Lakeview – Chicago, IL

One of Chicago's most accessible areas, Lakeview residents love the quiet residential feel while also having quick and easy access to shopping, a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene, and what locals claim as the best dining district in the city. Lakeview sits a mere 10-minute walk from the shores of Lake Michigan, three miles from the Loop and lies nestled between West Diversey Parkway, North Ravenswood Avenue and West Irving Park Road. A neighborhood with historic charm mingled with modern high-rises, the real estate marks the most coveted addresses in the city, whether you seek a detached, single-family home, a townhouse or a slice of one of the many high-rises. The community features a mix of families, retirees and young professionals, though the average age of residents stays in the low 30s. Locals take advantage of the community spirit across a variety of venues from the endless supply of pubs and taverns to a wide network of theater, music venues and community events. Lining the streets in residential areas, you find plenty of trees, potted plants and small, landscaped yards. Rather than feeling cramped, though, the maximized spaces here build on the sense of community that draws residents together.

Schools in Lakeview

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Restaurants & Nightlife

From traditional Chicago fare to international and vegan cuisine, Lakeview's restaurants and nightlife thrive in the entertainment district surrounding Clark Street and Belmont and Sheffield Avenues. When a late-night visit to The Gingerman Tavern on Clark following a Cubs game at Wrigley calls for sleeping in, head to The Chicago Diner where breakfast stays available until 3 p.m. The locals love the meatless menu with limited dairy that sparks endless creativity in dishes like the Radical Reuben, but don't leave this laid-back yet upbeat joint without a vegan milkshake. For upscale dining with an Indian flair, try a delicious entree at the Tandoor Char House on North Halsted. Featured main dishes include paneer tandoori, a dish that features cuts of fresh paneer cheese and an assortment of seasonal vegetables baked in the tandoor, and they also offer fusion foods such as tandoori chicken tikka pizza. Wrap up the night at an off-Loop theater in the Belmont Theater District, or stop in at Guthries Tavern after a Cubs game. Gaze at the local artwork on the ceiling, or look for other charming surprises. A stack of board games, tons of craft beers and a limited menu keep the fun rolling. In fact, a pile of take-out menus supports a thriving BYOF atmosphere where the owners encourage you to order in food.

History & Culture

Lakeview's popularity has stayed a constant in its long history, but the modern culture and arts scene create a rich environment that serves as a playground for residents. Once "the" spot to live for the Miami, Ottawa and Winnebago tribes who settled in the area, the vicinity to the lake shore as well as many buildings from the historic housing boom of 1889 has drawn and kept residents through the years. Almost 50 percent of the structures in Lakeview still stand from that period, creating an eclectic mix of old and new when viewed against the rise of condos and townhouses. The arts and cultural scene leaves plenty on the table to keep residents entertained and worldly. From bars-turned-concert scenes to improv or art-house theater and concert halls, this area lets locals pick their poison. Hit up the Blue Man Group for an all-senses assault the USA Today calls "an ecstatic experience," but be prepared for comedy, art, science, original music and comedy fused into one wild show. In the summer, head to the hottest intersection in town for the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, or jam while sampling local restaurant tastings at the Lakeview Music Fest where the local bands ensure the tunes keep it cool.


Residents of Lakeview take advantage of plentiful public transportation, abundant parking, and convenient driving, biking and walking routes that keep the commercial areas close no matter where you live. This community loves to drive, so parking abounds throughout the streets even though it requires vigilance. Read signs closely everywhere because time limits and various restrictions result in tickets and tow-aways. In the dining and entertainment districts, you might have better luck on two wheels than four. Your fastest route to the action lies east on Addison, but on game nights at Wrigley, avoid Clark, Broadway, Lincoln and Halsted if you need to be on time, or take one of the bike paths running down these streets. Public transit also provides many options. The Brown and Red lines run north, but split with the Brown line heading west and the Red hitting Addison near Wrigley Field. When the Belmont theater district lands on your agenda, head there on the Red line, though be advised the Belmont stop stays flush with a younger crowd. Although cabs hail easily on the street, Uber serves this area as well. When heading out of the city, you might need to explore transit options as, despite all its conveniences, Lakeview does not enjoy easy access to the interstates.


Lakeview's cost of living rises 20 percent above the city average, but the unique character and charm of the walk-up bricks and condos and townhouses with historic facades make it worth it. From studios to three-bedrooms, the rental price only varies, on average, about $1800, putting studios around $1,000 and three-bedrooms around $2,800. Residents don't mind, though. Many fall in love at first sight with the rehabbed apartment buildings featuring century-old exteriors and new interiors. The locals comprise a mix of singles, retirees and families who happily snatch up condos, vintage bricks and other turn-of-the-century homes. Whether renting or buying, check out local HOA fees when picking your homestead as Lakeview has the most and most active HOAs of anywhere in the city. Transportation costs only contribute to the cost if you drive or rely heavily on public transit to commute to other areas of Chicago. The nightlife and dining prices stay in line with city averages, as do groceries and various goods and services.


Lakeview shopping gives residents bountiful options, from unique shopping in the Southport Corridor to boutiques and local shops to fresh markets in the summer months. Head down Lincoln Avenue for a collection of trendy shops and boutiques, or scope out the unique shopping options on Clark Street for everything from retro clothes, special shirts screen-printed on the spot with whatever your heart desires and specialty shoe shops. Get used to hearing residents talk about being on their way to shop on Belmont and Clark. This slice of Lakeview has the best selection of trendy, affordable shops for accessories and digs that rank right up there on the list of finds. While Que Syrah Fine Wines meets yours needs for wine, plenty of other specialty markets and grocers serve Lakeview residents. Locals love the Paulina Market for killer cuts of beef, and the Nettelhorst French Market offers delightful vendors peddling homemade breads, fresh produce and a mix of other local goods.


While its name suggests abundant water frontage and plenty of outdoor space, Lakeview actually lacks the abundant public green spaces of big-city parks. That doesn't mean you cannot find any, though. Warner Park provides the perfect quiet retreat for a romantic picnic in a gazebo or a stroll surrounded by beautiful flowers, such as hostas, lilac bushes and lilies. Your best bet for seeking out this neighborhood gem within the urban scene lies in heading east on Clark or west on Greenview. Pets are welcome, so you don't have to worry about leaving them at home. The best bet for finding a good playground for the kids lies in travelling the streets, as many small neighborhood parks feature playground equipment. Lakeview also hits the Lakefront Trail of Lincoln Park. Hop on this 18-mile paved path for a brisk evening stroll or a long, leisurely walk in the summer sun. You'll discover various parks, gardens and beaches all along the path to occupy your time and revive your mind.
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