Welcome to Jefferson Park
Vibrant community and local history
Located in the northwest corner of Chicago, Jefferson Park is a neighborhood with a long and rich history. Originally incorporated as the town of Jefferson in 1872, the area was annexed by Chicago in 1889 and soon grew into a large community of predominantly Polish and German immigrants.
Today, Jefferson Park is home to one of Chicago’s largest first- and second-generation Polish communities. Jefferson Park’s offerings, including outdoor activities, diverse cuisine, and cultural experiences, make it an attractive place to settle down.
What to Love
- Rich local history
- Conveniently close to public transit
- O’Hare and downtown are easily accessible
- Extremely walkable
- A friendly and close-knit community
- Nearby parks and a forest preserve
Jefferson Park is a neighborhood with a dense suburban atmosphere, boasting a variety of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks. Jefferson Park has exceptional parks and high walkability, allowing residents to walk to and from most locations. With easy access to the city, Jefferson Park is ideal for those wanting access to both bustling city amenities as well as peaceful nature-filled surroundings.
The neighborhood is known for its rich local history and vibrant community. Due in large part to Jefferson Park’s local history, the cuisine here is diverse and offers everything from authentic delis and Polish-style eateries to American barbecue, Mexican, and Vietnamese.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
Gale Street Inn is known for its exceptional ribs and potatoes au gratin. Serving American classics, Gale Street Inn is a well-loved restaurant in the community of Jefferson Park. The restaurant's ambiance is warm and relaxed, with dark wood tables and stained glass chandeliers.
Colletti’s was originally founded as El Centro Restaurant & Lounge in 1946. The fourth-generation family-owned establishment has managed to balance nostalgia with modern elegance. Colletti's is decorated with vintage photos and menus, reminding patrons of the restaurant's storied past. Colletti’s specializes in Italian-American cuisine and offers a menu of meat, seafood, pasta, and pizza alongside an extensive wine list.
Copernicus Center is a large event venue that hosts a diverse array of public concerts, community events, meetings, and private events. It serves as a tribute to the multi-ethnic heritage of metropolitan Chicago, with particular emphasis on the contributions of Polish-Americans, whose generous donations established the Center. The Copernicus Center has become a destination for internationally acclaimed performers and musicians from around the globe.
Hagen’s Fish Market has been a family-owned business operating in Chicago for over 75 years. Founded by two Hagen brothers and their wives in 1946, the market sells only the freshest fish and has become a beloved establishment in the Jefferson Park and Portage Park neighborhoods. Today, the Hagen family continues to operate the market, offering a wide selection of fresh seafood, including daily catches and long-standing family recipes, and maintaining their commitment to quality and customer service.
Things to Do
Jefferson (Thomas) Memorial Park is an eight-acre park offering a variety of recreational activities, including two baseball fields, three tennis courts, a football/soccer field, a large playground, a splash pad, and an outdoor swimming pool. The Jefferson Park fieldhouse also hosts diverse athletics, arts, and social groups for all ages, including an active teen club.
Additionally, the Citywide Orchestra practices at Jefferson Park and performs seasonal concerts for the community. Jefferson (Thomas) Memorial Park also hosts Jeff Fest, an annual arts and music festival held at the park each August. In addition to live music performances and various food options, the Kids’ Zone on the north side of the park provides numerous engaging activities for families.
Taste of Polonia Festival is an annual celebration that spans four days over Labor Day weekend in Chicago. Attendees can expect live music, dance performances, and exhibitions along with an array of authentic Polish food and beer options. The festival also includes a casino, beer garden, and a Kids' Stage area with engaging activities. This family-friendly event offers something for both children and adults to enjoy.
The Gift Theatre prioritizes sharing dramatic stories with honest emotions and artistry. They believe a play is never truly over until everyone who has seen it stops thinking about it. The theatre aims to create a conversation between the actor and the audience, revealing the human experience's joy and pain. Set in an intimate, 50-seat theater, The Gift Theatre creates a cozy and inspiring experience for its attendees.