Fellow Chicagoans and Illinois suburbanites, are you planning on moving or moving to the Windy City for work, school, family, or just to start over? Well your friends at TheAverageChicagoan.com have done some light research into giving inquiring movers a glimpse of key neighborhoods in the city where it would be best to situate. We are not going to go into detail on crime rates, housing values, or other numerical data but are going to give you the average city dwellers’ opinion and thoughts on some of the best places to reside.
Downtown location where buildings are nice, rent and parking are usually expensive but with numerous parking lots and transportation readily available. This area is considered Chicago’s business district which means less dining and night life opportunities. However, the South Loop is close to the lake and several museums. Check out: Printers Row & Burnham Park.
Very popular area with plenty of young professionals, college students, sports fans and attractive people. Plenty of public transportation to all parts of the neighborhood. Parking, though, can be very difficult and expensive—especially when the Cubs are playing at home. This is an area that is a little expensive but generally very safe, with a few assaults and robberies from time to time. It has a wide variety of shops, bars, restaurants, and night life. Also in this area for homosexuals is Boystown. It’s primarily gay community, along North Halsted Street, which boasts a different atmosphere, unique shopping, dining, and night life. Housing can be expensive and parking is often very difficult. Check out: Wrigleyville.
South Side neighborhood surrounding the campus of the University of Chicago. The area is pretty diverse, with different income classes, races, and age groups. Housing tends to be pretty expensive and students aren’t safe everywhere in the area. “North Woodlawn Ave., is one of the most prominent of areas since the street is lined with mansions some well over 100 years old. This gives the neighborhood that old money meets new money feel and it also bridges a gap between the generations who lived in those homes.” It also is where our 44th U.S. president resides when not at the White House.
Northeast neighborhood close to the lake and Loyola University. One of the most diverse areas in Chicago, as it not only holds college students and families but also a good proportion on every race cohabitating within the area. Rent can be fairly inexpensive to expensive depending on the area you live and the racial group living around you. Parking is not as difficult to find, as in other neighborhoods, but almost impossible for free close to the lake and Loyola campus. Also there are areas are less safe then others. Check out: West Rogers Park/West Ridge.
Lincoln Park is one of the cleanest and safest neighborhoods in Chicago. However, it is also one of the more expensive neighborhoods. DePaul University’s main campus is in the heart of Lincoln Park, which is populated mostly by college students and professionals. Public transportation is easily accessible but parking is very difficult. The area offers a wide variety of shopping, dining and night life. Lincoln Park is close to the lake as well as home to the Lincoln Park Zoo. “The summer is when you see the real side of the neighborhood when street parties/festivals are a mainstay of the culture and you get a taste of every ethnicity all in the same sitting.” If you have the money to live there I would recommend you do so if convenient with your other criteria for finding a place to live.
High variance in diversity, safety, and housing prices. Wicker Park is holds a ton music, art, and shopping making the area and peoples some of the trendiest in town. While the Ukrainian Village is cheaper, less trendy, but has seen spikes yearly in residents as it is one of the fastest growing areas in the city. Check out: Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park.
Near North Side
This area is one of the more expensive places to eat and live it’s close to transportation, and is in the heart of Chicago’s shopping, dining and other downtown attractions. Many of the neighborhoods in this section of town, including the Gold Coast and Old Town, boast art galleries, designer shopping, and historic buildings. “It’s one of the safest in the city and you can actually walk your dog and nobody really bothers you since you’re around those who work professional careers and prefer brownstone and condominium living.” Check out: River North & GoldCoast if you have the money.
This is an extremely diverse neighborhood comprising families, professionals, and working-class individuals. This area has good and bad parts. Although rent is increasing, it is still possible to find relatively inexpensive housing. Logan Square doesn’t have as many dining, shopping, and night life opportunities. However, the neighborhood is continuing to change and evolve.
Portions of this article paraphrased from descriptions completed by the Adler School. Quotations taken from desprictions of neighborhoods by the Associated Content.