What Chicago neighborhood should I live in?

If you’re moving to Chicago and asking yourself this question, look no further— we’ve compiled the best Chicago neighborhood guide on the web. Chicago is home to a myriad of neighborhoods that offer something for all walks of life, so doing your research before you move will ensure that you love where you live. If tou want to talk to a local about which Chicago neighborhood is perfect for you, or would like help finding your perfect Chicago apartment— reach out to AptAmigo here!

RELATED: Best Chicago Apartments with Lake Views & Skyline Views

Use the following links throughout this page to jump to a specific neighborhood:

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park


River North

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

If you want an energized urban experience, River North is the neighborhood for you. Its unique blend of commerce, housing, and tourism makes it one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Chicago. Most River North apartments are glass or brick high rises, and a smaller portion of residents live in converted warehouse lofts. If you’re a local, River North doesn’t offer as much communal or park space as other neighborhoods, but pet lovers still take advantage of the neighborhood’s pet friendly buildings and river views. If walkable streets are a must, check out Gold Coast or Fulton River District.

With easy access to Chicagoland highways (I-90/94 and Lakeshore Drive), CTA Brown Line and Red Line, and the Loop (within walking distance); commuting from River North is usually a breeze… unless you’re driving during rush hour.

If you live in Chicago and like to stay out late, River North is probably where you’ll end up. With clubs like Tao, bars like Bub City, Three Dots, and Dash, as well as music venues like Howl at the Moon and The Redhead Piano Bar— River North is a party every night of the week.

Neighborhood Vibe

Situated west of Streeterville, adjacent to Gold Coast and the Magnificent Mile, this lively and posh area is a prime location for new Chicagoans looking for a full-value introduction to the city. Home to numerous art galleries and studios, River North is an artists’ haven and then some. A plethora of bars, clubs, and top-rated restaurants dot the streets— their age marked by Chicago’s varied architecture.

Things to Know

Live here if you crave fascinating culture, beautiful aesthetics, and a vibrant atmosphere. River North is pulsating with creative energy around every bend. 3 Greens Market hosts Chicago’s artists and professionals alike: Eclectic people mix and mingle at stylish hangouts and bump elbows at the communal tables.

Pros:

  • Center of Chicago urban life
  • Breadth and concentration of dining and nightlife
  • Close proximity to the Loop, CTA Red and Brown lines, and Highways

Cons:

  • Noise/traffic
  • Lack of green or open space
  • High cost of living
rivernorth

If you’re an early riser, a stop at the famed Doughnut Vault is a neighborhood rite of passage. If weekend brunch is more your scene, River North has you covered with local favorites like GT Fish & Oyster. If you’re looking for more variety, lunchtime in River North has you covered. Tourists flock to Chicago staples like Portillo’s and Gino’s East for dogs and deep dish, while locals can find everything from an iconic McDonald’s to a 6-course meal prepared by Top Chef Masters’ winner Rick Bayless. After work and on weekends, Chicagoans from all over the city flood the neighborhood to take advantage of the best concentration of nightlife and dining in the city. River North has excellent seafood at Joe’s Stone Crab, ribs at Carson’s, old-school steaks at Gene & Georgetti, and Asian Fusion at Sunda, among countless others. If you live in Chicago and like to stay out late, River North is probably where you’ll end up. With clubs like Tao, bars like Bub City and Three Dots and Dash, and music venues like Howl at the Moon and The Readhead Piano Bar, River North is a party every night of the week.

Residents of River North love to workout at the famous East Bank Club. If you’re lucky you might work out next to Oprah, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, or former President Obama! After a quick workout, River North residents head to work. Chicago’s vibrant tech community flourishes in co-working spaces like 1871 and companies like Salesforce, Trunk Club, and Yelp. Right outside the office, dozens of hotels make River North a destination for out-of-towners. Tourists take advantage of Magnificent Mile shopping between tours at the Driehaus Museum or kayak excursions down the Chicago River. Tourists and residents alike benefit from daily views of some of the most iconic architecture in Chicago, including the Trump Tower, Wrigley Building, and Merchandise Mart. If you’re a local, River North doesn’t offer as much communal or park space as other neighborhoods, but pet lovers still take advantage of the neighborhood’s pet-friendly buildings and river views.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in River North below:

Hubbard221 – 221 W Hubbard Street

  • A modern high-rise, located by the Brown Line in the heart of River North.
  • Has an industrial feel, with exposed concrete and floor to ceiling windows
  • Go downstairs to Pink Taco for margaritas and tacos after work

See available units at Hubbard221

Gallery On Wells – 637 N Wells Street

  • Inspired by the arts, resident artists host classes and display artwork in the lobby
  • The pool deck scene is “to die for”
  • A recently-opened cafe connects to the lobby and offers coffee & drinks

See available units at Gallery On Wells

Wolf Point West – 343 W Wolf Point Plz

  • A view you can’t beat: watch the boats go by through floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Located at the intersection of two rivers, you get an unobstructed view of the water (that will never be obstructed by future construction)
  • Can be difficult to get to. In the heart of downtown, but tucked away from the action

See available units at Wolf Point West


South Loop

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

The South Loop has been the center of new apartment construction in Chicago for the last decade as people have realized just how convenient it is. South Loop boasts a large amount of green space, Soldier Field, and an easy commute to the loop. While many of the South Loop apartments are brand new high rises, the rent is comparably more affordable than other neighborhoods.

Taking a lake shore stroll or running along the lake is easy for South Loopers, with its convenient location. Residents of South Loop apartments can be found dining outside at a cafe or taking advantage of their building’s ample amenities on weeknights. The weekends in South Loop are spent walking to Shedd aquarium or Adler planetarium for whimsical exploration. Or, using the money saved on rent to attend Lollapalooza or go shopping downtown.

Because South Loop is mostly residential, the nightlife options here are slim to none. Most people head downtown for their entertainment, which makes this neighborhood a quiet place to settle down.

Neighborhood Vibe

South Loop offers a classical and creative feel to Chicago residents with a glimpse at historic Chicago as it was during the boom of the Industrial Revolution. Walk along Motor Row or Prairie Avenue District to witness the windy city through the ages. It is even home to Printer’s Row, a mini-neighborhood comprised of re-purposed printing houses. South Loop is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago because it gives residents convenient access to Chicago’s business district, while also providing easy entry to the city’s quiet eastern locales.

Things to Know

Live here if you crave a big city feel without big city stressors. South Loop’s convenient location between Magnificent Mile and South Commons strikes the perfect balance between urban dwelling and small town charm. Opt to stay in South Loop for an authentic Chicago experience and backdoor access to world-famous attractions.

Pros:

  • Proximity to Lake Shore Drive (views) and Museum Campus (entertainment)
  • Expansive dining options
  • Large population of families, quiet and laid-back

Cons:

  • Limited nearby nightlife options
  • Long commutes to the grocery store
  • Due to its size, some residents have long commute times
SouthLoop

South Loopers can be found dining on patios or taking advantage of their building’s ample amenities on weeknights. The weekends in South Loop are spent walking to Shedd aquarium or Adler planetarium for whimsical exploration or using the money saved on rent to attend Lollapalooza or go shopping downtown.

One of the most attractive features of South Loop is its proximity to the loop, suburbs, and public transportation options. Grant Park is an extensive green space in the heart of the city that offers space to play and simultaneously take in the skyline at any time of day. Architecture lovers rejoice in the building structures here. While most people in Chicago have to pay for an Architecture tour, South Loopers (also known as Sloopers) live in the areas that are being shown off.

After getting off the train post work, residents ease into the night at Artist’s Cafe. Which serves up tasty meals and unparalleled views of South Loop. The spectacular and ample amenities offered at many of the South Loop high rises, grants Sloopers the ability to never leave their building and still feast on great food and socialize with other residents.

With its close and convenient location, taking a lake shore stroll or running along the lake is easy for South Loopers. Spend the weekend with friends exploring the various attractions, like Shedd Aquarium near South Loop; where every week is shark week. Forget paying for parking at any Bears’ games since most South Loopers can walk to the field in a few minutes. If you like to listen to smooth jazz while enjoying a cocktail, residents love frequenting Buddy Guy’s Legends to get their groove on. With its location close to Grant and Millennium park and the number of festivals and concerts that take place there, South Loop residents get a front row view for free.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in South Loop below:

Alta Roosevelt – 801 S Financial Pl

  • An Instagrammers dream, with 3 floors of amenities
  • Decor is the perfect mix of chic and cozy
  • Walkway from the building to The Shops at Roosevelt Collection

See available units at Alta Roosevelt

1000 South Clark – 1000 South Clark

  • One of the few all-year-round pools. Doors to the deck will be open in the summer
  • One of the nicest gyms in Chicago, 10,000 square feet with Racquetball, basketball, a golf simulator, indoor/outdoor pool, neighborhood bar, library, an more. You hardly need to leave the building.
  • A block away from Wabash and Roosevelt street

See available units at 1000 South Clark

1001 S State – 1001 South State Street

  • This building is really on top of technology, they have a 3D printer for residents and are always updating the elevators to run more efficiently
  • Rooftop has a nearly 360 degree view. Amazing South Loop views that you can’t get in the downtown buildings

See available units at 1001 S State


Streeterville

Chicago neighborhood guide

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

Streeterville is a lively neighborhood on the shores of Lake Michigan. It combines tourism, residential living, and culture unlike any other Chicago neighborhood. Every day, thousands of tourists flock to Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, and the Museum of Contemporary Art to experience some of Chicago’s most iconic attractions. Northwestern’s Chicago campus and Memorial Hospital contribute to Streeterville’s cultural presence.

Residents typically live in high-rise condos or apartments where they can enjoy beautiful lake views and easy access to nearby dining and nightlife options. With many lush parks in the neighborhood, and Gold Coast to the North, residents have ample space to take dogs for weekend walks.

Commuting via Lake Shore Drive is supremely convenient for Streeterville residents as long as you have a car or can walk to the red line or Michigan Ave buses. Depending on location within the neighborhood, access to other highways, public transportation, and the Loop can be limited. If you’d like to have easier access to the Loop, check out New East Side.

Streeterville is home to some of Chicago’s best restaurants, bars, and clubs. Although there are plenty of nightlife options, Streeterville is not considered a nightlife capital of Chicago. People often head to other neighborhoods to take part in a more lively nightlife scene.

Neighborhood Vibe

Although this fresh Chicago neighborhood is tiny, life bursts from its seams with increased development since the 2000s. Streeterville is both beautiful to look at and interesting to dive head first into. Streeterville is home to some of the city’s tallest buildings and iconic landmarks, with a mix of professional and residential spaces. It’s a little neighborhood smack dab in the heart of one of America’s biggest cities.

Things to Know

Live here if you enjoy living in the heart of the action but want to be a part of a caring community. Be a familiar face at any of Streeterville’s cool coffee shops and get to know the bartender at your local watering hole. When you need a break from a small town vibe, just walk a few blocks west to join River North’s nightlife scene.

Pros:

  • Proximity to the Lake Michigan (views) and Lake Shore Drive (commute)
  • Northwestern University and Northwestern Hospital
  • Access to River North for dining and nightlife

Cons:

  • Difficult to access public transportation in certain parts of the neighborhood
  • Heavy tourist presence
  • Expensive real estate and parking
Best places to live in Chicago

Commuting via Lake Shore Drive is supremely convenient for Streeterville residents as long as you have a car or can walk to the red line or Michigan Ave buses. There are definitely areas of Streeterville that are not commuter friendly though. Depending on location within the neighborhood, access to other highways, public transportation, and the Loop can be limited. Tourists exploring the neighborhood visit some of Chicago’s most popular attractions: shopping on the Magnificent Mile, sightseeing, and exploring Navy Pier. Tourists cannot miss checking out Chicago’s Historic Water Tower Building that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After a long morning spent on the Mag Mile, shoppers are ready for a bite to eat. From standard quick service chains to Michelin-star eateries, Streeterville has options for every diner. Fans of the Chicago Bears indulge in Mafia-sized steaks at Mike Ditka’s steakhouse. Tourists make sure to grab a slice of deep dish at one of Chicago’s famed pizza joints.

After lunch, Navy Pier is the destination. Visitors can watch a rendition of a Shakespeare play at Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater. If the weather permits, tourists take a spin on the Ferris Wheel. While tourists are enjoying Streeterville’s attractions, serious work is happening a few blocks away. Students and doctors work tirelessly at Northwestern’s Medical School and Hospitals. Thousands of patients are treated annually in the neighborhood. Right next door, future lawyers take classes at Northwestern’s Law School. As the workday ends, Streeterville locals return home for the night. Many residents take a post-work bike ride or jog on the Lakefront Trail.

Nearby grocery stores make it convenient for residents to prepare dinners at night. Alternatively, Streeterville locals can order takeout or stop by one of the neighborhood’s many quick service restaurants. Streeterville is home to some of Chicago’s best restaurants. Favorites include French cuisine at Tru and fancy Italian fare at Spiaggia. As the sun sets during the week, some Streeterville residents head out for the night. Timothy O’Toole’s is a popular watering hole for Northwestern students. Between restaurants, bars, and clubs, there are plenty of nightlife options for any person.

Nonetheless, Streeterville is not a nightlife capital of Chicago. People often head to other neighborhoods to take part in a more lively nightlife scene. With many lush parks in the neighborhood, residents have ample space to take dogs for weekend walks. The first Friday of every month is a special treat for Streeterville residents. The Museum of Contemporary Art holds a special late-night showing with music and cocktails. This popular tradition attracts people from all over the city. On Sunday, Streeterville residents brunch at one of the several spots in the neighborhood. Popular selections include Yolk and Drake Bros. Do-Rite Donuts is a hidden gem for delicious chicken sandwiches and donuts. As Sunday winds down, Streeterville residents prepare to head back to work. Tourists head home after a few days in the city. Where do Streeterville residents typically live? Streeterville has the highest concentration of residential high rises in the city.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in Streeterville below!

Moment – 545 North McClurg Court

  • Always a favorite among our clients, this building is the definition of luxury
  • Has a sauna and a steam room. Ample outdoor space, greenery, fire pits, and a hot tub with doors that open to a lake view
  • Friendly staff goes above and beyond for their residents

See available units at Moment

Aston Chicago – 200 East Illinois Street

  • Located on upper Illinois, you can literally walk outside and take an elevator to Whole Foods
  • Unique floor plans with great square footage at a pleasing price for Streeterville

See available units at Aston Chicago

Atwater Chicago – 355 East Ohio Street

  • On the pricier side of the spectrum, but the location is phenomenal
  • There’s a brunch and mimosa joint in the space downstairs
  • A modern building with Container Store closets and Nest thermostats

See available units at Atwater Chicago


West Loop

Best places to live in Chicago

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

It’s safe to say that the West Loop has probably changed more than any other neighborhood in Chicago in the last ten years. Historic meat and fish warehouses have made way for Google’s Chicago campus, the McDonald’s global headquarters, Time Out Market, and an amazing array of Michelin-star restaurants and bars on Randolph Street. For any New Yorker’s out there, West Loop has become the Soho of Chicago. Fittingly, it boasts our city’s only Soho House!

Because of West Loop’s growth in the last decade, real estate development has been heavily concentrated in the neighborhood. West Loop Chicago apartment buildings blend seamlessly with brick and timber lofts all of which overlook the highway and the beautiful Chicago skyline. Amenities, both in apartment buildings, and at businesses, emphasize accessibility and convenience. With over 560 acres of medical facilities located in West Loop, it has also become a popular spot for healthcare professionals who live in medical district apartments.

West Loop has become one of the pricier neighborhoods in Chicago, but still can be a great value for anyone moving to Chicago from New York, San Francisco, Boston, or Washington D.C. There’s always something to do here, whether it’s bowling at Punch Bowl Social, grabbing the ‘best burger in Chicago’ at the original Au Cheval, or toasting an incredible cocktail at The Aviary.

Neighborhood Vibe

West Loop has become the destination for fast-growing businesses and inspiring restaurants and nightlife. The neighborhood’s development has centered on walkability, convenience, and fun. It only takes 5 minutes to get from work or home to some of the most inspiring hotels (The Hoxton, Soho House), restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s easy to spend an entire day in The West Loop for work, play, or relaxation. If you want to be even closer to the center of the city, West Loop Gate and Fulton River District are worth exploring.

Things to Know

West Loop benefits tremendously from its access to 90/94, Union and Ogilvie Train Station, as well as the CTA Green and Pink Lines. If you don’t need to commute outside Chicago, a car is definitely not required. It’s extremely easy to grocery shop (or deliver) as there’s a large Whole Foods and Mariano’s within a block of one another on Halsted Street. A short walk gets you from quiet, residential streets to exciting dining and nightlife. AptAmigo loves calling the West Loop home!

Pros:

  • One of Chicago’s best neighborhood dining scenes
  • Easy access to the Loop and I-90/94
  • Rapid recent construction and development

Cons:

  • Rising cost of living
  • Certain pockets of the neighborhood lack convenience
Chicago neighborhood Guide

Around lunchtime, West Loopers and other downtown workers come back to West Loop to enjoy the ample and gourmet dining options like Au Cheval, Girl and the Goat, or travel to the southeast corner of West Loop, known as Greektown, to enjoy the most authentic Greek cuisine in the city. On weeknights, the neighborhood’s expansive nightlife options such as Lone Wolf or Punch Bowl Social are packed with people enjoying one another’s company. Weekends can be spent taking a stroll through Union Park, which also hosts Pitchfork Music Festival, enjoying the amenities of the many West Loop high rises or traveling a little farther west to watch a Blackhawks or Bulls game at the United Center.

Mornings in West Loop are defined by commuters heading towards downtown, cars hopping on I-94 or 290, or people getting on the Green Line to get to The Loop. West Loop is slowly emerging as the neighborhood with the most contemporary and expansive dining options, with options ranging from one of the best burgers in Chicago (Au Cheval), to Greek restaurants whose decor and food make you feel like you are eating in Athens. Paying homage to its commercial and industrial background, a number of high level corporations now have their regional headquarters in West Loop, including Google Inc., McDonald’s, and AptAmigo! After work, West Loopers can be found enjoying drinks and live music at City Winery.

When the weekend rolls around, West Loopers can be found strolling through Union and Mary Bartelme Park, enjoying the modern amenities that the numerous high rises have to offer, or heading over to United Center to cheer on their favorite sports team.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in West Loop below!

Arkadia Tower – 765 West Adams Street

  • Some of the best amenities in West Loop
  • Conveniently located off Adams near the highway and a short walk up Halsted will get you to Restaurant Row


See available units at Arkadia Tower

727 West Madison – 727 West Madison

  • Private rooftop
  • Sky Lounge with skyline views
  • Club room with billiards
  • Co-working space

See available units at 727 West Madison

The Parker Fulton Market – 730 W Couch Place

  • Industrial vibe with exposed concrete and neat artwork. Has a “dark, artsy vibe”
  • Less than a five minute walk from the world’s best burger, SoHo House, Girl and the Goat
  • Loft-style but still a high rise

See available units at The Parker Fulton Market


Old Town

Best places to live in Chicago

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

Old Town, nestled between Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, takes on the attributes of these two neighborhoods and blends them seamlessly. The affluent nature of Gold Coast’s high rises merges with the tree-lined streets and boutiques of Lincoln Park.

Old Town is one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods and is steeped in history. Residents live primarily in town homes, 3-flats or single family homes. However, there have been multiple new construction high rises built in the last 5 years, including Old Town Park. Old Town’s connection to the loop is via the brown line at the Sedgwick stop.

On weekday mornings, Old Towners can be found sipping on espresso at Elaine’s Coffee Call or taking a look at the latest art pieces at the contemporary art studio. Weeknights in Old Town can be spent eating at Kamehachi, the self-proclaimed “first sushi restaurant in Chicago” then catching a comedy act at Second City Theater.

Neighborhood Vibe

Old Town is a peaceful, quaint, and historical neighborhood filled with a mix of brownstone walk-ups and glassy high-rises. You’ll find tree-lined roads and a friendly, laid-back neighborhood vibe. Look around and you’ll see residents walking dogs, stopping by their local coffee shops, and meeting friends at their favorite neighborhood bars and restaurants. Since Old Town is farther away from the Loop, it’s perfect for residents who enjoy a friendly, residential vibe with a short commute to work.

Things to Know

Old Town provides a good mix of entertainment and residential options near the heart of Downtown Chicago. It’s an easy commute to River North and the Loop with several transit options, including multiple CTA bus lines and the purple and brown lines. You’re situated in between Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, so you’ll get the best of both neighborhoods when it comes to shopping, dining, and other entertainment options. Most housing options are historical and updated brownstone walk ups with a mix of mid-rises and high-rises.

Pros:

  • Great small business access
  • Art and comedy scene
  • Expansive dining and nightlife options
  • Unique, artisan storefronts

Cons:

  • Limited access to public transportation
  • Parking can be a challenge
Best places to live in Chicago

Old Towners can be found sipping on espresso at Elaine’s Coffee Call or taking a look at the latest art pieces at the contemporary art studio on weekday mornings. Weeknights in Old Town can be spent eating at Kamehachi, the self-proclaimed “first sushi restaurant in Chicago” then catching a comedy act at Second City Theater. Being one of the oldest neighborhoods, the Old Town Triangle Historic District can be explored before stocking up one’s cooking oils at Old Town Oil during the weekends. Elaine’s Coffee Call serves up specialty coffee and tasty crepes that will brighten anyone’s morning. Old Town is known for its love of the arts and has numerous art studios and galleries. Kamehachi, eight turtles in Japanese, has been an Old Town tradition for 40 years now and has been honing their sushi making skills throughout the years.

Old Town is one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods and is steeped in history. Old Town’s connection to the loop is via the brown line at the Sedgwick stop. To celebrate its rich art culture, Old Town hosts an arts festival every June with hundreds of vendors and live music. Even the cooking shops in Old Town are artisan and Old Town Oil is the poster child. Old Town loves their comedy acts and theaters like Second City and Zanies are sure to bring on the laughter with their contemporary humor. Old Town Ale House takes the usual bar atmosphere and decor and throws an Old Town artsy spin on it.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in Old Town below!

1225 Old Town Apts. – 1225 North Wells Street

  • Private conference room
  • Outdoor heated pool
  • Outdoor dog walk
  • Gourmet grocery store Plum Market and Intelligentsia Cafe anchor the building

See available units at 1225 Old Town Apts

Old Town Park 1140 N Wells Street

  • Stunning European flat panel cabinetry throughout all kitchens
  • Glass-encased showers complement the elevated aesthetic
  • Expansive windows with roller shades frame stunning views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan
  • The pet-friendly homes feature a dog spa and an outdoor heated dog run

See available units at Old Town Park


The Loop

Best places to live in Chicago

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

The Loop is the heart of downtown Chicago and gets its name from the loop that the El trains form before jetting off to their respective paths out of the city. The Loop is heavily commercial, as companies like United Airways, Northern Trust, Boeing, and more have offices located here.

If you are planning on living in The Loop, be prepared for a high-rise lifestyle. The Loop truly is a concrete jungle and residents of The Loop must have a love for city life. Weekdays in the Loop are the busiest you will see, as Chicagoans from every neighborhood do business in its central location. Coffee shops and breakfast spots are packed with businessmen vying to be first in line and lunch spots are packed with professional lunches. (If you’d like to stay central, but the Loop sounds a bit too hectic, you might like New East Side or South Loop.)

After work and on the weekends, the Loop essentially shuts down. Streets and restaurants that were packed with 9-5ers during the week are now eerily empty. However, Millennium Park is an exception as it sees over 25 million visitors a year and is packed just about every day of the week. Here, people can be seen taking photos of Cloud Gate, enjoying open air concerts, wandering Maggie Daley Park, and enjoying the lake views.

Although The Loop is highly commercial, it still contains historical buildings such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harold Washington Public Library, Maggie Daley Park. and the printing houses of Printer’s Row to the south.

Neighborhood Vibe

If you live in the Loop, expect busy streets and easy public transit options. Every el train makes several stops in the loop, making traveling to anywhere in Chicago a breeze. Here, you’ll be able to walk to everything you need: from grocery stores to entertainment options. Expect a fast-paced lifestyle living in the Loop as you’re in the heart of the city. Streets are bustling with professionals heading to work, tourists taking in the sights, and locals grabbing a coffee or a quick bite to eat.

Things to Know

While you’ll be in the center of everything living in the Loop, many of the shops, bars and restaurants close after 5pm and are closed on the weekend. The Loop is home to the majority of Chicago’s office space and is catered to this professional crowd. Expect to pay a pretty penny for housing in this area (location, location, location). Everything you may need— from grocery stores to entertainment, parks and shopping— is all within walking distance. Live in The Loop to be in the center of everything Chi-town has to offer.

Pros:

  • Walk to work
  • Easy access to all public transportation
  • Awesome energy from the Theater District

Cons:

  • Commercial and touristy
  • Quiet on the weekends with limited nightlife and dining options
  • Access to grocery stores
Chicago Neighborhood Guide

The Loop truly is a concrete jungle and residents of the Loop must have a love for city life. Weekdays in the Loop are the busiest you will ever see the city as Chicagoan’s from every neighborhood converge on its central location. Coffee shops and breakfast restaurants are packed with businessmen vying to be first in line. The Loop, while being very commercial, does contain some historical and community buildings that are used by all residents such as the Art Institute of Chicago.

After work and on the weekends, the Loop essentially shuts down and the streets and restaurants that were packed are now eerily empty. However, Millennium Park is adjacent to the Loop and is constantly packed with tourists taking photos of Cloud Gate and residents enjoying open air concerts and Maggie Daley Park. The Loop is where are the CTA lines meet and bring with them the thousands of workers who commute every day downtown.

Many national companies have their headquarters in The Loop, such as Northern Trust. During the morning rush and lunch hours are really the only times that dining options are open in the Loop as many shut down around 6 p.m. Besides being Chicago’s center of business, The Loop also houses some iconic cultural buildings and areas, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harold Washington Public Library, and Maggie Daley Park. When work ends, it’s easy to catch a free open-air concert in Millennium Park.

After jamming out, there are a few restaurants along Michigan Ave hungry residents can stop at or head a little further into The Loop to Italian Village for a quaint dinner with wonderful ambiance. If you get up early enough on the weekend and don’t feel like cooking breakfast, head over to Wildberry cafe for a scrumptious brunch with a city view. Once you’ve stuffed yourself with pancakes, pop over to Millennium Park and see one of Chicago’s most photographed location. On your way home from Millennium Park, stop by the Daley Plaza farmer’s market for fresh veggies and fruits. Yet, once it gets dark, The Loop becomes abandoned with little to no foot or vehicle traffic.

The only difference in housing options is whether the building is an old, new or glass construction. OneEleven is one of the newer glass constructions in the city. While The Fisher is steeped in history.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in The Loop below!

MILA201 N Garland Court

  • Boutique-style, you’ll feel like you live in a luxury hotel
  • Resident-only state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga studio and on-demand cardio and weight training workouts
  • Spacious MILA Social Lounge with quiet work-friendly areas

See available units at MILA

Marquee at Block 37 25 W Randolph St

  • Right above great shopping
  • You can take the elevator to the Blue Line which runs directly to the airport
  • Great views of historic art-deco theaters. Even an obstructed view overlooks stunning architecture
  • Great amenities on the roof, and right across the street from Millennium Park

See available units at Marquee on Block 37

73 East Lake73 East Lake Street

  • One of the rare places with a indoor/outdoor pool open year round
  • Sauna, roof-deck with an amazing two story floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor space (if you’re not afraid of heights)
  • Right by the Virgin Hotel, which is a great spot for rooftop DJs it the summer, and also houses Miss Ricky’s Diner where you can get the best chicken and waffles in Chicago

See available units at 73 East Lake


Gold Coast

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

Gold Coast is a historic, luxurious neighborhood that has been developed significantly in the last few years. Within Gold Coast, you’ll find a blend of residences, restaurants, shopping, convenient access to Lake Michigan, and boisterous nightlife. Which makes it one of the more unique Chicago neighborhoods.

Gold Coast Chicago apartments are mostly high rises, both old and new, that house many of its residents. The commonality between all Gold Coast apartments however is that they almost always have spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Despite high prices, there are good deals to be found in older buildings that have been well-kept.

On weekdays tourists and residents frequent the area’s quaint parks, high-end shops and restaurants. On weeknights, the area offers some of the best socializing and people watching in the city. After hours, Division Street becomes a hub for those who don’t want the party to stop. Weekends on Oak Street Beach and Lake Shore Drive are where Gold Coast really shines. Gold Coasters enjoy the ability to walk, jog or bike along Lake Michigan via quick access to the Lakefront trail.

Neighborhood Vibe

Gold Coast is the perfect neighborhood if you enjoy being surrounded by premier boutique shopping and upscale dining options. Frequented by residents and tourists alike, it’s a vibrant community filled with plenty of entertainment options. Lake Michigan is right next door, giving residents easy access to the beach and various walking and biking trails. Gold Coast is also known for its charming, historic brownstone homes on tree-lined streets. The upscale housing options make this the perfect neighborhood for people who seek an elevated living experience. If you like this neighborhood, but still want to be a bit further from downtown, check out Old Town or Lincoln Park.

Things to Know

If you commute to or from Gold Coast you’re likely to see professionals in tailored suits or shoppers flaunting this season’s Prada. During rush hour, the Division and Chicago red lines are packed with commuters making the 15 minute trip down to River North or the Loop. If you love a vibrant and luxurious community, Gold Coast is for you.

Pros:

  • Proximity to River North (nightlife) and Lake Michigan (views)
  • Center of Chicago’s high-end shopping options
  • Expansive and tasty nearby dining options

Cons:

  • Expensive real estate and parking
  • Limited number of quick-service dining options
  • High-end shopping options attract tourists


goldcoast

Gold Coasters can wake up with an early walk, jog or bike along Lake Michigan via quick access to the Lakefront trail. If you commute to or from Gold Coast you’re equally likely to see professionals in tailored suits or shoppers flaunting this season’s Prada. During rush hour, the Division and Chicago red lines are packed with commuters making the 15 minute trip down to River North or the Loop.

At lunch, quick service dining options are limited to a cluster on Chicago Avenue, while the area’s high-end restaurants host a combination of tourists and locals. Don’t be surprised to see a Ferrari or Lambo glide by as you enjoy your lunch. Division Street and its numerous bars become flooded with college grads looking to socialize. After a long night of bar hopping, Gold Coasters enjoy sleeping in and enjoying brunch rather than just a boring breakfast.

Gold Coasters who would rather cook a weekend brunch than buy it, can stop by the weekly Division St. farmer’s market and purchase the freshest ingredients. For those who aren’t as versed in cooking, 3rd Coast serves up a tasty brunch that will get you ready for your weekend activities. Oak Street beach is a community hot-spot for all ages. After brunch, head to the beach to develop your base tan, play some beach volleyball or enjoy a cool drink, all while soaking up the sun.

If crowds aren’t your forte, the open green spaces of Washington Square Park can be used to entertain children and dogs alike. Gold Coast is home to a number of high rises both new and old that house many of its residents. The commonality between all Gold Coast housing options however is they almost all have spectacular views of Lake Michigan.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best-rated buildings in Gold Coast below!

The Sinclair – 1201 North LaSalle Dr

  • Chic and ultra-modern aesthetic
  • Rooftop pool

See available units at The Sinclair

Eight O Five – 805 N Lasalle Drive

  • Amazing views of downtown & Chicago Avenue from all units
  • True rooftop pool
  • Well-kept, spacious amenity floor
  • Good closet space

See available units at Eight O Five

Chestnut Tower – 121 West Chestnut Street

  • Older building with a homier vibe
  • Amazing views
  • Spacious floorplans

See available units at Chestnut Tower


Lincoln Park

River North | South Loop | Streeterville | West Loop | Old Town | The Loop | Gold Coast | Lincoln Park

Just north of Old Town, Lincoln Park is one of the largest and most popular Chicago neighborhoods– and for good reason. Most residents are a short distance away from some of the best nightlife, dining, lakefront parks, shopping, and tree-lined streets in the entire city. It combines all the best aspects of a close-knit community with the appeal of the big city. Which means apartment prices can be high.

Residents live mostly in walk-ups, but there are quite a few high-rises, especially near the lake. Lincoln Parkers are spoiled with their close proximity to the lake and ample running and biking trails. Lincoln Park has the second largest shopping concentration in the city: ranging from high end boutiques to secondhand resale shops. Lincoln Park also offers public tennis and basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields that are used recreationally and by intramural leagues. Weekends can be spent strolling through the Lincoln Park Zoo, hitting a bucket of golf balls at the Diversey Bay Harbor or heading to Lakeview or the Loop easily via the Brown Line.

Lincoln Park is one of the largest and most popular Chicago neighborhoods – for good reason. Most residents are a short distance away from some of the best nightlife, dining, lakefront, parks, shopping, and tree-lined streets in the entire city. It combines all the best aspects of a close-knit community with the appeal of the big city, but that means apartment prices can be high. Due to its large size, Lincoln Park is very diverse and houses the entire DePaul University campus. On weekdays, elementary and college students shuttle off to their respective schools, while professionals with extra time take to Lakeshore trail to get in a morning run. After school lets out, restaurants like Summer House, Kingston Mines Blues Bar and the largest cluster of shopping outside of Gold Coast/Mag Mile keeps Lincoln Parkers busy. Weekends can be spent strolling through the Lincoln Park Zoo, hitting a bucket of golf balls at the Diversey Bay Harbor, or heading to Lakeview or the Loop easily via the Brown Line.

Pros:

  • Proximity to Lake Michigan (views) and Lake Shore Drive (work)
  • Expansive dining, nightlife and shopping options

Cons:

  • Houses both DePaul University and its 3,000 students
  • Somewhat expensive rents due to popularity
lincolnpark

Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, DePaul University houses some 16,000+ undergraduates with 3,000 of them living on campus. Lincoln Parkers are spoiled with their close proximity to the lake and ample running and biking trails. Lincoln Park has the second largest shopping concentration in the city ranging from high end boutiques to secondhand resale shops. Summer House Santa Monica offers upscale Americana cuisine that can be enjoyed on their patio, indoors or their “vitamin D room”. (Pictured) Lincoln Park also offers public tennis and basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields that are used recreationally and by intramural leagues. Lincoln Parkers also won’t have to walk far to get to grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Where there are college students, there is nightlife and Lincoln Park’s Delilah’s provides the sought after nightlife. Because of its size, the Brown, Red and Purple “L” lines run through parts of Lincoln Park which makes commuting a breeze. Residents of Lincoln Park have an admission-free zoo right in their own backyards. The Diversey Driving Range allows golfers to hone their skills when they can’t take the time to travel to an actual course. Besides the zoo, Lincoln Park offers an extensive amount of green space and water to relax and unwind. Lincoln Park residents don’t even have to leave the actual park to enjoy an upscale dining experience at North Pond restaurant.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, check out the best rated buildings in Lincoln Park below!

Elevate Lincoln Park – 930 W Altgeld Street

  • Elegant Hallways and Front Door Entries
  • Smart Phone Unit Locking/Entry System
  • Terrazzo Base Showers with Frameless Glass Enclosure

See available units at Elevate Lincoln Park

The Kent2625 N Clark Street

  • One of the few residential high-rises in Lincoln Park
  • Offers great square footage and unique layouts
  • Walking distance from the lively coffee shops on Clark Street.
  • Close to Wrigleyville’s nightlife, but removed from the bustle

See available units at The Kent

2950 North Sheridan 2950 N Sheridan Road

  • Private, temperature controlled parking attached
  • Green living with LEED Silver certification
  • 20th floor resident lounge and terrace with expansive views
  • Urban Garden with outdoor kitchens and fire patio on the 6th floor

See available units at 2950 North Sheridan


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