7.9 out of 10

Hyde Park

Ranked 7th best neighborhood in Chicago
41.7916605695303 -87.5882572314057
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Safe & Sound
  • Medical Facilities
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Pest Free
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Gym & Fitness
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Retirees

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
2yrs+

"Hyde Park - Beautiful and Brimming With Culture"

Wow there’s a lot to say about Hyde Park. Where to start?

First of all, President Obama’s home is NOT in Hyde Park. It’s in Kenwood, straight to the north.

Second, the neighborhood is beautiful. There is stunning architecture, tree-lined side streets, and TONS of things to do. Walking around the neighborhood simply looking at the homes, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, could take a whole day.

The most prominent feature of the neighborhood is the University of Chicago. They pretty much dominate the place, but there’s definitely room for residents of the city too. U of C is a really prestigious school – it’s really hard to get into and really expensive. Yes, many businesses in the area cater to students, but the vibe is very intelligent instead of a frat boy party, so it doesn’t affect residents in the ways you might expect.

There are a lot of museums in Hyde Park. The most well-known is the Museum of Science and Industry. The main attractions are probably more suited to kids, but they hold special exhibits all the time that are really cool for everyone. It’s in Jackson Park, and is the only building that’s still left from the Columbian Exposition. The Smart Museum of Art is also a great alternative to the more crowded Art Institute and MCA.

Jackson Park is halfway in the Hyde Park neighborhood. This is, in my opinion, one of the best parks in the city. It’s huge and beautiful – there’s lagoons and gardens galore. It was the site of the famous White City built for the Columbian Exposition in 1893. The Midway is great to walk through – it’s a long, narrow part connecting Jackson Park to Washington Park. The Bears used to practice there, which is how they got the nickname ‘Monsters of the Midway.’ The Point (Promontory Point, sorry) is where locals hang out to swim in the lake.

There are tons of great food options, mostly cafes and coffee shops, plus some really great ethnic places. There are a lot of cool local shops too – 57th Street Books is one of the best used book stores in Chicago.

The bars are pretty low-key neighborhood places, and Checkerboard Lounge recently opened their new spot in Hyde Park (the old one was a well-known mecca for blues and jazz).

Hyde Park is a great neighborhood filled with diverse people and diverse things to do.
Pros
  • A lot to do
  • Great location
Cons
  • a little far from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"An interesting University neighborhood in South Side Chicago"

First and foremost, Hyde Park is home to The University of Chicago. This is a prestigious (and expensive school) that is also quite expansive with a medical pavilion, undergraduate school and graduate school. The University of Chicago Law School is also situated in Hyde Park.

Much of the infrastructure in Hyde Park supports the students and staff. There are a lot of great restaurants, cafes and bookstores. I attended this school as an undergrad and definitely had some favorites along 57th including The Medici and Cafe Florian. Both of these places had great pizza. They are both also the kind of place where you can sit drinking coffee and having a thought provoking conversation.

The architecture of the homes in Hyde Park is pretty interesting. There are some mansions and very stately homes. The school itself has a very gothic look, which copies something like what you would see in Oxford, England. There are beautiful "quads" with lots of trees and grass.

One issue that I experienced living in Hyde Park is that it isn't easy to get to the North Side without a car. Otherwise, you need to take a bus and then the El. This can take a long time and also seem very unsafe. This is particularly true if you are coming home late at night. Therefore, if you don't have a car you may end up feeling a bit isolated in this part of town.
Pros
  • A lot to do
  • Great location
Cons
  • Not as accessible to public transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
Ekaterina
Ekaterina You can always take the Metra to downtown,which is absolutely safe,and the the El.
2yrs+
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Lots to See"

Hyde Park, which is perhaps most noted as being the former of President Barack Obama, has seen its share of famous people through the years. Don’t let that overshadow the plethora of other things this South Side neighborhood has going for it. Even though it seems like a lot of locals have a pre-conceived assumption that all South Side neighborhoods are bad news, Hyde Park is certainly a favorite of mine. Aside from its numerous activities, the rich ethnic energy of the neighborhood is easy to appreciate.

One of the biggest points of interest in Hyde Park is the University of Chicago. The presence of a large school brings an influx of younger residents and excitement. Hyde Park is also where you’ll find the Museum of Science and Industry and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. If you’re looking for culture, you will find it here!

After suffering a big decline in the mid-20th Century, Hyde Park has recovered nicely. Tons of restaurants, entertainment venues, and landmarks make Hyde Park a great place for visitors to Chicago and residents alike. Great for families, students, singles, and couples, this former suburb has a strong urban vibe and endless prominent cultural areas.
Pros
  • A lot to do
  • Great location
  • Transportation options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
2yrs+

"Manhatten Project"

Hyde Park is the home of the University of Chicago. One of the best universities in the world and the home of the beginning of the atomic age.

A trip to the university can yeild amazing information.

Under Stagg Field Stadium a makeshift lab was build and it was here that the first self sustaining nuclear reaction. 25 years exactly- to the minute- after this a bronze statue was unveiled to commomeorate the beginning of the atomic age.

Hyde park is an interesting area. It has a massive concentration of intelligence. It is home to the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago among other centers for learning.

Within a block or sometimes even just next door the neighboorhood can go from impoverished to very well off. It is a very vivid illustration of the reasons for racial tension in the area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"One of the best!!"

Obviously, the first thing to mention about Hyde Park is the University of Chicago, which is in the neighborhood. Being a 25 year old guy, I love stopping by as there are a number of people my age there, and some of my best friends in the city attend the school or live in Hyde Park. As the University is there, there are a number of college friendly places to eat, get a cup of coffee, or go shopping, but there are also some other cool things to see in Hyde Park.

I've been by the Museum of Science and Industry a few times, only once recently, but I also went when I was younger. I have to admit I enjoyed it more when I was younger, although I have a different appreciation for it now.

Overall, I find Hyde Park to be a great neighborhood. I know another reviewer said there were some crime problems, but I've never found that to be the case, and the area is, in my opinion, nicer today than in the past, so if there were problems once, it isn't so much the case anymore. That's not to say crime is non existent, but I wouldn't call it a problem area. Housing is generally affordable, but there are some nicer places that are more expensive. The nice thing is that most of the places to eat offer a lot of good food for a reasonable price. Definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
2yrs+

"Educational Mecca"

This neighborhood is the home of the Museum of Science and Industry, University of Chicago, and the Du Sable African History Museum.

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is fascinating for all ages. I have taken my four children there and not run out of things to see and discuss for hours.

Some of their favorite exhibits are the train layout, the moon landing, the hatchery, the agricultural exhibit, and the dollhouse. They have not expressed a huge interest in the children's area. They were far to busy looking at other things.

A lot of it was over their heads though, the coal mining was boring to them and the circus scared them- but it will come in time.
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
2yrs+

"True eclectic mix"

Today’s Hyde Park hosts just about something for everyone. You probably know that this is the neighborhood where the University of Chicago is located, and subsequently you will understand why there are so many student-types milling about and living in the area. There are also the usual bars and diners that cater to the college types – but there is something of a well-to-do vibe here as well. Hyde Park is also home to some of the city’s upper crust, who live in sprawling lakeside homes here.

In my opinion, Hyde Park is one of Chicago’s more attractive neighborhoods – and there are some very random things to take note of here. The parakeet population, for one: for some reason both Harold Washington Park and Jackson Park are home to the colorful tropical birds, which are both out of place and something of an anomaly. No one is sure how they survive the cold weather Chicago is known for. Chicago University itself is a place to be seen – many of the buildings resemble the stately buildings of Oxford. (And it’s of no small consideration that Rockefeller himself contributed much to the early days of the University.)
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Hyde Park: Still a Great Place to Live and Visit"

Long before this neighborhood became famous as President Obama’s home turf in Chicago, Hyde Park was one of my favorite neighborhoods. When I was considering where to search for my first apartment in the early 80s, it was at the top of my list. The main reason I didn’t move there was because I wanted to live closer to the Downtown Chicago area.

Hyde Park is well situated between the lakefront to the east, Washington Park/King Drive to the west, 51st Street to the north, and 59th Street/Midway Plaisance to the south. And it is a mere 7 miles to the Loop/Downtown. This eclectic neighborhood is chockfull of everything - museums, restaurants, parks and recreation, shopping, transportation, the full range of housing from high-rises to single family vintage and new homes. And yes, history! A few of the notable/historical destinations here include the Museum of Science and Industry campus (the only remaining structure from the Columbian Expo of 1893) and the University of Chicago campus with its famous Rockefeller Chapel. As the Obama Family’s Chicago neighborhood, the area boasts the Valois restaurant as one of their favorites for breakfast. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of going on a walking tour of Hyde Park that included Valois’restaurant, Obama’s local barber shop, and the street where their home is located.

But Hyde Park is so much more than a current “Obama hotspot”. It is still a very eclectic neighborhood, just as I remember it from visiting there in my high school days in the early 70s. The high-rises along the lakefront are still standing, but no doubt converted from rental units to condos. In my travels to the neighborhood in the past 5+ years, I haven’t noticed much new high-rise development. But I have seen many new low-rise/townhome developments on the main thoroughfares. Like many urban Chicago neighborhoods, Hyde Park has had its ups and owns. But due to it being Obama’s neighborhood, it is certainly getting more attention than it ever did before.

Still, off the beaten paths, as I discovered on a recent trip to visit a relative who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, there are remnants of the old, stately mansions of the past, mixed in with new residential housing in the form of townhomes and apartment buildings, and blight from past decades. In some cases, all that remains of the past structures are their coach houses – set back far from the street. The main house – the mansion - either burned down or was torn down and the coach house is all that remains. And they have been carved up and converted to small apartments with an enormous front yard (where the main house/mansion used to be).

In general, Hyde Park is still the beautiful neighborhood it used to be.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Nice, but problematic"

Hyde Park is one of the historic areas in Chicago. It is where many of the institutes of higher learning are located, most notably the University of Chicago. It is a lake front community with a larger park that offers a great outdoor space for city dwellers. The layout of the area is fairly simply. Residential housing is located on the even numbered streets within the neighborhood and the odd numbered streets house businesses. Because of the proximity of the University of Chicago there are a plethora of affordable eateries and takeout businesses. The businesses clearly cater to the student demographic that resides in the area which is great for people on a budget.

Because of the historic nature of the area there are some very interesting architectural features that can not be missed. The Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright structure, is a prime example of this. The area near and around the lake is quiet and comfortable for young professionals, but as you move outward towards the University of Chicago and outlying areas the area can get a bit rough. The University has some pretty significant security presence and there is an obvious reason for it.

Hyde Park has always struck me as an area in which you have to really know where you are going and where you are headed to avoid walking into a less than wonderful neighborhood. That is common in most big cities though, so I wouldn't discount the area entirely based on that fact. Overall the area is nice, clean and relatively quiet with some really great cultural experiences to be had.
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Hyde Park- The Place to Be!"

Hyde Park is located on the South Side of Chicago. The community is filled with diversity: from students (U of C) to young professionals, people of various nationalities, and a wide range of families and senior citizens. Surrounded by Lake Michigan, there’s easy access to the beach to enjoy the weather. Various restaurants and small business allow people to get what they need without having to travel outside of the area. Transportation is easily accessible; ranging from the Metra train, a number of CTA buses and the CTA red line. Hyde Park is a hip, up and coming neighborhood that than Chicago residents are eager to live in.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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