East Garfield Park – Chicago, IL

While East Garfield Park offers some high-value shopping destinations via the strip malls along Madison Street, locals head to the city when they want to embark on high-end shopping escapades. The strip malls on Madison tend to lean toward serving everyday needs with small but locally loved clothing and shoe stores, hair care havens, and niche locations. This area is also home to the Beehive Chicago, a vintage superstore that local lovers visit to hunt down those elusive hidden gems. Aldi and Save-A-Lot provide discount groceries for residents, and several ethnic options as well as mom-and-pop grocery stores dot the neighborhood. Amish Healthy Foods combines the best aspects of a farmers market with a brick-and-mortar store environment for a terrific place to stock up on locally sourced organic food.

Schools in East Garfield Park

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Restaurants & Nightlife

What East Garfield Park lacks in nightlife, it makes up for with abundant and reasonably priced American eats and some of the best soul food in the city, along with a few other gems thrown in the mix. When you need a pick-me-up, head to Star Lounge Coffee Bar. Locals adore this coffee house for its cozy atmosphere, sweet bakery treats, and rich, flavorful espresso. Perk yourself up with a Meteor Mocha, the Thriller, or Dolor De Oro, but be prepared to delight your senses because this place sources and roasts its own coffee. In the summer, the roomy and sunny back patio further extends the spot's appeal. When craving some juicy fried chicken, you want to hit up Feed on Chicago Avenue. Locals love it for dishes like the Smothered Fried Chicken on Sundays and greens sourced from the patchwork gardens just west of the restaurant. Bring your appetite, though, and expect big portions. For nightlife, residents head outside the neighborhood as many of the bars nearby get a little too rowdy for their taste, but The Continental, located at the intersection of Chicago and California, attracts many locals because of its after-hours closing time and hip music scene.

History & Culture

East Garfield Park has seen its share of transformations before entering its current stage of revitalization. Real estate flooded the area soon after its creation, fizzled after some broken promises from developers and was later completely abandoned following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The slow development then grew some commercial wings in the early 20th century when homes and manufacturing plants sprouted up consistently. The Great Depression and World War II then stunted the growth a second time until mid-century, when Martin Luther King Jr.'s sentiments fueled the neighborhood to move forward. That same spirit continues in modern times as the area undergoes social and economic revitalization. Garfield Park and its conservatory play an ever-present role in that revitalization with events that focus on building a stronger, more tight-knit community. Throughout the year, both the park and its conservatory host various activities and events to involve locals and attract other city residents. Head to Jazz Under the Stars in July to get serenaded by jazz artists while dancing, sipping on cocktails and mingling with locals.

Transportation

Given East Garfield Park's spread-out nature, driving and riding the Chicago Transit Authority are the best options. With many CTA buses and trains serving the area, residents enjoy plentiful stops for convenient travel around the neighborhood and beyond it, but some locals prefer the El trains (Blue and Green lines) because of simple routes and the easy morning commute or quick access to the Magnificent Mile. The Green line runs east and west down Lake Street and offers four stops: Pulaski Road, Garfield Conservatory, Kedzie Avenue and California Avenue. If you stay on past California, you hit the downtown Loop four miles later. The Blue line hits downtown as well, but only hits Pulaski and Kedzie before stopping at Western Avenue. Driving provides easy travel in and around the area, too. Residents enjoy easy access to the Eisenhower Expressway on the south and multiple on and off routes along Congress Parkway and Harrison Street. Be advised, though, Chicago's rush hour traffic makes the convenience of hitting the highways all but disappear. Many residents walk and bike the neighborhood by day, but if traveling at night, cabs or driving yourself are better options. Calling a taxi ahead of time or using services like Uber or Lyft will likely lead to a quicker and safer pickup than waiting at an intersection.

Cost

Good availability, stable rent prices, low home prices, and a low cost of living make East Garfield Park attractive to many residents. Vintage condos, classic bungalows and small frame houses line the streets, primed for home buyers and renters alike. Renters take advantage of pretty low rates with an average rent of around $1,110. Finding two- and three-bedrooms for as low as $800 attracts those with a keen eye on their budgets. Even some four-bedroom units barely top $1,400. Along with low housing costs, the cheap and plentiful dining options also contribute to a lower cost of living.

Shopping

While East Garfield Park offers some high-value shopping destinations via the strip malls along Madison Street, locals head to the city when they want to embark on high-end shopping escapades. The strip malls on Madison tend to lean toward serving everyday needs with small but locally loved clothing and shoe stores, haircare havens and niche locations. This area is also home to the Beehive Chicago, a vintage superstore that local lovers visit to hunt down those elusive hidden gems. For nearly two decades, Tribeca Boutique has been pleasing locals with a unique selection of reasonably priced contemporary clothing and accessory items. Hand-picked by the owner on trips to New York and Los Angeles, the merchandise here focuses upon helping you look and feel beautiful, confident and fabulous for that special night. Aldi and Save-A-Lot provide discount groceries for residents, and several ethnic options as well as mom-and-pop grocery stores dot the neighborhood. Amish Healthy Foods combines the best aspects of a farmers market with a brick-and-mortar store environment for a terrific place to stock up on locally sourced organic food.

Parks

East Garfield Park keeps locals and visitors alike busy with one the best parks in the city. Garfield Park and its conservatory represent an 184.72 acre botanical retreat and community hub. Locals hit the park to get active. Some prefer tearing up the basketball court; others head to the tennis courts, including one converted for bicycle polo, or try their hand at in-line skating or swimming. The park's field house ensures plenty of additional options for working up a sweat. The park also provides plenty of green space to create a nature retreat for a quiet afternoon reading a book, a romantic picnic amid a beautiful view, or the perfect spot to sip on a steaming cup of afternoon java. The outdoor spaces in the Conservatory rival some of the world's best-painted picturesque scenes. Picnicking under the crabapple trees comes highly recommended, as does the fishing in the park's huge lagoon. At the park, programs for everyone from Grandma down to the youngest little ones stay available for locals as well. Boxing, dancing and various art programs become available throughout the year, and every summer sees a six-week summer camp that draws many local kids.
2 wks
3600 W Franklin Blvd
3600 W Franklin Blvd, Chicago, IL 60624
$1,300 3 Bed Available Now
844-842-4805
2 wks
The Midwest Apartments
6 N Hamlin Blvd, Chicago, IL 60624
$700 Studio Available Soon
844-335-4906