About West Town
Chicago's West Town neighborhood is located on the city's northwest side. Its diverse population accounts for the presence of many authentic ethnic restaurants and shops. At the beginning the twentieth century, Germans, Poles, Italians and Scandinavians immigrated to West Town. By the middle of the century, the population shifted, and the neighborhood enjoyed an influx of Latinos. This gave rise to some of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. La Contessa on North Ashland Avenue is known for it brocheta de camaron, a dish favored by its regular customers. Another favorite restaurant, the Abode Grill, serves authentic Mexican dishes such as Camarones en Cazuela, a shrimp dish with considerable kick. Recently, the neighborhood has been gentrified somewhat as it's become popular with an affluent artist, bohemian and student crowd who enjoy the new organic restaurants in the area. The Flatiron Arts Building is laden with art galleries. The top floor is a mecca for artists who have their studios in the building. With these newest residents came an incursion of fusion restaurants, chic nightclubs and up-end shopping. Although the neighborhood has undergone some changes, one of the most popular spots is still the Division Street Russian and Turkish Bath, an old-style public bath house where neighbors come to for a steam and a bit of gossip.