Best Neighborhoods in Chicago | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

6 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago to Live In

Did you know that Chicago is the third-largest city in the US, with nearly three million residents? Besides 600 parks, 500 playgrounds, and the fact that it was named America’s Best Bike City in 2016, it is home to eight major league sports teams (and the former President Barack Obama). If you’re looking for the best neighborhoods in Chicago to move to, you’ll have a lot of looking to do – there are 77 diverse and distinct community areas and over 100 residential districts.

chicago during the day overlay
The Heart of America is often called the medical center of the US thanks to its large numbers of hospitals and medical schools

Dubbed the “Heart of America” and “Sweet Home,” Chi-Town has dozens of unique districts, each with its unique character and history. They have their own personality and lifestyle, offering countless amenities related to culture, history, architecture, outdoor activities, dining out, etc. Depending on your needs and preferred lifestyle, there are several factors you should consider to pick the right place for yourself.

Luckily, with our help, your search for a perfect area won’t be a painstaking process. Leave us to guide you through some of the most desired areas in Chi-Town and offer a little help if you’re wondering how to move. We are sure you can find the right district that suits your budget, plans, and tastes.

Mean Median Standard deviation Minimum Maximum
Street network distance to nearest facility (miles) 3.4 3.1 2.0 0.1 11.1
Shortest automobile travel time to facility (minutes) 13.8 12.9 6.0 4.8 33.2
Public transportation travel time to nearest facility (minutes) 23.2 22.0 15.4 1.0 120.0
Population density (1,000 s) 18.6 16.2 11.3 0.57 84.87
Percentage of White residents 27.2 14.8 29.7 0 93.7
Percentage of residents of other race/ethnicity 5.8 2.7 8.7 0 86.8
Percentage of residents in poverty 21.8 18.5 14.3 1.3 84.0
Percentage of Latino residents 24.6 11.7 28.6 0 96.6
Percentage of African-American residents 42.4 19.6 42.8 0 100
Net land area minus water (square miles) 0.7 0.5 0.8 0.1 10.9

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Before making a decision, you need to do some research and find all the details crucial for your future life. That includes the commute time, cost of living, proximity of restaurants and grocery shops, as well as finding the top educational institutions for your kids among the many schools in Chicago.

Whatever the reason why you’re moving to Chicago in the first place, don’t forget about your habits and comfort. Maybe one neighborhood seems like a dreamland, but, on the other hand, it might be too expensive or too far from downtown. So don’t pack your belongings and start looking for Chicago movers with professional moving services just yet. Delve into facts, reviews, and statistics to find out all the data relevant for a happy and fulfilled life.

Choosing a neighborhood can be compared with looking for a house or apartment. It should be safe, affordable, with friendly people and cozy surroundings. If you have children, you may prefer a family-friendly area with plenty of playgrounds and a good school district. Don’t rush with picking a certain district before giving yourself a chance to find out as many details about the area as possible. To mitigate this process, there are steps you can undertake and speed up the selection:

  • Ask the right questions. Think about your daily activities and, in accordance with them, find quiet or busy locations, those filled with green areas, shops, and dining places, and check whether it’s a tight-knit community or one that provides you with anonymity.
  • Check the crime statistics. You can do it via the Internet or by contacting the local police department
  • Drive around or take a look around the area
  • Don’t forget about commuting time
  • Take into consideration public transportation and the nearness of the airport
  • Be familiar with school amenities
  • Check the cost of living
  • Think about the future development of the district
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When choosing the most suitable neighborhood for you, keep in mind that there are 77 distinct areas in this city

If You Consider Yourself an Artsy Soul, Logan Square Will Please You

Situated on the West Side, this neighborhood seems to have everything that can please you if you’re seeking a dynamic spot with great vibes. Maybe you’re hoping for the restlessness of the downtown? You won’t find it here. This thriving community assembles musicians, artists, and carries an indie spirit. It is a tranquil place filled with spacious parks, beautiful architecture, and spots where you can order great meals while sipping your drink. Some of the most excellent bars hail from this zone, such as Best Intentions, whose cocktails stand out among many others.

For those who prefer history and its heritage, it’s recommended to stroll down Logan Boulevard, which is the core of the community. Here you can find unique historical monuments, for instance, Illinois Centennial Monument or Logan Theatre. Besides art, culture, and history, Logan Square brims with an energetic nightlife, boutiques, as well as the renowned Sunday Farmers Market, where you can always buy fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, and sweets.

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Movie Fans, Head to Logan Theatre

The movie house opened in 1915 as the Paramount Theatre, and it was renovated in the 1990s when the bar and lounge were included. Dubbed Logan among the locals, it screens all types of genres – from first-run films to cult classics. Ticket prices are affordable, and the coziness of the interior will provide you with great satisfaction, especially if you are a film buff. The theatre also hosts the annual Underground Film Festival.

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If you prefer a dynamic lifestyle, Logan will satisfy all your needs

West Loop Offers Good Bites at the Center of All the Action

This seems like an ideal spot for all gourmets and food lovers. Yes, when speaking about the West Loop, the first thought that pops into one’s mind is food. Also called Foodie Paradise, this affluent community near the city’s main business district offers a plethora of top-notch spots where you can taste dishes you didn’t even know exist.

This originally industrial zone has recently evolved into a chic foodie hotspot among Chicagoans. Although it’s a swanky district, West Loop is definitely a place where you would dare to invite even your boss for dinner. It is home to French Market and Girl and the Goat, some of the trendiest eateries in the US.

However, many young families are attracted to this area, as well. Its vastness and more parking spots available than other zones are appealing for people who want to settle into a new town. This is especially true for parents with children, as this is where one of the prestigious schools – Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is located. It is ranked as one of the top high schools in the entire Illinois.

Feel Well in Randolph Street Market

The Randolph Street Market is considered the biggest and most urban antique market in the US. You can visit this indoor/outdoor festival all year round. Whether you are looking for a new piece of furniture or just want to spend some quality time, this is the place to be. If you’re looking to explore new places to hang out, this street fair offers more fun than you can imagine – concerts, events, wine, and beer are part of its appeal.

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Sweet Home is famous for its delicious food, but did you know the first-ever McDonald's restaurant was opened here?

If You’re Looking for a Unique Greek Atmosphere, Then Greektown Is the Place for You

A commercial district in the Near West Side, and a distinct neighborhood within West Loop, Greektown is actually a town on its own. It overflows with bakeries, traditional dinings, and Greek spirit that is present on every corner. Above all, the second oldest American institution dedicated to Greek culture – the National Hellenic Museum – is located here.

There are many benefits of living in this community with a strong personality, such as:

  • It’s nearness to the Loop gives you a chance to be in the center of all happenings
  • Public transport operates at regular times
  • It’s filled with grocery shops, bars, and eateries
  • Has a much lower crime rate than the surrounding areas

The National Hellenic Museum

The importance of this cultural center goes far beyond the history of Greek-American relations – it has the largest collection of Greek American artifacts in the world. The National Hellenic Museum preserves and presents Greek history and the Hellenic legacy through exhibitions, programs, and educational classes. The educational approach is based on the Museum’s rich collection of over 20,000 artifacts, books, photos, newspapers, and more than 450 recorded histories.

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If you like Greek cuisine, you will be thrilled with gyros in Greektown

Feel a Bit of Mexico in Pilsen

Dive into the colorful world of Mexico and feel like a part of a tight-knit community that celebrates great burritos, incredible art scene, and live music with a soul. As a predominantly Mexican-American district, it is widely regarded as one of the coolest Chi-Town districts. If you choose this community as your new home, don’t be surprised with gorgeous murals all over the buildings, dining places with mesmerizing music, and cozy local shops. According to Forbes magazine, Pilsen is considered one of the world’s 12 hippest destinations.

The National Museum of Mexican Art is Located Here

Opened in 1987, this Museum stands out as one of the most eminent institutions for Mexican culture and art in the US. If you are a fan of the ancient world, you will find one of the country’s largest Mexican art collections fascinating. It includes more than 9,000 seminal pieces from ancient Mexico to the present. The National Museum of Mexican Art hosts a slew of cultural programs, such as dance, music, symposia, authors, etc.

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Street art is fantastic in Pilsen

Consider River North if You Want to Live Life to the Fullest

If you’re looking for a posh location near the central business district and, at the same time, a spot for after-work dinner and drinks, this is the place. It offers plenty of amenities, and besides some of the most alluring restaurants in Chicago, bars, and spots for vibrant nightlife, you will find cultural places here as well. This district is bursting with galleries – more than 100 of them are located here. It is also home to the Wrigley Building, one of the most well-known skyscrapers in the entire city.

Think about your monthly income and the bills you need to pay, as this place is somewhat high-end. When it comes to the cost of living in Chicago, keep in mind that River North is among the more expensive zones.

River North is considered the most desirable area to live in

Merchandise Mart

As a landmark building, Merchandise Mart represents one of the largest commercial buildings in the world. Also called the Mart, it spans over 4.2 million gross square feet, including two blocks and 25 stories. It hosts hundreds of companies (one among them is Google Inc, too), as well as eateries, shops, etc.

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Some of the largest buildings in the entire USA are located here

Hyde Park Is a Green Mecca

There aren’t many cities that can boast with so many open spaces, parks, and spots for a picnic. But, Chicagoans will tell you how happy they are because they have over 580 parks and 8,300 acres of green areas at their disposal.

If you incline toward healthy living and prefer areas where you can let off some steam after a hard-working day, Hyde Park offers many opportunities to fulfill your dreams. Since it’s classified as the greenest zone in the city, it may be right for you and your family. If you have children, plenty of space for a game of Frisbee will delight them.

Places for People Who Like Information – the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry

The University of Chicago is a research university that is known for its rigorous academic and enrichment programs. If your child plans to get into this University, he or she needs to have perfect grades. With its motto “Let knowledge grow from more to more, and so be human life enriched,” the University encourages individuals to put deeply-rooted, conventional thinking to the test and look for original ideas.

Located in Jackson Park, the Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science center in the Western hemisphere. The Museum aims to build public understanding of science, show how science impacts the human environment, and inspire everyone to think critically about the world around us.

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There are plenty of parks and green areas you can enjoy with your friends and family

It’s Hard to Resist the Windy City

“Beirut By the Lake” is full of diversities and hosts numerous parades, festivals, theaters, and more than 7,300 restaurants. Everyone can find something alluring in it, especially people who prefer cultural events.

As for those who like strolling or biking through parks – the metropolis has more than 115 miles of protected bike lanes. There is a little bit of everything in every neighborhood, and you can easily be drawn into the plethora of exciting things to do in Chicago.

Some districts take pride in an integrated mix of communities, while others are trendy, upscale, and filled with top-notch dining spots. According to some data, millennials make up 73% of the total population, since they have chosen the Windy City as their adopted motherland. When it comes to the city’s neighborhoods, West Loop has the highest percentage of millennials in the country.

So, whether you prefer downtown, like Millennials do, or are more into quiet zones suitable for families with children, this metropolis can offer you both. It can provide you not only the best places to live in Chicago, but it will give you a chance to discover many interesting facts about the Heart of America, which has more than 20 nicknames.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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