Chicago has always been a great city for young people to live in. According to Forbes, more than half of educated millennials in the Chicagoland area are choosing to live within the city itself. However, not all millennials are the same and neither are Chicago’s neighborhoods. Each neighborhood possesses a unique culture and scene. Whether you’re into sports, the arts, or history, if you’re a millennial there is bound to be a great neighborhood for you in Chicago. Here is our list of the 10 best neighborhoods in Chicago for millennials:
If you’re a recent college grad, there may be no better place to live than Lakeview. The Chicago Cubs are coming off a 2016 World Series Championship, and if you live in Lakeview you’re just minutes from the excitement. The area surrounding Wrigley Field is known as Wrigleyville and contains dozens of sports themed bars and restaurants. You can even try your luck in the batting cages at the very popular Slugger’s World Class Sports Bar. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, the area around Wrigley Field has tons of non-sports themed bars and restaurants. Lakeview is also home to Boystown, one of the largest LGBT centric neighborhoods in the country. While Wrigleyville and Boystown are more hectic, the western part of Lakeview maintains a more quiet setting.
Lincoln Park is known as one of the nicest and priciest community areas in Chicago. Located on the north side, Lincoln Park is home to both recent college graduates and a number of families. One of the biggest advantages to living in Lincoln Park is all of the green space available for recreation, after all it is called a park. Along with the Lincoln Park Zoo (which is free), there are plenty of places to walk your dog or throw the football or frisbee around. Additionally, Lincoln park is home to many bars along Lincoln Avenue for a great nightlife scene.
Located in Lincoln Park, Old Town has become one of the most expensive areas to rent in the city. While the rent can be pricey in Old Town, it can be worth it for the great food and entertainment options. Old Town is home to the Second City improv group. Second City has produced future comedy stars John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Tina Fey. One of the first areas in Chicago to be redeveloped in the 1970s and 80s, Oldtown has boomed with building projects in recent years.
If you prefer to live closer to the Loop, River North may be the spot for you. Due to its prime location, River North is one of the more expensive areas to rent in the city. High-end cocktail bars abound in this trendy area. Cocktail bars such as Three Dots and a Dash are a good place to meet other young professionals on a weekend night. While the rent may be high, the convenience of River North is a major advantage for young professionals. Plus, you can’t beat the views of the skyline down the Chicago River!
Millennials have begun the hipster generation and there may be no better place for a hipster to live than Logan Square. With a trendy community, Logan Square is known for its high quality pubs and restaurants. Similarly to a number of neighborhoods on this list, food is a major attraction in Logan Square. In the neighborhood you can find everything from pizza to Cuban, and even a Korean and Puerto Rican fusion restaurant. With all that great food, if you move to Logan Square you may want to invest in a gym membership.
Wicker Park is known as of the artsier areas of Chicago. Within Wicker Park you can find countless art galleries and vintage shops. The more cultured crowd also attracts high quality restaurants to the area. Perhaps the most famous of these is Schwa, which received a Michelin star in 2016 is known for its unconventional style. If an art show followed by a world-class meal sounds like your kind of Friday night, Wicker Park may be the neighborhood for you.
Some millennials prefer a more laid-back vibe, and that’s exactly what they’ll find in Roscoe Village. Located in the North Central community area, Roscoe Village has plenty of bars and restaurants, without the crowds or absurdly high prices. Brunch has become all the rage with millennials, and there may be no better neighborhood to find a brunch spot than Roscoe Village. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, Victory’s Banner is a great spot to get your brunch on without worrying about the menu. There are also plenty of bars, but with more of a laid back scene than other neighborhoods.
Located just south of the Loop, Printer’s Row is the perfect place if you’re an intellectually inclined millennial. Named for the old printing companies that used to occupy the area, Printer’s Row still lives up to its name. Each June, Printer’s Row hosts an annual “Lit Fest”, however this festival isn’t referring to the slang term, but a massive literature festival. Sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, Lit Fest has taken place since 1985 and attracts more than 100 booksellers and 200 authors each year. Multiple colleges also have campuses in the neighborhood including Roosevelt University, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, and DePaul’s Loop campus.
Located on the city’s lower west side, Pilsen has always been a welcoming community for immigrants. During its early days, Pilsen was home to a mostly Eastern European immigrant community. Later on, the neighborhood became home to a vibrant Latino community. Pilsen is home to some of the best Mexican food in the city and an exciting art scene. The neighborhood is also home to the National Museum of Mexican Art. As you can see in the photo above, some buildings in Pilsen are decorated with beautiful and creative murals. If you’re interested in the arts and culture there may be no better neighborhood than Pilsen for you.
On the northwest side of the city and part of West Town lies Ukrainian Village. As you can gather from the name, Ukrainian Village is the historical neighborhood where most Ukrainian immigrants to Chicago gathered. While it still retains its Ukrainian roots, the village has become home to a rising alternative scene. In fact, The Empty Bottle on Western Avenue has become perhaps the best spot in the city to see indie bands. Along with trendy restaurant and bars, the neighborhood maintains some of the most unique and historic churches in the city.
No matter where you decide to live, make sure to keep an eye out for rental rates. Although the rent can be high at times, living in Chicago can be an incredible experience for millennials. Whether you decide to live on the North, South, or West side there is always something to do and somewhere to be in the Second City!