Chicago is a city that’s brimming with culture and diversity, along with some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the world. Believe it or not, a lot of what Chicago has to offer can be found right in the middle of some of the city’s most popular “residential” neighborhoods. From Wrigleyville to the South Loop, here are five of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods.
Gold Coast/Magnificent Mile
Running along Lake Shore Drive and a stones throw away from world famous Michigan Avenue, is the most affluent neighborhood in the city of Chicago. Considered the Beverly Hills of Chicago, Gold Coast houses some of the oldest and most historic brick and greystone homes in the city, and the most expensive.
Million dollar homes and condos are home to Chicago’s rich and famous, so it’s no wonder some of the most expensive shops in the world have settled here to create Chicago’s most exclusive shopping district. From Gucci and Giorgio Armani to Louis Vutton and Bottega Veneta, the Gold Coast is the place to be — if you have lots of $$.
While Lincoln Park is much more approachable than the Gold Coast, it also houses many historic homes and Chicago landmarks. The thing that makes this area easier to inhabit is the mixture of the wealthy, yuppies, and students. Home to DePaul University, and amazing nightlife and restaurants, Lincoln Park is trendy without taking itself to seriously. It is one of the better neighborhoods in the city without being too pricey as far as rentals go.
Popular yet affordable names in fashion such as ALDO and Urban Outfitters rub elbows with eclectic boutiques and mom and pop shops. Lincoln Park is home to the Steppenwolf Theater among others as well as Chicago’s (and one of the worlds) only free zoos. It is also considered one of the most dog friendly neighborhoods in the city.
The main streets and avenues for shopping, bar hopping, and dining in Lincoln Park are Armitage, Clybourn, Halsted and Clark.
What better place to work and play than Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Located a mere hop, skip and a jump from Chicago’s business district and the Magnificent Mile, River North features some of the cities top art galleries, bistros, bars and restaurants – all with an upscale flair. What used to be warehouses and factories are now pricey hi-rises, condos, and lofts. You’ll find a sizable collection of celebrity-owned restaurants as well as historical buildings and amazing boutiques.
River North lies north of the Loop, west of Michigan Avenue (Mag Mile) and south of bustling Chicago Avenue, with the Chicago River as its boundary on the south and the west. State, Orleans, and Ontario are some of the areas most popular streets.
Wicker Park/Bucktown is probably one of Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhoods – and arguably, one of the trendiest. Originally home to mostly immigrants and artists, this energetic area is a magnet for young urban professionals (yuppies). You will find some of the trendiest shops and restaurants here as well as beautiful newer condos and historic homes. Prices for rentals and homes are nowhere near Gold Coast prices however, to live comfortably here, you have to be doing fairly well.
For the best Wicker Park/Bucktown has to offer in the way of restaurants, bars, boutiques and clubs head down Damen Avenue beginning at North Avenue. Milwaukee Avenue is quite popular as well as Division Street and North Avenue.
Wrigleyville is home to the beloved Chicago Cubs. Need I say more? This is probably one of the busiest areas in the city during baseball season (and summer in general) and it is also one of the most transient areas in the city — meaning, the crowds are youngish and the party typically lasts all night long. Bordering Chicago’s Lakeview and Uptown neighborhood’s, Wrigleyville can be a somewhat expensive spot to buy, although more affordable than most areas in the city, and very affordable to rent.
The main attraction to this area is the nightlife. You’ll find an abundance of bars, clubs & pubs here as well as concert venues, restaurants and a fair amount of what some may consider “dives.” Located in close proximity to Chicago’s lakefront, the area is very desirable in the way of recreation and nature. The busiest streets in Wrigleyville are Clark Street, Addison and Sheffield.