Best neighborhoods in Chicago

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Widgets Magazine

Top 8 Best neighborhoods in Chicago with the Best quality of life – 2023

When considering moving to Illinois, Chicago is one of the best places to consider with its iconic architecture and music culture. Chicago is one of the great cities in the U.S, with 77 unique neighborhoods, each having its range of peculiarities, from the rivers that run back to the delicious delicacies and the corn cob skyscrapers. Chicago offers many adventures and places for exploration. As the third-largest city in the US, there’s no limit to fun activities, food, or experiences in the best neighborhoods in Chicago. The city has areas with access to adequate public transportation and excellent higher education for national and international students and is safer than many other cities. Chicago has a population of 2.6 million people, with 37 movable bridges spread across the Chicago River. There’s always a spot in Chicago to call home with affordable neighborhoods. Here are the 8 best neighborhoods in Chicago!


With many neighborhoods across Chicago, the city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a young professional, a student, a head of a family, or a retiree, our list of the 8 best neighborhoods in Chicago will help you decide. We’ve built our ranking of the best neighborhoods based on a study from, who considered the following criteria: education, affordability, public transit, and safety. We’ve also considered the population and the vibe of the neighborhood.

Featured in this article

1. West Loop

Best for walkability

1. West Loop - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 28,504
  • Pro: Access and connections to major highways
  • Con: Only few parks around

West Loop is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago and ranks as one of the city’s most walkable neighborhoods. Major companies like Google, McDonald’s (world headquarters), Vivid Seats, and Peapod are based in the West Loop of Chicago. West Loop holds its esteem on vintage and industrial aesthetics with contemporary amenities. It has well-maintained public schools and is also a roof for one of the best high schools in the nation, Whitney Young High School. This neighborhood has access to all major highways and connections to the airport, making it stress-free to get anywhere you need to go. Furthermore, it has excellent restaurants, turning the historic industrial warehouses into some of the city’s hottest places to eat. Although almost 60% of West Loop residents rent their home, it is still a reasonable affordable housing market for a large city with median home price of $444,867. 

(*Niche & Bungalow)

West Loop, Chicago

2. Bridgeport

Best for retirees

2. Bridgeport - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 32,777
  • Pro: Modern architecture, rich culture & entertainment
  • Con: Only one large park around

Bridgeport offers residents a suburban-rural mix; most residents own their homes. Many retirees live in Bridgeport. The Bridgeport Chicago neighborhood is famous for its cuisine, churches, and parks. People also come to experience the neighborhood’s food, diversity, and architecture. Getting around in this culturally rich South Side neighborhood is easy. Bridgeport Chicago offers homes ranging from cozy, 2-bedroom apartments in the city and affordable townhomes. Residents can conveniently find houses near schools, public transportation, and business offices. 

(*Niche &

Bridgeport, Chicago

3. Oak Park

Best for architecture lovers

3. Oak Park - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 52,233
  • Pro: Rich history
  • Con: Not the best for nightlife 

Oak Park is widely known as the “World’s Largest Village.” As a mature community, it remains vibrant and relatively wealthy. It has a diverse community of young professionals and families; it is ranked one of the best towns in Chicago. If you are looking to enjoy a serene neighborhood with a rich history that still embodies urban living, this neighborhood is the perfect spot. It has outdoor attractions and a thriving music scene with assorted dishes. The public transportation system can transport one into the city within minutes. 

(*Niche & Landing)

Oak Park, Chicago

4. Streeterville

Best for young professionals and students

4. Streeterville - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 27,179
  • Pro: Borders lake Michigan on the East
  • Con: Large number of hotels and tourists around

Streeterville is one of the best places to live in Chicago. It is located north of downtown and borders Lake Michigan on the East. Young professionals and students mainly live in this neighborhood. The public schools in it are above average. Furthermore, there are many transportation routes, including buses, individual transport, and green transport. It’s an overall good place to go for diversity in entertainment. Its beauty comes from its spectacular sunrises, and refreshing summer lakeside breezes.

(*Niche & Bungalow)

Streeterville, Chicago

5. Old Town

Best for the outdoorsy

5. Old Town - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 29,358
  • Pro: Large green spaces to explore nature
  • Con: Only one nearby train station

The Old Town neighborhood gives extinguished access to Lincoln Park, a sprawling 8 km of gorgeous green space. Spend your time exploring nature or participating in numerous recreational activities, including beach volleyball, a skate park, archery, and a driving range. It has the Lincoln Park Conservatory, North Pond, Green City Farmers Market, North Pond, and the top beaches in Chicago, all located right around the old town neighborhood. Considered one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Chicago, the old town has a lot to offer- including one of Chicago’s most iconic restaurants: a Michelin-starred restaurant called Boka. 

(*Niche & Bungalow)

Old Town, Chicago

6. Wicker Park

Best for artists and young professionals

6. Wicker Park - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 23,783
  • Pro: One of the trendiest hipster neighborhoods 
  • Con: Not the best place to live with small children 

Many young professionals as well as artists live in Wicker Park. This neighborhood is known for unique boutique shops, record stores, art galleries, book stores, performance venues, and a popping craft cocktail scene. It is one of the city’s up-and-coming hotspots where you can discover cool taprooms, funky museums, vintage shops, trendy music clubs, and specialty stores. People in Wicker Park have a range of educational and professional backgrounds and tend to live as couples or roommates. Wicker Park offers its residents an urban feel, and most of them rent their homes. 

(*Niche & Bungalow)

Wicker Park, Chicago

7. Andersonville

Best for safety

7. Andersonville - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 21,602
  • Pro: Many families with young children in the area
  • Con: Not many universities around

Andersonville has a plus in adopting many different cultures and lifestyles. It has wonderful educational opportunities for children from the magnet, charter, public, and private schools in the area. It is known for its stunning brick buildings, music venues, quirky vintage shops, and fine dining. Andersonville is safer than 53 percent of neighborhoods in the U.S. In general, it is considered one of the safer neighborhoods in Chicago. One major means of transportation is the Chicago Transit Authority’s redline elevated subway line, which connects with downtown Chicago and is a popular spot like Wrigley Field. Andersonville’s public schools are above average.

(*Niche & Point2)

Andersonville, Chicago

8. Lake View

Best for nightlife lovers

8. Lake View - best neighborhoods in chicago
  • Population: 92,594
  • Pro: Unique culture and arts scene
  • Con: Higher humidity

Located in the North Side of Chicago, Lake View is known for its unique culture and arts scene. In Lake View is an excellent place to live for anyone who enjoys a high-energy nightlife and is arguably one of the best in Chicago — full of wild, uninhibited fun for everyone. This diverse, welcoming, and active community is excellent for art, shopping, culture, and many local restaurants and bars within walking distance. It has a growing crowd of young professionals, couples, and families looking for a quality life with plenty of weekend fun.

(*Niche & Bungalow)

Lake View, Chicago


Chicago is a beautiful place for vacation, residence, and staycation. It has public schools above average and decent transit options and offers its residents and visitors the safety of lives and properties. Chicago is known for its different unique neighborhoods; every town has its unique qualities and amenities. The balance of these qualities has long been a driving force in drawing people to Chicago. With moderate to low crime rates, these neighborhoods are some of the best places to live in Chicago. 

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Last year's ranking (2022)

1. West Loop
2. Bridgeport
3. Oak Park
4. Streeterville
5. Old Town
6. Wicker Park
7. Andersonville
8. Lake View

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Mathieu Paquette

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