Best Neighborhoods in Chicago – The Ultimate 2020 Area Guide

As the most populous place in the state of Illinois, Windy City is a media, transportation, and distribution center with a diverse population, tasty food, and rich history. If you are considering long-distance relocation, you should go over some of the best neighborhoods in Chicago and find the one that can suit your lifestyle in the long run. Don’t be surprised if some of them look familiar, you might have already seen them in many movies and TV shows. From Batman Begins and Home Alone to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Untouchables, your future community might be famous among film aficionados.

Moving to Chicago will put you in the 20th largest economy in the world, and in close proximity to 36 Fortune 500 companies. In other words, landing a good job should not be that hard. Furthermore, there are 25 beaches, more than 8,800 acres of green space, and more than 600 public elementary and high schools, making the metropolis ideal for everybody from families to professionals. To help you make an educated decision and answer the questions like What neighborhoods are safe in Chicago? or What’s the best area to live in Chicago? we made a list of some of the top-rated locations that can potentially be your new home.

Figure Out Where to Live in Chicago When Relocating

While getting organized to move, house hunting in The Windy City will probably be on the top of the list of things to do. That’s why you should take a closer look at the way the metropolis is divided. When you know where the specific neighborhood is located, it will be easy to determine how far away it’s from your new office or center, and overall, is it smart to relocate there.

There are more than a few classifications, so before calling Chicago long-distance movers to help you relocate, let’s go over what exactly each category means for you as a resident.

The metropolis is divided into 77 community areas, which serve as the basis for numerous planning initiatives and statistical purposes. Also, Chicagoans will tell you that the metropolis is split into three “sides” – North, West, and South Side by the Chicago River, and all three are represented on the flag of the metropolis. Additionally, there are 50 wards created for the purpose of electing councilmen to the City Council. On top of it all, there are unofficially more than 200 neighborhoods in the metropolis, while the local government mapped out 178 of them.

Ultimate Moving Guide: Best Neighborhoods in Chicago in 2020

No matter if you are moving cross country for love, or you are relocating for a job, there will be places that will fit your lifestyle better than others. Chicagoans are a very diverse crowd, and that diversity can be seen all throughout the metropolis.

Are you relocating to the city alone, or you are moving out for the first time and looking for a vibrant and fun spot where you can easily make friends? Check out Pilsner, Boystown, and The Loop, for they are Chicago nightlife hotspots. For those folks moving with pets looking for open green spaces, Lincoln Square is the perfect solution. Additionally, if you are moving with kids, take a look at Hayd, Edison, and Norwood Parks, they are friendly, safe, and ideal for families.

If the whole relocation process gets a bit much, you can hire professional long-distance movers to assist you in packing your stuff and moving. Also, they can keep your belongings in storage until you find a new home. Take advantage of the wide network of streets and roads the metropolis has, ask movers for auto transport so that you can drive around wherever you want.

North Center – One of the Best Chicago Neighborhoods to Live in With a Suburban Vibe

Has moving to suburbs ever crossed your mind? Although the suburbs of Chicago have plenty to offer if you want to live close to the city’s bustling lifestyle, you may opt for an urban neighborhood with a suburban vibe. That’s where North Center, an old school neighborhood with plenty laid back local hangouts, comes in. While wandering around, you will stumble upon low key venues, pubs, and dinners.

Rich history and culture can be seen everywhere, especially in architecture. When you start browsing for a property, you will see many European-style single-family houses and attached homes. The bonus features in most properties are garages and/or assigned parking spots. Almost 60% of residents own their residences, and the median value is $622,550, while the rent is $1,600 a month.

When you pick the perfect residence, you can kick back and relax. Start by checking out Town center where the weekly farmers market is held during the warmer part of the year, or grab a beer at one of the breweries around the location.

This is a tight-knit community, with friendly locals who will make sure you don’t feel like a newcomer for too long. Furthermore, there are more than a few elementary and high schools in the vicinity, along with Chamberlain College of Nursing and DeVry Institute of Technology.

Remember, North Center is a community where you won’t feel jaded. And when you sense that you need a change of scenery, you can catch a Brown train Line and head downtown. Take advantage of various bus lines and three major roads – Irving Park Road, Lincoln, and Damen Avenues.

Hyde Park Is One of Chicago’s Best Neighborhoods to Raise Kids

Hyde Park is one of the most racially diverse locations in the metropolis, and it is home to former President Barack Obama, as well as an incubator for Nobel Prize winners. Besides its impressive list of residents, you will love the location of Hyde Park. It’s only seven miles from downtown, and plenty of public transportation options are at your service.

While searching for accommodation on the market, you will see a lot of options, from single-family homes to condos. More people rent, and the median price is $1,200 a month. However, if you run into a house of your dreams and choose to become a homeowner, know that the median price is $308,070.

If you are relocating with your family, know that there are many things to do in Chicago with kids, but in Hyde Park, you will get not only entertainment but also top-notch education options. Depending on your children’s age, you can enroll them in notable elementary, middle, and high schools such as Ray Elementary, Harte Elementary, or Kenwood Academy High School. Additionally, the University of Chicago, a school ranked among the top 10 world universities, is located here. Not only can your kids get ready for the real world, but you can also enroll in college and gain some valuable knowledge.

After a long day of learning and working, when you want to spend a fun day with your family, stop by the Museum of Science and Industry, or go out and enjoy vast green surfaces. You can have a picnic, play a ball or just take a long stroll through Bixler, Nichols, Elm, and Florence Stout parks.

If all the schools and green surfaces weren’t enough to make this place attractive to families, there is also a beach. Just head to Promontory Point, and you will run into clean and not too busy spots.

Your kids will love living in Hyde Park, one of the best kid-friendly Chicago neighborhoods

Lincoln Square Is One of Chicago’s Best Places to Live for Those Who Love the Outdoors

Lincoln Square feels like a small town in the heart of the metropolis. Its preppy and urban vibe attracts a large number of young professionals but also a small number of rich families and students.

Because of its youthful crowd, Lincoln Square has plenty of hip factors such as European-style diners, local retail stores, more than one cool bar, and year-round festivals. German roots of the place can mostly be seen in beer-filled Oktoberfest and Maifest festivals but also in menus of restaurants such as Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen.

If you are not a homebody and appreciate open green spaces where you can unwind after a long day, Lincoln Square can offer you parks on every corner:

  • Winnemac covers around 40 acres of space, and it features soccer fields, a playground, and a pool.
  • Welles spreads on 15 acres, and it contains the pool, community center, gym, and fitness center, so when relocating, you don’t have to figure out how to move your exercise equipment because you won’t need it. There is also a gazebo, swings, and a small splash pad.
  • River Park features a community center and pool, but it is also a starting point of Shore Channel Trail that goes up to Ladd Arboretum.

There are plenty of small green pockets filled with benches and picnic spots ideal for families with kids, or people moving with pets. In addition to staying outside, you can stroll around the area and marvel at some famous public art such as Lincoln/Leland Mural, Giddings Fountain, or Berlin Wall Monument.

Lincoln has plenty of green surfaces and fun outdoor activities to offer to its residents.

West Loop Is One of the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Chicago for Young Professionals

When talking about the best Chicago neighborhoods for young professionals, West Loop will most certainly come up. This former manufacturing and warehousing location is now a hotspot for all career chasers.

Many tech-focused companies, drawn to open spaces, set up headquarters here. That’s why if you are a tech-savvy individual looking for work, check out openings in top employing enterprises:

  • bswift
  • Cloud5 Communications
  • DialogTech
  • FOURKITES
  • Otus

Besides high-tech, there are companies such as Grubhub in the eCommerce and food industry, and Envoy Global in the legal tech and software field.

When you decide to settle down in the West Loop, you should expect plenty of newly developed upscale condos, urban lofts with open layouts, and antiquated buildings on the market. Many lofts are remodeled and now feature exposed brick walls, timber ceilings, and huge factory-sized windows. Around 42% of people are homeowners, and the median home value is $407,500, but if you want to be like the majority of residents, renting an apartment is the way to go. Before you sign the lease get to know the average rent:

  • One bedroom is roughly $1,300 a month
  • Three bedroom apartment is around $2,240

When you are done stressing about the move and finding the perfect accommodation, you can enjoy galleries, restaurants, and boutiques spread all over the West Loop. Stop by the cozy Avec, taste some Mediterranean dishes, or make a reservation at Oriole and have some fine dining experience. You might also be amazed at the all-year-round indoor French market which showcases local vendors and artists.

West Loop is an attractive destination for many, but people that love fast and urban lifestyle will surely thrive here. If you are one of them, don’t wait up, figure out how to move out of state on budget, and embrace every opportunity that is offered to you.

Busy and with plenty of employment opportunities, this is the perfect place for career chasers.

Check Out Edgewater When Looking for Cheap Places to Live in Chicago

Are you looking for the cheapest way to move out of state and worry about how the overall cost of living in Chicago will fit your tight budget? Edgewater can offer a solution to your financial struggles, especially if you are looking for a lakefront community to settle down in.

Affordability is only one of the factors that attract not only families but young professionals, as well. This is a tight-knit community that contains beaches, historic districts, and busy commercial areas. Furthermore, there are restaurants and bars where you can kick back and relax after a long day.

According to a survey from the website Trulia, 95% of residents think that Edgewater is dog friendly and walkable, while 83% say that the streets are well lit. Take advantage of all the benefits the Edgewater offers and look for a home here. The majority of the residents rent, and if you opt to be one of them, you might stumble upon condos in high rise buildings or single-family homes while going through real estate.

Edgewater Is the Best Neighborhood to Live in Chicago With Affordable Rent

No matter if you are moving from an apartment to a house or other way around, Edgewater is still one of the most affordable places when it comes to renting. According to website Apartments, the average price for a studio is $910, for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,140, while you will have to pay $1,600 for two bedrooms.

If you are on the budget, Edgewater is for you.

The Safest Places to Live in Chicago – Edison and Norwood Park

While you are looking into crime rates of the Windy City, you might notice that it’s not the safest place in the US. However, crime rates are down 4% year on year. Furthermore, some locations within the metropolis are safer than others. If you want to be completely sure you are living in a low crime location, consider Edison and Norwood Park as potential next destinations.

Edison, formerly known as Canfield, is known for its stability and safety. It is a perfect spot for those looking for a peaceful community with low crime rates. The statistic shows that almost 30% of residents are families with children, making Edison a perfect spot for raising kids. Moreover, according to AreaVibes, the crime rates are 63% lower than the national average, making Edison safer than 99% of Illinois.

Norwood is a community with 54% lower crime rates than the national average, making it safer than 96% locations in Illinois. On top of being a safe neighborhood, Norwood is a pet-friendly and walkable spot, and according to Trulia, finding parking is not hard. The location attracts mainly families with kids, and most residents are between the ages of 25 and 44.

If none of these locations tickles your fancy, the metropolis has plenty of spots that can fit your standards and desirable safety measures.

What Are the Other Safe Places to Live in Chicago

Since the overall crime rates in the metropolis are decreasing, you can find more than a few locations with a low occurrence of criminal activities. Forest Glen is one of them, where there is 1 in 83 chance of becoming a victim. Also, check out O’Hare where crime rates are 23% lower than the national average.

Safety comes first in Edison and Norwood.

Boystown Is the Best Place to Live in Chicago for the LGBT Community

Boystown is one of the oldest officially recognized LGBT areas in the US, and its welcoming vibe still attracts all kinds of newcomers. With its hip and modern boutiques, independent stores, trendy fashion outlets, diners, and nightclubs, Boystown really is a vibrant neighborhood that never sleeps.

While looking through real estate offers, you will stumble upon vintage, high rise apartment buildings, but there are also condos, rehabbed lofts, and single-family homes for sale. Median home value, according to Niche, is $338,420, but only 30% of residents own their residences. Almost 70% of people are on a lease, and they pay $1,350 a month for rent.

There are plenty of public transportation options that can take you anywhere you want to go to in the metropolis. You can use busses, the Union Pacific Northwest line or L Brown and Red lines. Furthermore, not long ago, colorful bike racks were installed along Halsted Street, doubling the amount of bike parking. That’s why you should try to figure out how to pack your bike because cycling is the most efficient way to commute in Boystown.

When you settle down, it’s time to explore your new location. Stop by Center on Halsted, a theater that hosts LGBTQ events and workshops, or take a walk down Halsted Street and snap a pic of the world’s first LGBTQ outdoor museum. When your stomach grumbles, stop by The Wood and have some cocktails and high-quality snacks, or check out HB Home Bistro and grab some contemporary American delights. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Chicago that include food, make a reservation at Angelina Ristorante. Its two softly painted dining rooms filled with candles and flowers make ideal for intimate dinner with the loved one.

Don’t get surprised if the area suddenly changes name. There is a petition from community members asking for local government to give Boystown a more gender-neutral name. No matter how the place is called, it will always be a fun, diverse, and exciting spot.

River North Is One of the Best Chicago Neighborhoods With Upscale Housing

How would you feel about living in a place that is the epitome of upscale living? River North has so much to offer to its residents, from mid-rise buildings to turn off the century lofts. If you are dreaming of a residence with stunning amenities such as roof deck, spas, pools, fitness center, and lounge rooms, luxurious apartments in River North might be what you need. To become a homeowner, you will need on average $464,500, while if you opt for renting, as almost 60% of residents do, you will need $1950 a month.

Be prepared to fall in love with skyline views and architecture. After all, this is the home of some of the oldest buildings in the metropolis. When you take a walk down Michigan Avenue all up to LaSalle Street, you will find famous clothing brands, some of the best restaurants in Chicago, and trendy bars. River North is also a grown-up’s playground. You can spend the day in Gallery District, marveling at art masterpieces. Plus, for more adventurous days, book a kayaking tour at Wateriders or try to find your way out of Escape Room.

You can’t be a true local until you visit theMART – the largest privately held commercial building in the US. Within 4.2 million gross square feet, you will find showrooms and hubs for designers, business owners, architects, and contractors. theMART is also hosting tech and creative companies like PayPal, Motorola Mobility, and Yelp. Additionally, some Fortune 500 companies, such as Allstate, Grainger, and Kellogg, are located here. About 15 to 16 thousand people work here, so if you are considering looking for a job before you move, start here.

Luxurious is one way to describe River North

Pilsen Is One of the Up and Coming Chicago Neighborhoods

Overflown with art, music, nightlife, and Latin culture, Pilsen is one of the most recognizable places in the metropolis, but also one of the coolest spots in the world, according to the magazine Forbes. A long line of award-winning eateries, famous music venues, and astounding murals make Pilsen a place to be in.

Pilsen has a rich history. The area came a long way from German and Irish immigrant settlement, and its boom began in the 70s with the rise of the Hispanic population. Nowadays, it’s famous for its colorful street art, buildings covered with massive paintings, and gallery nights.

Living in Chicago won’t be possible if you don’t have a roof over your head. While looking through the real estate in Pilsen, you will stumble upon several condominiums, and large lofts, but there are also some single-family residences. More than 70% of residents are on the lease, and the median rent is $935 a month. Nevertheless, if you want to spend your hard-earned money and buy a property, know that the median price is $241,100.

No matter what are your reasons for moving, Pilsen can probably cater to most of your needs. For passionate foodies, there are eateries such as 5 Rabanitos and Don Pedro Carnitas that serve excellent tacos. Furthermore, those craving American food such as burgers and roast chicken should stop by Monnie Burke’s or Dusek’s. A variety of diners will almost make you regret packing kitchen items and bringing them with you. Music lovers shouldn’t miss out on Thalia Hall. This is one of the most magnificent live venues in Pilsen, where musical legends such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Kurt Vile recently graced the stage. If you are more of a low key kind of music aficionado, Cafe Jumping Bean hosts jamming sessions, where local artists entertain guests who are enjoying their coffee.

There is never a dull day in Pilsen. A number of special events can make even the most mundane days fun. No matter if you are moving in summer or relocating during the winter, the calendar is filled with happenings. From the annual Mexican Independence Day Parade to A Cinco de Mayo fiesta, the area is pulsing with good vibes and lasting holiday spirit.

Pilsner is an up and coming area with mixed cultures and a variety of entertainment options.

Wicker Park Is One of the Best Places to Live in Chicago If You Are Hipster

Are you one of those people who appreciate the authentical style, or you might be moving for a relationship and your partner is a hipster? Whatever the case might be, Wicker Park is a great place to settle down in. It is one of the hippest destinations in the metropolis. Blend of dive bars, galleries, record stores, unique restaurants, and sophisticated retailers attract diverse crowds. Here you can bump into all kinds of people, from young professionals and families with kids to fashionable hipsters and artists.

A jack-of-all-trades neighborhood can offer you unforgettable entertainment, in the form of a flourishing bar scene. If you love cocktails and music, this is where you will thrive. The Handlebar is a laid-back spot with a patio that serves classical cocktails, excellent coffee, but comfort food as well. For those who love old-school arcade games, Emporium Arcade Bar has air hockey, pinball machines, and pool tables. Additionally, if you have a competitive streak, the bar organizes game nights.

If a trendy lifestyle is what you are going for, Wicker Park can offer you spacious apartments, condos, and lofts with plenty of modern amenities. The real estate market appeals to every kind of buyer and renter. You can find affordable flats in Victorian-style buildings or refined penthouses with plenty of live-work space. If you are planning to become a homeowner, like 45% of residents, know that contemporary-style properties don’t last long on the market, but there are numerous restored homes you can check out as well.

When you figure out your accommodation, embrace the bohemian and welcoming energy of the place. Remember, even though it was hard saying goodbye to your friends, don’t stress too much about fitting in with locals. People here are open-minded and friendly, so you will swiftly meet neighbors and make some new connections.

Great spot for all hipsters that like alternative fashion and lifestyle.

Overall Comparison of Neighborhoods

We went over the best of what the Windy City has to offer. To additionally make your relocation decision easier, let’s write down incomes and housing expenses, so that you could swiftly find the perfect place to call home.

LocationPopulationMedian Home ValueMedian RentMedian Household Income
North Center31,888$622,550$1,600$120,000
Hyde Park25,680$308,070$1,200$63,680
Lincoln Square39,458$379,700$1,265$76,100
West Loop20,430$407,500$2,000$113,350
Edgewater49,024$276,730$1,115$55,650
Edison/Norwood11,186/37,015$409,350/$316,060$1,250/$1,280$119,000/$81,340
Boystown3,300$338,420$1,350$76,890
River North27,160$464,500$1,950$105,500
Pilsen35,770$241,100$935$46,430
Wicker Park21,973$518,630$1,830$116,100

Source: Niche

 

Picking One of the Best Neighborhoods in Chicago IL Will Make Relocation Worth the Trouble

Do you think that stress-free moving is possible? Even if it’s not, sometimes it is worth the trouble. Windy City has a variety of different locations that can fit all kinds of lifestyles. No matter if you are looking for an affordable or pet-friendly spot, you will surely find it here.

When you figure out how much do movers cost for a one-bedroom apartment, or how much money you will need for two bedrooms, all that is left is browsing through real estate and finding a perfect residence. Luckily, there are condos, flats, single and multi-family properties. In the end, all the trouble you go through will be worth it because you will find yourself in a great metropolis that can offer you excellent work, entertainment, and educational opportunities.

Written By: Blake Shaw