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 internet. Chicago is home to a myriad of different local cultures, so doing your research before you move will ensure that you love where you live. If you’d like help choosing a Chicago neighborhood, or would like help finding your perfect Chicago apartment, reach out to us here!

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

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


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

Gold Coast

Overview

Vibe – Touristy / High-End Shopping

Nightlife – Great

Dining – Excellent

Convenience – Great

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


Where do residents live?

Gold Coast is a historic, luxurious neighborhood that has been developed significantly in the last few years. However, the best deals are typically in older buildings that should be well-kept.

Gold Coast offers a blend of luxurious residences, restaurants and shopping, convenient access to Lake Michigan and boisterous nightlife, which makes it one of the more unique neighborhoods in Chicago. 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.

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

Eight O Five – 805 N Lasalle Drive

Chestnut Tower – 121 West Chestnut Street

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

Lincoln Park

Overview

Vibe – Brunch / Tree-Lined Streets / Parks / Sprawling

Nightlife – Excellent

Dining – Excellent

Convenience – Great

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

Where do residents live?

Walk-ups are common, but there are quite a few high-rises, especially near the lake.

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.

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

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


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

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

River North

Overview

Vibe – High energy high class

Nightlife – Excellent

Dining – Excellent

Convenience – Excellent

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

Where do residents live?

Most River North residents live in glass or brick high rises, and a smaller portion of residents live in converted warehouse lofts.

If you want an energized urban experience, River North is the neighborhood for you. Its unique blend of commerce, housing, and tourism make it one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Chicago. Don’t believe us? Salesforce, Motorola, and Yelp have offices here. Donald Trump built his tower here. Mario Batali built his church of Italian food here. The Blackhawks may start their Stanley Cup party in Wrigleyville, but they end it in River North. Given its convenient access to the Loop, CTA lines, and highway, it’s no surprise River North is one of the most popular and expensive neighborhoods in Chicago.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.

rivernorth

If you’re an early riser, a stop (and wait in line) at the famed Doughnut Vault is a neighborhood rite of passage.

If weekend brunch is your scene, River North has you covered with local favorites like GT Fish & Oyster.

River North burns those calories at the famous East Bank Club. If you’re lucky you might work out next to Oprah, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, or President Obama!


After a quick workout, River North heads to work. Chicago’s vibrant tech community calls the neighborhood home with co-working spaces like 1871 and companies like Salesforce, Trunk Club, and Yelp, bringing jobs and creativity in tow.

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.

Now for the info you really want! Lunchtime in River North is all about variety. 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.

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

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

South Loop

Overview

Vibe – Quiet / Laid-back / Parks and Brunch

Nightlife – Okay

Dining – Good

Convenience – Great

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

Where do residents live?

Newly constructed high-rises. 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! Right by the Green, Red and Orange lines. Close to the Chicago Bears’ football field and Grant Park. Extremely easy access to 290 and 90/94. Tons of walkability, restaurants, and grocery stores.

South Loop has been home to some very recent gentrification, allowing it to emerge as an up and coming neighborhood that many people have overlooked in years past. South Loop boasts the largest amount of green space, an easy commute to the loop, Soldier Field or Indiana and while many of the high rises are brand new, the rent is comparably cheaper to other neighborhoods. Weekdays are filled with Blue line “L” rides and strolls through Grant or Millennium Park.

SouthLoop

South Loopers 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.


One of the most attractive feature 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. While most people in Chicago have to pay for an Architecture tour, South Loopers 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 dine on great food and socialize with others.

Taking a lake shore stroll or running along the lake is easy for South Loopers, with its close and convenient location. Spend the weekend with your kids or significant other 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 some 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 (whether they want it or not).

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 Collecction
  • 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
Chicago neighborhood guide

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

Streeterville

Overview

Vibe – Touristy / Professional

Nightlife – Good

Dining – Excellent

Convenience – Good

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

Where do residents live?

High-rises. Few historic high-rises and the newly build Streeterville is “Chicago”. Right on the lake, a walk away from the classic Navy Pier and the newly-developed River Walk.

Streeterville, a lively neighborhood on the shores of Lake Michigan, 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. Residents typically live in high-rise condo or apartment buildings where they can enjoy beautiful lake views and easy access to nearby dining and nightlife options. Northwestern’s Chicago campus and Memorial Hospital contribute to Streeterville’s cultural presence.

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 that are not commuter friendly! 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-rated 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

Best places to live in Chicago

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

West Loop

Overview

  • Vibe – Professional / Dogs and Brunch
  • Nightlife – Great
  • Dining – Excellent
  • Convenience – Great

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

Where do residents live?

There are a number of high rises in West Loop with even more coming over the next few monthsThe Parker at Fulton Market is one of our favorites.

Historically, most West Loop residents live in mid rise or converted lofts. Due to its commercial history, you won’t find many single family households in West Loop.

West Loop lies in the old commercial area of Chicago, west of I-94, but is and has been quickly gentrifying over the past decade. West Loop is now home to many young professionals and one of the best restaurant scenes in the whole city. West Loopers have easy access to both I-94 and 290, making commutes to the suburbs and Indiana a breeze. To get downtown, West Loop residents either take the Green/Pink lines, the Madison bus (#20), or hoof it to the loop. On weekday mornings, the streets of West Loop are filled with cars heading to the highways and droves of commuters on the sidewalks heading east towards the loop.

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

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
Best places to live in Chicago

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

Old Town

Overview

  • Vibe – Professional / Dogs and Brunch
  • Nightlife – Great
  • Dining – Great
  • Convenience – Great

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

Where do residents live?

Primarily in 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, 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 a quaint pocket of town homes and single family houses that contrasts against the high rises of the city.

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

Old Town Park 1140 N Wells Street

Best places to live in Chicago

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

The Loop

Overview

  • Vibe – Touristy / Commercial
  • Nightlife – Okay
  • Dining – Good
  • Convenience – Excellent

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

Where do residents live?

If you are planning on living in The Loop, be prepared for a high-rise lifestyle.

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 and Boeing, to name a few, have their offices located here.

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

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

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The Ultimate Chicago Neighborhood Guide
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The Ultimate Chicago Neighborhood Guide
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Moving to Chicago? Get the internet's #1 Chicago neighborhood guide from AptAmigo. From South Loop to Gold Coast to River North, this is the only guide you'll ever need.
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AptAmigo - Apartment Locator
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