Let me plan your evening: Pilsen Nightlife


Amber Stoutenborough | La DePaulia

La Vaca Bar in Pilsen on a Friday night.

Find yourself in one of Chicago’s most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods on your next night out in Pilsen. From award winning restaurants to sensational murals, Pilsen is a unique neighborhood in the lower West Side. While this isn’t a normal “let me plan your date,” this is a “let me plan your evening,” filled with amazing music and strong cocktails rich in Latino culture.

La Vaca 

1160 W. 18th St.

Don’t let the name fool you, the line was out the door. The restaurant-bar was packed with people watching the Mavericks vs. The Warriors game, dancing to Bad Bunny and eating some of the best vaca fajitas in town. A better version of The River but with less expensive drinks is the best way to describe it. Spicy margaritas were the top pick of the night and this place was hands down the best. $13 margaritas.

Señoritas Cantina

1104 W. 18th St.

A sit-down dinner with a bar, this relaxed Mexican restaurant is great for a place to grab food before a night out. While less busy than the other three, it was still bustling with music and laughter as the waitresses hurried around. The stuffed quesadillas are the best choice for a quick bite before going out to dance again.

Twisted Cantina 

1640 S. Blue Island Ave.

While this isn’t the last stop on this list, it should be for your night out. Open till 3 a.m. on Saturdays, this local attraction gives you everything you need, from a full dance floor to great bar experience. The DJ was blasting a mixture of classic merengue and Kanye, giving everyone a reason to go to the dance floor.

Penny Whistle Tavern

1854 S. Blue Island Ave.

This one was highly recommended by everyone we passed. With fancy cocktails, rounds of pool, a photo booth and a secret dance floor, this place was the top spot to go to. $6.50 per photo in the photo booth is quite pricey, but worth it for the memories. With the space split evenly into intimate bar on one side and dance floor on the other, I would consider this to be the best spot for a date night and hanging out with friends.