6.3 out of 10

Irving Park

Ranked 34th best neighborhood in Chicago
41.9535162873106 -87.7232320868805
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
  • Schools
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

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

"Irving Park - Quiet but Inviting"

I’m kind of surprised at these other reviews of Irving Park. It isn’t suburban at all and feels just as much a part of the city as anywhere else. It’s smack dab in the middle of the north side! It’s a pretty typical Chicago neighborhood.

Irving Park is a pretty quiet area, definitely good for families, but all kinds of people live there. It’s safe and there are a lot of beautiful homes. Maybe the ‘suburban’ comments come from the look of the Old Irving Park section of the neighborhood. This is a historic district with larger yards and homes.
There are plenty of apartments too. There’s a pretty decent mix of people in the area.

The businesses, restaurants and bars are mostly local neighborhood-y kind of spots. The Abbey Pub is an Irish bar attached to a decent sized music venue that has all kinds of bands play – I’ve seen everything from punk to hip hop groups there. They also have a lot of local talent play, which is cool. The Lincoln Antique Mall is cool to check out too.

There are a few dining options in the neighborhood to note. Arun’s Thai isn’t your average Thai joint – it’s more fine-dining, and although expensive, it’s probably some of the best Thai food you’ll ever have. Sabatino’s is a classic Italian place that’s a neighborhood institution. Mirabell is a good German/Austrian restaurant with good beer. I haven’t eaten at Smoque, but my parents have and said it was REALLY good BBQ.

While Irving Park isn’t the trendiest neighborhood in the city, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Family-oriented
  • safe
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Perfect for those who love historic architecture"

Irving Park is on the Northwest side of Chicago and is a racial diverse area with both large White and Hispanic populations. If you like the idea of restoring an old house, this is the place for you. Where the area really shines is all the old buildings that can be found there. You can get a decent value for your real estate dollar. If you are into old buildings and 19th century architecture, then you will love Irving Park, as there are many different examples of turn of the century architecture that can be found throughout the area. This is no doubt one of the major reasons for the creation of the Irving Park Historical Society which has been working for decades to preserve many of the old buildings in the area.

Architecture and history buffs should take note that some of the buildings in the area date back to the 1870s! By Chicago standards, these are rare finds and really stand out. The style of the architecture varies form Bungalow style homes to Craftsman as well.

Adding to the area's charm is Old Irving Park which has many historical buildings and the Independence Park area. Bottom line is that if you love architecture, you will find this area of interest!
Pros
  • safe
  • Family-oriented
Cons
  • Removed from the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Family Area a Bit Off the Beaten Path"

The Irving Park neighborhood is located on the city’s Northwest side. Its boundaries are Montrose Avenue, Irving Park Road, and the Chicago River. The community is inclusive of the smaller neighborhoods of Old Irving Park, The Triangle, The Villa, Independence Park, Mayfair, Addison Park, and West Walker. Although somewhat far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown, it is close to some of my favorite parts of the city and my home neighborhood of Roscoe Village.

The history of Irving Park is probably the first thing that stands out to me. Noted by many for its historic homes, I love strolling the streets of Irving Park to admire its architecture. As a lover of bungalow-style houses and all things historic, I have a soft spot for Irving Park, even though many locals aren’t that fond of the area. If you’re interested in Chicago for skyscrapers and urban energy, Irving Park isn’t for you. If you’re like me and you are no longer enamored with the downtown area, you can probably find a few things to enjoy here.

The area also has loads of transportation, which makes it easy to come here for the day or commute in/out if you make this your home. The cost of living is relatively low and there are a few noteworthy restaurants in the area. Overall, if you love historic homes and quiet charm, Irving Park is worth a visit.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Family-oriented
  • safe
Cons
  • Removed from the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Nice neighborhood"

It's quite a nice neighborhood to live in - there are two parks or three parks on California St (one park even has a public swimming pool open during summer). It's quite diverse - around 40% white and 35% hispanic. Horner Park provides a quiet retreat and is good for walking, jogging, playing tennis, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, you name it. Having said that, many picnickers come into the park and make a mess, so the park isn't too clean. But the neighborhood, being generally safe (unless you wander the streets at 2 a.m. in the morning), should be quite enjoyable to you and your family.
Pros
  • variety of activities
  • safe
Cons
  • not too clean
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Not quite city, not quite suburb"

Irving Park is, in my opinion, not really a part of Chicago. I realize that technically it is included in the city, but I really look at it as a suburb. The odd thing is that I feel like Irving Park still tries a bit to hold onto being a part of the city, so it never quite goes all the way to being a suburb.

Some people might consider it nice that you could have the best of both worlds, but I see it has not having the best of either world. It certainly isn't a place with all the action and excitement of the city, but there are a handful of good, but low key places to get a bite to eat or a drink.

Shopping is also fairly low key, but it's serviceable. Nothing worth going out of your way for, but if you lived in Irving Park you'd be okay.

I would recommend Irving Park for families only. I'm not saying you can't have a good time here, but there are more exciting places. I'd say it's relatively safe, and while it isn't the most affordable part of Chicago, the prices aren't as bad as some of the suburbs.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5
2yrs+

"Irving Park – Too Far Away!"

YIKES! This neighborhood is way too far away from anything I care about! Which means it’s probably a great place for families with kids, and seniors. Haven’t been through there in some time but as I recall it had a lot of old single family houses. Irving Park Road is one of those Chicago streets that extend from one side of the city to the other – from the Lakefront all the way to O’Hare airport. In fact, the street seems to be directly under the flight plan/route for all traffic coming to O’Hare from the East. I think in the old days before the Kennedy Expressway was completed and extended to the west, Irving Park Road was probably the only way one could get to the airport! Imagine how long that would have taken on a surface street! When I was a kid in the 60s, going to O’Hare was a day-trip for amusement!

Having the Kennedy Expressway running through this neighborhood makes it fairly convenient for car owners to get where they need to go. And I guess it’s not terribly inconvenient for those who must rely on public transportation. The CTA has several East/West bus routes running on the main streets through the area (Irving Park Road, Belmont, Addison, Montrose). And of course there’s the CTA Blue Line train with stations at Belmont, Addison, Irving Park and Montrose. In fact, the Blue Line – which travels in the median of the Kennedy – is the fastest and cheapest way to get to and from the airport IF you don’t have a lot of luggage. (The airlines are seeing to it that anyone’s luggage would be minimal!)

Would I want to live in this neighborhood? Not even if you paid me! Too much like a suburb for my taste. I much prefer living Downtown where the action is!
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
Deena
Deena Ironically and coincidentally, the day after I wrote this review, I had the opportunity for a "drive-thru" of this neighborhood, along Montrose Avenue. It was pretty much as I expected: lined with mostly single-family homes; a lot more 2 and 3-flat apartment buildings than I'd expected to see; quiet, residential. I did NOT see any large grocery or retail stores/malls. But there were quite a few small strip malls, neighborhood stores and restaurants centered around major intersections. Nice area but I still wouldn't want to live there.
2yrs+
k p
k p Wait, you wrote a review on a neighborhood before you drove through it? I can't wrap my head around that one. I certainly hope you aren't writing business reviews.
5 days ago
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