How to Meet People in Chicago

If exploring the Windy City without friends at your side doesn’t sound fun, you’re in luck because this guide provides some great advice on how to make friends in Chicago. It may feel a bit intimidating to move to a big city on your own, with towering skyscrapers and crowds of locals and tourists teeming all around you. But, getting to know the people and places of Chicago can help you feel right at home here. We’ll teach you how to meet people in Chicago who want to hang out, spend some time at a jazz venue, or do some sightseeing with you.

If you’re making a move to Chicago, we can help you find the right apartment near all the city’s top amenities. Let AptAmigo know what you’re looking for, and our apartment locators will find it for you.

What Are the Locals in Chicago Like?

Chicago locals represent a unique blend of big city sophistication and everyday Midwestern charm. Although a huge city brimming with a degree of history, culture, and diversity that only New York can compete with, Chicagoans tend to welcome newcomers with kindness and generosity. They will provide you with directions to find parking for Millennium Park, or help you navigate O’Hare International Airport without getting stuck in traffic.

People living in Chicago are passionate about their beer, sports, music, festivals, architecture, beer (yup, that deserves repeating), and the city as a whole with all its warts and beauty. During the warmer months, everyone heads outdoors to play at the beach, enjoy the city’s extensive park system, attend the best festivals in the entire US, and immerse themselves in the glory of all those big city vibes. 

However, come winter and the flocks of tourists fly south, while locals head indoors. Colder months, when avoiding the outdoors becomes a means of survival, naturally encourage people to find warmth inside of museum visits, broadway shows, and restaurants. But, Chicagoans are nothing, if not hardy, so you’ll still find them bracing those icy winds at outdoor Christmas markets and ice skating rinks throughout winter.

Even though Chicago is a city of immigrants, both new and old, some people who live in Chicago have deep roots in this city, and it shows. Many locals will happily offer their opinions about the best local joints for Chicago-style pizza (not deep dish), Italian beef sandwiches, or Polish sausages (so long as you don’t plan to add ketchup to it).

Related: The Best Bars in the West Loop

Where & How to Meet People in Chicago

If you’re hoping to meet people in Chicago, it helps to establish a few go-to options for finding just the right experience. This city boasts an endless number of activities, including plenty of bars, clubs, rec centers, and parks. Here are some recommendations to help you meet friends.

Online Resources

If you feel anxious about just getting out there, try these online resources as a stepping stone. They will give you ideas for activities you can do and places to visit.

•      Check out @chicagofoodauthority on Instagram if you want to know where everyone is eating. This is a fantastic space to find food trucks too!

•      Get text messages from The Nudge. You can get date ideas or just a few ways to explore the area this weekend.

•      To see what’s going on in Chicago (a great way to meet people), check out @choosechicago. This fun Instagram account focuses on local activities, events, and promotions.

In Real Life

For anyone ready to get out there and enjoy the city right this minute, consider these recommendations:

•      Start laughing at The Comedy Bar. You can have some fun with open mic night, a great way to make people smile, or simply catch a show.

•      Take in the city at one of many rooftop bars and meet new friends at trendy venues. Check out VU on E. Cermak. Another option, perfect for when you want to catch lunch or an early dinner on the rooftop, is Cindy’s, with its always positive vibe.

•      Take a fitness class, another popular way to meet others. CrossTownFitness is great because they offer over 200 classes each week, and the people are friendly. Another exciting choice is P.Volve, especially if you want lots of interaction with others, including trainers.

Looking for Love in Chicago (or Not)

If you’re hoping to find a love match, or just have some fun, keep it low-key. Chicago is a fantastic place to meet people, but you’ll want to spend some time exploring the city first. As you do, visit a few locations perfect for small talk and intimate conversations.

•      Check out DISCO. It’s a fun, upscale location that always has a dance party taking place.

•      If you want good food, art, and a bit of romance, visit the Debonair Social Club. Each floor offers a different atmosphere to explore.

•      Volunteer. Chicagoans are giving people, and the perfect way to meet someone else with a big heart is by checking out the volunteer opportunities. Chicago Cares is a good starting point.

Finding Your Chicago Neighborhood

If you want to meet people in Chicago, where you live matters, and Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods can’t be beat. From the constantly active Fulton River District, with lots of fabulous food destinations, to the modern elegance of Gold Coast, you’ll discover plenty of outstanding neighborhoods to explore.

Finding your Chicago neighborhood means exploring a few options. We can help you with our Chicago Neighborhood Guides. Whether you want to live in the New East Side or the highly exclusive Hyde Park, each area features a unique character well worth considering. 

Then, once you choose a few top choice neighborhoods, we can teach you how to find an apartment in Chicago.

How to Find Your Chicago Apartment

Chicago isn’t a lonely place at all, especially once you find your ideal luxury apartment with its own opportunities to meet others. Choose from a range of styles and amenities, no matter which area of the Windy City you want to live in. We can help you with the whole process by pairing you with a specialist who knows how to find your ideal apartment. We’ll even schedule a tour day for you. By doing all the hard work for you, we make it easy to love finding an apartment.

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