With residents from over 80 countries, Rogers Park is a melting pot of cultures and communities.
Bordering Evanston to the north, Rogers Park is the furthest north of the Chicago neighborhoods. The neighborhood offers its residents much to love — including diverse dining, exciting cultural scenes, and great schools. Great public transportation (CTA Red Line, bus lines, and the Metra) makes the Loop and the rest of Chicago is a simple commute!
Rogers Park Neighborhood Guide
Roger’s Park residents love their thriving art scene, cozy coffee houses, great neighborhood bars, and diverse food scene.
Where’s the Action?
Howard and Clark streets act as Rogers Park’s main commercial corridors. These streets host the area’s big-box stores, major grocers, and restaurants. Smaller streets have niche vibes, such as the Glenwood Ave arts district and Jarvis Square’s theater and music scene. Home to the largest South Asian business district in the City, Devon Ave is a local gem. Around Loyola University, one can find cheap eats, dive bars, and interesting, student-oriented shops.
Rogers Park Eats
Roger’s Park food scene is truly global, with cuisines coming from several continents. Some local classics include:
- Ethiopian Diamond – with affordable combination platters.
- Taste of Peru – for authentic native dishes and delicious ceviche
- The Heartland Cafe – serving fresh vegetarian and hosting live music
Residents also love the Indian food on Devon, Mexican (especially at La Cazuela!), and delicious pizza at Candlelite. With over 130 restaurants, the walkable neighborhood is perfect for the curious palette.
Culture and Entertainment
Rogers Park is known across the city for its vibrant arts scene. The Lifeline Theater does excellent adaptations of literature in its intimate theater, with funky staging and gusto. Other great local theater also includes the Factory Theater, the Bohemian Theater Ensemble, and the Mayne Stage Company. The New 400 Theater on Clark is known for its commitment to affordable first-showing movies.
Completing a night out are the neighborhood’s great bars. Host to lively chatter, live music, and, often, pool tables, these include Cunneen’s, Pressure Billiards & Café, and Red Line Tap.
The community hosts a number of events all year long. The Glenwood Arts Fest in August features more than 150 artists and has live entertainment on three outdoor stages. Other great events include the weekly Glenwood Farmers Market, offering sustainable produce, and Celebrate Clark Street, featuring live world music and an international food and street market.
Rogers Park Recreation
Great beaches, lush parks, and other facilities give Rogers Park residents great recreation opportunities. Picturesque local beaches including Jarvis Beach and Leone Beach (Chicago’s largest) are perfect for a relaxing summer day. Residents enjoy swimming in the clear water, grilling, and maybe even a soccer or softball game.
Indian Boundary Park is a paradise for kids, featuring a unique wooden playground, a lagoon area, and a historic fieldhouse offering music and arts programming. Other parks include lovely Loyola Park on Lake Michigan, and Touhy and Pottawatomie Park with youth and adult sports fields, equipped fieldhouses, and summer day camps.
Rogers Park History
Early Years (1836-1883)
Rogers Park is named for one of the area’s first settlers, Phillip Rogers. In 1836, he purchased 1,600 acres of government land and set up a toll gate on what is now Ridge Road. Roger’s son-in-law Patrick Touhy, sold 100 acres to land speculators in 1873, setting the stage for greater development. These speculators’ names grace streets in the area, including Luther Greenleaf, Stephen Lunt, and Charles Morse.
In these early years, the small community consisted mainly of farms, a post office, and a few taverns. By 1883, the population had reached 3500 and the village was annexed to Chicago.
Growth Years (1883-1930)
The neighborhood began to take its current shape in the early 20th century. Many single-family homes were built and the commercial districts along Clark Street, Devon Avenue, and around the four “L” stations took shape. Loyola University (originally St. Ignatius College) moved to its current lakefront campus in 1912.
By 1930, the population had reached over 57,000, making the area one of Chicago’s most densely populated areas. This increase in population slowed the construction of single-family homes and the construction of multi-unit and large apartment buildings became the norm.
Rogers Park Today
Through the 20th century, the neighborhood has continued to grow in population and diversity. After World War Two, many immigrants from devastated Europe found a home in Rogers Park.
In recent years, the neighborhood has become home to many Hispanic, South Asian, and Caribbean immigrants. Notable residents of Rogers Park have included First Lady Betty Ford, Olympian Shani Davis, and entertainers Tina Fey, Harold Ramis, and Dan Savage.
Today, as much a college town as a beach town, as laid-back as it is intellectually stimulating, with a deep dedication to the arts and to nature, Rogers Park is one of Chicago’s most charming neighborhoods.
Rogers Park Homes
Rogers Park has great homes for all searchers. The area offers a wide variety of affordable options including vintage walkups, classic Chicago bungalows, larger single-family homes, and new construction. Downtown Chicago is easily accessible via public transportation including the CTA’s Purple and Red lines.
Rogers Park may be at Chicago’s northern border, but in this neighborhood, the possibilities are endless!