Why You Should Explore Little India on Devon Avenue in West Rogers Park
An underutilized neighborhood and food destination, West Rogers Park is a hidden gem in Chicago featuring one of the coolest areas to discover and explore. Located close to the Loyola campus, this spot has been a go-to for people on the north side for decades. The South Asian Friendship center talks all about the history of the neighborhood and the incredible community it has turned into today – “Chicago’s Little India is an ethnically distinct residential and commercial community along Devon Avenue. Historically, the neighborhood has undergone a variety of changes in its 140-year history. First known in the 1850s as Church Road, Devon Avenue became the main shopping area for Chicago’s Jewish community.
With the influx of South Asian immigrants in the late 1970s, the neighborhood has now become affectionately known as “Little India.” Because it caters to South Asian culture and tastes, our unique marketplace draws visiting Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs from around the world!”
With that brilliant introduction to the area – take a look at our list of reasons you should spend some time exploring Little India and Devon Avenue.
Little India Food and Shopping
As you can imagine, if you are looking for authentic Indian and South Asain food, heading to Little India is the only right answer. The area is filled with shops and foods of all sorts – so whatever you’re in the mood for, they have! Little India boats about having food from all different regions of the country as well as all over South Asia. Better.net is keyed into the phenomenal restaurants in the area, recommending the following incredible places!
“Hema’s Kitchen is popular for its meaty Northern Indian dishes like Chicken Biryani or Lamb Vindaloo. Try Tiffin if you’re new to Indian cuisine or like a little less spice. Mysore Woodlands or Udupi Palace is great for the lentil-and-rice based cuisine of Southern India. Go for the dosas (crispy stuffed lentil-rice pancakes) or the stews, like Palaak Paneer. Cozy Uru-Swati specializes in small plates and Chaat, the vegetarian street snacks of Southern India.”
And if you’re looking for a place to get some authentic garb for Diwali or any other event of the year, the shopping on Devon Avenue compares to none. Whether you’re looking for bindis, bangles, Bollywood DVDs, and more – there is a spot on Devon avenue for you.
Saiba Boutique is one of the most visited shops in the area, with the biggest collection of jewelry around. “Bangle shops abound in India, where the varieties are endless and, before weddings, the bangle wallah is brought home to match colors to outfits. Sahiba is your bangle wallah in Chicago. Dive past the clothes, turbans, evening bags, and jewelry counters to the back corner, and behold the Wall of a Billion Bangles! Sahiba has more than anyone on Devon, in an unimaginable array of colors and styles, with the traditional glass ornaments largely replaced by plastic and metal.” Check out this article from Chicagomag.com that lists all the best spots in one place – you will never want to leave!
Indian Boundry Park
Another excellent reason to explore Rogers Park and Little India is the famous Indian Boundary Park. With over 13 acres of land, this park is one of the biggest in the city. They have play centers for children and an insane amount of land just to sit back, relax, and enjoy. They also have spaces where “visitors can discover a beautifully restored nature area and duck-filled lagoon, a children’s spray pool, and four tennis courts.” The cultural center is exactly what you want and need out of a park, with “ various painting, piano, dance and voice lessons for both children and adults. Check out the stained glass and weaving class options. Some classes take place on the park’s back porch so that artists can use the park’s scenery as inspiration.
They are also home to the residential Chicago Civic Orchestra and frequently offer free programs and events for all types of people. You can easily fill up your summer schedule with things to do in Indian Boundary Park.
For the readers who are still in college, a big perk of the location of Little India is it borders Loyola and can be easily accessible to Chicago residents and students alike. People attending Loyola have the perk of being near some of the best Indian food in the state, accessible by walking and or taking the bus from campus. Loyola corners the market on Indian Food delivery, and you can be sure that if you go to eat in person, no restaurant will leave you wanting.
Between shopping, eating, parks, and events, Little India and Rogers Park are excellent spots to visit and call home.