Figuring out where to live in Chicago, IL, is difficult if you’ve never inhabited the city. Depending on what you want, you’ll discover that the best places to live in Chicago are all over town. Your budget is just one factor when figuring out where to start your search for the perfect neighborhood. Proximity to central parts of the city, public transportation options, restaurants, and nightlife all come into play. You ask, “Which Chicago neighborhood should I live in?” and our Chicago neighborhood guide can help you find the answer!
Young professionals gravitate to the West Loop neighborhood because of its stellar nightlife and delicious restaurant options. This is where you find Fulton Market where – like New York’s trendy Meat Packing district – old warehouses in West Loop have become luxury apartments. Thanks to conscientious neighborhood communities, developers aren’t throwing up a bunch of high-rises. Instead, the beauty of the building’s exterior is preserved while the interiors get crazy makeovers. Expect a one-bedroom apartment to be almost $2,000 a month here.
If you’re eco-conscious, in college, or a professor, Hyde Park will pull you in. With a median of $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment, this neighborhood falls in the middle of the affordability scale for rent prices in Chicago. You’ll be near the University of Chicago but what makes this neighborhood most famous is its Barack Obama connection. On a Chicago neighborhood map, Hyde Park is a little far from the bar scene and most of the nightlife, but it’s got great restaurants and a diverse community.
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Ukrainian Village is a neighborhood in transition. It used to be the haven for Eastern European transplants – not everyone in the village is Ukrainian or has Ukrainian ancestry – but the quiet streets, lower rent prices, and historical buildings have attracted a younger crowd in recent years. One reason to move here – the delicious mom-and-pop Eastern European food. With median rent prices at a low $1,050 for a one-bedroom apartment, this is a great place for young people and married couples to start out.
Known as one of the most fashionable of Chicago neighborhoods, Wicker Park is an artsy district with lots of distinct bars, restaurants, and shopping opportunities. As an established trendy neighborhood, Wicker Park has higher rent prices than many other spots in Chicago, but that doesn’t stop young couples and adventurous professionals from flocking here. While you can find one-bedroom apartments for rent in Wicker Park for as low as $1,600 a month, many one- and two-bedroom apartments and condos rent for well above $2,000 a month.
It used to be the hippie hangout in the ’60s and ’70s, but Old Town has become gentrified and expensive. This is where you’ll find Second City and if you know where to look, you can still find a few dive bars with character. If you’re into gentrification, you’ll find a lot of wealthy people in Old Town and neighboring Gold Coast. Lake views and expensive condos litter the area, though it has enough of a bar scene to attract young people, as well. Median rent is just under $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. This is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago if by “best,” you mean expensive and upscale.
The average rent in Chicago fluctuates but when you want a lot of space per dollar, look in less famous neighborhoods like Rogers Park. If affordability factors into your question of “Where is the best place to live in Chicago,” spots like Rogers Park should be on your list. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment hovers around $900 a month, and it’s where you’re more likely to find apartments with friendly attitudes towards pets. You’ll be near Loyola University, so nightlife and restaurants are available in this neighborhood. Plus, the train stops nearby so traveling to other parts of the city is simple.
Lots of people crave a community, so take that into account when deciding where to live in Chicago suburbs. Suburbs can feel like a community because of the houses and lawns, but you might not get to know your neighbors the way you’d like in sprawling suburbia. Instead, take a look at Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. Attractive houses and Irish pubs make up this southwest neighborhood, and it’s known for its sense of community. You’ll find a lot of families here and even though it’s a bit far from downtown, lots of public transportation opportunities are available. The best part might be the rent, which dips lower than $900 a month for many one-bedroom apartments.
“Where should I live in Chicago?” is a common question people moving to the Windy City often ask. Use this Chicago neighborhood guide to pinpoint a few neighborhoods in your price range then take a drive through them. Visit local shops and talk to the staff to get an honest, native view of the neighborhoods in Chicago. In a city so big, you’ve got lots of living options