Sitting in the portion of Aurora
closest to downtown Chicago, the Far East
neighborhood gets its name from being exactly that, the farthest East. Its 10,100 residents make up 5 percent of Aurora’s overall population. Situated west on Route 59 across from Naperville, the neighborhood extends north to McCoy Road and south to include about half of the White Eagle Country Club. The proximity to all the amenities offered in Aurora, Naperville and downtown Chicago makes this neighborhood an ideal fit for many.
Most Far East residents have graduated from college and have children, but this does not mean it only fits this type of person. Anyone from young, hip artists to busy, downtown executives can find their own special spot in the neighborhood. The area can be pricey, but residents find these higher costs to be worth paying considering all of the advantages Far East offers.
Schools in Far East
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
With such a close proximity to the main drag of Route 59, the Far East neighborhood has a lot going on. Many foreign cuisine shops call the Far East home, one of them being the Tandoor Hut. This Persian and Indian restaurant serves authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, such as Tandoor Chicken, Chicken Biryani, Gulabjamun and Sambar.
You can also stop by the East China Inn for some truly authentic Chinese food. This oriental eatery offers all the best traditional Chinese dishes, such as Sesame Chicken and every kind of Lo Mein. However, it features a few house specials you cannot miss out on, including the East China Delight, which is a combination of barbeque pork, chicken, beef, shrimp and scallops mixed with Chinese vegetables.
Portillo's, a popular chain originating in the Chicago area, also resides in the Far East. This American restaurant has 1950s decor all over the walls and happy employees ready to serve you the best Chicago-style hot dog you have ever had. If you choose to live in the Far East neighborhood, Portillo's may turn into one of your favorites.
For entertainment needs, Far East residents are lucky enough to live walking distance from the
Saddle Up Saloon and Dancehall located on Odgen Avenue. The country-style bar serves drinks and fun all night long with a mix of country and Top 40 music. Many people go into Saddle Up with no line-dancing experience, so the Dancehall offers free line-dancing lessons every Friday and Saturday night. Just show up and join in
History & Culture
Native Americans lived in the area until the Blackhawk
War in 1834 forced them out. Europeans quickly settled in the area and two towns developed: East Aurora and West Aurora. These two towns ran under different leaders and sat on their respective sides of the Fox Valley
River. In 1957, the two sides joined to become Aurora, building its government buildings between the two sides on Stolp Island on the river.
One year earlier, a roundhouse and locomotive shop belonging to the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad was constructed. The economy in the area blossomed for 14 years, and the railroad created more jobs than any other employer in the Fox Valley area. After the railroad shut down in 1970, the town fell into tough economic times. However, upon the construction of the Hollywood Casino in 1993, the town of Aurora eventually bounced back economically.
The Aurora Historical Museum located in the downtown area offers more details on Aurora’s intriguing past. Famous people who have lived in the area include meteorologist Tom Skilling and author Clive Cussler.
For those who also appreciate the fine arts, consider visiting the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora. The theater opened its doors in 1931, went through a complete restoration in 1976, and still has stunning historical architecture. Although you cannot help but appreciate the impressive building, the reason most people go to Paramount is to see the musicals, comedy shows and Broadway shows.
Many residents of the Far East neighborhood utilize the train to travel to and from downtown Chicago. The Metra Rail offers the Burlington Northern Santa Fe route for commuters looking to travel downtown. The train runs to Union Station in downtown Chicago and back to Aurora several times every day, making it an ideal mode of transportation for professionals who work downtown. Those who choose to avoid the train may instead opt to drive to their destinations. Interstate 88, the main thoroughfare of the area, lies just a short jog up Route 59. This road can take you the 40 mile drive east into the Loop downtown, or it can take you west into Iowa.
Because of its suburban nature, the majority of restaurants and shops in the Far East offer their own free parking. However, the neighborhood does not offer specific lots for free parking. You can find inexpensive parking in the downtown area of Aurora, though, which makes it easy to visit all of the amenities there.
The ideal location near the amenities of Aurora and Naperville, in addition to the easy access to downtown Chicago, means the homes
in the Far East neighborhood are in high demand. Thus, the cost of living sits 32 percent above the cost of living in the state overall. The average rental for a one-bedroom
apartment is $1,000, very comparable to the Aurora rental average. The average household income totals up to $119,000 per year, which means the residents can generally afford to pay for the homes there.
The Westfield Fox Valley mall offers one of the area's largest shopping centers. Anchored by department stores including JC Penney, Sears, Carson Pirie Scott and Macy’s, the mall also features 150 other shops. High-end clothing stores like H&M and the Buckle give customers the shopping experience they want. Westfield Fox Valley also has luxury boutiques such as Brighton Collectibles and Pandora. While technically in Naperville, the mall sits on just the other side of the northern border of the Far East neighborhood, McCoy Road.
Grocery shoppers can find what they need in the Aldi, Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market across Route 59. Although these all sit in Naperville, they have a convenient location for Far East residents.
Aurora also features its famous farmers' market downtown every year from June to October. Fresh produce, baked goods and artisan cheeses can all be found in the market that has run every year since 1912.
The parks in the Far East neighborhood are limited due to the area's high population density. However, just across Route 59 sits the 1,800-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. With seven miles of trails, everyone can enjoy the space, including hikers, bikers, joggers and even horseback riders. The park also boasts a large off-leash area where dogs can run and play.