As Chicago real estate experts, we are always asked by our clients “What are the best Chicago neighborhoods to live in?”
To address that question, we’ll first back up and say Chicago is a really big city. Much bigger than most people realize. According to Choose Chicago, there are 77 official neighborhoods that makeup Chicago. It would be impossible to rank them all, so we won’t.
Instead, Luxury Living Chicago likes to focus on what we call the downtown “core” neighborhoods. These are the seven neighborhoods that surround the city center and business district of Chicago. We believe these downtown Chicago neighborhoods are the best place in Chicago to live.
What Are the Neighborhoods in Downtown Chicago?
There are seven neighborhoods that comprise downtown Chicago.
They are as follows:
Whether you love lake views, buzzing nightlife, or short commutes, living downtown Chicago offers a host of benefits to residents because this part of the city features Chicago’s famous shopping on Michigan Avenue, top Chicago restaurants, fun bars and clubs and other exciting attractions.
The downtown neighborhoods are also home to the best apartment buildings in Chicago. These Chicago apartments have brand new finishes and amenities such as fitness centers and community spaces for residents to enjoy all included in the rent.
The Best Places to Live in Chicago for Young Professionals
Chicago’s central business district is known as The Loop because of the L train tracks that make a circle, or “loop”, around this bustling part of town. The Loop is home to many office towers and major companies and corporations. In recent years, the Loop has also become a popular location for new Chicago apartments as more restaurants and grocery stores opened in the area.
The seven downtown Chicago neighborhoods are close to the Loop and offer an easy commute making them the best places to live in Chicago for young professionals. These neighborhoods have the most full-amenity, high-rise apartment buildings to choose from. Among many other features, these buildings are known for offering conveniences such as an on-site concierge, complimentary coffee in the morning, package receiving, and on-demand dry cleaning. These types of efficient services are geared towards the busy professional who doesn’t have a lot of time outside of work to run errands. All services are handled for them at their apartment community, which gives them more time to enjoy their free time.
The Best Family Neighborhoods in Chicago
Since we covered young professionals, let’s talk about families. There are lots of families that live downtown Chicago. River North, Gold Coast, West Loop, Lakeshore East and the South Loop neighborhoods feature great parks, family-friendly restaurants, amazing grocery stores and endless entertainment options for kids.
However, for our clients with families, or perhaps newly expecting parents, we would also recommend living in family-friendly Chicago neighborhoods Lincoln Park and Lakeview. These two neighborhoods offer even more for Chicago families to do and see such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Bubbles Academy, and Little Beans Cafe. Not to mention all of the large parks with play spaces and opportunities for parents to meet each other.
Chicago’s Most Upscale Neighborhoods
Chicago is a classy city and has many fancy neighborhoods.
The Gold Coast is as swanky as it comes and embodies swinging Chicago. Chicago’s famous Oak Street has some of the best places to shop in the Gold Coast with beautiful boutiques and high-end shopping. Renowned designers like Tory Burch, Hermes, Armani, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Barney’s, and Harry Winston have retail locations lining this quaint street.
Exciting Luxury Apartment Addition Gold Coast: The Sinclair, 1201 North LaSalle Street, a fabulous luxury Chicago apartment community with hotel-like amenities and a Jewel grocery store.
River North is a luxury destination in Chicago with million-dollar townhomes, fine dining establishments, boutique fitness options and many salons.
Exciting Luxury Apartment Addition River North: Wolf Point East, a new addition to the Chicago River skyline that boasts luxury amenities and apartments.
Lincoln Park is an elegant residential neighborhood in Chicago with gorgeous parks and trendy shops.
Up and Coming Chicago Neighborhoods
Last but not least, we’re going to focus on the newcomers. These Chicago neighborhoods might be flying a bit under the radar now, but not for long.
River West was once a booming market area and is still home to locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and bakeries. The area is bordered by Grand, Division and the Kennedy Expressway. While it’s not a large neighborhood, more and more unique apartment communities are starting to rise up above the old warehouses and factories.
The Hottest Place to Live in River West: Seven 10 West, 710 West Grand Avenue, is a boutique apartment building featuring progressive amenities for today’s modern renter. Offering an impressive amount of amenities for a smaller apartment building, Seven 10 West has automated dry cleaning and package delivery systems, bike storage, and a private dog park. With stunning city views, the rooftop deck features an indoor/outdoor fire pit, gas grills, and an outdoor TV. The resident lounge with a demonstration kitchen provides space to entertain and relax. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center onsite.
Logan Square is a thriving neighborhood, just a few miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The neighborhood features many eclectic shops, cafes and popular Chicago restaurants. Only five stops on the train from the Loop, this neighborhood positions residents conveniently to use public transit or bike downtown, or commute easily out to O’Hare and the Chicago suburbs.
The Hottest Place to Live in Logan Square: Logan Apartments, located at 2522 N Milwaukee, has direct access to Target, as it is the anchored retail component of the development. In addition, the development is surrounded by restaurants, health and wellness centers, pet stores, coffee shops, and banks. Logan Apartments is located along two CTA bus routes and near the CTA Blue Line.
If you want to be a trendsetter and live in an up-and-coming Chicago neighborhood, you better rent now while the prices are still low and the crowds haven’t taken over.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.