kristoffer’s Cakes in McKinley Park. They still serve tres leches, but they’ve branched out into other cakes, and have experimented with gluten-free and keto baking.

1735 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609

9. Pochos

2025 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

This small, cozy spot serves up lunch and brunch six days a week, including skillets, pancakes, burgers, salads, chilaquiles, and empanadas. Visitors are welcome to bring their own booze to liven up pitchers of fruit juice or micheladas.

2025 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609

10. Marz Community Brewing Company

3630 S Iron St, Chicago, IL 60609

Nelson Algren once wrote that no one should ever eat at a restaurant called Mom’s, but he never got to visit the taproom at Marz Community Brewing, which serves up Japanese-influenced snacks, sandwiches, and noodles Thursday through Sunday, including kaarage fried chicken, katsu sandos, and ube mochi waffles. If that didn’t change his mind, he might have been persuaded by the 24 beers regularly on tap (plus the many more available in bottles and cans) and the devotion of owner Ed Marszewski (Maria’s, Kimski, Pizza Friendly Pizza) to literature, in the form of the beer journal Mash Tun.

3630 S Iron St
Chicago, IL 60609

11. Las Delicias De Maria

3685 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60609
the exterior of Las Delicias de Maria Aimee Levitt/Eater Chicago

The complementary chips at Las Delicias De Maria come with pickled vegetables and three kinds of salsa, one so hot it still has chiles floating in it. There are also tacos, quesadillas, and gorditas served on freshly made tortillas, plus daily specials like enchilada, caldos, and mole.

3685 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60609

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