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First known as Kozie Prery (Goat Prairie) to its original Polish inhabitants, the shorter and much catchier moniker, Bucktown, soon prevailed as the neighborhood's nickname. This was a no-brainer for Bucktown's 19th century residents, who were largely goat herders. The term for a male goat is “buck” and the new “town” designation suited their rural yet developing lifestyle. While it has been a long time since Bucktown was home to any livestock, traces of the 1800s can be seen in the neighborhood's architecture and the small town community feel that persists among the old churches, grassy parks and tree-lined side streets.

In recent years, Bucktown has thrived as an artists' community with dozens of art galleries and several important annual art festivals attracting thousands of visitors to the area every year. Around the Coyote has been a Bucktown attraction since 1989 when the festival was founded in an effort to showcase the talent of the neighborhood's emerging bohemian artist community. Around the Coyote was modeled after Parisian arts festivals in which participants travel on walking tours of the area’s galleries. Likewise, the more stationary and only slightly older (by four years) Bucktown Arts Fest is another great way for Bucktown residents to check out the local talent and mingle with fellow residents. Run by volunteers and held at Holstein and Senior Citizen Parks, the Bucktown Arts Festival features not just local artisans and craftspeople but also musicians and poets, and it celebrates the independent spirit of the Bucktown art community.


Damen Avenue runs through the heart of Bucktown and serves as the neighborhood's commercial corridor. Small boutiques, trendy restaurants and friendly neighborhood bars line Damen Avenue from the neighborhood's northern Fullerton Avenue border to North Avenue on the south ending at the famous, if not infamous, Milwaukee/North and Damen intersection. Although the character of this busy, high traffic intersection has changed over the years, it remains the hub of a thriving nightlife scene with urban hip and city grit giving way to more upscale retail stores and restaurants. "Americanized" Thai food is the fare at Thai Lagoon which has called Bucktown home for over a decade. Tucked away on side streets, Danny's is a comfy and sometimes cozy neighborhood spot and The Charleston is a good place for Bucktown residents to catch live jazz. For the latest men's and women's fashions and also footwear Akira has three Bucktown locations to cover all your bases. Quimby's Bookstore has something to offer those with a more eclectic taste in reading material. This neighborhood comic and zine store stocks its shelves with a variety of left-of-center books and magazines and regularly hosts readings by authors.

Housing prices in Bucktown have been on the rise in the last few decades as gentrification has changed the character of the neighborhood from working class and bohemian to upwardly mobile, but the old architecture mixes seamlessly with more contemporary housing stock ensuring that the Bucktown neighborhood retains much of its original Old World charm.

Bucktown is accessible by car and CTA. The highway runs along the neighborhood’s north and east borders and connects drivers with downtown. The CTA Blue Line Damen stop at Milwaukee/North and Damen will put you in the heart of the action. This Chicago neighborhood is also easily reached by both the Fullerton and North Avenue buses that run along Bucktown's north and southern borders as well as the Western and Ashland buses, which operated along Bucktown's western and eastern borders, respectively.

Interested in Bucktown real estate? Bucktown Restaurants & Bars
Bucktown Resources Bucktown Shopping
Bucktown Entertainment Bucktown Schools

Dining in Bucktown

Artful Dodger Pub
1734 W. Wabansia
Bar Louie
1704 N. Damen
Charleston Tavern
1643 W. Cortland
Lemings Bar
1850 N. Damen

Lincoln Tavern
1858 W. Wabansia

Quencher Saloon
2401 N. Western
The Map Room Club
2100 W. Armitage
Cafe De Luca
1721 N. Damen
Cuisine: American
Zoom Kitchen
1646 N. Damen
Cuisine: American
Roong Thai
1633 N. Milwaukee
Cusine: Thai
1950 W. North
Cuisine: French
1616 N. Damen
Cuisine: American, American Nouveau
Cafe Absinthe
1954 W. North
Cuisine: French
Club Lucky
1824 W. Wabansia
Cuisine: Italian
1865 N. Milwaukee
Cuisine: South American
Le Bouchon
1958 N. Damen
Cuisine: French
Meritage Cafe
2118 N. Damen
Cuisine: American
Pacific Cafe
1619 N. Damen
Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Resources in Bucktown

Cole Taylor Bank
1965 N. Milwaukee
Mid America
2300 N. Western
Damen Avenue Library
2056 N. Damen

Entertainment in Bucktown

Crumbling Bucktown
579 N. Milwaukee
Margie's Candies
1960 N. Western
Green Dolphin Street
2200 N. Ashland
Get Me High Lounge
1758 N. Honore
1354 W. Wabansia
1850 W. Damen
Leopard Lounge
1645 W. Cortland
Liar's Club
1665 W. Fullerton
Red Dog
1958 W. North
2011 W. North

Shopping in Bucktown

Bleeker Street Antiques
1946 N. Leavitt
Eclectic Junction
1630 N. Damen
2131 N. Damen
Jean Alan
2134 N. Damen
Pagoda Red
1714 N. Damen
Pavilion Antiques
2055 N. Damen
Red Balloon Company
2060 N. Damen
1864 N. Damen

Schools in Bucktown

Casimir Pulaski Academy
2230 W. McLean
Pedro Albizu Campos High School
1671 N. Claremont
St. Mary of the Angels School
1810 N. Hermitage
Thomas Drummond School
1845 W. Cortland
William H. Prescott
1632 W. Wrightwood