Neighborhood in Chicago, IL

*Updated on 9/28/16

Finding a neighborhood to live in when moving to a big city like Chicago can be overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve narrowed it down to neighborhoods that are best for singles, young professionals, families, and LGBTQ. Discover which neighborhood in Chicago is a fit for you!

Jump to the best neighborhoods for families and LGBTQ.

BEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN CHICAGO FOR SINGLES & YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

Chicago is full of incredible places to live in your 20s and 30s. Our top choices for the best areas for young professionals include areas that make getting to work easy, are full of things to do, and provide the energetic vibe that young adults are looking for.

LINCOLN PARK

River in Lincoln Park, Chicago
Photo by David Wilson

Quick Facts

  • Median Age: 31.7
  • Median Rent: $1,412
  • Median Home Price: $491,661
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average

Between neighboring lake shore views, local shops, and ample nightlife, Lincoln Park is a magnet for the twenty-something post-grad looking to make their way in the Windy City. Situated in Chicago’s North Side, this lively neighborhood derived its name from its proximity to the largest public park in the city. Many residents in the Lincoln Park area are students of the historic DePaul University and young professionals.

Housing

Lincoln Park is a combination of both modern and restored high-rise apartment buildings, as well as its fair share of single-family homes, row houses, and condos nestled together on residential streets. While rent isn’t exactly a steal in these parts, the unrivaled location tends to make up for it.

Landmarks

With scenic paths for bikers and joggers, residents of Lincoln Park are just a short jaunt from the reputable North Avenue Beach. Enjoy the incredible selection of fun events ranging from Zumba at the Zoo to Adults Night Out at the Lincoln Park Zoo, or catch some memorable improv at the renowned Second City Theatre—it’s all right here!

Entertainment

There’s no shortage of Instagram-worthy grub in this neighborhood! You’ll find world-class cuisine at Alinea, one of the only Michelin 3-star restaurants in the city. In the mood for some Spanish tapas and handcrafted sangria? Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba won’t disappoint. Lead the post-dinner party over to Lincoln Hall for an evening of live-music, or cap the night with a cocktail on the glimmering rooftop at J. Parker.

Transportation

Running errands in Lincoln park is simple on either bike or foot (with a walk score of 94 out of 100). Just a ten-minute cab ride from downtown, other public transportation options include CTA Red and Brown Lines.

LAKEVIEW

People eating in Wrigleyville neighborhood in Lakeview, Chicago
Photo by Niklas Hellerstedt

Quick Facts

  • Median Age: 32
  • Median Rent: $1,245
  • Median Home Price: $383,336
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average

Lakeview boasts a young professional scene that will make any visitor green with envy, all while harboring some of the most sought-after sub-neighborhoods in Chicago (like Wrigleyville and Boystown). Rooted right along the turquoise shoreline of Lake Michigan, location is everything in this neck of the woods.

Housing

The residential spread in Lakeview is an eclectic combination of both century-old architecture and modern developments. Many streets are lined with trees and feature a variety of lofts, walk-ups, courtyard apartments, and row homes. Lakeview offering more affordable housing is one major benefit it has over Lincoln Park, its neighbor to the north. Median rent is $150+ less per month.

Landmarks

Lakeview residents have traded front yards for the Chicago Lakefront Trail, a scenic path that traces 18 miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline for runners, bikers, and even the occasional roller-blader. Don’t think we forgot about the proximity of America’s favorite pastime either because Wrigley Field is within walking distance for many Lakeview residents.

Entertainment

Living in Lakeview means you can itch nearly every scratch without having to leave the neighborhood. Some locals wouldn’t be caught anywhere but TAC Quick for some authentic Thai cuisine or The Art of Pizza for a classic Chicago deep-dish pizza pie. Lakeview certainly has its share of bars as well. L& L Tavern is the Lakeview dive bar of choice and offers some of the cheapest drinks around. Sheffield’s is known for their extensive craft beer selection. And Headquarters Beercade offers both a quality beer selection and an incredible arcade game selection.

Transportation

About 15 minutes from downtown via cab, residents of Lakeview can also catch the CTA Red and Brown lines to make their way through the city. Walking is also a resident go-to, as the area scores a 91 out of 100 for walkability.

WICKER PARK/BUCKTOWN

Woman riding bike in Wicker Park, Chicago
Photo by Lorena Cupcake

Quick Fact

  • Median Age: 32
  • Median Rent: $1,245
  • Median Home Price: $400,940
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average

Known for its extraordinarily diverse population and steady influx of younger inhabitants, the Wicker Park area carries its own charm that Chicagoans can’t seem to get enough of. With an unrivaled food scene and shopping that’s off the beaten path, this neighborhood is any young professional’s dream.

Housing

With renovated brownstones and walk-ups that decorate the Wicker Park streets, you can be sure that no exposed brick walls will go unappreciated. Many homes in the Wicker Park neighborhood come with character that’s all their own, incorporating stone and bricks (a popular choice of materials after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871). Wicker Park, like Lakeview, offers relatively affordable housing in comparison to other popular areas.

Landmarks

Wicker Park flaunts a quick commute for those headed to The Loop and sits just northwest of the area. The neighborhood also sits near Bloomingdale Trail, which winds along multiple neighborhoods of Chicago’s North Side. Once an elevated railroad, the trail is now a linear park stretching almost three miles.

Entertainment

Independent grocers, boutiques, and eateries in the area give Wicker Park residents their own sense of community in the city. For foodies, be sure to check out Big Star Chicago (but hit the ATM first for this cash-only restaurant), or catch the Coffee 101 class at Ipsento Coffee House. Festival-goers won’t want to miss Chillfest, a winter acoustic music festival with a lineup of more than 100 local musicians performing in variety of businesses and storefronts.

Transportation

The Wicker Park area is easily manageable for both bikers and walkers (with a walk score of 94), not to mention access to the CTA Blue Line and Metra station. Cabbing it to the downtown area will take around 13 minutes.

BEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN CHICAGO FOR FAMILIES

Looking for safe neighborhoods with quality schools and reasonable home prices? Chicago has plenty of great areas for families, and we’ve highlighted some of our top choices below.

EDISON PARK

Edison Park Field House
Photo by Teemu008

Quick Facts

  • Median House Value: $326,580
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average
  • High School Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Test Scores: 37% higher than national average

Named for the great Thomas Edison himself, Edison Park has long been known as nesting grounds for families of all sizes. This neighborhood also wins some extra bonus points for being one of the safest in all of Chicago.

Housing

Here, single-family homes are often colonials, bungalows, or cozy cottages. There’s also a vast selection of apartment communities and gated communities to choose from if a house isn’t on your radar.

Education

Boasting a high school graduation rate 91% above the Chicago average, numbers don’t lie when it comes to the quality of education within the Edison Park borders, such as Ebinger Elementary School and Saint Juliana.

Entertainment

Whether it’s a night of friendly competition at the Edison Park Inn bowling alley, a day full of sports and games at Olympia Park, or catching the annual Edison Park Fest parade, this neighborhood has something for every family to enjoy.

Transportation

For those who rely on public transportation, this neighborhood has easy access to the Metra station and CTA blue line.

ANDERSONVILLE

Sign for Andersonville, Chicago
Photo by Charles Carper

Quick Facts (Edgewater area)

  • Median Home Price: $252,083
  • Crime Rate: 34% lower than Chicago average
  • High School Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Test Scores: 17% higher than national average

In Chicago’s North Side, you’ll find Andersonville, a lakeside neighborhood rich in Swedish roots. People here truly own the sense of community with their loyalty to all things local (check out the Loyal Locals program, also known as Lolo, if you need more proof).

Housing

The style of housing in Andersonville is what some would call Chicago by definition. Take your pick from condos, lofts, and single-family homes in an assortment of architectural styles. One of the major upsides of living in Andersonville is that the cost of home ownership is relatively low compared to other popular areas of Chicago.

Education

Andersonville offers a great collection of schools, including Lake Shore Schools, Northside Catholic Academy, Pierce School of International Studies, and Glenwood Music Teachers. With very high graduation rates and test scores above the national average, Andersonville offers quality education.

Entertainment

Start your morning off right with a European-style pastry at Swedish Bakery, which has been a local favorite for more than 80 years. You might not be considered an Andersonville local yet, though, until you’ve danced your tail off at Midsommarfest, the area’s annual summer street festival, or tasted a few of George’s Ice Cream and Sweets many exotic flavors.

Transportation

Andersonville is pedestrian’s paradise with the Edgewater area scoring a high 89 on walkscore.com. If you’re not up for the adventures on foot, the neighborhood also has easy access to the Metra station, Red Line, and is about a ten-minute drive to downtown via Lake Shore Drive.

ROSCOE VILLAGE

Home in Roscoe Village, Chicago
Photo by Joseph Wingenfeld

Quick Facts (North Center area)

  • Median Home Value: $496,500
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average
  • High School Graduation Rate: 93%
  • Test Scores: 35% higher than national average

Long referred to as a “village within the city,” Roscoe Village provides its residents with an unbeatable tight-knit feel for raising a family.

Housing

The idyllic streets of Roscoe Village are lined with condos, brick walk-ups, and single-family homes (many of which are grey-stone two-flats), in addition to areas of new development. Buyers beware, homes around here can get pricey in a hurry.

Education

With options for both public and private schooling, Roscoe Village has great schools like Audubon Elementary, a premier Chicago Public School, and the noteworthy Lane Tech High School. With high graduation rates from high school and significantly higher test scores than the national average, you can feel confident that your children will receive a quality education in Roscoe Village.

Entertainment

First-class restaurants, annual festivals, and unrivaled shopping…is there anything you can’t do in Roscoe Village? Peek inside Twinkle Twinkle Little One, an independent boutique for baby and children’s wear, or grab a Turkish dish on the patio at Turquoise Restaurant. Take a trip to the past with the whole family at the annual Retro On Roscoe, one of the city’s largest street fests with an old-time block party feel.

Transportation

Located just five miles from The Magnificent Mile, Roscoe Village is an extremely walkable area with easy access to the L Brown Line.

BEST LGBTQ NEIGHBORHOODS IN CHICAGO

Chicago as a whole is a very LGBTQ-friendly city, but a couple neighborhoods are clear leaders as the best LGBTQ neighborhoods in Chicago.

BOYSTOWN

Northalsted Days in Boystown, Chicago
Photo by Alan Light

Quick Facts (Lakeview area)

  • Median Age: 32
  • Median Rent: $1,245
  • Median Home Price: $383,336
  • Crime Rate: 60% lower than Chicago average

Demographics & Housing

Boystown is a sub-neighborhood within the Lakeview area and is adjacent to the Wrigleyville neighborhood, which is home to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs. Boystown is a densely populated, urban community that is home to many recent college graduates, singles, and young couples without school-aged children. The area is also known as being the heart of the local LGBTQ community. If you’re hoping to call Boystown or the Lakeview area home, expect to spend at least $1,000/month on a one bedroom apartment.

Transportation

If you’re moving to the area with a car, prepare to spend a lot of time looking for a place to park it. There are very few public parking lots in this neighborhood, and it can be expensive when you do find a spot. Consider looking for an area that allows permit parking in order to make the search less overwhelming. When it comes to public transportation in the Boystown area, grabbing a cab or bus or jumping on a Red or Brown Line “L” train that gets you close to where you’re going will be your best bet to make it to your event in time.

Reputation

Boystown is known for its rich LGBTQ history and welcoming community members. In 1998, former Mayor Richard M. Daley approved a $3.2 million renovation to the North Halsted corridor, the main strip in Boystown, that included the famous rainbow pylons that line North Halsted. Once The Center on Halsted was established, it launched this Chicago neighborhood as the center of Chicago’s LGBTQ community. Boystown is known as being the first gay village to be officially recognized by the United States, and it’s home to a very active LGBTQ community, which hosts the annual Chicago Pride Parade and Pride Weekend.

Landmarks

One of the most recognizable landmarks in the Boystown area is the rainbow pylons that line North Halsted Street that honor the contributions made by the LGBTQ community in history. Residents and visitors need to make it a point to visit The Legacy Walk located from 3246 to 3703 on N. Halstead Street. The Legacy Walk is a public, outdoor display that not only celebrates the LGBTQ community, but is also dedicated to fighting against anti-gay bullying by celebrating the historic contributions the LGBTQ community has made through the years. The Center of Halsted is also another important stop. This center for the LGBTQ community was completed in 2007 and offers theatre, worship opportunities, and social services for all ages in the LGBTQ community.

Entertainment

Boystown also has an active nightlife scene! If dancing the night away is what you had in mind, make sure to check out Hydrate Nightlife, Charlie’s Chicago, Berlin, or the Scarlet Bar Chicago. If you’d rather lay low with your cocktail, play a round of pool at Roscoe’s, enjoy a few classic arcade games at Replay, or throw some darts at North End.

Andersonville

Water tower in Andersonville, Chicago
Photo by TheeErin

This is the second time Andersonville has made this list of the best neighborhoods in Chicago! For the general information regarding the area, including quick facts, housing, and transportation, click here.

Andersonville is one of the best areas in Chicago for the LGBTQ community, next to Boystown. As Boystown’s name suggests, it’s best known for its gay male population. Andersonville, on the other hand, has earned the nickname “Girlstown” due to its vibrant lesbian population.

In addition to being a very LGBTQ-friendly area, Andersonville offers a different vibe than Boystown. Housing is significantly less expensive, Andersonville is much quieter, and parking is readily available. This makes Andersonville very appealing to LGBTQ families or anyone who simply prefers living a quiet neighborhood.

Though we cover entertainment options in Andersonville above, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a large selection of LGBTQ-friendly businesses in the area. Women & Children First is known for its feminist and kid focus, and includes a great selection of LGBTQ authors. Ann Sather is a gay-owned restaurant and local favorite known for their absolutely amazing cinnamon rolls. Some of the most popular gay bars include Mary’s Attic, which is known for their famous MaryOke-karaoke, and The SoFo Tap, which is known for its games and theme nights.

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Did we leave out any essentials for these neighborhoods in Chicago? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re moving to Chicago, let us help with the transition. We have conveniently located storage units in Chicago that give you the space and flexibility you need while you find the perfect area to live in.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

All quick facts are provided by areavibes.com.