6 Chicago Neighborhoods Perfect for Young Professionals

When it comes to choosing the perfect Chicago neighborhood, it’s never a one-size-fits-all situation. However, for young professionals, there are definitely areas that stand out as being more popular than others. And we know that living above a rowdy bar in Wrigleyville isn’t the ideal situation for everyone, so here are some other Chicago neighborhoods that young people tend to flock to.

 

Old Town

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $1,900 - $2,900

The best of both worlds, Old Town has easy accessibility to downtown, but still retains a neighborhood feel. Eclectic shops dot the sidewalks while the Old Town Art Fair, the biggest block party of the year, is an excellent chance to explore local artwork and music while indulging in many delicious food options. Another right of passage in Old Town is stopping in at Second City, where comedians like John Belushi, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert got their start. Get tickets for one of the late-night shows for a side-splitting, raunchy good time. If you’re looking to get outside, Lincoln Park and North Street Beach are a quick bus ride away.

Apartments in Old Town are in high demand, so be prepared for a quick-moving rental market. It is also a historic district, home to many of Chicago’s older, Victorian-era buildings, including St. Michael’s Church, one of seven buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Second City Comedy Club is a long-standing landmark of Old Town

Second City Comedy Club is a long-standing landmark of Old Town

Logan Square

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $1,200 - $2,100

Logan Square has undergone a renaissance as of recently, transforming from a blue-collar, working-class neighborhood to a hipster’s paradise. Artsy types are drawn to this neighborhood to check out unpretentious galleries and unique food offerings. Looking for ramen? Logan Square has it. Pie and biscuits? It has that too. How about award-winning breweries? Oh yeah.

When you’re done checking out the eclectic food and beverage scene, take a stroll in Palmer Square Park or head south to the Bloomingdale Trail, an elevated bike and walking path. For added convenience, the Blue line runs along Milwaukee Ave. and travels south downtown and north to O’Hare International Airport. The Fullerton Ave. bus is a good option for those looking to travel east to Lincoln Park (another popular area for YPs).

Brunching on Sunday is a popular activity in Logan Square

Brunching on Sunday is a popular activity in Logan Square

 

Wicker Park

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $1,800 - $2,600

Rich in culture and family-friendly in nature, Wicker Park has an independent quirkiness that makes the neighborhood a popular destination for so many YPs. It’s easy (and safe) to get around on foot, as amenities are close by, and the Blue line runs diagonally across the neighborhood, making travel downtown or to O’Hare a breeze. Apartments can range from divided, 19th century mansions to contemporary luxury apartments loaded with amenities.

Looking for something to do on a Friday night? You’ll find no shortage in Wicker Park. We suggest starting the night off at Big Star, one of Chicago’s best spots for tacos and margs, as long as you don’t mind the wait for a table. Not in the mood for tacos? Stroll down to Small Cheval, cozy up to the big communal table, and have the best burger of your life. If you don’t want to spend your night in the neighborhood, Wicker Park is a quick jaunt to other hip areas like Logan Square and Ukrainian Village.

Wicker Park is known for its summer festivals.

Wicker Park is known for its summer festivals.

 

River North

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $2,200 - $3,500

Energetic, chic, urban; the River North neighborhood is all of these and then some. Located – you guessed it – directly north of the Chicago River, this is the neighborhood to see and be seen, rife with contemporary high-rises and posh cocktail lounges. However, the greatest benefit of living in this area (besides being within walking distance to a tropical tiki bar) is the convenience. It’s close to the lake, the Loop, public transportation (Purple and Brown lines), and endless entertainment options.

But with convenience comes a hefty pricetag. Real estate in River North is some of the most expensive in the city. One-bedroom apartments regularly rent for $3,000+, so it’s important to have a good idea of your budget before looking in this area.

Busy intersections and modern high rises define River North.

Busy intersections and modern high rises define River North.

Lincoln Park

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $1,400 - $2,100

Known as one of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods, Lincoln Park epitomizes posh urban living. An abundance of young professionals choose to settle down here, but it’s also a popular neighborhood for families with children and empty-nesters. Offering more bars, restaurants and boutiques per capita than anywhere else in the city, this north side neighborhood offers all the perks and then some. It is also home to DePaul University, so it would make sense that the surrounding Sheffield area caters to the student population with eclectic shops and late-night eats. For a more upscale shopping experience, head to North Halstead.

Another draw for residing in Lincoln Park is its proximity to the Lincoln Park – one of the most expansive urban parks in the country that sits directly on Lake Michigan. Residents enjoy everything from running and biking along waterfront trails to lounging around on North Avenue Beach. This amount of green space combined with ample entertainment options make the neighborhood unique from almost every other neighborhood in the city; it provides just as many opportunities for relaxing as hitting the town for a night of fun.

An oasis in the city, Lincoln Park is the perfect place to take a break from Chicago’s bustling atmosphere.

An oasis in the city, Lincoln Park is the perfect place to take a break from Chicago’s bustling atmosphere.


Lakeview

Average Rent – 1 Bedroom: $1,300 - $1,800

Not quite ready to leave those college days in the past? If there’s one Chicago neighborhood that sums up post-grad life, it’s Lakeview. Encompassing both Boystown and Wrigleyville, there is never a shortage of things going on in this ‘hood. Booming clubs, cozy dives, hip restaurants, and championship sports teams (hello Cubs!) all converge here, and young people have been taking notice for years.

In addition to the convenience of having a plethora of bars and restaurants at your fingertips, if you need to make your way downtown (maybe let’s say, for work), that’s super convenient too! Depending on where you live in Lakeview, you’re going to be within walking distance of either the Red, Brown, or Purple lines, all of which run north and south through downtown Chicago.

Known for its lively bar scene, there’s always something going on in Lakeview - especially during Cubs games!

Known for its lively bar scene, there’s always something going on in Lakeview - especially during Cubs games!

Need help figuring out which Chicago neighborhood is the right one for you, or just have questions in general? Hit us up! Our local experts would love to chat.

Kim Hill