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North Side Chicago Guide

North Side Chicago Guide 🏢🛍️ | What it’s Like Living in Near North Side [Neighborhoods + Things to Do]

Last Updated on: 13th February 2024, 05:46 pm

Thinking of moving to a desirable Chicago neighborhood with easy access to parks and attractions? Then you’ll love living in North Side Chicago. The North Side of Chicago, Illinois is a large region of the Windy City made up of smaller neighborhoods. It’s known for being home to the massive Lincoln Park as well as other notable attractions like Wrigley Field, the home stadium of the Chicago Cubs. The North Side of Chicago is a great place to live if you’re searching for history, entertainment, and easy access to downtown. Here’s an in-depth look at living in the North Side Chicago, IL.

Where Is the North Side of Chicago?

The North Side of Chicago is in Cook County and covers all the communities north and east of the Chicago River. It’s also situated north of central and downtown Chicago as well as the West Side districts, covering the communities that make up the city’s northern and northwestern border.

Popular neighborhoods in North Chicago include Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Ravenswood, Rogers Park, Hermosa, Wrigleyville, and more. However, keep in mind that it is separate from Chicago’s Near North Side, which is a section of central Chicago beneath the North Side. It’s also different from the city of North Chicago, Illinois in Lake County. The North Side Chicago zip code ranges from 60614 to 60660, and the area code is 312.

The North Side’s location on the banks of Lake Michigan just above downtown makes it a popular area for young professionals and commuters. I-90 and Route 41 both pass directly through the neighborhood, offering a quick drive into downtown, which is only about 10 miles away.

The North Side has access to the CTA System that connects the city and surrounding communities through a series of buses and rail lines. The North Side Main Line of the “L” train system is the network’s busiest rail branch and serves neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Edgewater, with stops at main attractions like Loyola University and Wrigley Field.

Map of North Side, Chicago

North Side of Chicago Map

North Side History & Overview

Settlement in the North Side of Chicago began in the mid-19th Century, and the early residents were primarily German, Swedish, Irish, and English immigrants. Olde Towne Chicago, which is partially within the north side neighborhood of Lincoln Park, still has many gorgeous Victorian homes built by these early settlers. The Great Fire of 1871 swept through the North Side and decimated many communities, although there was a quick effort to rebuild.

Over the next few decades, manufacturers and industrial plants began entering the area, attracting immigrants from Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. After WWII, there was a considerable effort to protect the North Side from urban decay, leading to an increase in property values in the late 20th Century. Today, the North Side remains an affluent and diverse community full of history and cultural attractions.

North Side Chicago demographics:

  • Population: 299,514
  • Median household income: $98,457
  • Median age: 32
  • Foreign-born population: 18.24%
  • Educational attainment: 68.63% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher

Many famous residents have spent time living in North Side Chicago, including silent film actor Charlie Chaplin and film critic Roger Ebert.


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What Is It Like Living in North Side Chicago?

The North Side is often considered one of the best parts to live in Chicago, with a variety of different neighborhoods, each offering a unique vibe and culture. Many North Side of Chicago neighborhoods are full of world-class museums, delicious restaurants, live music venues and theaters, sports venues, and more.

Rogers Park is one of Chicago’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods, with more than 60 different languages spoken and authentic North Side Chicago restaurants from cultures all over the world. Andersonville is a very family-friendly community home to a large LGBTQ+ population, as well as beautiful 19th-century row houses and charming antique shops.

Lincoln Park is an affluent community with over 1,200 acres of green space and gorgeous Lake Michigan views that attract well-to-do families and young professionals. The Lakeview Chicago area is a sprawling neighborhood home to over 100,000 people and features plenty of beautiful residential areas and smaller enclaves like Wrigleyville and Roscoe Village. Edgewater is another one of Chicago’s north side neighborhoods that offers affordable homes and miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan.

So Northside Chicago, IL, is a very eclectic and diverse area with something for everyone. Ravenswood, Southport, Roscoe Village, and Lincoln Park tend to be the best North Side Chicago neighborhoods for families. Meanwhile, Lakeview, Logan Square, and parts of Lincoln Park are better for young adults who want easy access to downtown. But regardless of where you go, you will find walkable streets, gorgeous architecture, stunning views, and plenty of parks and green space.

Things to Do in North Side Chicago – Best Restaurants, Attractions & Shopping

The North Side is also one of the best areas to live in Chicago if you’re looking for culture and entertainment. The Wrigleyville neighborhood is home to the iconic Wrigley Field, the ballpark of the Chicago Cubs MLB team. The Lincoln Park neighborhood gets its name from the massive park of the same name, which is a 3.7-acre public green space along Lake Michigan that contains other attractions like the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, The Chicago History Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and North Avenue Beach. The Steppenwolf Theater Company is also a famous theater in North Chicago that hosts world-famous productions and helped launch the careers of actors like John Malkovich and Laurie Metcalf.


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If you’re looking for restaurants near North Side Chicago, IL, you’ll find everything from Italian and French cuisine to ballpark franks and deep-dish pizza. Boka is a Michelin-star-rated North Side restaurant serving seasonal New American cuisine in a chic setting. If you’re looking for restaurants near Ravenswood Chicago IL, check out Farm Bar, a popular local eatery serving upscale comfort food with a culinary twist and fresh ingredients. Also, the Gundis Kurdish Kitchen in Lakeview is one of the best restaurants in North Side Chicago if you’re in the mood for the Mediterranean.

Residents living in North Side Chicago can also find plenty of great shopping at Pipers Alley Mall, the Riverpoint Center, or Roscoe Square.

Here’s where to find the best things to do in North Side Chicago:

Schools in North Side, Chicago

Moving to North Side Chicago also offers excellent schools. The North Side is within the Chicago Public School District. Although public schools in Chicago tend to be a mixed bag, some of the best institutions in the city are in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Roscoe Village. Lincoln Elementary School is a highly respected K-8 school in Lincoln Park that ranks among the top 5 in the Chicago metro area and 34th in the state.

Hawthorne Scholastic Academy and Blaine Elementary School are two well-respected North Side Public Schools in the Lakeview neighborhood. Northside College Prep High School in North Park is generally considered the best high school in the Chicago area, while Walter Payton College Prep and Lincoln Park High School are two other well-respected North Side Chicago high schools that also rank in the top 10 for the city.

Lincoln Park is also home to some of the top private schools in Chicago, including the Francis W. Parker School and the Latin School of Chicago. The Loyola University Chicago campus is also located in Rogers Park.

Is North Side Chicago Safe?

If you are thinking of moving to North Side Chicago, you’re likely wondering which side of Chicago is the safest. The North Side Chicago is safe and generally considered the least dangerous part of the city. While it’s still part of a major metropolitan area that has a reputation for violence, the North Side Chicago crime rate is much lower than other parts of the city.

The murder rate in the city’s four North Side police districts was 3.2 residents per 100,000, which is lower than smaller cities like Evanston, Champaign, and Springfield. When you compare the North Side vs South Side Chicago crime rate, the difference is night and day, as the latter has a violent crime rate that is over 300% higher than the national average in some neighborhoods.

Violent crime rates in a few popular Chicago North Side neighborhoods:

  • Lincoln Park: 48% lower than the national average
  • Lakeview: 40% lower than the national average
  • Edgewater: 38% lower than the national average
  • Rogers Park: 1% higher than the national average

So, while certain areas do experience some crime, in general, North Chicago is safe as long as you take the proper precautions.


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North Side Chicago, Real Estate

North Side real estate runs the gamut from affordable starter homes to luxury condos. According to Redfin, the median listing price of homes for sale in the North Side of Chicago is $565,000, which is 52% higher than the citywide median. However, prices start around $250,00 for a one-bedroom condo and go up to $1.8 million for a 6-bedroom townhouse.

The most affordable neighborhoods tend to be in the far northern reaches of the region in neighborhoods like Edgewater and Rogers Park, while neighborhoods closer to downtown, like Lincoln Park and Bucktown, tend to be more expensive. RentCafe states that the average rent in North Side Chicago is $2066 monthly. Apartment prices start around $1000 for a studio and go up to $12,000 for 3+ bedrooms.

The North Side Chicago real estate market offers many options and architectural styles depending on the neighborhood, including beautiful Victorians, charming row houses, Italian Renaissance revival apartment buildings, and modern condominium complexes. 

Planning on moving to North Side Chicago? Hire Federal Companies, the best Chicago movers, to make your upcoming move easy and efficient. Call (800) 747-4100 today for a free, personalized estimate.


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