Freshman Guide To Loyola University

Freshman Guide To Loyola University

Being a freshman is a pretty intimidating experience.  Not only are you forced to move to a new environment with few friends and no family, you usually live with a stranger and move to a place you have never lived before.  But don't worry- you'll survive.  Plus, ChiU is here to make that process a little bit easier with our Freshman Guides to each campus in Chicago.  Below you'll find tips, facts and advice from upperclassmen about where to do (or not to do) just about everything.  Comment below with your own suggestions!

When I first came to Loyola Chicago, I had no idea what was in store.  I pictured myself gallivanting down Michigan Avenue , triumphantly throwing my cap in the air Mary Tyler Moore- style, as I conquered the world one el stop at a time.  But Loyola University's Lake Shore Campus, nestled in a northside neighborhood setting turned out to be what made me feel so at home in Chicago.  Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of skyscrapers and high rises downtown, I found a vibrant and diverse community, with new challenges and discoveries around every corner.  It hasn't always been perfect, however- that 30 minute commute to downtown Chicago (and Loyola's Water Tower Campus) is no dream.  But at the same time, I found that being in our own corner by the lake provides the opportunity to get both the best of the city with the comfort of a campus.  Read on to find out my suggestions for exploring Rogers Park and Edgewater, as well as Loyola University Chicago!

The Basics

Location: Northside

Closest el stop(s)/bus stop(s): Red Line: Granville or Loyola, 147 bus: Kenmore, Winthrop, Arthur, Loyola

Neighborhood: Rogers Park


Best place to go for:

  • On-campus food: Rambler Room or Simpson Dining
  • Coffee: On campus->Center Stage (Mundelein), Connections Cafe (Information Commons) Off campus-> Stella's (Devon&Lakewood), Metropolis (Granville)
  • Pizza: The newly opened Pizza Petes (Granville&Winthrop), Giordanos (Sheridan)
  • Thai food: (This is a tough one for me because I have never had bad Thai food in Rogers Park) Thai Spice (Devon&Glenwood), Thai Grill (Granville)
  • Chain restaurant: Chipotle (Albion&Sheridan)

Local Spots

Student haunts:

  • Metropolis Coffee
  • Stella's Coffee
  • CFSU
  • The I.C.
  • Hartigan Beach (also known as Loyola Beach)
  • Starbucks
  • Thai Spice
  • Hamilton's
  • The Pumping Company
  • Habibi's Hookah (Devon&Magnolia)

Best Place for live music: The Heartland Cafe

Best Place for books: Armadillo's Pillow (Sheridan)

Best place for groceries: Devon Market (Devon&Newgard)

Best farmer's market: Glenwood Farmer's Market (Morse, Sunday Mornings), Loyola Farmer's Market (Sheridan&Loyola, Monday Afternoons)

Best place to workout: The Lake Shore Path, (or when it gets too cold to run outside) Halas- check out the free yoga/dance/workout classes

Best beach: Hartigan Beach (aka Loyola Beach)

Best breakfast: Bananas Foster (Granville&Broadway)

Best food (overall): Uncommon Ground (Devon&Glenwood), M.Henrietta (Granville)


  • Best place to study: The Donovan Silent Study Room in the Cudahy Library
  • Best place to get textbooks: Beck's Books, Amazon (NOT the Loyola Bookstore)
  • Best place to relax: Hartigan Beach, the East Quad, Outside of Crown Center by the lake
  • Best classroom building: Dumbach
  • Best concert: Colossus (annual concert/comedian event)
  • Best sport to watch: Men's Basketball, Men's Volleyball
  • Best stress-reliever: Staring at the lake, Wednesday night yoga on the 4th floor of the I.C.
  • Best place to walk around: The Glenwood Arts District (off the Morse stop), check out a street of murals, art galleries, restaurants and theaters
  • Must-attend events: The annual drag show, the AIDS walk, Relay For Life, the Org Fair, Finals Breakfast, President's Ball, the Italian Club Gala

Unique to Loyola

  • We have two campuses: one in Rogers Park (the Lake Shore Campus) and one in the Gold Coast (the Water Tower Campus)
  • Rogers Park (the location of LUC's Lake Shore Campus) is the most diverse neighborhood in the nation (as of the 2010 census), with over 80 different languages spoken
  • We are Chicago's only Jesuit university
  • We were named to the President's Honor Roll in 2010 (one of six, out of 800 universities that applied) for our dedication to community service
  • We are the only school in Illinois  to have won a NCAA D1 Men's Basketball Championship (back in 1963)
  • We are located directly on Lake Michigan, and one of our residence halls (Santa Clara Hall) is the closest piece of property in Chicago to the lakefront
  • We have a very active Quidditch league

Stay away from...

  • Dark alleys at night
  • The far west side
  • The Granville el stop (late at night)
  • The basement of Cudahy library if you actually need to study
  • Star Grill
  • Dominick's (there are way cheaper places for groceries)


  • Don't be afraid of the neighborhood: Rogers Park and Edgewater can be intimidating if you have never lived in a city environment, but the best way to learn about your surroundings is to explore.
  • Enjoy the lake, especially while it is warm outside: take advantage of the beautiful beach that is DIRECTLY next to campus, I mean why wouldn't you?
  • Learn to love ethnic food (or at least be open to trying anything)
  • Get involved, especially with community service- many programs are located in and around Rogers Park, so it can be a good way to get to know the community.  I personally volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters through Loyola4Chicago, and it has been a huge part of learning about Rogers Park.

 Do you have suggestions for the best spots around Loyola?  Freshmen, what do you think?  Is this guide helpful?  Let us know in the comments below!


Leave a comment
  • I attended the Water Tower campus as a grad student from '06 to '10. I never visited the Lake Shore campus until 2009. But I did enjoy the beautiful architecture.

    Great post!

  • Being a freshman is a pretty intimidating experience. Not only are you forced to move to a new environment with few friends and no family, you usually live with a stranger and move to a place you have never lived before. In order not to immediately get into trouble with studies, I used a site learn more info that helped me write my paper. I think these sites help students. So you will be fine.

Leave a comment