Chicago is a beautiful city—it has delicious food, beautiful buildings, festivals, and more art and culture than most countries. Thousands of people move here every year, and chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of them. And if you’re not, you probably will be by the end of this post.

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user Jim Larrison

That’s because today we’re talking about only the best parts of the city. The 10 best, to be exact. Here they are.

  1. Near North Side
  2. Lincoln Park
  3. Lake View
  4. Near South Side
  5. West Town
  6. North Center
  7. Edison Park
  8. Lincoln Square
  9. Near West Side
  10. Beverly

We created this list by researching 67 of its neighborhoods in terms of these criteria:

  • Amenities per capita
  • Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income)
  • Total crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • High school graduation rate

But you can read more about our methodology at the end of the post. Now let’s take a closer look at the city’s finest—the 10 best neighborhoods in Chicago.

1. Near North Side

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user nixternal

The Near North Side area of Chicago is kind of a neighborhood of a handful of other, even smaller neighborhoods. But as a whole, residents in these mini-hoods have one thing in common: a higher quality of life than nearly anywhere else in the city. In numbers, that meant they make more money, their real estate prices might make a non-resident weep, and unfortunately, the overall cost of living is high. Really high. But if you can afford it, it’s worth it. This is the home of Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile, more museums than you can count on one hand (literally), the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and most perhaps most important, The Original Gino’s East of Chicago. Best pizza you’ll ever eat.

2. Lincoln Park

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user Matt Bigelow

Of all the places we looked at, Lincoln Park residents had the highest overall quality of life—that’s income, home prices, and rent. Unfortunately, this also meant a high cost of living, but after just one visit to this neighborhood, you’ll see why. Since you probably can’t pay a visit right this second, we’ll go ahead and tell you. For starters, Lincoln Park is beautiful. The residential streets are lined with trees and old brick houses. There are parks aplenty, a zoo, and a nature museum. And if you’re looking for something a bit more lively or less kid-friendly, you can head to one of the million or so bars on Lincoln Avenue. This really is a neighborhood for anyone and everyone. You just have to be able to afford it.

3. Lake View

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user John Picken

If you’re a baseball fan, and specifically a fan of the Cubs, this is where you need to live. No matter that the cost of living is one of the highest in the city—this is the home of Wrigley Field. You can make it work. Even if you’re not a Cubs fan, Lake View likely has something for you. After all, it had the sixth most amenities per capita in the city, and even those vary widely from area to area within this neighborhood. For example, if you’re looking for a life of luxury, you’ll want to head east. For all things baseball, head to Wrigleyville, and for you theater buffs out there, you’ll want to check out the west side. Actually, you should probably just check out all sides of this neighborhood.

4. Near South Side

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Wikimedia user Steve Browne & John Verklier

If you work in downtown Chicago, but want to live somewhere a little more affordable (a little, we said) and a lot less dangerous, this up-and-coming area might be the one for you. Be prepared, though, for a land of condos. No, a sea of condos. Condos as far as the eye can see. Basically, if you are looking to live in a home or even a detached townhouse, this might not be your neighborhood (maybe in Dearborn Park, though). Luckily, though, there are plenty of cool things to make up for a lack of houses, like Soldier Field, McCormick Place, and Museum Campus.

5. West Town

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user Steven Vance

This neighborhood is a complete mixed bag. It’s totally artsy and kind of grungy, home to musicians, performers, and artists of all types. Well, at least if they have rent control. The thing is, West Town rent and real estate prices are on the up and up, making this neighborhood a little less alternative and a little more yuppy every day. Don’t worry, the vibe is still plenty young, hip, and artsy, especially in the Wicker Park area, but places like Bucktown are going to be a little more… polished. On a positive note, it is one of the city’s safest areas.

6. North Center

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Wikimedia user Oo64eva

At first blush, this neighborhood might seem like a family’s dream, what with the low crime rate, the good schools, and one of the highest high school graduation rates in the city. And it is, actually. But it’s also a great place to live if you’re single or just don’t have kids. There are unique shops, tons of restaurants, bars, and plenty of other adults only fun like Half Acre Beer Company and the Globe Pub, a bar that caters to sports fans from all over the world. Also, it’s home to Ribfest Chicago, a street festival in the summer all about the ribs.

7. Edison Park

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user amseaman

This neighborhood is best for three types of people: Families, those of Irish descent, or pretty much anyone who happens to love food. For families, the selling points are the low, low crime rates, a high school graduation rate of 91 percent, and of course, the Edison Park Festival.

8. Lincoln Square

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user Andrew Seaman

Where Edison Park’s overall vibe might be “Irish,” Lincoln Square’s is predominantly German. Well, historically anyway. These days you’ll find plenty of Thai or Mediterranean restaurants right alongside your brauhauses (notably, the Chicago Brauhaus.) Aside from restaurants, Lincoln Square’s commercial area is dotted with shops and other businesses, giving it the 10th most amenities per capita. The residential area is a different story, though, with its quiet and cozy tree-lined streets, beautiful homes, and all around small-town vibe.

9. Near West Side

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user thomas_sly

On the whole, Chicago is a sort of melting pot of different cultures and lifestyles, and if there’s one part of the city that exemplifies this, it’s Near West Side. There’s the University Village area, where you’ll find University of Illinois Chicago. Then there’s Little Italy where you’ll find all things Italian, including some of the best food you’ve ever encountered. It’s even home to Greektown, which you’re familiar with if you’ve seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” With so much going on, it’s no wonder this place had more amenities per capita than all but one other neighborhood.

10. Beverly

These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Source: Flickr user Max Klingensmith

Residents in this last neighborhood on our list enjoy one of the highest qualities of life in the city, not only because math says so in our analysis (with the high income and nice homes), but because they just plain do. Homes in this area are some of the oldest in the city and are typically surrounded by large lots and plenty of trees. The area is unique in that it’s one of the only hilly parts of the city and it is relatively secluded and quiet. Overall, a good place to rest your head after working downtown all day, especially if you’re looking for something family-friendly.

Feeling At Home in Chicago

If you haven’t packed your bags for Chicago yet, we know it’s only because you were reading this post. But now you’re done, informed, and can head to the neighborhood that suits you best! And to find the house that suits you best, just get in touch. We’ll take it from there.

Our Methodology

If you’re interested in exactly how we created this list, this is the section for you. Just like with our other Big Deal Lists, in creating this ranking we relied solely on facts and figures. Specifically, we used AreaVibes and business listings to research 67 of Chicago’s major neighborhoods in terms of the following criteria:

  • Amenities per capita
  • Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income)
  • Total crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • High school graduation rate

We ranked each place in each category with scores from one to 67. Then we averaged these scores out into an overall Big Deal Score for each place, where the lowest scores went to our best places. If you’re interested in seeing how more than these top 10 ranked, just look down. Best Neighborhoods in Chicago Featured image source: Flickr user  Puparrazi PhotographY