What To See & Do Along Chicago's Pink Line Train

18th Street Pink Line station
18th Street Pink Line station | © Eric Allix Rogers/WikiCommons
Elizabeth Newhart

You’ve conquered the CTA’s Red, Brown and Blue lines, and now it’s time to turn your attention to one of Chicago’s smallest. The Pink Line circles the Loop and then cuts west and south through UIC and Little Village, and it has plenty to offer. Some of the best food is found along the Pink Line, so make sure you start your trip hungry.

Things to do and see

UIC/Little Italy

Stop: Polk

Polk is well known with students at the University of Illinois at Chicago as it lets out smack in the middle of their medical campus. Take advantage of its proximity to not only hospitals and medical centers but also world-class Italian food. It’s just a short walk from the station to Taylor Street, the epicenter of Chicago’s famous Little Italy neighborhood. Sample traditional food from Pompei, The Rosebud, and Francesca’s, and see the sights at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
Chicago Loop

Stops: Washington/Wells, Quincy, LaSalle/VanBuren, HWL State/VanBuren, Adams/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash, State/Lake

Like many of the other CTA lines that run around the Loop, the Pink Line gets you close to everything downtown Chicago has to offer. With winter just around the corner, check out a performance of the newly reimagined, Chicago-centric The Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre. Grab a cup of hot cocoa at Park Grill in Millennium Park, and then strap on a pair of skates for a twirl around the McCormick Tribune Plaza or Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon. Or if you’re in the mood for some holiday shopping, it doesn’t get much better than seeing the festive windows at Macy’s on State Street and exploring their endless floors of retail. Don’t forget to stop and refuel at the Walnut Room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98MMsL6ev6Y

West Loop

Stop: Clinton, Morgan, Ashland

Once you get west of the Chicago River, people don’t always know their way around. But the West Loop is packed full of amazing restaurants, nightlife, and art galleries just begging to be discovered and enjoyed by you. Try catching a little live music at the intimate, underground venue Bottom Lounge. They have a certain penchant for booking small indie acts just before they make it big (Bruno Mars played there in 2010 just months before he was nominated for seven Grammys). Also, check out Halsted Street’s bustling Greektown area and the historic Randolph Street Market on the weekends.

Places to eat

Taqueria Los Comales

Stop: 18th Street

Visit 18th Street for a long stretch of all the Mexican food you can handle in Pilsen. Taqueria Los Comales is in the good company of several Mexican restaurants right off the stop. And it has those authentic tacos in a no-frills environment that you’ve been craving. It’s cheap, simple, and they’ve been serving everything delicious since 1973.

Taqueria Los Comales, 1544 W 18th St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 666 2251

18th Street Pink Line station

Don’s Grill

Stop: Western

Don’s is a greasy hole-in-wall type of grill where the food is cheap, plentiful and often consumed after a few cocktails. But they’re open 24/7, so you don’t ever have to worry about catching them closed. Come for the tasty burgers and fries, but stay for their mouthwatering, off-the-bone ham that customers return for again and again. It’s evident that they’re a winner based on the crowded atmosphere, but luckily the service is never anything less than friendly.

Don’s Grill, 1837 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 733 9351

Places to drink

City Winery

Stop: Morgan

If you’re looking for a classy night with live music and wine tasting, City Winery may be your spot. The company has four locations across the country, and they’re always looking to expand. It’s unique to make wine in an urban setting, and City Winery does it flawlessly. Check out the video below that explains their wine tap process, who they book for live music, and what the locations feature. Chicago has lots of wine to choose from, so select the freshest you can get.

City Winery, 1200 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 733 9463

Martin’s Corner

Stop: Damen

Martin’s is a true South Side sports pub for every type of fan. They’re listed as an official Blackhawks bar that offers beer deals and commemorative cups during game days. But it’s still a great family-owned low-key bar worth a visit on any day. Check out their cheap burgers and chicken, peruse the beer list, and shoot a little stick at their free pool table.

Martin’s Corner, 2058 W 22nd Pl, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 847 5515

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article