Looking for a fun and historic neighborhood close to downtown Chicago? You’ll love living in West Town in an area sometimes called the Near Northwest Side and part of West Side Chicago. There are a number of unique West Town Chicago neighborhoods perfect for families, young professionals, and millennials with world-class restaurants, hip bars, and some of the best parks in the city at your fingertips. Here’s what you should know ahead of moving to West Town.
Where Is West Town Chicago?
West Town is one of nine officially designated community areas in the West Side of Chicago northwest of the Loop. It’s one of the largest Chicago West Side neighborhoods with boundaries defined by the Chicago River to the east, Humboldt Park to the west, Bloomingdale Avenue to the north, and the Union Pacific tracks to the south. Bordering neighborhoods include Logan Square, Bucktown, Near North Side, Near West Side, West Loop, and Humboldt Park.
West Town is separated from the Lake Michigan shoreline by the Near North Side community and it’s just 4.2 miles from West Town to Downtown Chicago.
West Town zip codes are 60612, 60622, 60642, and 60647.
West Town Chicago Map
West Town Chicago Population & Demographics
The Chicago West Town population is 87,781 according to the 2020 census. With a total area of just 4.6 square miles, there are 19,000 people per square mile living in West Town!
The West Town neighborhood is affluent and highly educated with a median household income of $104,639. About 70% of residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
This diverse West Side community is 63.6% white, 22.1% Hispanic, 6.8% Black or African American, 4.9% Asian, and 2.7% other races.
Overview & History of West Town Chicago
West Town is an historic area of Chicago that was mostly within the original 1837 city limits. It originally attracted railroad and factory workers in the 1840s, but it quickly attracted large groups of immigrants from other regions by the turn of the century. In the late 1800’s, the north and northwestern areas were home to large groups of Scandinavians and Germans with Polish immigrants settling in the area that became Polish Downtown. The Humboldt Park area was home to a large Russian Jewish population with Italians living in the southeastern area and Ukrainian immigrants living in Ukrainian Village between Division and Chicago.
Within another 50 years, West Town became a major Latino community with first Puerto Rican then Mexican immigrants moving to the area throughout the latter half of the 20th century. By the 1970s, the African American population also began to grow.
The history and culture of Chicago’s West Town is still readily apparent in every neighborhood.
There are eight neighborhoods in West Town, each with its own unique history and culture.
Once part of the Polish Downtown of Chicago, the neighborhood is known for the historic Pulaski Park and the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church.
This hip West Chicago neighborhood was once home to wealthy immigrants from Northern Europe, merchants, and brewers who built large estates on Pierce and Hoyne. It then became known as the Polish Gold Coast at the end of the 19th century. Today, Wicker Park is popular with downtown commuters and home to many college-educated white-collar workers. It’s home to some of the best West Town bars and restaurants as well as fashion boutiques, cafes, specialty shops, and music clubs.
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Once known as East Ukrainian Village and home to a large Polish population, East Village experienced dramatic upheaval in the 1960s thanks to displacement caused by the Kennedy Expressway. The neighborhood saw a rise in Puerto Rican and Hispanic residents which rose from 1% to 39% between 1960 and 1970. Today, East Village has more new construction and a higher population density than Ukrainian Village.
The Noble Square Chicago neighborhood is a tiny community known for its walkability and more laid-back, quiet living compared to bustling areas like Wicker Park and West Loop. You’ll find two- and three-flats, single-family homes, and condos in the northern half of the neighborhood walking distance to the Blue Line. It gets its name from Eckhart Park, a square park at the corner of Noble St and Chicago Ave.
The rise of the Polish Downtown area of West Town attracted many Ukrainian immigrants to the area. Ukrainian Village remains a mostly middle-class community, but despite changing demographics and gentrification, it’s still home to the largest Ukrainian community in Chicago with 10,000 ethnic Ukrainians. The Chicago Ukrainian Village features many historic brick row houses and townhomes, four cathedrals, the Ukrainian National Museum, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
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This small neighborhood along the Kennedy Expressway and Chicago River is home to a number of housing developments and converted lofts.
East Humboldt Park
The western West Town area is known as East Humboldt Park and informally includes the eastern section of the Humboldt Park community area west of the actual park. The neighborhood is known for its 59-foot-tall Puerto Rican flags on Paseo Boricua (part of Division Street) and its many Puerto Rican restaurants and shops. It’s become a popular community for young professionals, families, and artists.
Also known as “the Patch,” Chicago’s Smith Park was once home to many Italian immigrants. There are still many households in the neighborhood who have stayed in the community for six generations.
There have been several famous residents of West Town including L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while living in the neighborhood with his family and Stephen Colbert who lived in Ukrainian Village for years.
What’s it Like Living in West Town?
West Town remains an incredibly diverse community that embraces its history and culture. For decades, it’s attracted artists, students, and younger people from many different backgrounds which has led to a fun bohemian culture, art scene, and nightlife.
After moving to West Town, you’ll love exploring the unique vibe each neighborhood has to offer with shopping, small boutiques, walkable districts, live music, and cultural events around every corner.
Things to Do in West Town Chicago – Attractions, Shopping & Entertainment
From relaxing spa visits, local cultural events, and live music to hip bars and amazing ethnic cuisine, there’s so much to do while living in West Town Chicago!
The Wicker Park neighborhood is known for its nightlife and live music, hip and upscale boutiques, and international cuisine. You’ll love Handlebar which offers a diverse menu of seafood and vegan dishes, Korean BBQ and soju at Iron Age Korean Steakhouse, and Small Cheval, the local hamburger joint with cocktails and beer.
The busy stretch of W Chicago Avenue cutting through the community is where you’ll find dozens of other award-winning restaurants in West Town Chicago like Beatnik West Town, an upscale destination where the atmosphere is as amazing as the food.
The old meatpacking district of River West is home to converted lofts, nightclubs, art galleries, and chic bars like Matchbox Bar, an intimate corner bar locals love. At Grand Ave & N Halstead St where River West meets North Loop, you’ll find a nightlife hotspot with a half-dozen bustling bars, fine dining, and late-night eateries. River West has more to offer than nightlife fun: after a long week, stop at AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago, one of the city’s best spas and inspired by the traditional Roman and Ottoman bathhouses.
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Want more nightlife options? Check out Noble Square’s Emporium Wicker Park with arcade games and a huge selection of whiskey and beer and Beauty Bar Chicago, a nightclub with a DJ and retro salon style. In East Humboldt Park, you’ll find trendy destinations like The Empty Bottle, a fun bar with live indie music, and The California Clipper, a 1937 bar with a neat vibe and old-fashioned cocktail menu.
Experience the West Town, Chicago culture and history yourself with three museums celebrating the community’s blend of cultures: the Polish Museum of America in Noble Square, the Ukrainian National Museum in Ukrainian Village, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Humboldt Park. You’ll also find amazing cuisine in the area to expand your understanding like Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen and La Bruquena which serves Puerto Rican specialties.
Finally, be prepared to spend a lot of time at the major neighborhood parks after moving to West Town, Chicago. Eckhart Park or Noble Square Chicago is a popular community hub with an indoor pool, fitness center, playground, and community garden. The iconic Wicker Park with its recognizable fountain hosts a farmer’s market, movie nights, and other community events. The largest West Town park is Humboldt Park with paddle boats, a beach, playgrounds, and an annual carnival.
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Here’s where to find all of these things to do in West Town.
- Polish Museum of America, 984 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
- Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60612
- National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, 3015 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Nightlife and entertainment:
- AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago, 800 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60642
- Matchbox Bar, 770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
- Emporium Wicker Park, 1366 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- Beauty Bar Chicago, 1444 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
- The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- The California Clipper, 1002 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- Eckhart Park, 1330 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
- Humboldt (Alexander Von) Park, 1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622
- Wicker Park, 1425 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- Handlebar, 2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
- Iron Age Korean Steakhouse, 1265 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- Small Cheval, 1732 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
- Beatnik West Town, 1604 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen, 2201 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
- La Bruquena, 2726 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Schools in West Town Chicago
After moving to West Town, families are served by the Chicago Public Schools district. There are two comprehensive high schools in the community: William H. Wells Community Academy High (East Village) and Roberto Clemente Community Academy (Ukrainian Village).
Students can also attend one of three charter schools (Golder, Noble Street, and Rauner College Prep) with two highly ranked magnet schools: Ogden International High School West Campus and The Chicago High School for the Arts (East Humboldt Park/Ukrainian Village).
Families can choose from many highly rated secular private schools in West Town:
- Chicago Academy for the Arts (independent high school in River West)
- Wolcott College Prep
- Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy (PK-8)
- Near North Montessori School (K-8)
- Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park (PK-K)
- Bennett Day School (PK-12 school)
- Scuola Italiana Enrico Fermi (dual language PK-8 school)
There are several Catholic schools in the community too:
- Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart (all-girls Roman Catholic high school)
- St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy (PK-8 Catholic school)
- Holy Trinity High School (Catholic high school)
- St. Helen Catholic School (PK-8 Catholic school)
Is West Town Chicago Safe?
Like most large cities, crime in Chicago may seem like a big problem. While Chicago crime is higher than the national average, West Town is a safe place to live. The community has a crime rate about average for the city with far less violent crime. It offers a good compromise of safety and affordability with most residents feeling safe walking around their neighborhood.
You can use this Chicago crime map to explore reported crimes by neighborhood.
You’ll find the safest areas of West Town are Ukrainian Village, East Humboldt Park, and northern Noble Square.
West Town Chicago Apartments & Homes for Sale
Ready to explore apartments and homes for sale in West Town Chicago? The Chicago West Town neighborhood is more expensive than the city average although prices depend on the area.
Average rent for West Town apartments is $2,543 compared to $2,206 for Chicago. In the East Humboldt Park and Smith Park neighborhoods, you’ll pay an average of $2,120. The East Village, Ukraine Village, and Wicker Park neighborhoods have average rent of $2,570. The most expensive neighborhoods in West Town Chicago for renters are Noble Square ($2,707) and River West ($2,821). They’re among the most expensive places to live in the entire city!
Planning to buy a house after moving to West Town, Chicago? You’ll pay a premium for West Town Chicago homes for sale with a median price of $552,500 ($323/square foot) compared to $327,500 for Chicago. West Town condos for sale are far more common than single-family homes. In some neighborhoods, condos are the only option for buyers.
Below you can see median home prices and rent by neighborhood.
|West Town Chicago Real Estate by Neighborhood|
|Neighborhood||Median Home Price||Median Condo Price||Single-Family Home Price||Average Rent|
|East Village||$622,000||$567,000||$1.34 million||$2,570|
|Ukrainian Village||$569,000||$451,000||$1.02 million||$2,570|
|E. Humboldt Park||$527,500||$473,000||$555,000||$2,119|
Ready to experience West Town Chicago living for yourself? Give us a call at Federal Companies for a free quote so we can put a century of moving experience to work for you!