Chicago, Illinois

Italian Beef

The Bean
The Bean



Sunny Days: 189
53100 Affordability
79100 Schools
63100 Diversity
61100 Safety

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright, architect and Oak Park resident

The Best Thing About Chicago?

Neighborhood Pride

People who aren’t from Chicago tend to think of it as a big slab of a city - without the distinct boroughs of New York, or the famous neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But if you live in Chicago your neighborhood defines you in ways the whole city does not. 77 different neighborhoods, each worthy of celebration on their own: each filled with a unique vibe, culture and history that longtime residents come to embrace.

What’s also cool though is that the other 76 neighborhoods are unique adventures for you to experience. You can live in the electric energy of downtown and in minutes scoot out to the warmth of a Cubs game in Wrigleyville, or to the epicenter of cool on the West Side (sorry Wicker Park). 77 different neighborhoods, one that is your own, and 76 others all at your disposal.

Review from a happy native: Pros: a big city to explore with the time you’re saving on commuting. Endless neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, pop-up activities, events, races, sports, concerts, and so on. A lively and unique beer scene. A huge international airport that can fly your direct to almost anywhere. Public transit so you don’t have to drive as much, if at all. Cheaper than other big cities.

For more reviews from locals check out: reviews section

The Worst Thing About Chicago?

Winters That Do Not Kill Us Make Us Stronger

They may not kill you but damn, they’re gonna hurt. Everyone knows about the cold, and the wind, and of course the snow, but the thing they don’t warn you about is how grey the skies remain for so long in winter. The Great Lakes cast a low, heavy layer of clouds over the city, creating a perfect storm of cold, wind, snow and clouds throughout January and February. If you can survive that stretch though you’re home free.

Locals concur with the weather assessment: Cons: - it’s gonna be cold in the winter -Lack of hills/forests easily accessible in/around the city

For more reviews from locals check out: reviews section

How You Living?

On A Courtyard

Ok, so Chicago has every kind of place you can live. Highrises downtown, bungalows, two-story flats, big brick single family homes, and the rest. Most unique to Chicago though is The Courtyard Building. These are distinct 3-story U-shaped apartment buildings with grass courtyards, mostly built between the 1910’s and 1930’s when fire hazards and regulations prevented builders from going taller. There are so many other ways to live but everyone should get a chance to live in one of these sometime.

Check out the calendar of events for just downtown to see how jumping this city is:

Why You Should Move Here Now?

The Economics

Chicago is an amazing city; great industry and economy, beautiful classic architecture, world-class culture, exciting sports scene, and everything a $3 subway ride away, but these things also come in a much less expensive package than the coastal majors. If you crave a major city but want a more economical lifestyle than New York, or San Francisco, or Boston, or Los Angeles, then Chicago has to be on your list. It’s the 3rd largest city but just the 15th most expensive city in the United States.

Neighborhoods in Chicago

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The Area

If you’ve never been to the Chicago Metroplex you may not know it stretches across the southwest side of Lake Michigan. While Chicago ain’t a coast it for sure is a beach town. The Lake is a defining characteristic as it provides play in the warmer months and brings the wind in the winter.

The city is surrounded by many quiet and some city-like suburbs, some of the most beautiful in the country. Evanston, home to Northwestern University, sits north of the city along the lake and is a wonderful college town for those who crave a city, but don’t want to live in THE city. The northern suburbs tend to be a bit fancier as their lake access is rewarded with higher prices and fancier digs. To the west lie countless booming ‘burbs like Oak Park, Hinsdale, Downers Grove and Naperville, that tend to serve both upper and middle/working class families.

The Neighborhoods

As was noted above, Chicago neighborhoods are a big deal to locals. It may be the sporting culture that brings that local pride and spirit down to the street level, but it plays out for the most part innocently with the possible exception of the North Side v. South Side rivalry. Historically the North Side was wealthier and more white, and the South Side more working class and African-American. While some of that hegemony still exists, Chicago has diversified in ways that make the distinction less clear and perhaps idealistically less important.

Overall, city neighborhoods are organized into districts, and while there are plenty of exceptions for any of these characterizations you can think in terms of the north as being “posh”, downtown as urban upscale, west as hipster, and south as home to great arts, sports, historic culture and more diversity.


Young Professionals

Chicago has so many neighborhoods for young professionals it feels greedy for them not to share with other midwestern cities. Huge apartment skyrises downtown, big brick apartment buildings in the surrounding neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, three-decker apartment homes in historic and upcoming neighborhoods like Wrigleyville, and Logan Square, that all provide relatively inexpensive housing (compared to NYC/SF/LA) for the younger generations. Every one of these neighborhoods has a great local social scene if you just feel like walking out for some fun, and the L provides super-cheap transport to the rest of the city when you feel like venturing farther.

  • Downtown / The Loop
  • Logan Square
  • West Town (Ukranian Village, East Village, Wicker Park, Pulaski
  • River North
  • Lake View (Wrigleyville/Boystown)



The biggest and most famous of the LGBTQ+ neighborhoods in Chicago is Boystown. It hosts the Pride Parade and is full of cool boutiques, coffee joints, theaters, comedy clubs and amazing nightlife. Boystown, which is part of the Lakeview area also has the historical Legacy Walk the world’s only outdoor LGBTQ history museum.
Another popular neighborhood is Andersonville. Labeled “Girlstown” due to a big and growing lesbian population, the neighborhood is on the north side of the city with most of the social scene between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue. Andersonville is home to Women and Children First, one of the largest feminist and LGBTQ+ bookstores in the United States.

  • Boystown (Lakeview)
  • Girlstown (Andersonville)
  • Pilsen



Chicago has plenty of neighborhoods for young families looking for “city life” but who also demand great schools, safe streets and some of the amenities they’d get in a suburb but without you know, “the suburbs”. Beverly is a great example of these neighborhoods - big brick homes with room to grow at reasonable prices, great local schools for the little ones, and tons of outdoor space including a 250 acre forest preserve for hiking, or sledding when the snow falls. If you’re in the family way but intent on hanging in the city you’re going to be ok here.

  • Beverly
  • Edison Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • North Center
  • West Loop
  • Hyde Park

Sauganash/Forest Glen


A lot of bigger families in Chicago flock to the suburbs for the homes, yards, public schools and lifestyle, but staying in the city is absolutely a thing here as well. Neighborhoods like Sauganash/Forest Glen are magnets for families prepared to spend bigger bucks for beautiful older homes, large yards (for the city), and close proximity to great schools for their beans. It should be noted that these neighborhoods tend to be a bit quieter, with less of a jumping social scene than the hipster or younger family options but there are golf courses if that is your scene. As with most cities Chicago has plenty of “crossover” cities that attract young professionals, young families, and bigger/established families. Lake View, which includes Wrigleyville and Boystown, and Lincoln Park, are two of these areas. Great big homes, luxury condos, apartment buildings and fancy-ish amenities make these neighborhoods work across nearly all demographics, as long as you’ve got the $$$.

  • Sauganash/Forest Glen
  • Lake View (Wrigleyville/Boystown)
  • Lincoln View