Find the best place to call home in the Windy City.

Chicago is known for being home to a number of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries, including finance, retail, transportation and food processing. It also has world-class hospitals and universities, a robust tech scene and several welcoming start-up hubs and incubators. And, of course, a handful of great Chicago neighborhoods.

The best neighborhoods in Chicago feature a welcoming atmosphere, alongside award-winning restaurants and bars, coffee shops and independent businesses whose shopkeeper’s will ask you how you’re doing when you stop in. The difficult decision isn’t whether to move to Chicago. The hard part is deciding in which neighborhood to move.

Here are 10 of the best neighborhoods in Chicago to consider.

Andersonville, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Some people might find A’ville, as Andersonville is sometimes referred to, a bit too north for their taste and that’s fine with residents who live along tree-lined streets and frequent their local indie coffee shop, gift and home décor boutiques and restaurants along Clark Street.

It’s a popular area among LGBTQ residents, too. The current owners of Women and Children’s First bookstore, which has been around since 1979 and at this Andersonville location since 1990, consider themselves intersectional trans-inclusive feminists. They curate their bookshelves of more than 20,000 books on feminism, books by and about women, children’s books and LGBTQIA+ literature.

Kenwood, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Located on the South Side and just north of Hyde Park, Kenwood was once home to Muddy Waters, credited to be among the Chicago Blues pioneers, as well as Louis Sullivan, known as one of America’s greatest architects. The tree-lined streets of Kenwood are lined with 19th-century mansions and architecturally-significant apartment buildings.

The Burnham Nature Sanctuary is just one of the many reasons to escape to the outdoors within the 100-acre urban wilderness that makes up the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. Then, check out Goree Cuisine for a Sengalese meal before popping into Carver 47 Cafe half a block west for a drink made from ingredients from their in-house garden.

Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Lakeview is all over the board when it comes to neighborhood personalities. At one point, Wrigleyville seemed to be the place where every college graduate decided to move so they could be closer to cheering their beloved Cubbies. It still attracts a younger crowd but there are plenty of seasoned residents who’ve learned to live with the crowded bars and congested streets whenever a baseball game is in play.

Just west of Wrigleyville is more subdued. The stroller brigades take residence so expect to see strollers parked outside popular brunch hangouts or the kid-friendly boutiques that line Southport Avenue.

Then there’s Lakeview East, also known as Boystown since it’s a popular LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood and where Pride Parade and the annual Halsted Street Market Days takes place. The recent controversy over the Boystown name resulted in a new name for the area: Northalsted. The jury is out whether that name will stick.

Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is home to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park, a 1,208-acre park situation along Lake Michigan. It’s a tony neighborhood filled with million-dollar single-family homes along tree-lined streets. Thanks to its close proximity to Lake Michigan, it’s also home to several high-rise and low-rise apartments that range in rental rates.

Locals love strolling along the South Pond, which some call the Lincoln Park Lagoon, or visiting the animals in the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Shoppers who love independent stores will appreciate the cute indie shops along Armitage Avenue as well as a mix of locals and chains along Clark Street near Diversey.

Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

For those who want more of a family community feel, Lincoln Square is loaded with single-family homes, condos and apartment buildings and families with kids who are attending local public and private schools. This is very much a community at heart.

Neighbors and families often meet up at Welles Park to watch Little League games and many a new parent has brought their wee one to Wiggleworm classes at Old Town School of Folk Music just south of the park.

Logan Square, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes

What was once a quiet neighborhood with a large immigrant population has become more gentrified as young and hip Chicagoans who don’t want to pay the higher rental rates in Wicker Park or Bucktown head farther north to Logan Square.

Having a few stops along the Blue Line and easy access to both Milwaukee Avenue, which runs through Logan Square, and the Kennedy Expressway makes it convenient to live here and get around other parts of the city relatively quickly.

Locals love having their own farmers market along Logan Boulevard and tons of shops along Milwaukee Avenue, including a food co-op, boxing gym, tons of independent restaurants, bars and coffee shops, as well as their own movie theater.

Near South Side, Chicago, IL

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The Near South Side includes the South Loop, Printers Row and Chinatown. Within walking distance to the Loop and Lake Michigan, it’s popular among both professionals who live in the business district and families who love the convenience of the location since it also includes the Museum Campus and a healthy dose of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

The South Loop is filled with mostly high-rise apartments and condo buildings. Printers Row, formerly part of the printing and publishing industry, is comprised of industrial-era brick buildings that have been converted into residential lofts. Chinatown has a mix of apartment buildings and single-family homes — the large Asian population that lives in this community appreciates having easy and walking access to restaurants and grocery shops stocking sizable selections of Asian sauces, meats, seafood, vegetables and more.

South Shore, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

The South Shore is one of Chicago’s 77 defined community areas which includes several neighborhoods within the area. It lines Lake Michigan, and residents love the easy access to Rainbow Beach, as well as the South Shore Cultural Center, a 65-acre park with a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, culinary center, nature center and a variety of cultural programming and classes.

The Japanese Garden within Jackson Park is another oasis within this city. Since the Stony Island Arts Bank re-opened as an art gallery, media archive, gorgeous library and community center in 2015, it’s quickly become not only a gathering space for the community but a place for scholars, artists and researchers to engage with the rich history of the South Side.

West Loop, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

As the name implies, West Loop is west of the Loop, and what was once an industrial meatpacking district has become one of the hottest and most expensive parts of the city. Developers razed those warehouses and replaced them with shiny new luxury condo and apartment complexes. Even Harpo Studios, which used to air the Oprah Winfrey Show, was demolished to make way for the new McDonald’s corporate headquarters.

It took some time for businesses to follow but once people started filling in those tall buildings, and corporations like McDonald’s Corporate and Google Chicago Headquarters moved in, daycare centers, puppy boutiques, florists and bike shops starting filling in those first-floor retail spaces. Randolph Street quickly became known as Restaurant Row with its high-end restaurants and bars.

This is a busy neighborhood so if you like the hustle and bustle of city living, West Loop might be a good fit for you.

Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

As one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago, Wicker Park is known for its quirky shops and equally quirky residents. At the heart of Wicker Park is the Flat Iron Arts Building, which houses artist studios, tattoo parlors, galleries, creative businesses and restaurants. While the building is open daily to the public, the first Friday of the month is when the artists open their doors and invite the community in to see their work.

The area has become more gentrified and the low rents that once attracted the artist community have given way to larger condo buildings. Night and day, the area is bustling with activity, whether it’s locals heading to Quimby’s Bookstore for the latest ‘zine or meeting up with friends over coffee at Wormhole.

The best Chicago neighborhood: Yours

Chicago may have 77 community areas with unique neighborhoods within them, and choosing the best Chicago neighborhood can be hard. The best part of living in Chicago is no matter where you live, the entire city is accessible to you to have fun and explore.



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