Picking the right Neighborhood to call home when you’re new to a city can be a frustrating task. Chicago doesn’t make things any easier with 77 (!) unique Neighborhoods to choose from. You don’t want to get stuck in stroller-land if you came to party. You need to be with your people.
(For more rental trends, go to the latest Zumper National Rent Report.)
Read on to match up your lifestyle with the best neighborhood for you. Happy Hunting!
River North/Streeterville/Gold Coast
You like to be in the center of the action! You respect the classics and don’t fancy a commute. These three neighborhoods keep you in the center of everything but also allow for living the high life. Literally, most apartments in these neighborhoods are in high rise condos. It’s hard to argue with making one of these neighborhoods your first home when moving to the Second City, it’s full of transplants and locals, and an easy place to get a feel for all Chicago has to offer.
Chicago’s culinary capital, the West Loop prides itself in all things hip and delicious. Living here means an appreciation for the arts, culture and always being on trend.If you’re looking for speakeasy sake bars, industrial beams, or all-night-long dinners to brag about for the rest of the year, this culture lovers collective is where you want to be. The Loop is technically within walking distance, but the Green Line is a quicker option, and can get you easily around the city. The good news is most people will be coming to you.
Lakeview, Old Town
Post college life was made for these hoods! Lots of inexpensive dining mixed with trendy bars, dives and clubs. Head to the beach for people watching or grab a bleacher seat at Wrigley. There’s always something happening here and you are super connected to public transportation. Boystown is at the center of Lakeview and is the LGBTQ epicenter of the city. The outer edges of Lakeview is quieter if you’d prefer not to be in the middle of all the action.
Living that good life with the wardrobe to prove it. Lincoln Park is one of city’s ritziest neighborhoods, as evidenced by the many high-end boutiques and homes that line its streets. Lots of great restaurants and entertainment options, but with a more laid back and upscale feel. If you aren’t too keen on living in a high-rise and prioritize a yard, Lincoln Park and its brownstones are what you are looking for. Transportation from this neighborhood is easy with multiple train and bus lines servicing the area.
Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square
Cool and hip without the pretension. You value the sustainable lifestyle, are socially responsible and admittedly, a bit of a coffee snob. These areas used to be more bohemian, but have long been gentrified. There are plenty of new restaurant and bar openings to feed your cultural soul without the bros from River North. The majority of residence are late twenties, early thirties professionals. Transportation is made easy with multiple Blue line stops and the North Avenue Bus line.
You like to get away from it all but still like being close enough for a short commute by public transportation or car. You relish all your neighborhood bars where everybody knows your name, and the family friendly vibes from the saturday farmers market. These neighborhoods are close to the Red Line, the lake, affordable, and have enough quality eats to satisfy any foodie.
Pilsen, Ukrainian Village, Humboldt Park
Affordable, cutting edge and great variety of cheap ethnic food keep you happy and feed your bohemian soul. Indie Bookstores, a diverse community and cheaper rents are why you love these neighborhoods. The only bummer is none of these hoods are near the ‘L’, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the bus lines.
Either you’ve recently had a baby or are starting to think about a family, North Center might be your hood. It’s full of neighborhood bars and family-owned restaurants, plus it’s still close to the more happening areas of town. This is a good first stop as you make your way out of the city center and start shedding your late twenties habits. The area also has great public schools and quiet streets. There are a number of street festivals, parks, and family-friendly activities and restaurants.
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