Chicago Mag's Field Guide to Skokie – Where bagels, falafel, and mole negro live in harmony


A few years back, Skokie was the only town in Illinois named one of America’s best places to live by a website called, fittingly, Livability. That may come as a surprise to those who merely pass through town while cruising down Dempster Street, but not to the people who reside there. The North Shore burb, once dubbed the world’s largest village, is known for its large Jewish population—an estimated 28 percent—but boasts a wider ethnic diversity within its 10 square miles: Residents speak nearly 100 languages. Skokie certainly has shopping figured out, too; it’s got an old-fashioned downtown as well as one of the country’s first outdoor malls. But if you don’t want to bust out the credit card, there are plenty of parks and outdoor spots to see for free.

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