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Best Neighborhoods in Chicago for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Chicago? With quick public transit via the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the elevated Chicago “L”, employment opportunities with Fortune 500 companies, tech startups, and a variety of hidden gems to explore, Chi-Town is one of the best places to live in the Midwest for singles and young adults. Whether you’re looking for an apartment, townhome, or condo, these are the five best neighborhoods in Chicago for singles and young professionals!

Lincoln Park

  • Home Price: $508,008 median purchase price; $1,508 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of Chicago neighborhoods

Named after the largest park in Chicago—which winds its way down the neighborhood’s eastern border—Lincoln Park is home to DePaul University and Knox College, making it an ideal place to live for university staff and students in the Windy City. One of the best places to live in Chicago for people who want a blend of urban amenities and semi-suburban living, Lincoln Park is known for its beautiful brick rowhouses and tree-lined streets, making this Chi-Town neighborhood great for young adults looking to buy a home in Chicago. Residents of Lincoln Park also appreciate being so close to trendy restaurants and exciting Chicago nightlife—especially on Armitage Avenue! And though Lincoln Park is more north of the city, residents can find quick transit via the Red and Brown CTA lines.

Things to Do in Lincoln Park

Take a selfie under the Honeycomb on the Nature Boardwalk and see everything from red pandas to penguins at Lincoln Park Zoo. Sit down for a night of theater, like King James, Seagull, and Choir Boy in one of three performance areas at Steppenwolf Theatre. Soak up the sun and go for a dip in Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach. Laugh the night away with standup and improv shows featuring up-and-coming comedians at premier Chicago comedy club, The Second City. Learn more about Chicago’s history and culture from permanent exhibits at the Chicago History Museum. Pick up a Cold Brew Oat-Chata or Cozy White Cocoa and a Cardamom Sunshine Bun for breakfast at Colectivo Coffee. Munch on the Zuppa di Pesce or the Risotto Pescatore at local-favorite Italian joint Sapori Trattoria. Sip on handcraft cocktails like an Aperol Spritz, Champagne Cocktail, or Chicago Handshake at Marge’s Still. Or kick back at one of the best breweries in Chicago, where you’ll find handcrafted creations like the Neon Beer Hug and So-Lo at Goose Island Brewhouse.

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The Loop

Bustling Downtown Chicago with red Chicago Theatre sign. Photo by Instagram user @loopchicago

Photo via @loopchicago

  • Home Price: $331,150 median purchase price; $1,699 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 1% of Chicago neighborhoods

Seven of the CTA‘s eight lines “loop” around 35 blocks of Chicago’s city center, making this area in the Windy City its own unique place! Because The Loop makes up Downtown Chicago, singles and young professionals can find some of the best dining, nightlife, theatre, and museum options in the city just steps away from their front door! Residents living in The Loop can find a variety of housing options for both buying and renting in Chicago, with close access to recreational areas like Lake Michigan, Chicago River, Millennium Park, and Grant Park. Plus, with institutions like Columbia College Chicago and East-West University, and headquarters of top employers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Salesforce, Baird Private Wealth Management, and GrubHub, young professionals can benefit from The Loop’s central location!

Things to Do in The Loop

Spend the afternoon exploring African pottery, Greco-Roman sculptures, and Japanese woodblock prints at The Art Institute of Chicago. Head over to Millennium Park for winter ice skating, or stop by another Chicago must-see, Cloud Gate (commonly known as The Bean)! Catch Broadway musicals or performances by touring comedians and musicians at The Chicago Theatre. Stand 1,353 feet in the air over the Chicago cityscape at the Skydeck at Willis Tower. Walk, kayak, take a boat tour, or grab dinner and a drink at institutions like O’Briens Riverwalk Café and Beatnick On The River along the Chicago Riverwalk. Chow down on the Red Velvet Cake French Toast or Classic Eggs Benedict at breakfast hotspot Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a Cinnamon Roll, Marble Pound Cake, or Cake Rainbow at Goddess and the Baker. Sample signature sushi rolls like the Volcano Roll, Pink Lady, or Mango California at Ryo Sushi. Enjoy live music, shuffleboard, and over 30 beers on tap at 2Twenty2 Tavern. Have a blast singing and dancing, and throwback some specialty cocktails at one of the best karaoke bars in Chicago, Brando’s Speakeasy.

Near West Side

  • Home Price: $248,351 median purchase price; $1,209 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 21% of Chicago neighborhoods

Part of what makes Near West Side one of the best places to rent a home in Chicago is its variety of green spaces to explore and affordable, bright and airy lofts and condos. This elegant Chicago neighborhood also boasts vibrant murals, artsy storefronts, and old-fashioned light poles. But Chicago residents living in Near West Side are often drawn here because it’s home to award-winning institutions, like University of Illinois Chicago, Malcolm X College, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. And since this affordable Chicago neighborhood also includes the West Loop, residents can take advantage of the easy access to Union Station, making Near West Side one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago for public transportation.

Things to Do in Near West Side

Gaze at the street art of Keith Haring or experience the interactive WNDR Light Floor at the WNDR Museum. Wear your game-day attire and catch a Chicago Bulls (NBA) or Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) game at United Center. Rock out at concerts featuring groups like Vanner, Vacations, Code Orange, and more at Bottom Lounge. Enjoy Chicago’s summer at the swimming pool, a concert, or while playing a game of basketball or round of tennis at Union Park. Join an esports, indoor football, or floor hockey team at the ComEd Recreation Center. Chow down on some Chi-town eats like the Polish Sausage Sandwich, Pork Chop Sandwich, or the Doubleburger at Jim’s Original. Get in touch with your inner child at Kong Dog, which serves up unique twists on corndogs like the Cheeto Kong Dog, Churro Kong Dog, and Ramen Kong Dog. Or enjoy a drink in Chicago at the Midwest Coast Brewing Company with pours like the West Town Brown, Grazing Goat, and Ol’ Mav.

River North

Light red apartment building with balconies. Photo by Instagram user @_joshuafeeney_

Photo via @_joshuafeeney_

  • Home Price: $434,335 median purchase price; $1,552 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 34% of Chicago neighborhoods

Just across the Chicago River, to the north of the Loop, sits the downtown neighborhood of River North. This Chicago neighborhood, along with Near North Side, is known for its skyscrapers, fine-dining scene, and high-end shopping, making it a common landing spot for young professionals looking to network and enjoy nightlife. Lavish art galleries, sleek high-rises, history-rich buildings help create a unique and rare personality throughout this neighborhood in Chicago. And institutions like Coyne College, SAE Institute, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology call this neighborhood home, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago for college students!

Things to Do in River North

Peruse designer brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry at department stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more stores that line The Magnificent Mile. Take in uninterrupted views of the Chicago River and Chicago skyline with your four-legged friend at Ward A. Montgomery Park. Experience a digital art projection known as Art on theMART, view luxurious furniture, and explore the Design Center at The Merchandise Mart. Head on down the street to admire permanent collection pieces like The Pink, Bracken or Moss, and On Guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Get a taste of the city’s nightlife at Sound-Bar, an upscale Chicago nightclub featuring talents like Dada Life, Baauer, and Noizu. Devour delicious donuts like the Tahitian Vanilla Iced, Wildflower Honey Glaze, and Pistachio Old Fashioned at Firecakes Donuts. Grab Grandma Swan’s Pancakes for weekend brunch or dinner dishes like a Lobster Roll or Roasted Salmon on weeknights at The Hampton Social. Settle in for dinner, drinks, and amazing live music performances at House of Blues Chicago. Order the Roasted Bone Marrow or the Turkey Leg Confit at Mediterranean restaurant The Purple Pig. Or sample craft drinks like the Bourbon Peach Smash, Mango Mojito, and Watermelon Mule at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery.

Ukrainian Village

  • Home Price: $407,865 median purchase price; $1,335 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 47% of Chicago neighborhoods

An area settled by Ukrainian and Polish immigrants, this Chicago neighborhood is a hot spot for artists and young entrepreneurs thanks to its collection of restored brick buildings and warehouses, quirky bookstores and antique shops, and indie music venues. Residents in Ukrainian Village are also able to take advantage of its location, which is near institutions like Wright College Humboldt Park and the International School of Comics, which offer education in visual arts, natural sciences, or the humanities. But if Windy City residents in Ukrainian Village need to commute to other Chicago schools or jobs, the CTA’s Blue and Green “L” lines and the bus station’s 50 Damen route are available.

Things to Do in Ukrainian Village

Listen to a live indie concert at The Empty Bottle or find new music you love at Wild Prairie. View pieces showcasing the shared experience of Ukrainian artists like Konstantin Milonadis, Wasyl Kacurovsky, and Alexis Gritchenko at Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. Find new or restored pieces of Mid-Century Modern furniture, pottery, clocks, artwork, and more at Velvet Goldmine. Purchase galactic-themed coffee beans, cold cans, or drinking chocolate at Dark Matter Coffee. Get your fill of Ukrainian-style pierogis, potato pancakes, and paprikash at Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen. Don’t miss out on gooey goodness at Joey G’s Mac n’ Cheese where you can enjoy unique signature dishes like Chicago Hot Dog, Chorizo, and Baked Potato Mac n’ Cheese. Chow down on Cleos Homemade Chili, the Samuel Double Fatso Extreme, and a Char Cheddar Dog at Fatso’s Last Stand. Or meet up with some friends on the weekend at Ez Inn and grab a drink like the Negroni, One Two Punch, or Berry Mule.


Moving to Chicago? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities locations throughout the Chicago metro, so we can help with your transition. Find affordable storage units in Chicago!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest graphic: Chicago, IL: 5 Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.