5.6 out of 10

Albany Park

Ranked 45th best neighborhood in Chicago
41.9690742649217 -87.7228225577338
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Safe & Sound
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A great day trip if you're looking for culture"

The first thing I noticed when I visited Albany Park is the culture. For a time it was called "Koreatown," although the increased Hispanic population has changed the demographics to the point where this no longer applies.
If you're planning on visiting the area, my suggestion would be to do it for the food. You can find some very unique restaurants in the area. A few years back, my older brother was dating a girl from Hong Kong, and after going through the Chinatown area, we decided to give Albany Park a shot, to see if there was anything she would like there. Little did we know that relations between Koreans and the Chinese are at best a bit strained at present. Anyways, she didn't end up liking the area, but I really enjoyed the food. We went to the Chicago Kalbi Restaurant, which as I understand is a Japanese version of Korean Barbecue. If you like spicy meat wrapped in lettuce leaves, then it is highly recommended.
As far as atmosphere, I'll admit to feeling a bit out of place. It is one of the more diverse areas in Chicago, and my being a pale Irishman didn't exactly mesh well with the neighborhood. That said, the people were friendly and there was something in the culture, seeing all these different ethnic groups coming together, that is worth experiencing. I don't know that I would want to live there, but I certainly liked the food, and would visit again.
I was looking for an apartment about two years ago, and I know that rent in the area is some of the lowest in Chicago, and parking seemed really good in the area, and traffic was fairly light.
Shopping is going to be mostly a cultural experience. If you're looking for something Asian or Hispanic, then it would be well worth it to visit.
I know there is a very highly ranked high school in the area as well, so if you're looking with that in mind, take a look.
Pros
  • Good public transportation
  • Affordable housing
  • Good food
Cons
  • Not very safe
  • Few shopping options
  • Not great for nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"An extremely diverse neighborhood"

The Albany Park neighborhood has a large Hispanic population, and it is one of the more diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. In fact, the Albany Park area is likely one of the more diverse areas in the entire country, as people from all over the world have settled there and in large concentrations. This makes any visit to the area really an interesting one. All of this diversity translates into a variety of cultural organizations of all kinds and types.

One of the major stand out features to the Albany Park area is that there is no shortage of park facilities. Chicago, in general, has an abundance of parks, but the Albany Park neighborhood has a considerable number of different options. There are many different play areas for children in the area which contributes to its appeal for those with younger children.

Chicago is a heavily Democratic leaning city but even in Chicago Albany Park stands out as being a Democratic stronghold. This is due in part to the large number of immigrants in Albany Park and the fact that immigrants statistically tend to lend towards the Democratic party.
Pros
  • Good food
  • Affordable housing
  • Very little traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Albany Park - Mixing it Up"

Albany Park is Chicago at its very best in many respects. Like other reviewers have said, it really is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. There’s a mix of pretty much everyone, with a lot of Koreans, Cambodians, Middle Easterners and Hispanics. The area is quiet, family-friendly, and truly friendly towards everyone.

The food in Albany Park is outstanding. There’s no fine dining or anything here. Just family-owned restaurants serving all kinds of ethnic foods at a reasonable price. Noon O Kebab has really good Middle Eastern food. I’d definitely recommend the Asian restaurants in the area, especially Thai and Korean – some of the best.

The shops are mostly local, family-owned businesses too.

I have some Korean friends that live in this area, and I’ve been to a few Korean bars here. These are absolutely worth checking out. They’ll let you experience a different culture (if you aren’t Korean obviously) in a new and interesting way. There are all kinds of drinks you’ll never have heard of, and everything comes in shot form, whether it needs to or not.

The Admiral Theater is also in Albany Park if you’re looking for some…ummm…’adult’ entertainment.

Albany Park is a really interesting, friendly, neighborly place to live or visit.
Pros
  • Good food
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5
2yrs+

"Diverse and Quaint"

Albany Park is known for being one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the city. Located on the city’s Northwest side, Albany Park includes residents from a variety of cultures. One of the best things about the area is the eclectic mix of dining opportunities, most of which reflect an authentic taste of a specific culture.

Within Albany Park you can explore the area known as Koreatown, which is filled with Korean restaurants, shops, and an exciting energy. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can visit one of the dozen or so parks in the community, which makes this a great place for families and dog-lovers. The Albany Park area is not considered one of the most exciting areas for the younger generation, but is certainly the perfect spot for retirees, couples, families, and singles in search of a quiet retreat from busy city life.

When you visit Albany Park, you can dine in one of the many interesting authentic Korean spots or stroll its quiet streets. I like Albany P
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Good food
  • Very little traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Multicultural Albany Park"

Albany Park is a community of Chicago, Illinois and is home to many ethnic groups. The diversity covers several continents and countries including Guatemala, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, Cambodia, India, Korea, Romania, Latin America, Mexico and several Middle East countries such as Iran, Lebanon and Iraq.
A visit to one of the local public schools will substantiate the diversity within the community as over 40 different types of languages are spoken. Latin America is the most prominent of all the ethnic groups.
Public transportation services the Albany Park area by providing bus and train transportation. Visiting other parts of the Chicago Area is as easy as taking a stroll through one of the beautiful parks in the area.
Lawrence Avenue through Albany Park has a portion known as Seoul Drive. Along Seoul Drive you will discover the Korean immigrant shops. Korean culture and great food come alive along this stretch of highway through Albany. Albany Park holds much more than just being home to Koreans. The community is home for both a Korean television station and a radio station. There is even more Korean media in the area with not one but two Korean newspapers. Almost half of all the business on this section of Lawrence Avenue is Korean owned businesses. You can also enjoy the delicatessen at one of the Mexican bakeries or shop at one of the Middle Eastern food stores located in the area.
3/5
2yrs+

"Diversity! Declining Crime Rate! But play it safe."

Albany Park has been undergoing some growth lately- since the recent past has seen the crime rates go down some – but it’s still a pretty sketchy area. It’s what you would expect from a city neighborhood that is both residential and commercial and incredibly ethnically diverse – it’s a neighborhood that is in constant flux, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s also a working class neighborhood that doesn’t offer a whole lot in the way of tourist attractions, but is has been expanding quite a bit in terms of residency.

The scenery is not always the most pleasant – I’ve seen garbage on lawns and drunks wandering the streets – and the area east of Pulaski is not known for being incredibly safe. Most residents say that though the area is not the greatest in terms of crime, it is also not the most dangerous. Like I mentioned earlier, crime rates are in fact on the decline, and gentrification of the area is currently going on. You can definitely see that in the amount of condos popping up in the neighborhood – in a few more years Albany Park may be quite a different place.

My advice on being in the area is to play it safe – don’t be walking around with your headphones on late at night or anything, and be aware of your surroundings, like you should be in any urban neighborhood. I don’t feel more or less safe here than in other neighborhoods, but I wouldn’t be wandering around Albany Park late at night, either.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Albany Park Has A Little Something For Everybody"

What do you feel like eating tonight? In Albany Park, in the North Park section alone, you could choose between the following types of restaurants: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Latin American, International, Swedish, Thai, Asian, Italian or Chinese. Rest assured, you will find many more countries represented in this, one of the most ethically diverse communities in the country.

Albany Park has had its share of problems, and it continuing to work on them. There are many active community organizations. The Albany Park Neighborhood Council recently won the annual community organizing award work toward social, economic, and racial justice through its campaigns which are focused on increasing immigrant rights, preserving and creating affordable housing, improving the quality of education, and increasing access to affordable health care.

It does have some very real problems, however. One contributing factor is the 3,700 vacant buildings currently registered and another 11,000 to 12,000 vacant properties expected to spring up this year. Northwest Side Alderman Dick Mell is proposing that banks hire overnight guards to protect their properties. This hasn't been voted on as of this writing.

We are talking about one area of Albany Park here. It is a rectangle formed by Monticello, Kimball, Lawrence and Montrose avenues. There are still many lovely and well-kept homes elsewhere, especially near Drake Gardens.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"One of the most diverse neighborhoods"

Albany park has been through quite the transformation. In the 1970 it was a haven for illegal activities. Now through the efforts of its residents and of social outreach groups it has gone through a rapid rebirth.

One of its main draws is "Seoul Drive" which is a stretch of Lawrence Avenue on which the majority of the shops are operated and owned by Korean immigrants. Here you can sample fantastic authentic Korean food and learn about the fascinating culture.



Albany Park is easily accessible via the Brown Line 'L'.
Given the drastic changes that this area has underwent in the past few years it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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