The Run Down

We're headed to Logan Square and visiting a stretch of Armitage Avenue with everything you need for good times. It starts with burritos at a mom-and-pop taqueria with major old-world Mexican vibes. Afterward, you'll cross the street to hang out at a classic Chicago packaged goods store that's one part bar and one part liquor store. Finally, you'll make your way to a blues club the New York Times called the best in Chicago.

1. Burritos @ Taqueria El Heredero

2. Drinks @ Go Tavern & Liquors

3. Blues @ Rosa's Lounge

1. Taqueria El Heredero

Our first stop is El Heredero, a neighborhood taqueria with giant burritos. Like almost every taqueria in the city, El Heredero’s storefront makes its presence known with huge pictures of food postered over their windows. It leaves a lot to the imagination, so here’s a peek at what’s inside.

When you open their front door you’ll be greeted with the smell of seared steak drifting from their open air kitchen. Turn the corner into their dining room and you’ll get strong old world Mexico vibes which helps set the stage for what we’re about to experience.

Here are a few notes to keep in mind as you plan your visit.

– Order at their walk-up counter
– Open until 11pm (Sat-Sun); 9pm any other day

This steak burrito is one of the stars on their menu. It’s got heft, the meat is well seasoned, and there’s a nice balance with all of the other veggies inside. Add in a side of beans and rice and you’re eating good.

2. Go Tavern & Liquors

Right across the street from El Heredero is Go Tavern & Liquors, a bottle shop and  dive bar all rolled into one. It’s on an increasingly popular stretch of Armitage Avenue with five other drink establishments right on the same block. It’s the oldest of the bunch, dating all the way back to 1952 when it was known as Dorothy’s Liquors.

It’s BYOF and if you want, you can bring your burrito over and enjoy it here.

When you walk in you’ll see fridge full of craft beers and drinks you can buy and take to-go. Since we’re sticking around, you’ll have to order from the bar — you can’t buy from the shop and drink there.

After you grab your drinks from the bar, head to the back patio with your food. There’s plenty of space to spread out and keep toasty under heat lamps as the weather cools.

3. Rosa’s Lounge

Most blues and jazz clubs in Chicago can be found somewhere downtown or in Lincoln Park, but Rosa’s Lounge, arguably the best of them all, is just a few blocks away right here in Logan Square.

You’ll find it on a quiet block sandwiched between an AutoZone store on one side and a dentist’s office on the other. It looks a bit out of place but it’s one of those “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” situations, because it’s whole different story inside.

As you enter, you’ll be greeted by this big portrait of Rosa, the club’s matriarchal namesake. She and her son, Tony Manguillo, opened the doors to this club in 1984, but the story starts six years earlier when Tony, a then 19-year old aspiring blues drummer, met Chicago legends Junior Willis and Buddy Guy backstage at a jazz concert in his hometown in Italy.

Next thing you know, Tony has his bags packed and is running with his newfound jazz crew in Chicago. A few years later he convinces his mother to move from Italy to start this new venture and they’ve been running this place ever since. What a great example of what mother’s do for their children.

Over the years, Rosa’s has built a reputation for being a friendly and welcoming spot for blues fans, whether you’re new to the blues or you’re a hardcore fan. It’s just good vibes all they way around.

Here are other notes to keep in mind as you plan your visit.

– Shows Tuesday – Saturday every week starting around 8:30 or 9pm. Here’s their calendar.
– Tickets are usually between $15 – 20.
– You can buy tickets in advance or at the door if not sold out.
– They’ve got some entry/Covid guidelines. Details here.