The 7 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago for Young Professionals

Business people walking together in the city

If you’re moving to Chicago for a new job, you need to know about the best neighborhoods in Chicago for young professionals to live.

According to Choose Chicago, there are 77 vibrant neighborhoods making up the city. Each neighborhood has its own history, flavor, and features to make it unique. However, you can’t possibly research ALL the neighborhoods. We are here to help renters make the apartment search process efficient.

(Get all the details about moving to Chicago by downloading our Relocation Guide)

What are the Best Neighborhoods in Chicago for Young Professionals?

While the boundaries of downtown Chicago are open to interpretation, at Luxury Living Chicago, we define 7 Chicago neighborhoods as the “downtown core.” These seven neighborhoods are closest to the city’s central business district within the Loop. They also have the most full-amenity, high-rise buildings for renters to choose from. Consequently, these are the 7 best neighborhoods in Chicago for young professionals to rent.

Gold Coast

From shopping on Michigan Avenue, upscale restaurants on Rush Street, the bars and nightclubs on Division Street, Loyola University and Oak Street Beach this neighborhood defines classic (and classy) Chicago.

Must Visit Spot: Restoration Hardware Chicago – The Gallery at the Historic 3 Arts Club

Good to Know: The Gold Coast can be one of Chicago’s more expensive neighborhoods because the high-priced real estate in the area brings up the total cost of living.

New Gold Coast Apartments: The Sinclair

Streeterville

The Streeterville neighborhood is home to Northwestern University’s downtown campus, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, NBC Tower, Northwestern Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital, popular downtown hotels and gourmet grocery stores. Streeterville features weekly firework displays at Navy Pier in the summer.

Must Visit Spot: The Ferris wheel at Navy Pier

Good to Know: Streeterville can feel crowded and congested at times because of the number of tourist attractions and traffic on Michigan Avenue.

Apartments Now Leasing in Streeterville: 465 North Park

River North

River North is one of the largest downtown neighborhoods. West of Michigan Avenue to LaSalle Street you’ll find Chicago’s famous shopping, world-class dining, and nightlife. From LaSalle to the River you’ll find quiet streets, parks, boutiques and trendy restaurants. River North is also home to the gallery, design and apparel district, featuring the Merchandise Mart.

Must Visit Spot: The Chicago River Walk

Good to Know: There are a lot of bars and late night spots in River North. Certain areas can be loud and boisterous at night because of the social scene.

New River North Apartments: Marlowe

Loop

The Loop is nicknamed for the “L” train tracks encircling the business district. The Loop has tons of dining, shopping and features Chicago icons such as the Willis Tower, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Board of Trade and many of the city’s largest companies.

Must Visit Spot: Block 37

Good to Know: While the Loop is changing, it’s still the city’s business district and filled with office towers. After 5 PM, and on the weekends, the neighborhood can feel a little empty.

Apartments Now Leasing in the Loop: MILA

South Loop

There are two sections of the South Loop neighborhood – Museum Park and Printer’s Row. Museum Park is a sprawling lakefront community of brand new high-rise buildings close to Chicago’s museum campus and Soldier Field. The historic Printer’s Row features many buildings that used to be printing plants and publishing houses. This neighborhood has been steadily growing in popularity due to the neighborhood’s trendy and eclectic restaurants, artistic shops, as well as its proximity to the Loop.

Must Visit Spot: Museum Campus

Good to Know: The South Loop is rapidly developing. The dining and shopping scene continues to grow.

Apartments Now Leasing in South Loop: NEMA Chicago

West Loop

In the West Loop, you’ll find amazing restaurants on Randolph Street and Greek Town. The West Loop is home to the old manufacturing warehouses of Chicago that are being converted into cool office spaces to form a hub of start-up technology companies.

Must Visit Spot: Soho House

Good to Know: Rents are steadily increasing because of the neighborhood’s popularity.

Apartments Now Leasing in the West Loop: 727 W. Madison

Lake Shore East

Tucked away where the river meets the lake, Lakeshore East is Chicago’s hidden gem. Lakeshore East sits atop an award-winning, six-acre public park.

Must Visit Spot: The Lake Shore East Park

Good to Know: Lake Shore East is not directly connected to central streets and public transportation. Because of cold Chicago winters, it can be challenging to commute from this neighborhood on foot.

Condos Coming Soon: The Wanda Vista

In conclusion, with so much action and lots of new apartments, these are the best neighborhoods in Chicago for young professionals.

Want the full scoop on moving to Chicago? Click the button below to learn more about the process of finding a Chicago apartment.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. 

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About Amy Galvin Amy Galvin is the co-founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty.  As managing partner, she oversees the brokerage business and manages the sale and marketing team. As a member of the company's leadership team, she works hard to [...]

Amy Galvin Managing Partner

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