Chicago is the epicenter of the Midwest. It’s home to a thriving nightlife, great downtown beaches in the summer and famous attractions that make it a popular tourist destination. Visitors flock to well-known sites such as the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park and the John Hancock Center, and the Magnificent Mile offers some of the best shopping in the region.

We spent more than 40 hours conducting research on Chicago real estate and looked at more than 130 apartment buildings in the city, categorizing them by location and comparing them with a set list of variables. In addition to providing basic information about the buildings, such as year constructed, number of units available and average rent prices, we also factored in other important concerns such as outdoor spaces and exercise facilities.

Interior design is important to us, so we looked for hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies and other modern features coveted by today’s renters. We also considered the apartment’s Walk Score — its accessibility to respective neighborhoods, bars and restaurants — in order to determine the city’s best apartment communities.

We combed through Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods to help you decide where to live. From the high-rise buildings of River North and the Gold Coast to family-oriented Lincoln Park and Lakeview, the city’s many neighborhoods offer a wide range of choices.

Chicago draws people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, and its diverse neighborhoods reflect those populations. The heart of the city is expanding, bringing exciting new restaurants, bars, shops and housing. We hope you enjoy this Chicago apartment guide and the many neighborhoods we feature.

Neighborhoods Covered in This Chicago Apartment Guide

The Loop

The Loop is Chicagos version of a financial district. Its called the Loop because of the way Chicagos transit system loopsaround the area before each line juts out in different directions. Based on the way the Chicago River runs, the Loop is both south and east of the river, west of Lake Michigan and north of Van Buren street.

While its bustling during business hours, the Loop is generally quiet outside of that. The people who live here are mostly professionals who want to be close to the office, and apartments and condos consist solely of high-rise buildings. The farther east toward Lake Michigan you are in the Loop, the less business-oriented it feels, as there are more shops and tourists.

Things to do

While the Loop is known as a business area, its also home to shopping, theaters and restaurants. The stretch of State Street in particular is often crowded with tourists. Catch a concert at the Chicago Theatre, or head to one of the other nearby theaters for a play or musical.

New and exciting restaurants are finding their way to the Loop. For breakfast, grab an egg sandwich and a coffee at Eastman Egg. A few lunch highlights include Cafecito for Cuban sandwiches or Benjyehuda for quick Mediterranean-style food.

Cochon Volant is a French restaurant great for any time of day, and Prime & Provisions is a newer steakhouse just south of the Chicago River that’s ideal for business or pleasure. For something a little different, check out Cindys, the rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, which has some of the city’s best views of Lake Michigan.

Transportation

The Loop is completely walkable and the most easily accessible neighborhood in Chicago. All of the L train lines converge in the area, which makes it easy to get anywhere else.

The Loop Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,235

OneEleven

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 525
  • Rent: $1,737-$11,808
  • Highlights: OneEleven takes luxury living to the next level with top-of-the-line kitchens (think range hoods and duotone cabinetry), wide-plank and stone flooring, and spa-like bathrooms. Topping the list of amenities is a two-level outdoor sun deck and a serene pool that opens to the adjoining deck.

73 E Lake

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 332
  • Number of Layouts: 16
  • Rent: $2,314-$4,298
  • Highlights: The ninth and 10th floors of this downtown oasis hold a large indoor pool, expansive fitness amenities, and both indoor and outdoor space to entertain. Aside from the modern design, features here include built-in wine racks and Kohler fixtures.

MDA City Apartments

  • Year Built: 1926 (renovated in 2003)
  • Number of Units: 190
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: $1,505-$3,395
  • Highlights: Situated near some of Chicago’s best things to do and to eat, MDA City Apartments is in the heart of the action. After hitting the neighborhood, soak in the hot tub or watch a movie on the big screen, both located on the rooftop. Then return home to lavish interiors with contemporary finishes and bamboo flooring.

The Runners Up

South Loop

The northern part of the South Loop, including the New East Side, feels definitively connected to the Loop. However, the South Loop neighborhood has gone through somewhat of a transformation in the past few years, as several former manufacturing plants having been converted to condos and apartment buildings. This is particularly true in the area known as Printers Row. It has become popular among younger people looking to get more space for their money.

Things to do

Several of the city’s popular attractions are located in the South Loop, including Grant Park, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field. The neighborhood has a more gritty feel compared to its northern counterparts, and a number of restaurants and bars have opened in recent months.

For an old-school bar experience, theres Blackies and Plymouth Restaurant and Rooftop Bar. Great brunch options are also available, such as Melis or the Bongo Room. Even though the South Loop doesnt have as many new restaurants as other areas, its not devoid of interesting spots. Check out Eleven City Diner, Acadia and Brasserie by LM. Some classics are here as well, including Harolds Chicken Shack, Lou Malnatis and Giordano’s.

Transportation

The South Loop is walkable, and you can easily walk to the Loop from here. The L’s Red Line runs through the neighborhood, and buses also are available.

South Loop Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,820

AMLI Lofts

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 398
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: $1,870-$3,405
  • Highlights: These urban apartments have 10-foot-high concrete ceilings and exposed brick walls. The kitchens come in an array of options, all of them modern and functional. For even more space, head to one of the many club areas for kitchen space, big-screen TVs and comfortable seating both inside and out.

Burnham

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 298
  • Number of Layouts: 20
  • Rent: $1,923-$5,100
  • Highlights: Soaring high in the South Loop, this steel-and-glass high-rise features muted contemporary color palettes, open floor plans and fireplaces in select units. Resident amenities include a rooftop pool deck and a fitness center.

Astoria Tower

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 206
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: $1,736-$4,500
  • Highlights: For lavish living in the South Loop, the Astoria Tower is tastefully finished with high-end materials and fixtures. Some units have soaking tubs. Residents can take advantage of the on-site spa services or enjoy the views of the skyline or lake from the two large rooftop terraces.

Coast at Lakeshore East

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 515
  • Number of Layouts: 16
  • Rent: $1,645-$4,688
  • Highlights: The nautical-themed Coast brings upscale design to the New Eastside. Apartment features include floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek interior design (two finish packages are available to choose from). The fitness center and indoor and outdoor pools mean there’s plenty to do without leaving the building.

Aqua at Lakeshore East

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 474
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: starting at $1,955
  • Highlights: The 87-story Aqua towers over some of Chicago’s most iconic parks and landmarks; some great views can be found on the terrace pool deck and lounge areas. Apartments here feature curved balconies, making the expansive overlooks of Chicagoland the focal point of beautifully finished contemporary interiors.

The Runners Up

West Loop

The West Loop is a former meatpacking and manufacturing area, but these days it’s known for its excellent restaurant scene. The West Loop is home to professionals of all ages but seems to attract those in the creative industries, especially because of its many loft-style buildings and proximity to Soho House Chicago, a swanky hotel and members’ club that opened in the summer of 2014.

The West Loop is one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city from a real estate standpoint (it’s where Google chose to build its Chicago office), and property values should continue to rise.

Things to do

The West Loop is known for its excellent dining scene. The main road through it is Randolph Street, also known as Restaurant Row. Most of the buildings in this neighborhood are old warehouse spaces that have been repurposed for both businesses and residential loft-style living.

There are several popular restaurants in the West Loop, from classic spots like Avec and Blackbird to newer sensations like The Publican, La Sirena Clandestina and TÉTE Charcuterie. You can also find great cheap eats and classic sandwich joints, such as J.P. Graziano and Nonnas.

Transportation

The West Loop is a short walk across I-90/I-94 to the Loop. You can access both the Green and Blue line trains, along with several bus lines.

West Loop Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,115

Catalyst

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 223
  • Number of Layouts: 16
  • Rent: $2,005-$4,280
  • Highlights: In the heart of the West Loop, bright interiors at Catalyst come fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows and designer kitchens (we love the mosaic tile backsplashes). There are plenty of perks for residents, including the rooftop pool, fitness center and grilling area. And pups will like the dog park and grooming station.

K2 Apartments

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 496
  • Number of Layouts: 17
  • Rent: $1,796-$5,808
  • Highlights: Situated in the revered Fulton River District, K2 Apartments brings modern living and resort-style amenities together. The building features designer kitchens and bathrooms, as well as a community swimming pool on the roof, multiple fitness options, a movie theater and a 24-hour concierge.

Jeff Jack Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 190
  • Number of Layouts: 28
  • Rent: $1,532-$4,413
  • Highlights: Undeniably cool, the simple-but-smart design of Jeff Jack Apartments comes from a near-minimalistic style, where sleek, white kitchens and exposed-concrete ceilings are fitting and intentional. Residents have access to a lush rooftop garden, which fits perfectly with the complex’s commitment to sustainable living.

The Runners Up

River North

The hot, trendy River North neighborhood is home to mainly young professionals. Its directly north of the Loop on the north side of the Chicago River — close enough to walk to offices there, but far enough that you feel like youre in a different part of town. Its home to an abundance of high-rises and is experiencing a boom in residential buildings, restaurants and bars.

Things to do

In recent years, River North has become a destination for people looking to be in the middle of all the action. Its also a tourist hot spot, so thats something residents have to be comfortable with.

The neighborhood is bursting with retail shops, restaurants and bars. Its home to large department stores such as Nordstrom as well as a number of smaller boutiques. Hubbard Street is a boisterous area for bars and restaurants seven days a week, and some bars are even open until 5 a.m. on Saturday nights (or, rather, Sunday mornings).

You can catch concerts at House of Blues. A few notable restaurants include Chicago classic Gene & Georgettis, GT Fish & Oyster, Beatrix, Ramen-San, RPM Italian, RPM Steak, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Chicago Cut.

Transportation

Walkable River North has easy access to both the Red and Brown lines, which will take you north and south throughout Chicago. It’s also close to the Loop and a short walk from access to all other train lines.

River North Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,247

AMLI River North

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 409
  • Rent: $1,825-$6,650
  • Highlights: Community features at AMLI River North include a resort-style pool deck, outdoor movie theater and gourmet kitchens both inside and out. The interiors impress just as much, featuring hardwood flooring, modern kitchens with stainless appliances and designer-tile bathrooms. Looking for more? The penthouses here are jaw-dropping.

Jones Chicago

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 188
  • Rent: $1,825-$3,050
  • Highlights: Every feature of this complex is smart, from the sustainable architecture and Nest learning thermostats to the expertly designed modern apartment interiors, which blend industrial and luxury effortlessly. Jones gives residents access to plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities and a supreme location in this bustling neighborhood.

EnV Chicago

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 249
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: $1,740-$6,425
  • Highlights: With hard-to-find features like bamboo flooring, built-in desks and all-glass balconies, EnV Chicago was designed for those looking to bring the vibrancy of the city into their homes. Residents can live it up on the rooftop pool deck and lounge area, or unwind in the 24-hour yoga and pilates studio.

The Runners Up

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is just north of River North. The division between the two neighborhoods is unclear, but the general rule of thumb is that the Gold Coast lies north of Chicago Avenue. It has set the standard for downtown city living for many years.

The neighborhood has a lot of high-rises on the older side, but new (and expensive) buildings have popped up in recent years. A few high-end townhomes can be found as well. This has made the Gold Coast popular among young professionals and older people with money. Overall, the location alone keeps property values high, and this is likely to continue.

Things to do

Like River North, the Gold Coast is home to great shopping, restaurants and bars. A small area known as Viagra Triangle has classic restaurants like Gibsons Steakhouse and Tavern On Rush. Bloomingdale’s is right around the corner, and high-end stores abound, including Barneys, Louboutin, Hermes, Marc Jacobs and Oliver Peoples.

Youll generally find an older crowd here compared with the bars on Hubbard Street in River North, as well as a lot of tourists throughout the year. Nearby is Loyola University’s downtown campus, which houses the Business, Law, Education, Social Work, Communications and Pastoral Studies schools.

Transportation

The Gold Coast is walkable, and residents also can easily walk to River North, Streeterville, Old Town and even the Loop. Both the Red and Brown lines have stops in the neighborhood to take you north and south, and buses are available for east-west transportation.

Gold Coast Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,247

State & Chestnut

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 367
  • Rent: $1,721-$4,064
  • Highlights: With several fitness options, a lavish pool, a rooftop deck and 24-concierge service, living at State & Chestnut feels like never checking out of your favorite hotel. Inside, spacious apartments have been meticulously designed for an effortlessly stylish space, with dark wood cabinetry, high ceilings and designer fixtures.

The Bernardin

  • Year Built: 2005
  • Number of Units: 171
  • Number of Layouts: 19
  • Rent: $1,730-$7,275
  • Highlights: With amenities such as a roof deck with outdoor kitchen and TVs, a lap pool and a terrace with lush landscaping, Bernardin residents live the high life. Units feature designer kitchens and granite-tiled entryways. These lavish apartments are two blocks from the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue), the city’s shopping mecca.

Chestnut Tower

  • Year Built: 2001
  • Number of Units: 230
  • Number of Layouts: 10
  • Rent: $1,825-$5,230
  • Highlights: Located where River North meets the Gold Coast, Chestnut Tower wows residents with luxurious design throughout. The apartments feature chef’s kitchens and master suites, while the community offers a lavishly furnished rooftop and fitness center, as well as a 100 Walk Score.

Walton on the Park

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 189
  • Number of Layouts: 15
  • Rent: $2,995-$13,000
  • Highlights: Looking for out-of-this-world amenities? Here, you’ll find a rooftop lap pool, men’s and women’s saunas, an outdoor Viking kitchen, a meditation garden and a large club room. If that’s not enough, unit interiors offer richly textured kitchens and spacious layouts.

Eight O Five

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 292
  • Number of Layouts: 24
  • Rent: $1,700-$4,950
  • Highlights: Eight O Five residents live in ultramodern, functional spaces, with horizontal-grain European cabinetry, exposed concrete and window walls. The building’s extensive amenities include a rooftop pool and a yoga studio; it also is close to public transit.

The Runners Up

Streeterville

Streeterville is north of the Chicago River and east of Michigan Avenue, which is the divider between Streeterville and River North/Gold Coast. This neighborhood is home to some nicer high-rises, and it’s generally quieter here than River North or the Gold Coast.

For these reasons, Streeterville is home to both young professionals and an older demographic who want a more low-key neighborhood. Real estate values are comparable to those in River North and the Gold Coast, and rental prices should continue to rise.

Things to do

Many of the buildings are close to Lakeshore Drive and Lake Michigan, offering some of the best views around. While the restaurant scene isnt as booming as the adjacent neighborhoods, there is still plenty to eat and drink nearby. Places such as Emilios Tapas, Do Rite Donuts & Chicken and The West Egg offer quality food. Of course, no trip to Chicago is complete without a stop at Garrett Popcorn Shops, one of which is located in Streeterville.

Navy Pier, among the most popular tourist attractions in the Midwest, is also in Streeterville. Take a stroll over the water, or stop at nearby Ohio Street Beach on a warm summer day.

Transportation

Streeterville is an easy neighborhood to walk around; a path winds along Lake Michigan. It’s also easy to walk to River North, the Gold Coast and the Loop from here. Although buses run throughout the area, there is no L train line through the neighborhood — one reason why it’s more quiet.

Streeterville Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,247

The Lofts at River East

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 285
  • Number of Layouts: 78
  • Rent: $2,005-$5,175
  • Highlights: Two blocks from Navy Pier to the east and Michigan Avenue to the west, The Lofts offers more than just location. Twelve-foot ceilings frame tastefully rustic design including sliding barn doors, hardwood maple flooring and gourmet kitchens. Love the water? Gaze at it from the lakeview lounge, or swim in it in the outdoor pool, part of a 10,000-square-foot roof deck.

North Water Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 398
  • Rent: $1,939-$8,999
  • Highlights: Part of the award-winning Loews Hotel building, North Water Apartments offers resort-style amenities such as a 24-hour gym, heated pool and pet spa. Soft blue and beige accents bring the calming lakefront color palette inside. Interiors also feature gourmet kitchens with gas ranges, under-counter lighting and soft-close cabinets.

The Streetcar

  • Year Built: 2006
  • Number of Units: 481
  • Number of Layouts: 14
  • Rent: $1,602-$5,615
  • Highlights: Residents here can enjoy both an outdoor pool and an indoor resistance pool, in addition to a huge fitness center that includes a basketball court and sauna. Units come with large contemporary kitchens, finished with soft-close cherry cabinets and granite countertops.

The Runners Up

Old Town

Most Chicagoans think of Old Town as a small area between Division and North Avenue, just west of the Gold Coast. Its home to a lot of young professionals in apartment buildings, but the neighborhood also has some high-end townhomes and condos, drawing younger families and older couples.

Since the demolition of the Cabrini-Green housing project that stood just to the west of Old Town, the area has flourished as new restaurants and stores have gone into the nearby spaces.

Things to do

Old Town has a lot of restaurants and bars on its main stretch of Wells Street. Some of the highlights in the area include two comfortable Italian restaurants, Topo Gigio and Orso’s. There are also a number of popular bars that attract people in their 20s and 30s, including Benchmark, Old Town Pour House, Fireplace Inn and Woodys.

The Second City theater group is here, too, and catching a show is a must for anyone who has never been. The Old Town Art Fair, which takes place every summer, is a great excuse to wander up and down Wells Street with your friends.

Transportation

Old Town is very walkable; residents can easily get to the Gold Coast and even River North by foot. For other destinations, the L’s Brown Line (Sedgwick stop) is on the northern side of the neighborhood.

Old Town Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,247

Eugenie Terrace on the Park

  • Year Built: 1988
  • Number of Units: 575
  • Number of Layouts: 10
  • Rent: $1,359-$5,563
  • Highlights: Located between Old Town and Lincoln Park, these luxurious apartments come with white chef’s kitchens and master suites, and some units are bi-level. Looking for one of the best rooftops in the city? The 44th floor has a heated pool, entertainment space and excellent lake views.

1225 Old Town

  • Year Built: 2012
  • Number of Units: 250
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Full-wall windows that open to patios with city views and modern kitchens with plenty of prep space are just a few features of these luxury apartments. Residents here also have access to an 11th-floor pool deck and lush garden space. The building also offers fitness facilities, a grocery store and a coffee shop.

The Scott Residences

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 71
  • Rent: $1,940-$5,997
  • Highlights: Lavishly decorated, The Scott Residences set themselves apart with sleek European-style cabinetry and spa-inspired glass-tile bathrooms. And between the large fitness center, rooftop deck and private dog park, there’s plenty to do outside these units as well.

The Runners Up

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a homey neighborhood attracting a wide mix of ages. It includes families with kids; young professionals looking for more space and reasonable rent prices; and students attending DePaul University.

There are no large buildings or high-rises in Lincoln Park. Most of the residences consists of townhouse-style buildings; some of these serve as single-family homes, while others have been divided into separate units. The neighborhood also has off-campus apartments near DePaul, as well as some of the nicest and most expensive homes in Chicago.

Things to do

Theres a lot to do in Lincoln Park. To cater to the college scene, the area is full of good restaurants on the cheaper side, such as the Athenian Room (Tina Feys favorite), Allende, Aloha Eats and Crisp. Nicer and more family-oriented restaurants include Riccardo Trattoria, Summer House Santa Monica and Gemini Bistro.

The area also houses classics such as Chicago Pizza Oven Grinder and the Weiner Circle. If you really want to seem in the know, check out the alleyway counter restaurant of Interurban, which was opened by a former pastry chef of Charlie Trotter’s eponymous restaurant.

If you head east toward Lake Michigan, you’ll find the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Nature Museum. Near the zoo is North Avenue Beach, where you can enjoy a relaxing summer day on the lake.

Transportation

Lincoln Park is walkable, and both the Red and Brown lines have stops in the area to take you north and south. Buses are available as well.

Lincoln Park Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,595

Webster Square Apartments

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 75
  • Rent: $1,914-$3,950
  • Highlights: With community features including a rooftop kitchen and lounge, top-of-the-line fitness center and on-site grocery, Webster Square residents have a variety of amenities at their fingertips. The units have wide-plank flooring and 9-foot ceilings.

Belden Stratford

  • Year Built: 1923
  • Number of Units: 297
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $1,095-$3,720
  • Highlights: Crown molding, hardwood flooring and expansive city views accent the rich history of this Lincoln Park building. A rooftop deck, fitness facility, dry cleaner and two restaurants are on-site.

The Patricians

  • Year Built: 1927
  • Number of Units: 276
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: $1,260-$2,925
  • Highlights: These contemporary apartments, ornately finished to highlight their original design details, offer spacious layouts and and brand-new appliances. See the entire city from the rooftop lounge and grill area, or work out in the fitness center.

The Runners Up

Lakeview

Lakeview is the area just north of Lincoln Park, and these days the two neighborhoods are mirror images of each other. Lakeview has become a spot for young families and professionals to settle down in mainly townhomes or small apartment buildings; there are no real high-rises here.

Lakeview can be broken down into three distinct parts. First is the southern end of Lakeview, which is really an extension of Lincoln Park. Second is Boystown, a small area north of Belmont between Broadway and Halsted, two streets that run diagonally and ultimately converge. (Think of Boystown as East Lakeview.) The nickname comes from its significant gay and lesbian population.

Finally, the northern part of Lakeview is Wrigleyville, named after the famous Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This is unlike any other place in Chicago — or pretty much the entire country, for that matter — as there is a baseball stadium in the heart of the neighborhood. The surrounding apartments house a mix of families and younger people who want to live in a neighborhood that’s lively throughout baseball season.

Things to do

The southern part of the Lakeview neighborhood has some popular restaurants, including Chilam Balam, DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, CeresTable and Panes Bread Cafe, a local lunch favorite. Be sure to grab some Cubby Crunch ice cream from Bobtail as well. Boystown is home to several popular restaurants and clubs that cater to the gay and lesbian community.

Wrigleyville is a fun place, especially when the Cubs are in town. Head to one of the famous sports bars — such as Sluggers, Cubby Bar or Murphys Bleachers — both before and after the game. And grab a sandwich at Luckys or a classic Italian beef and hot dog from Als Beef.

Transportation

Lakeview is walkable throughout. It is also easily accessible by both the Red and Brown lines, which converge at certain points; Wrigley Field is next to the Red Line’s Addison stop. If you are farther east in Lakeview, the 151 bus takes you down Michigan Avenue into the Loop.

Lakeview Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,325

The Van der Rohe

  • Year Built: 1952
  • Number of Units: 213
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Featuring cherrywood cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood flooring and oversized closets, The Van der Rohe is a luxurious yet comfortable space to call home. Residents here enjoy access to a large fitness center and rooftop, complete with giant chess and checkerboards.

Reside on Barry

  • Year Built: 1967
  • Number of Units: 455
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: $1,580-$2,460
  • Highlights: Part of a large group of Reside properties, Reside on Barry stands out for its attention to detail. We love the unique lighting and the custom design finishes available here; residents can choose colors for accent walls, complementing the original hardwood flooring. There’s also an outdoor kitchen.

Hawthorne House

  • Year Built: 1968
  • Number of Units: 269
  • Rent: $1,346-$2,634
  • Highlights: With a rooftop pool and sundeck overlooking Lake Michigan, as well as club rooms and guest suites, Hawthorne House’s amenities are hard to beat. Updated units featuring spacious layouts and contemporary design make it a great place to call home in Lakeview.

3834 N Sheffield

  • Year Built: 1928 (renovated in 2012)
  • Number of Units: 105
  • Rent: Starting at $845
  • Highlights: These refreshed studio apartments combine Boystown history with modern amenities, as seen in the whitewashed hardwood flooring and granite countertops. They’re a long fly ball from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs; the baseball-themed movie “The Natural” was filmed in this iconic building.

Halstead Flats

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 269
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: From cozy studios to expansive three-bedroom units, apartments at the recently opened Halstead Flats impress. They offer sleek espresso-finish cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling window walls. The community in Wrigleyville features include an outdoor heated pool and entertainment area, as well a tech-equipped club room.

The Runners Up

Uptown

Uptown is just north of Wrigleyville, on Lake Michigan. In the past few years it has experienced some gentrification, thanks to spillover from the Lakeview/Wrigleyville area as well as people from Edgewater moving farther south. This continues to occur as home prices and rents remain lower than the north side.

Things to do

Historically, Uptown was an entertainment district. Many of the classic spots remain; you can still catch a show at the Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theatre or Uptown Theatre. For a more informal experience, check out the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, which opened in 1907 and is a nod to the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Today you can hear some of the finest jazz musicians around.

Uptown’s Montrose Beach is much more relaxing and quaint than its southern counterparts, the North Avenue and Ohio Street beaches. Like all Chicago neighborhoods, Uptown has several great restaurants. Some notable spots are Arami for creative sushi, Spacca Napoli for Neapolitan-style pizza and Glens Diner for a classic diner that specializes in seafood. If youre craving Asian food, head for the strip of Broadway between Lawrence and Montrose, where youll find Sun Wah for Chinese barbecue and Tank Noodle for Vietnamese pho.

Transportation

Uptown is walkable, but you’ll need to take a bus or the Red Line south toward downtown to get to other neighborhoods.

Uptown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,200

Somerset Place Apartments

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 160
  • Number of Layouts: 3
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: This historic building in the West Argyle District has been reimagined into luxury living, with hardwood flooring, high ceilings and stainless appliances. Residents can enjoy the scenic skydeck or grand fitness center; they also have quick access to the neighborhood’s best dining, drinking and shopping.

The Uptown Regency

  • Year Built: 1923 (renovated in 2012)
  • Number of Units: 143
  • Number of Layouts: 7
  • Rent: $995-$1,600
  • Highlights: Just steps from Lake Michigan, The Uptown Regency has jaw-dropping views; the recently redone modern kitchens aren’t bad, either. The location can’t be beat, especially for nightlife — The Uptown Regency is a mile from the iconic Green Mill.

Reside on Clarendon

  • Year Built: 1929
  • Number of Units: 113
  • Number of Layouts: 7
  • Rent: $899-$1,138
  • Highlights: Reside on Clarendon’s brick mid-rise facade gives way to fresh, updated interiors, with modern kitchens and bright spaces. There’s also a fitness center and a rooftop perfect for entertaining intimate groups and large parties alike.

The Runners Up

Edgewater

Edgewater is one of the northernmost neighborhoods in Chicago, with Lake Michigan to its east. It is directly north of Uptown, with Montrose as its southern border and Devon Street to the north. Also at Devon is Loyola University, drawing a number of students to the area. Its also a very family-oriented neighborhood. Edgewater doesn’t attract as many residents as the more centrally located neighborhoods, which makes it a cheaper alternative.

Things to do

Edgewater is a relatively quiet neighborhood, and there are plenty of low-key restaurants around. Devon Street is known for having the most authentic and best Indian food in the city, with places like Mysore Woodlands, Tiffin and Ghareeb Nawaz. Ras Dashen offers Ethiopian fare. Also check out Francescas Bryn Mawr, M. Henry and Tweet for brunch.  

Transportation

You can walk around parts of Edgewater, particularly on Broadway near Foster Beach and in the area around Loyola University. The Red Line runs through the heart of the neighborhood for transportation south toward downtown.

Edgewater Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,185

Sheridan Tower

  • Year Built: 1970
  • Number of Units: 161
  • Number of Layouts: 4
  • Rent: $995-$1,495
  • Highlights: The lakefront Sheridan Tower offers expansive water views from both inside the units and outside, on the rooftop terrace. These apartments offer modern kitchens outfitted with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and separate dining areas. Residents are within walking distance of several restaurants and bars.

The Sovereign

  • Year Built: 1920
  • Number of Units: 283
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: $725-$1,200
  • Highlights: With hardwood flooring throughout and spacious closets, apartments at The Sovereign have been tastefully updated to reflect the modern resident. Love water? Lake Michigan is only steps away, and the Edgewater Health Club Pool is on-site.

FLATS No. 5718

  • Year Built: 1929 (renovated in 2015)
  • Number of Units: 75
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: FLATS No. 5718 has been updated with a contemporary color palette to reflect the ever-popular warehouse-style loft. The kitchens here feature granite countertops, soft-close cabinetry and subway tile. Check out the rooftop deck for some excellent city views.

The Runners Up

Wicker Park/Bucktown

Wicker Park and Bucktown were once considered up-and-coming neighborhoods, but they have firmly arrived. Although they are technically separate, Wicker Park and Bucktown run together in the area west of I-90, east of Western Avenue, north of Division and south of Fullerton.

Wicker Park and Bucktown are slightly more hip, not as expensive and not as established as Lincoln Park. Like Lincoln Park, however, the area features a mix of townhouses and small to midsize apartment units where young professionals and families reside. Real estate prices are still on the upswing, and restaurants, bars and shops continue to open in the neighborhood.

Things to do

One of the best areas for restaurants and bars in Wicker Park and Bucktown is the intersection of Milwaukee, North Avenue and Damen. Its home to popular places such as Big Star, Stans Donuts and Furious Spoon.

Another drinking and dining hot spot is the stretch of North Avenue between Ashland and Western Avenue; Bangers and Lace features refined cocktails and food, and The Anthem sports bar is perfect when NHL season rolls around.

The area is home to shops such as watch and leather store Shinola and boutique clothing and jewelry store Moon Voyage. And anyone in need of furniture should check out Interior Define, a boutique furniture store offering high-quality, custom-made products.

Transportation

Wicker Park and Bucktown are great neighborhoods to walk around. The Blue Line train can take you southeast to the Loop, but getting to other neighborhoods requires buses or other modes of transportation.

Wicker Park/Bucktown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,778

1611 West Division

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 99
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: $1,895-$3,250
  • Highlights: The architecture of this modern high-rise allows all residents to get fantastic views of the city, while hip interiors with 10-foot exposed-concrete ceilings and contemporary kitchens give tenants a unique and comfortable living space. The building also has a rooftop grilling area, fitness center and indoor bike storage.

2010 West Pierce

  • Year Built: 2001
  • Number of Units: 53
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: $2,358-$2,509
  • Highlights: These ultra-bright apartments are close to Wicker Park’s shops and restaurants, as well as transportation stops. The open floor plans and dark hardwood flooring and cabinetry make this a blank slate to showcase your own style.

1500 North Damen

  • Year Built: 1999
  • Number of Units: 18
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $2,482-$2,658
  • Highlights: Under the same ownership as 2010 West Pierce, these homes are finished with beautiful cabinetry in spacious kitchens. The bathrooms feature granite countertops and tile and glass showers. 1500 North Damen also boasts a central location to the best of the funky neighborhood.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is perhaps Chicagos most famous Southside neighborhood for a number of reasons. Here you can find the University of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry (the site of the 1893 Worlds Fair) and the former home of President Obama. The neighborhood is between about 51st and 61st streets, with Lake Michigan to the east and Washington Park to the west.

Hyde Park feels like a combination of a city and college town. It houses students and staff of the University of Chicago, but also has beautiful townhouses and condominiums. Because the area is so closely associated with the University of Chicago, its somewhat shielded from the surrounding area and property values.

Things to do

Hyde Park has several popular restaurants, bars and boutiques. There are classic spots that all University of Chicago students should know, like Medici on 57th, but in recent years the neighborhood has become a hot spot for Chicagos booming chef scene. New restaurants such as A10, Yusho and The Promontory are worth making the trip to the neighborhood.

Transportation

Hyde Park is fairly isolated from the rest of Chicago. Although the neighborhood is walkable, similar to a small college campus, there are no convenient forms of public transportation to other parts of the city.

Hyde Park Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,078

Shoreland

  • Year Built: 1926 (renovated in 2014)
  • Number of Units: 330
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: $1,270-$3,575
  • Highlights: We love the way the historical exterior of this former hotel contrasts with the modern apartment renovations, updated with sleek kitchens and brightly colored accent walls throughout the spacious units. Back in its hotel days, Al Capone, Elvis Presley and Amelia Earhardt all spent nights here.

The Flamingo Apartments

  • Year Built: 1926 (renovated in 2013)
  • Number of Units: 167
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: $934-$1,473
  • Highlights: With eat-in kitchens, crown molding and hardwood flooring, it’s hard not to feel truly at home at The Flamingo, near the neighborhood’s best shops and restaurants. Spend time in iconic Hyde Park before returning home to relax on the rooftop garden deck, offering a large pool and a larger view of the lake.

Hyde Park Tower

  • Year Built: 1990
  • Number of Units: 155
  • Number of Layouts: 20
  • Rent: $1,289-$2,379
  • Highlights: Rich design elements define this building, located right on the beach and near plenty of trails and transit. Gourmet kitchens define these apartment spaces, and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to flood in — as well as stunning views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.

The Runners Up