The 5 Best Neighborhoods to Explore in Chicago
The heart of Windy City exists in its more than 200 diverse neighborhoods, located in 77 community areas and divided into nine districts: Central, Far North Side, Far Southeast Side, Far Southwest Side, North Side, Northwest Side, South Side, Southwest Side, and West Side. Chicago loves a grill.
The best neighborhoods in the city are worth exploring!
Andersonville, known for its Swedish roots and history as one of the largest LGBTQ + populations in the city, is where you can shop and dine at independent restaurants. Cultural opportunities abound in this neighborhood.
Visit the Swedish American Museum or buy your next reading at one of America's largest independent feminist bookstores, Women and Children First.
For fans of music and theater, they can watch modern dramas at Raven Theater, take part in an immersive show at Neo-Futurist Theater, or hear a live choir at Allegrezza. Later, have a drink in one of the many bars or dance clubs: Farraguts, Hopleaf, Lady Gregory's, Simon's Tavern, and Replay Andersonville are gems.
2. Logan Square
From May to October, Logan Square, one of Chicago's oldest neighborhoods, is home to one of the best farmers' markets in the city.
But since there is a strong art and music scene here, you will find that there is no bad time to visit. Lined with limestone houses, Logan Boulevard runs through the center of the neighborhood and is a good place to start.
Marvel at the Centennial Monument, catch a movie at the historic Logan Theater, listen to live music at The Congress Theater or Concord Music Hall and enjoy a cocktail at one of the many neighborhood bars.
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Music and art thrive in this Latino-centric community. Street art, boutiques, restaurants, and the National Museum of Mexican Art draws visitors from all over the country to this corner of the city.
If you've always wanted to line up to watch runners take on the Chicago Marathon, Pilsen is one of the best neighborhoods to watch the race or to run if you want to compete alone.
You'll hear loud music and cheering crowds, see performers dance to noisemakers, and see all the local shops and restaurants open their windows and doors. No matter what time of year you come, be sure to grab sweet snacks at Panadería Nuevo León, a self-service Mexican bakery.
4. North river
On the corner of Kitty and Chicago's central business district, River North is lined with trendy bars, great for an adult dinner or after-work drink (Eataly is a fun stop for its wine and cheese market and small restaurants interiors).
Architectural tours of the Chicago River are popular, as is shopping along the Magnificent Mile. Stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk and stop for a glass of wine at City Winery.
If you fancy a slice of the city's famous deep-dish pizza, check out Lou Malnati, one of the city's most popular pizzerias. Hubbard Street, between LaSalle and North State Street, is a neighborhood nightlife destination, while Navy Pier is east of River North on Lake Michigan.
5. West Loop
Formerly an industrial area, West Loop is now one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city, filled with Michelin-starred restaurants, shops, boutique hotels, and nightlife.
The upscale Oriole or Smyth restaurants are great spots to date, as is the popular Girl and the Goat by reservation. Work up a sweat and network at an indoor climbing gym, listen to live music in the Bottom Lounge, or visit Green City Market, Chicago's largest and most unique sustainable farmers market year-round.
If you want the West Loop to be your home base, we recommend booking a stay at SoHo House, The Godfrey Hotel, Hotel Julian, or The Langham in Chicago.
It's important to note that the Museum Campus, where you'll find the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Soldier Field, is just south of Grant Park in the South Loop neighborhood. The Art Institute of Chicago is directly east at the north end of Grant Park.
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