Want to live in Chi-Town? With quick public transit via the “L” elevated train, employment opportunities with Fortune 500 companies and tech startups, and a variety of hidden gems to explore, Chicago is an excellent place to live for young adults. Whether you’re looking for an apartment, townhome, condo, or house, these are the five best neighborhoods in Chicago for singles and young professionals!
- Lake View
- Lincoln Park
- The Loop
- Near North Side
- West Town
Home Price: $373,419 median purchase price; $1,364 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 74% of Illinois cities
Lake View is one of the top places to live in Chicago for singles and young professionals who want affordable homes within walking distance of some of the city’s best attractions. Located on the north side of the Chicago metro, the aptly-named Lake View offers great views of Lake Michigan, plenty of green space, and easy commutes through the Red and Brown lines. Lake View is also divided into smaller neighborhoods mostly notably Wrigleyville and Boystown. Wrigleyville is best known for Wrigley Field, the second oldest baseball stadium in the U.S. and home of the Chicago Cubs, while Boystown is Chicago’s best LGBTQ neighborhood, claiming the title of the first officially recognized gay village in the U.S. and the annual location of the Chicago Pride Parade each June.
Things to Do in Lake View
Spend an afternoon at Wrigley Field watching the Chicago Cubs take on MLB rivals like the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. Watch independent films and classic movies at the gorgeous Art Deco Music Box Theatre. Visit Sidetrack—one of the best gay bars in Chicago—for Musical Mondays, TRL Tuesdays, and incredible dance parties. See musical acts like Betty Who, Lord Huron, and The Dandy Warhols at indie music venue Metro. Dig into classic Italian dishes like Ricotta Gnocchi or Pasta Pomodoro at old-world joint Angelina Ristorante. Bring your own bottle of wine and enjoy signature maki like Atlantic Monkey, Fire Dragon, and Grisly Godzilla at sushi restaurant Tanuki. Try a craft beer from a featured local Chicago brewery at Sheffield’s Beer & Wine Garden. Or get a round of shots while watching open mic nights at dive bar favorite Town Hall Pub.
Home Price: $508,008 median purchase price; $1,508 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Illinois cities
Named after the largest park in Chicago, which winds its way down the neighborhood’s eastern border, Lincoln Park is a top neighborhood in Chicago for singles and young professionals who want a good blend of urban amenities and quiet, residential living. Lincoln Park is known for its beautiful brick rowhouses and tree-lined streets, so it’s popular among young adults who want to buy a home in Chicago. But it also offers trendy restaurants, exciting nightlife, and quick transit via the Red and Brown lines. In addition, this Chicago neighborhood is home to DePaul University, making it an ideal place to live for college students, university staff, and anyone hoping to pursue a degree within walking distance.
Things to Do in Lincoln Park
See everything from red pandas to penguins at Lincoln Park Zoo. Soak up the sun and go for a dip in Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach. Catch standup and improv shows featuring up-and-coming comedians at the famous The Second City. Learn more about Chicago’s history and culture from the permanent exhibits at Chicago History Museum. Go dancing and enjoy bottle service at multi-level nightclub Happy’s Bamboo Bar & Lounge. Try the Zuppa di Pesce or the Risotto Pescatore at Italian neighborhood favorite Sapori Trattoria. Order the World Famous French Toast Flight at Batter & Berries to try every flavor from blueberry to caramel. Sip on a handcrafted Mint Julep, Manhattan, or Tom Collins at The Barrelhouse Flat. Or kick back in neighborhood tavern The Arrogant Frog with one of their 24 rotating craft beers on tap.
Home Price: $331,150 median purchase price; $1,699 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 86% of Illinois cities
For singles and young professionals who want to live at the center of the city’s action, The Loop is one of the best places to live in Chicago. Not only does Downtown Chicago have the best dining, nightlife, theatre, and museums, but it’s home to top employers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Salesforce, Baird, and GrubHub as well, meaning Loop residents have tons of job opportunities within a few blocks of their homes. The Loop also has plenty of green space with Millennium Park and Grant Park, and it provides access to all of the “L” lines (i.e., Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, and Brown).
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. Catch Broadway musicals and performances by touring comedians and musicians at The Chicago Theatre. Test your fear of heights with the Skydeck at Willis Tower, where you can stand 1,353 feet in the air over the Chicago cityscape. Walk, take a boat tour, or grab dinner along the Chicago Riverwalk. Try signature sushi rolls like the Volcano Roll, Pink Lady, or Mango California at Ryo Sushi. Get the Red Velvet French Toast or Classic Eggs Benedict at breakfast hot spot Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe. Enjoy live music, shuffleboard, and over 30 beers on tap at 2Twenty2 Tavern. Or head to Brando’s Speakeasy—one of the best karaoke bars in Chicago—for singing, dancing, and speciality cocktails.
Near North Side
Home Price: $434,355 median purchase price; $1,552 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 18% of Illinois cities
Just across the Chicago River to the north of The Loop is Near North Side, another popular downtown neighborhood in Chicago that houses several smaller neighborhoods: River North, Gold Coast, Old Town, Streeterville, and The Magnificent Mile. Though each of these smaller areas offers its own unique atmosphere, Near North Side as a whole is known for its numerous skyscrapers, growing business districts, fine dining scene, high-end shopping, and availability of condos. For singles and young professionals who want to live in a more affluent Chicago neighborhood while still having access to urban amenities like public transit via the Red and Brown lines, Near North Side is an ideal home.
Things to Do in Near North Side
Ride the Centennial Wheel, walk through the Crystal Gardens, hop on a Lake Michigan speedboat tour, or grab dinner and drinks all at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier. Peruse through Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more stores in The Magnificent Mile shopping district. Visit the John Hancock Center’s 360 Chicago Observation Deck, where you can check out Chi-Town’s incredible skyline. 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. Stop in for an Old-Fashioned or Moscow mule with late-night samplers of chicken wings or stuffed meatballs at gastropub The VIG Chicago. Or check out Chicago hidden gem and underground bar Suite Lounge, where you’ll find handcrafted cocktails, martinis, and a large selection of beers and wines.
Home Price: $407,865 median purchase price; $1,335 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 43% of Illinois cities
One of the youngest and largest neighborhoods in Chicago is West Town. Like its eastern neighbor Near North Side, West Town also encompasses multiple neighborhoods, such as Ukrainian Village, East Village, Noble Square, Wicker Park, Pulaski Park, and Humboldt Park. Formerly an area settled by Ukrainian and Polish immigrants, this Chicago neighborhood is currently 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. And with access into Downtown Chicago through the Blue, Green, and Pink lines, residents are able to commute to work and urban amenities without having to pay the prices associated with The Loop or Near North Side.
Things to Do in West Town
Visit the fitness center in the historic fieldhouse, paddle around the lagoon, or enjoy a picnic on the lawn at the 197-acre Humboldt Park. Discover your new favorite singer-songwriter or indie band at live music venue The Empty Bottle. Pick out vintage lounge chairs and other home decor at An Orange Moon. Head over to Chicago hidden gem 5pace Oddities, a bookstore-gallery combo where you can find pulp-sci books and paintings from local artists. Get your fill of Ukrainian-style pierogis, potato pancakes, and paprikash at Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen. Try the Picadillo Burrito, Carne Asada Torta, or Flautas with an El Metro Fresco margarita at El Metro Cantina. Or meet up with some friends on the weekends for free pool, jukebox tunes, and cheap beer at dive bar favorite Innertown Pub.
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Data from AreaVibes.