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Niles has a large population of older residents, with more than 50 percent of the residents being 45 or older, and over half of that group being 65 or older. Lying 15 miles north of downtown Chicago and west of Skokie, most of Niles is positioned around Milwaukee Avenue, which provides a main route within the town and runs diagonally through it.

Like Skokie, Niles provides the benefits of living near Chicago, without living directly in it. Residents of Niles can take a short ride to Chicago and get their fill of the city before retreating back to their smaller, quieter town. Maine South High School ranks 27th in the state, while Nile West and Niles North rank 48th and 50th out of over 700 high schools in the state. In 2011, the town was named by BusinessWeek as one of the best places in the nation to raise kids as well as one of the most affordable.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Niles, IL is $2,117 for a studio, $1,993 for one bedroom, $1,828 for two bedrooms, and $1,400 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Niles has decreased by -5.8% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
417
$2,117
1 BR
603
$1,993
2 BR
887
$1,828
3 BR
1,500
$1,400
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

64 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
44 Transit Score® Some Transit
55 Bike Score® Bikeable

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Restaurants

With most of its restaurants located along Milwaukee Avenue, Niles delivers a world of flavors without the travel. These restaurants feature Italian, Thai, Korean, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines, along with barbeque and other American foods.

At La Tavola Trattoria, after utilizing the free valet parking, walk in and be greeted by a serenade of love songs performed by live singers. On a warm afternoon or evening, enjoy your veal marsala or lobster ravioli on the patio. For more casual Italian fare, try Chicago’s finest hotdogs at Celli’s, which are made with Vienna beef. They also feature a variety of gyros, wraps and sandwiches featuring Italian beef and sausage. Plus, you can enjoy them outside at the picnic tables. Siam’s House Restaurant remains a popular Thai option in Niles, serving up pad see ew made with kale instead of broccoli; the unique dish yum pla dook fu, which is a fried catfish salad; and a papaya salad called som tom.

Niles also has a few night clubs, including Layalena Restaurant and Night Club. This Middle Eastern-themed establishment features live music, traditional foods and hookah. At Howard Street Inn, you can watch a sporting event on one of several TVs both inside and outside, or relax in the wrap-around seating area that overlooks the golf course. They feature drink specials each day of the week, including $2 well drinks on Mondays and $3 martinis on Thursdays.

History

The first building, a log cabin, appeared in 1832, followed by a second building in 1834 and the first school in 1838. The town was incorporated in 1899. Although no one is quite sure, some think that Niles draws its name from the construction company, Niles Construction, that built a majority of the town. In 1946 Niles established the first free ambulance service in the state, making it one of only a few free providers in the nation at that time.

The residents of Niles refer to the town as a “melting pot” because it is home to a variety of ethnicities, such as Irish, Italian and Asian. Niles has one museum, the Niles Historical and Cultural Center, run by the Niles Historical Society. There is no arts scene in Niles, but nearby Skokie does have one. Niles holds a 4th of July parade and celebration each year and an event called Bike Niles, which features multiple bike courses for riders of all ages.

Transportation

Train transportation includes Metra’s Milwaukee District North Line and the Union Pacific District Northwest Line, both of which provide a quick way to downtown Chicago from Niles. The Niles Free Bus provides service around the community, and the Pace Bus System gives residents another option to reach downtown Chicago and other nearby towns. Residents can use Uber or call a taxi for private transportation.

Niles contains few, if any, public parking lots, as most are privately used by businesses for employees and customers. I-294 to the west, I-90 to the south and I-94 to the east all lie just outside of Niles and can easily be reached via Nile’s main roads. For example, Touhy Avenue takes you to both I-294 and I-94, while Harlem Avenue takes you to I-90. Due to its size, Niles is not very walkable for everyday errands. Most of Niles streets have sidewalks to allow walkers and bikers to get around with ease. Although bikes are allowed on the roads with a license or permit, most do not have bike lanes.

Cost

The cost of living in Niles scores a 121 on the cost of living index. The cost of goods and services, groceries, housing and transportation are all higher than the national average. The median income hovers around $57,000. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Niles averages around $1,000. The cost of living in Niles is slightly higher than Chicago, which is mostly reflected in a 16 percent increase in housing costs.

Shopping

Comprised mostly of retail chains, some of Nile’s stores are located around the Golf Mill Shopping Center, while several others span the length of Milwaukee Avenue. A few local businesses include Suit 20/20, specializing in men’s business suits and alteration services; Wings Resale Shop, providing bargains to the community that help support homeless and abused women and children; and North Suburban Floral Services, providing the perfect floral arrangements for any special occasion. Grocery stores located within Niles include Jerry’s Fruit and Garden on Milwaukee Avenue, Fresh Farms on Touhy Avenue and Tony’s Finer Foods at Greenwood Avenue and Dempster Street. Although Niles does not host a farmers market, the nearby communities of Skokie, Morton Grove and Park Ridge do.

Parks

The town of Niles contains 13 free parks. Amenities include play equipment and picnic areas at most parks, lighted tennis courts at five parks, an outdoor ice skating rink at Oak Park, batting cages and miniature golf at Pioneer Park and floor hockey at Washington Terrace Park. While Niles has no specific dog parks, the nearby town of Park Ridge does have an off-leash dog park. Niles’s parks do not host any special events but do contain fun activities for adults and children alike year-round.

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