la catrina cafe
A lot of special places reside through the warm and welcoming corridors of the Pilsen, Chicago. I don't call this city home but if I could, I'd call La Catrina Cafe on 18th my own cozy corner inside this wonderfully colorful neighborhood.. Truly a "Mom and Pop" cafe and shop that opened back in 2013 by a Pilsen family that offers a wide array of delightful pastries, delicious sandwiches, locally made beverages and yes they brew some damn good coffee.
Through out the shop you'll also find an assortment of screen printed t-shirts and art prints produced by local artists who reside here and help make up the heart and charm of Pilsen.
The cafe and the family behind it all are a well cherished and incredibly loved gem in the community of Pilsen. The couple who opened and run the shop, Diana Galicia and Salvador Corona, tragically lost their son Gabriel this year. The community has pulled together to support the family during this difficult time and are assisting with projects performed in remembrance. If you're a local please support The Gabriel Project and their art show "Everything Was Beautiful. These are two of the projects being produced to honor the memory of Gabriel.
The cafe is always working to expand it's outreach in community by growing it's own backyard to include more space for outdoor events and hosting duties. The owner, seen above with photographer Mercedes Zapata, is an artist by trade and heart so he hustles to do as much of the work himself.
The cafe is everything. The interior, the finishes and the furnishings make up everything I need to either get lost in a cup of coffee or drive myself for a few hours to get some much needed work done. This place just breathes and exhales deeply of the magical stuff that this neighborhood is made of.
If you live in Chicago or just visiting, I can't recommend enough to take an hour or so to grab a pick me up from La Catrina Cafe. If you're there support the local folks and artists working to keep this a place the vibrant and bustling cornerstone of the community it deserves to be. Take a minute to thank the owners for their business and give them the same great love they give back to the community.