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The Best Neighborhoods for Students and Working Professionals in Chicago

The Best Neighborhoods for Students and Working Professionals in Chicago

Cedric Thomas
Aug 28, 2023

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • What to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood
  • Best Neighborhoods for Students
  • Best Neighborhoods for Working Professionals
  • Conclusion

Chicago is a bustling city that offers plenty of opportunities for students and working professionals alike. With so many neighborhoods to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to live. 

This article will provide you with an in-depth look at the best neighborhoods for students and working professionals in Chicago, along with the reasons why they're the best.

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Introduction

Living in a neighborhood that caters to your lifestyle can make a huge difference in your overall happiness and quality of life. This is especially true for students and working professionals who need a balance between a peaceful environment and a convenient location. 

In this article, we will explore the best neighborhoods in Chicago for students and working professionals.

What to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood

Before diving into the best neighborhoods, it's essential to consider what factors are essential to you. These may include your budget, proximity to work or school, public transportation availability, safety, and nightlife. 

Once you have identified what you need, you can start exploring the neighborhoods that fit your criteria.

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Best Neighborhoods for Students

1. Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a neighborhood located on the south side of Chicago and it is a favorite among University of Chicago students. It boasts a plethora of amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and parks. Among the restaurants, you can find cuisine from all over the world, ranging from Italian to Thai.

The shops offer everything from clothing to souvenirs to books. There are also plenty of parks, including the popular Jackson Park, where visitors can relax, enjoy the outdoors, and take in the scenery.

Hyde Park is also home to the University of Chicago, offering students access to top-notch academic resources and a vibrant campus community. With so much to do and see, it's no wonder why Hyde Park is a favorite destination for University of Chicago students.

The neighborhood is known for its diversity and cultural events, making it an ideal spot for students in Chicago who want to be surrounded by a vibrant community.

2. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is an incredibly popular neighborhood among students and those looking for a vibrant atmosphere. It is home to DePaul University, making it a prime destination for college students. It has a great selection of restaurants, bars, and shops, giving students a wide range of options when it comes to dining, drinking, and shopping.

The neighborhood also hosts a variety of festivals, events, and activities throughout the year, providing plenty of entertainment for those who live and visit there. Additionally, Lincoln Park provides easy access to public transportation, making it easy for students to get around the city. With its great atmosphere, access to amenities, and convenience, it's no wonder why Lincoln Park is so popular among students.

Lincoln Park is located on the north side of the city, making it a bit of a distance from downtown.

3. Lakeview

Lakeview is a bustling neighborhood that's located on the north side of the city. It's home to Wrigley Field and plenty of bars and restaurants, making it a hotspot for nightlife. The neighborhood is also relatively affordable, making it an ideal spot for students on a budget.

4. Wicker Park/Bucktown

This trendy neighborhood is popular with students thanks to its vibrant music scene and artistic community. Wicker Park/Bucktown is also home to plenty of independent boutiques and vintage stores, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars. 


The neighborhood is well-connected to public transportation, making it easy to get around the city.


5. Pilsen

Pilsen is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood located on the Lower West Side of Chicago, and it has become a popular choice for students seeking an affordable and dynamic environment. Pilsen has a strong Mexican heritage, reflected in its colorful murals, authentic restaurants, and lively street festivals.


One of the biggest draws for students in Pilsen is its proximity to several universities and colleges. The neighborhood is located just a few miles southwest of downtown Chicago, making it easily accessible for students attending schools like the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Commuting to campus or exploring other parts of the city is convenient with the numerous public transportation options available.


Pilsen offers an eclectic mix of cultural experiences. The streets are adorned with vibrant murals that tell stories of the neighborhood's history and celebrate its diverse community. Art galleries and independent art spaces showcase the works of local artists, and the National Museum of Mexican Art is a prominent cultural institution that exhibits traditional and contemporary Mexican art.


When it comes to dining, Pilsen is a haven for food lovers. The neighborhood is renowned for its authentic Mexican cuisine, with a wide range of taquerias, bakeries, and restaurants serving up mouthwatering dishes. From traditional tacos and tamales to flavorful street food, students can indulge in delicious meals without breaking the bank.


Pilsen also offers a thriving music and nightlife scene. The neighborhood is home to numerous live music venues, where students can enjoy performances ranging from Latin music to indie rock. Local bars and breweries provide a lively atmosphere for socializing and unwinding with friends.


In terms of affordability, Pilsen is an attractive option for students. The neighborhood offers a mix of housing options, including affordable apartments and shared living spaces. Students can find rentals within their budgets while still enjoying the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere that Pilsen has to offer.


Overall, Pilsen stands out as one of the best neighborhoods for students in Chicago. Its affordability, cultural richness, proximity to universities, and vibrant community make it an ideal place for students to live, learn, and embrace a unique cultural experience.



Best Neighborhoods for Working Professionals

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1. West Loop

The West Loop is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Chicago, and it's becoming increasingly popular among working professionals. The neighborhood is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops, making it an ideal spot for young professionals. 

It's also conveniently located near downtown, making it an easy commute for those who work in the city.

2. River North

River North is another popular neighborhood among working professionals. It's located just north of downtown and offers plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops. River North is known for its nightlife, making it an ideal spot for those who want to socialize after work.

3. South Loop

The South Loop is an up-and-coming neighborhood that's becoming increasingly popular among working professionals. The neighborhood offers easy access to downtown and is home to plenty of restaurants and shops. 

It's also relatively affordable, making it an ideal spot for young professionals on a budget.

4. Lincoln Park


Nestled on the North Side of Chicago, Lincoln Park is an excellent neighborhood for working professionals seeking a balance between urban convenience and residential charm. With its proximity to downtown and a wide range of amenities, it's no wonder that Lincoln Park has become a sought-after destination.


One of the major advantages of living in Lincoln Park is its accessibility to various employment opportunities. The neighborhood is located within a reasonable commuting distance from the downtown area, where many professionals work. 


Whether you're employed in finance, technology, healthcare, or any other industry, you'll find that Lincoln Park offers a convenient location for your daily commute.


Beyond its convenient location, Lincoln Park also boasts an array of amenities and recreational opportunities. The neighborhood is home to the sprawling Lincoln Park itself, a 1,208-acre green oasis offering trails for jogging, biking, and leisurely strolls. 


It's the perfect place to unwind after a long day at work or to engage in outdoor activities on weekends.


Lincoln Park also features a vibrant dining and entertainment scene. The neighborhood is dotted with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, catering to all tastes and preferences. From upscale dining experiences to cozy neighborhood gems, there's something for everyone. 


Additionally, the area is known for its thriving arts and cultural scene, with theaters, galleries, and live music venues aplenty. For working professionals who value a strong sense of community, Lincoln Park delivers. 


The neighborhood has a diverse population, encompassing young professionals, families, and long-time residents. This mix creates a vibrant atmosphere where people can connect, collaborate, and build lasting relationships. Furthermore, the neighborhood hosts numerous community events, such as farmers' markets, festivals, and neighborhood gatherings, fostering a strong sense of belonging.


In terms of housing, Lincoln Park offers a mix of architectural styles, from historic brownstones to modern high-rise apartments. The neighborhood's real estate market caters to a range of budgets and preferences, ensuring that working professionals can find a home that suits their needs.


All in all, Lincoln Park stands out as one of the best neighborhoods for working professionals in Chicago. Its convenient location, abundant amenities, strong community spirit, and diverse housing options make it an attractive place to live and thrive while pursuing a successful career.


Conclusion

Choosing the right neighborhood is essential for both students and working professionals. By considering what factors are important to you, you can find a neighborhood that fits your needs. 

In this article, we've explored the best neighborhoods in Chicago for students and working professionals. Whether you're looking for a vibrant community or a convenient location, there's a neighborhood in Chicago that will meet your needs.

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In conclusion, Chicago offers a wide range of neighborhoods to choose from, each with its unique charm and amenities. Whether you're a student looking for a vibrant community or a working professional seeking convenience and nightlife, there's a neighborhood in Chicago that will fit your needs. 

Take the time to consider what factors are essential to you and explore the neighborhoods that meet your criteria. Happy house hunting!





FAQs

What is the most affordable neighborhood in Chicago for students?
  1. The most affordable neighborhood for students is Lakeview.

What is the trendiest neighborhood in Chicago for working professionals?
  1. Lincoln Park is currently the trendiest neighborhood in Chicago for working professionals.

Is it safe to live in Hyde Park as a student?
  1. Yes, Hyde Park is generally considered a safe neighborhood, particularly around the University of Chicago campus.

What is the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park?
  1. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park is around $1,800 per month.

Is the South Loop a good neighborhood for families?
  1. Yes, the South Loop is an excellent neighborhood for families, as it offers plenty of parks, restaurants, and shops, as well as access to excellent schools.


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