5.8 out of 10

Avondale

Ranked 41st best neighborhood in Chicago
41.9382903297631 -87.7106502516916
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters

Reviews

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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Have hope, ye who enter here..."

I look at Avondale with a lot of hope in my eyes. I know it has a ways to go, but it's on the path toward a better tomorrow. Sounds like a line from a Superman movie.

The main reason I look at Avondale as having promise is that there are a lot of younger up and comers moving into the area. Some friends of mine, who make more money than I do, have moved there and really like it. They see it as the next Wicker Park. I wouldn't go that far, in fact, I'd say that's more than a bit of a stretch, but it could turn into a cool place for a younger crowd.

To me, there is one main downside to Avondale. Unfortunately, it still isn't the safest place in the city. More for singles and couples than for young families. As more money comes into the area and it becomes gentrified, I think the crime rate will have a sharp downturn, but it hasn't happened yet.

I'm thinking of moving to Avondale. I'd rather get a place in Wicker Park, but if nothing works out there, I think Avondale may end up my new home in about six months. I'm giving it a solid recommendation to younger, city savy singles and couples.
Pros
  • Constantly improving
  • Not too expensive
  • Young
Cons
  • Somewhat unsafe
  • A bit loud at times
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
2yrs+

"Avondale - Delicious Multicultural Dining"

Avondale is a nice working-class neighborhood. Unlike some other reviewers I’ve never seen an issue with crime or safety in this neighborhood. There are a lot of Polish people in the neighborhood, with many Hispanics now living there as well. Recently a lot of people seem to be moving in as spillover from Logan Square and Roscoe Village, so hopefully the neighborhood can remain affordable for its residents.

This isn’t a trendy place or an entertainment destination, but it has a lot of great things to offer, especially in the way of cheap but delicious food. Hot Doug’s, although they don’t really have traditional Chicago-style hot dogs, is a local favorite for interesting combos and the famous duck fat fries. Kuma’s Corner, a local heavy metal bar that cooks up DELICIOUS burgers, has become so popular recently that you’ll have to wait 2 hours for a table no matter what time it is. Dragon Lady Lounge is a dive bar whose owner personally cooks up amazing vegan Korean food. There’s also the Joong Boo market, which is a big Korean grocery store where you can find really interesting stuff. The Red Apple is a Polish buffet that you will never leave hungry from.

There’s some new bars and stuff popping up to appeal to newer residents, but for the most part Avondale is still a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood kind of place.
Pros
  • diverse population
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Neighborhood with Polish heritage that is popular with hipsters"

Located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, the area was originally settled by immigrants largely from Poland and Scandinavia, but today the population is largely Hispanic. However, to this day, Avondale is home to a very large and thriving Polish community. Anyone visiting the neighborhood is going to quickly notice the ubiquitous nature of the Polish language, as it is everywhere and can easily be seen in windows and signs throughout the area. The number of people speaking Polish in the neighborhood is impressive.

If you like Polish food, then you will want to check this area out for sure. I have made many trips there to visit restaurants and shops that offer up an authentic taste of Poland. The central location of Avondale and the easy public transportation makes visiting pretty easy. Finding interesting dining spots in Chicago can be pretty easy, but some of the more unique ones can be found in Avondale if you know where to look. While it is true that the majority of the areas residents are Hispanic, there is no doubting that The Polish Village aspect of Avondale is alive and well and adds to the area. Of course, there are also a lot of hipsters moving into this area and rumor has it that Avondale is perhaps the "next Wicker Park."
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
3/5
2yrs+

"Vibrant Polish Heritage"

Like many Chicago neighborhoods, Avondale has a history that includes close ties to a specific culture. The city of Chicago as a whole is notorious for being one of the most culturally rich in the city and Avondale certainly contributes to that energy. Its location on the Northwest Side offers convenience to many other areas. Its rich Polish heritage is what Avondale is best known for—with many business, architectural elements, churches, and other areas dedicated to its Polish history.

Within Avondale is an area known as the Polish Village. Here you’ll find Polish food, churches, bakeries, and a general feeling of Polish pride. There are generations of families still calling the area home, making this one of the most historically rich parts of the city. If you’re interested in taking a step back in time and visiting one of the most untouched areas of the city, Avondale’s Polish Village has much to offer.

Not exactly the most “happening” part of the city, the population of
Pros
  • Rich culture
  • Next big neighborhood
  • Young
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Avondale is still working on the up-and-coming thing"

Notorious for an ever-changing landscape, this working class neighborhood is home to single-family homes, walkups, newly built condos and townhouses, as well as a growing Hispanic community and an established Polish one. Avondale is known as one of those places that claims to be “up-and-coming,” without actually having a whole lot going on at the moment. As far as safety, Avondale isn’t the most dangerous place in the city, but it’s still in the process, shall we say, of being gentrified. Young professionals are moving in, even if the majority of the population is still part of the working class.

There are a lot of cool niche boutiques here – the nation’s first Islamic bookstore (and the first shop to list its wares online), Kazi Publications Bookstore sits on West Belmont Avenue and Hot Doug’s is a prime spot (on North California Avenue) to get a Chicago-style dog with a brilliant name (“the Elvis,” a Polish sausage or “the Salma Hayek” of the andouille sausage variety).

The Polish Village’s Milwaukee Avenue in Avondale is a celebration of sausage outlets, bakeries and restaurants – one of Chicago’s “Polish Patches.” Kurowski’s Sausage Shop – a renowned Polish grocer – is here, as well as the Paul Zakopane Harnas Restaurant. In short, Avondale is a curiosity worth peaking into – especially if you happen to be a sausage lover.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • 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+

"Up and Coming?? or Down and Out?"

I tend to think the former is more accurate when discussing Avondale. It is a neighborhood undergoing change. It may not be a 'trendy' area but it is certainly becoming more safe.

As it is served by the Blue Line Belmont stop, as well as numerous buses. The Kennedy Expressway is also right there which makes accessing different areas very easy.

While it lacks the historic architecture of other areas it is a decent place to live. It has been a Polish enclave since its inception and the Polish culture is still embeded there even if there seems to be a recent turn toward Hispanic population.

There are numerous restaurants in the area- while they are not Alinea or Moto, they are more of the neighborhood variety.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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Best Streets in Avondale

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Unranked Streets in Avondale

"Upcoming Chicago Neighborhood"
41.9374625469165 -87.7002187549167
"Nothing much to do, Nice Parks"
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"Great Inner city living."
41.9428615777514 -87.71753621504

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