West Rogers Park

West Rogers Park

West Rogers Park (also referred to as West Ridge) is the city’s northernmost neighborhood, located about 10 miles from the downtown Loop. It is a very diverse Chicago community with a reported 80 different languages spoken in the area. There is a solid population of residents with Indian and Pakistani background concentrated around Devon Avenue, which has been unofficially dubbed “Little India.” In addition to excellent restaurants, Little India boasts many clothing stores that display elaborate beaded outfits and fashionable saris of imported fabric in the front windows. Other shops sell a variety of goods including gold necklaces, jeweled slippers, and many everyday items. The grocery markets on Devon Avenue are great places to pick up fresh mangos and traditional Indian cooking spices and foodstuffs. 

In mid-August, the neighborhood celebrates the anniversary of India’s sovereignty from the British Empire with India Independence Day Parade. The festivities are held on Devon Avenue between Western Avenue and California Avenue. People from West Rogers Park and all over the city come to be a part of this special event. And around the same time of year, the community also celebrates its Pakistani heritage with the Pakistani Independence Day Parade. Throughout the day presenters give speeches, recite poetry and do readings to commemorate the nation’s rich traditions and customs.

The dining scene in West Rogers Park is actually quite diverse, once you move away from Devon Avenue. The restaurants offer a mix of cuisines from around the world that satisfy a variety of tastes. Most culinary establishments are found on the neighborhood’s high-traffic thoroughfares (Western, Peterson, California and Howard). Menus range from Mexican plates to Italian pastas dishes to good old American grub.

Most people use cars or buses to get around West Rogers Park. The neighborhood is a bit off the beaten path from Chicago’s major expressways, but the main roads are sufficient for driving southeast to Lake Shore Drive, which is generally the quickest way to get downtown. A network of buses in West Rogers Park is convenient if you are without your own vehicle. Going east/west, the #155 bus operates along Devon Avenue and the #84 Peterson Avenue bus covers the southernmost border of the neighborhood. Going north/south, the #49B runs on Western Avenue and the #22 bus makes its way up and down Ridge Road (which divides East and West Rogers Park). The Rogers Park Metra station is just east in neighboring East Rogers Park. It’s a commuter train that takes passengers right into downtown with limited stops.