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How do you get your hands on one of Chicago's best neighborhoods? HomeSnacks has the answer here.
We know that when people are searching for the best neighborhood they are also looking for things like nice looking homes, great parks, and friendly neighbors; and Chicago's best neighborhoods have all that and then some. But, in order to rank the top ten, we had to give each neighborhood an actual concrete score. We call this a neighborhoods overall 'snackability'.
So, how did we determine Chicago's snackability? We consulted the latest data on income levels, unemployment rates, crime, and home prices for 77 Chicago neighborhoods with over 2,000 residents, and the top ten best neighborhoods in Chi-town for 2022 can be found below. Incidentally, this is our ninth time ranking Chicago's best neighborhoods, so trust us when we say that these are Chicago's best of the best.
Folks, there's a lot of fun to be had in Chicago's best neighborhoods. For example, you can walk Lake Michigan's shoreline for exercise if you choose to live in Lake View, you can visit the zoo daily if you choose Lincoln Park, and you can attend one of Chicago's best festivals if you choose to live in Edison Park.
Yes, the biggest cities in most states do tend to have the most problems; and while Chicago does have its fair share of problems and some pretty dangerous neighborhoods, it does have some of the best, most unique, neighborhoods to call home.
So, grab yourself a slice of deep dish 'za, head to a shady park in Forest Glen, and read on.
HomeSnacks is not your just your average website. We've been researching and ranking states and cities based on all types of criteria for the last five years. We've had more than 50 million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our best of the best rankings, including this Illinois feature by Patch.com. So, yes, we know what we're talking about.
So, what's the best neighborhood in Chicago for 2022? That would be North Center.
To see how your favorite Chicagoland neighborhoods compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.
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The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Chicago
Sure, it has a boring (if accurate) name. North Center is located in the north-central part of the city. That doesn't mean the neighborhood itself is boring. At least not in a bad way.
Instead, you get everything a resident could want in the restaurants and stores along Roscoe St. and Western Ave. in the heart of the neighborhood. This is complimented by a slew of parks, especially on the Chicago River on the western part of the area.
There is a wrinkle to worry about. All these benefits come with a cost. The average home price in North Center reaches $545,871.
Just like the name suggests, Lake View runs up against Lake Michigan. This gives it some of the best views in the city.
As a result, you have some of the most sought-after addresses in Chicago. A booming economy also helps, with a median income of $88,165 and an unemployment rate of 2.7%. The cost of living can get pricey, however. The median home value tops $350,000.
New York has its Central Park. Lincoln Park isn't as big and doesn't get the same kind of press. But it counts as a similar attraction for the people of Chicago. (Just don't confuse this Lincoln Park with the early 2000s Nu Metal band with a similar name.)
With this sprawling green space as a centerpiece, it's no wonder than that the surrounding neighborhood lands at number 3 on the list of best areas of Chicago for 2022.
Beyond the normal park activities, locals can also enjoy the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. If they get bored of that, they can head over to the shores of Lake Michigan and sit out on Fullerton Beach.
You'll notice a lot of parks and glens on this list. Sometimes (like with Lincoln Park), this comes with an actual sizable spread of grass. Other times, it's more of a marketing ploy.
That's the case here. Edison Park doesn't contain a giant park of its own. However, you'll find some pleasant smaller outdoor spots around the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a short trip will get you to places like the Sidney Yates Flatwoods or Algonquin Woods.
Located on the far western part of the city, Edison Park can be considered the start of the suburbs. As such, you'll get that affluent suburban feel, with median incomes of nearly $100,000.
Lincoln Square sits near the southern boundary of giant Rosehill Cemetery, the final resting place of both the inventor of Cracker Jack and founder of Goodrich Tires. You fans of retail history will also find the graves of Mr. Sears and Mr. Montgomery Ward.
So, having an enormous graveyard nearby is a bummer. But the rest of the neighborhood justifies its position as the number 5 best area in Chicago for 2022. The economy chugs along with a median income of $72,563 and an unemployment rate of 4.7%.
Other than the buried corpses nearby, the main drawback comes from the price of real estate. (And not just for grave plots.) The median home price sits at $381,276.
Chicago has a few iconic landmarks. There's the Willis Tower - once the tallest skyscraper in the world. There's Lake Shore Drive, a picturesque stretch of road that runs along Lake Michigan. And there's Navy Pier, a carnival-like attraction jutting out into the water.
Two out of three ain't bad. The Willis Tower is further south. But the Near North Side provides a home for both Navy Pier and a stretch of Lake Shore Drive. Meanwhile, if you like shopping, you can head to the famed Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue.
In other words, you'll never get bored living on the Near North Side. And with a local median income of $97,802, you'd like have the money to enjoy everything.
Logan Square is located in the northwest side of the city. It lacks some of the headline attractions of the other spots on this list. Still, it counts the number 7 best neighborhoods in Chicago for 2022.
How does it achieve this rank without lake views or a world-famous tourist draw? Well, first, it features a strong economy. The median income sits at $67,769 and the unemployment rate hovers at 3.8%. Beyond this, it area has plenty of smaller draws. Milwaukee Avenue has its share of restaurants, bars, and stores.
Like many of the areas on this list, Logan Square can get pricey. Some locals have trouble scraping together the mortgage payments needed for the $338,254 median home value.
Forest Glen earns its name. Located on the far western part of the city, it sits on the border of Sidney Yates Flatwoods, with plenty of other outdoor preserves nearby. In other words, plenty of forests and plenty of glens.
Despite the proliferation of green, this is still an urban area. Well, more suburban really, sitting as it does on the outskirts of Chicago. But, while it lacks giant skyscrapers, it still has plenty of local stores and restaurants to keep locals happy.
Meanwhile, Forest Glen supports a rolling economy. The median income comes in above $110,000 and the unemployment rate sits at a skimpy 3.5%. As long as you can afford the $400,000 that a typical house costs around the neighborhood, it's a perfect place to live.
West Town really isn't that far west. It's west of the downtown area (a little north as well). And you'll have to drive a bit east to get to the lake. But locals still sit near the center of the action.
The "west" part largely refers to the Chicago River, which forms the eastern boundary of the neighborhood. The area hosts plenty of interesting restaurants and stores - head to the Ukrainian Village to score some authentic Eastern European fare. Or, if you're interested in a different heritage entirely, you can check out the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
Here's another entry on this list that comes with a cemetery nearby. The northern border contains the Bohemian National Cemetery. What can we say? It provides a good home for both the living and the dead.
Built along the Chicago River in the northwest part of the city, it sits a little off the beaten track. Still, a relatively short drive (traffic permitting) will get you into the heart of the city. At the same time, Albany Park lets you enjoy some of the benefits of escaping the bustle of downtown. This includes such scenic areas as River Park.
Methodology: How We Determined The Best Chicago, IL Neighborhoods In 2022
In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Chicago, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".
- High incomes
- Low unemployment rates
- Low crime
- High home prices
- High population densities (A proxy for things to do)
We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 77 in each category, where 1 was the best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.
And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Chicago." We're lookin' at you, North Center.
Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Chicago, Illinois has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.
Summary: Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Chicago
If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Chicago where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Chicago aren't all good. Riverdale takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Chicago.
We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.
For more Illinois reading, check out:
Best Neighborhoods To Live In Chicago For 2022 Detailed Data
|6||Near North Side||83,049|
|15||Near South Side||21,930|
|35||Near West Side||61,845|
|41||Lower West Side||33,150|
|59||West Garfield Park||17,277|
|61||East Garfield Park||20,100|