Galewood

Galewood

Galewood is a family-friendly Chicago neighborhood bordering the well-known suburb of Oak
Park. In fact, the community is referred to as “the suburb within the city” and it’s known to have

been home to many famous faces over the years. Among the more notable are actress Kim
Novak, who lived in Galewood before she moved to L.A. to pursue her movie career; and Hugh
Hefner, the legendary founder of Playboy Magazine. The quiet small-town appeal of Galewood is
an attractive feature for many Chicagoans who like the big city but prefer the space and peace of
a less urban environment.

Much of the residential architecture in Galewood dates back the 1940s. The neighborhood is
unlike many Chicago communities because of its diverse collection of housing styles. Homes in
the area vary from brick bungalows and Cape Cods to English Tudor and turreted Normandy.

In the mid-1900s a large number of Norwegians settled in Galewood and traces of their heritage
are peppered throughout the neighborhood streets. The community’s biggest public recreation
spot is a prime example. Amundsen Park is located in the eastern section of the neighborhood
and the name goes back to Scandinavian lineage. It was built in the early 1930s in honor of
Ronald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer who was said to have discovered the South Pole. The
grounds are a well-used resource in Galewood as locals enjoy both the scenic landscape and
athletic facilities. In addition to a full gymnasium and fitness center, the park hosts day camps and
sports programs.

Galewood dining options include a solid showing of Mexican and Asian cuisine. There are many
choices when it comes to where you want to get your next burrito or egg roll as the main roads
are lined with family-run taquerias and chop suey joints. Of course, this is Chicago, so pizzerias
and hot dog places stake their claim as well. Michael’s Beef House serves up a delicious steak
sandwich, adored by Galewood locals, and Café Laguardia West is an outpost of the acclaimed
Bucktown original, which makes some of the best Cuban food in Chicago.

Galewood is on the outskirts of Chicago, but the Metra commuter train provides a quick and easy
way to get downtown. There are stations at Montclare and Mars. The North Avenue bus (#72)
is a straight shot east to Lake Michigan and the Grand Avenue line (#65) takes passengers just
north of the Loop (the hub for all Chicago public transportation) and out to Navy Pier (Chicago’s
#1 tourist attraction).