Chicago neighborhoods

Chicago neighborhoods – unique culture, great diversity

Chicago neighborhoods are the heart of Chicago, where you’ll get a cozy friendly feeling even in the big city. It’s one of the things that really sets Chicago apart as a great world city, it’s many subcultures. Most of the popular attractions are all in the downtown area. However, there are lots of great restaurants, clubs, nightlife, festivals and unique spots in these neighborhoods that really set them apart in character making them distinct from each other.

neighborhood Map Chicago
neighborhood Map of Chicago

The Loop

In this downtown area, the loop refers to the elevated train the “El” that loops around the city. Several of the attractions on this site are here, as are many of the large businesses, which keep Chicago afloat. Chicago Theater For attraction in the loop you can find the Sears Tower, now Willis Tower, the Art Institute, or Chicago Art Museum, and The Architecture Foundation, and the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Chicago Theater are all here in the Loop. More Theater options in this Chicago neighborhood include:

  • The Ford Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Oriental Theater
  • Auditorium Theater
  • The Good Man Theater

There are a plethora of restaurants in the north loop from anything in Italian, seafood, American, French, Stake houses, southern cooking and more. Chicago Loop

The Near North Side

This area is just north of the Loop area. You’ll find the famous Magnificent Mile here with its amazing shops and boutiques. Additionally, this is where you’ll find some absolutely fantastic. Gold Coast hotels

You’ll find just about every designer shop, hotel and restaurant you can imagine here, as its near Chicago Gold Coast are and Streeterville, two of the most opulent Chicago neighborhoods. The Gold Coast is only second in wealth to New York’s Central Park East. Chicago Near North Side

Lincoln Park

This neighborhood has a welcoming feeling with the many trees lining the streets privatizing the beautiful brownstone homes. A bit of a college setting with DePaul University, so it’s easy to find lots of restaurants, dance clubs, and bars. All priced for college students or those who’ve just finished college. Lincoln Park also has a quieter side with great church culture, the fantastic and Free, Lincoln Park Zoo driving ranges, bike trails, beaches, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; quite unique and captivating among the Chicago Neighborhoods. Lincoln Park


If you love the nightlife then this is the spot for you, this area has entertainment and clubs for the straight and gay communities. By enlarging these groups parties separately with the exception of the Berlin club. This area is also referred to by the locals as Boys town since it’s the center for most gay nightlife, you can see the rainbow-colored pylons announcing that you’ve arrived, along Halstead St. between Belmont Ave and Irving Park Road. Lake View baseball


If you’re a Cubs fan you’ll be familiar in part with this town even if you’ve not seen a game here. They have Great Chicago Sports Bars where you can enjoy the game if you weren’t able to get a ticket. This is a great area to relax with any variety of food and get to know the locals.


Calling all music fans, to head even further north to enjoy excellent music, anything from Aragon Ballroom, the Riviera, and the Green Mill, lots of Jazz and rock music for your enjoyment. This is the city’s hot spot for a great deal of music. Uptown Chicago

Wicker Park and Bucktown

An area is known for its bars and a great scene for artists of many varieties. Famous spots in this area are:

  • Blue Note
  • Holiday Club,
  • Foodie spots
  • Northside Bar and Grill &
  • Beat Kitchen

South Loop

I noticed the stark contrast between the North and South Loop areas, the South Loop has a welcoming neighborly feel, with smaller houses, sweet older houses, and charming community. This community area is centralized around the former train stop called Dearborn Station that has been renovated restoring the classic quaint charm it has been known for.

South side

The beautiful museum district is located on the Southside, along Lake Shore Drive, as you continue south just past the museums you can see Soldier Field where the Bears play, quickly followed by McCormick Place. A giant convention center where many events are hosted every year, such as the Chicago Auto Show in the late winter, and the RV and Boat show in warmer weather. You can always find a great lineup of events here. Additionally in the same area, you’ll find the Sheraton Chicago’s fantastically huge ballroom or Arie Crown Theater.

Just a bit further south and west all White Sox fans will be familiar with this stadium Comiskey Park, now called U.S. Cellular Field, home of the 2005 World Champs.

Hyde Park

Next meet one of my favorite south side towns Hyde Park, this beautiful neighborhood, has both the rich and the everyday working man, and they all meet in this quaint and charming area. And before he took office this is where President and Michelle Obama lived. One of the best places to see this in full effect is in contrasting the urban setting with the unique natural setting of Jackson Park, with a beautiful Japanese Garden here, bird watchers will love the bird sanctuary, and business professionals and hardy golfers will love the golf course here. You’ll find the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, the Museum of Science and Industry here as well as a variety of great restaurants. Chicago’s Hyde Park

Chicago neighborhoods are lots of fun to enjoy some of the hidden gems of restaurants bars, art scene or festivals you can find here on your Chicago vacation.

Chicago neighborhood maps

This page on Chicago neighborhood maps will help you simplify the big city, getting around in a city this size can seem overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the layout of the city.

But I’m going to make this simple by providing you with a map of the different neighborhoods, so all you have to do to see exactly where you want to go is to click on the link for a larger view of the map, zoom in on the different streets and you can see what’s on each street so that you’ll be able to pick and choose some great places to go.

Let’s start right in the downtown area with the Loop. This is a very popular area and it’s important to show you where this is on the Chicago neighborhood maps so that as you make your way around it you’ll be able to see where this runs versus where the general downtown area.

The loop actually refers to the area that the Chicago train called the EL runs, The streets it covers in this loop are Lake street covering the north border, Van Buren St on the south, Wells on the west and Wabash on the right.