Chicago Neighborhood Guide
Popular Neighborhoods in Chicago
An essential Chicago neighborhood, Lakeview is home to the famous Wrigley Field. In that same area, you'll also find a host of lively sports bars and a rowdy college scene. Nearby you'll also find Boystown, Chicago's most active gay community, And to the west a crowded community of charming townhouses and enjoying a close proximity to the sprawling Lincoln Park.
One of the most fashionable areas in Chicago, Lincoln park enjoys a college town feel amidst a rising city skyline. Charming residential streets are lined with brick and stone townhomes, while Chicago's largest park looms nearby, teeming with life and offering up an endless outdoor life of bike trails, jogging routes, athletic courts, fields, and an iconic observatory. Numerous shopping, dining, and nightlife venues that populate the area. And with easy access to public transport and a high walkability score, Lincoln Park is as good an area to stay in, as it is to visit.
A sprawling example of explosive gentrification, this once bohemian refuge is now a thriving neighborhood on the rise. Packed with an amazing bar scene, and an equally great food scene, Logan Square is one of Chicago's most popular neighborhoods and a great place to amble around, visit, and take on the nightlife in. Although most visitors generally opt for a night out bar-hopping, walking about the charming boulevard during the day is equally pleasant.
Known as the hip epicenter of Chicago (and a prized hipster haven), Wicker Park was once the helm of the city's counterculture scene. And although soaring rents have starved out the artists, the uniquely creative spirit of its artistic community remains. Expect to find numerous independent businesses, varying from artisan donut shops to vintage clothiers, and top dollar boutiques. Also, check out the neighborhoods iconic shops, like Reckless Records and Myopic Books, and enjoy some of the best restaurants, bars, and live music venues in the city.
Home to the famed Magnificent Mile shopping district, packed with luxury boutiques, department stores, and high-rise malls, this eight-block stretch constitutes the cosmopolitan center of the downtown area. An ideal camp for anyone visiting the city, this neighborhood hosts a rich history, iconic architecture, an amazing restaurant scene, and some of the best luxury hotels in Downtown Chicago.
Currently Chicago's most rapidly growing and happening neighborhood, River North is a dapper urban scene packed with high-end nightlife and the biggest concentration of art galleries in the country. Once a slum-like warehouse district, the newly minted neighborhood is now dotted with high-rise towers, modern workspaces, luxury condos, and thriving commerce. Walkable and accessible, River North offers everything you'll need in the way of leisure and entertainment in Chicago.
Also understood as Chicago's official downtown, The Loop is one of the major business districts in the world and one Chicago's major sightseeing destination. In The Loop, you'll find iconic architecture, Michelin star restaurants, and an impressive concentration cultural centers and public art. Be sure to see the bold art like installations, like Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, and The Picasso in Daley Plaza, and explore the buzzing shopping scene along State Street.
Once a declining industrial district, the buzzing community of South Loop now houses some of Chicago's most popular attractions, including the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, and the relatively close Lake Michigan and Downtown Chicago. Still on the rise, South Loop boasts of a mix of ostentatious skyscrapers alongside historic pre-war buildings and aging industrial developments. Great for sightseeing, South Loop is easy to get around in and has numerous dining and drinking options.
Recently transformed into one of Chicago's most expensive and popular neighborhoods, luxury condos, hip bars, and a thriving restaurant scene make West Loop a quintessential spot to visit. The formerly old warehouses of Randolph St and Fulton Market now host some of the best restaurants in Chicago, a milieu of antique shops, and couture flea markets in an outdoor and indoor arena that has been dubbed the SoHo of the Midwest. The nearby parks also make it a great spot to spend the day out and about with family and friends.
Hyde park enjoys a thriving artistic and cultural scene and is likely one of Chicago's most beautiful neighborhoods. Charming architecture abounds every corner of Hyde Park, where old homes and historic buildings nestle among landscaped gardens, quiet parks, and lush trees—easily making it Chicago's greenest area. Enjoy an afternoon stroll, visit the massive Fountain of Time sculpture, and maybe catch a show at Court Theatre. There is a cozy feel to this neighborhood, and its many quaint diners, coffee shops, and local businesses add to its charm.
This culturally rich neighborhood promises cobblestone streets and a historic German-American enclave that dominates the character and heritage of the area. Abundant with historic buildings, Lincoln Square is usually abuzz with summer festivals, year-round attractions, great bars, and a lively crowd that preserves the authenticity of its past. Catch a show at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and dine out at Lincoln Square's sister neighborhood Ravenswood, an equally charming and fun spot.
Clustered along the shores of Lake Michigan, this eclectic neighborhood is rife with great restaurants, awesome music venues, and of course, a number of beaches. Relatively affordable and easily walkable, the historic districts of Lakewood Balmoral and Bryn Mawr are one the neighborhoods best sightseeing attractions. Filled with beautiful streets and shining water views, Edgewater was once one of Chicago's most affluent areas and is still a great spot to visit.