Where should I live in Chicago?

I’m moving to Chicago soon (yay!) and I must begin the process of finding a place to live. I lived in Chicago for a year and a half two years ago, and then I lived in Edgewater. I liked that I was close to transportation and in a relatively safe place that wasn’t too pristine (had a few crack whores on the corner, but they got downright chatty after they knew you a while).

I’m looking for what everyone wants: that is, the most space for the least money. I’ve found ads for places in areas like Humboldt Park and Logan Square that fit my budget ($900 max) and I think those places would be okay, but I don’t have a lot of experience in those areas. My boyfriend and I are looking for a two bedroom (though I think we’ll settle for one) that’s close to public transportation (we won’t have a car).

So, Chicago dopers, where do you live and what do you like about it? Is there a place you’d like to be? Any suggestions?


I’d say Logan Square is a pretty decent neighborhood. Humboldt Park I’m not so sure about. I haven’t been there in ages, but I remember it being much seedier than Logan Square. LS is a pretty affordable neighborhood with a diverse ethnic and economic mix of people. I really enjoyed it. The part of Logan Square I’m familiar with is just sound of Logan Blvd, near California Ave. That’s pretty close to the Blue Line, so you’ll have no probably getting wherever you need to go.

Depending on where you find a place, there are definitely areas of Rogers Park which are both affordable and respectable. Generally, the closer you are to Sheridan, the nicer the neighborhood. It’s accessible to the Red Line and Purple Line, so you can go to either downtown Chicago or Evanston, depending on your mood. There’s a lot of cool restaurants and cafes all along Sheridan. I don’t know what else to say…it’s just nice if you’re in the right part of Rogers Park.

Ukrainian Village is also supposed to be pretty cool, but I haven’t been there in ages. Pilsen…now here’s a very artsy yet working class neighborhood. It’s totally the part of the city where I’d live in if I moved back, but I don’t know whether you’d like it or not. (It’s difficult convincing people to live on the South Side.) It’s very affordable, artsy and from what I’ve heard, very respectable and safe. You can find some info on it here.

Pilsen has basically been billed as a sort of pre-gentrification Wicker Park. Check it out.

My kid lives on the edge of Humboldt Park/Wicker Park (although I haven’t been to this place). It can be pretty rough to OK, depending on exactly where you’re located.

I second the Logan Square suggestion. You can get an affordable place near the Blue Line, and the actual square is cute, and there are a couple nice places to eat right nearby (Cafe Lula and the Boulevard Cafe come to mind). The ride into downtown takes about 20 minutes.

Myself, I live in Wicker Park and I LOVE it. I think it used to be where artsy types lived, and it still is like that to some degree (well…I’M there, anyway :wink: ), but it has developed a lot in the last few years. Still, if you hunt, you can find a nice deal. I pay $725 for a very nice remodeled one-bedroom that even has a dishwasher and central heat/air. I’m very happy there. It’s also along the Blue Line and my train ride is usually only 7-9 minutes.

Of course, if you want to be by the lake, anywhere along the Red Line is where to be. Edgewater is nice, yes, but Andersonville (just south of it) is also nice, and you might consider checking out Lakeview, which is a lot of fun, but possibly getting to the upper end of your price range.

Thanks for the suggestions! I think we’ll be able to afford something like Wicker Park, but I’ll definitely check into Ukranian Villiage. Everything is still pretty much open, though, at this point.

What are the rents like in South Shore? Can’t you get a decent apartment there fairly cheap?