Ask ChicagoNow: What is the best neighborhood in Chicago?

Ask ChicagoNow: What is the best neighborhood in Chicago?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.

With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.

What is the best neighborhood in Chicago?

“I love Lincoln Square. Very walkable, great restaurants, breweries and the renovated Davis Theater.” — Carole Kuhrt Brewer, Show Me Chicago

“That would be Portage Park, home of the original (and only true) Six Corners. It has good proximity to public transportation, O’Hare and expressways. Good affordable housing stock and plenty of free street parking. Also, the Park itself has an Olympic-sized pool, built in 1959 in preparation for hosting the Pan American Games. In 1972, Portage Park hosted the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, where Gold Medalist Mark Spitz set new world’s records.” — Michael Messinger, Mysteries of Life

“I love Andersonville…as someone both queer and of partially Swedish descent, it must have been foretold. After all, my great grandparents lived about thirty miles from each other in Sweden, but did not meet until they had both emigrated to Chicago and lived in Andersonville. Though I live nowhere near it, I so often brave the better part of an hour north on the #50 Damen bus to go there. Sometimes, it’s for beers at the Hopleaf with friends. Sometimes, it’s to work over a cup of coffee and a wedge of French Silk pie at First Slice. Other times, it’s to browse the books at Women and Children First, and to feel grateful that I’m not embarrassed and furtive about all the time I spend in the queer studies section, like I was at eighteen, nineteen years old. No matter why I’m there, I enjoy myself, and feel like myself.” — Nicolle Neulist, Picks & Ponderings

“I was born and raised here and Lincoln Park has always been a great neighborhood.” — Sabrina Nixon, Purple Reigns: How to Live a Full Life with Lupus

“I have to answer Lincoln Park. It is close enough to downtown that you can walk there, but far enough that you can breathe in the park, by the lake or at the Caldwell Lilly Pool. There is a free zoo, and a great university (go DePaul!) There are plenty of international restaurants to fit a community more diverse than you would expect, and plenty of great bars to drink down the food. The schools are good, it is well connected, and there is always people on the streets.” — Ana Martin Sagredo, Foreign Affairs: Children Edition

“My wife and I often comment that we must be the oldest residents in our neighborhood, which is St. Ben’s, a subset of North Center. We love it here. We’ve lived in several Chicago neighborhoods, plus other cities, and this is our favorite place by far. It’s young with lots of kids, but quiet. There is a lot of gut-rehabbing and new construction but it manages to retain its classic Chicago charm with its courtyard apartment buildings, two-flats, and single family frame homes. And because of its ‘central’ location many of the other neighborhoods listed in this blog are easily accessible. Roscoe Village is across the street. Lincoln Square the next neighborhood north etc. There are two great independent bookstores very close (Roscoe Village Books and The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square), and your choice of food stores: Jewel, Mariano’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods either walkable or minutes away. And the city’s best street, Lincoln Avenue, runs through it with all the amenities I described in the blog about best streets. O’Hare is easy. We can walk to the Brown Line (the city’s best L line) and get to either the Blue or the Red very quickly. There are nice shops that specialize in meats, bikes, craft beer (plus several craft breweries with tap rooms), wine, and not one but two independent bakeries very close, plus neighborhood barber shops. And best of all? We can walk to Wrigley Field which we did during the wee hours after Game 7 (yes, THAT Game 7) with thousands of equally insane fans. I got “Cubs” elbow from too many high fives. I could write a blog about my neighborhood. Maybe I will. Or maybe I just did. Did I mention that 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist has a house in St. Ben’s??” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

If you have a question about Chicago that you want answered, email it to Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

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