5.3 out of 10

Garfield Park

Ranked 52nd best neighborhood in Chicago
41.8788842323277 -87.7147503283813
Great for
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Shopping Options
  • Medical Facilities
  • Nightlife
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5

"Garfield Park - Not very safe, but OK to visit"

I haven’t heard of any ‘hipsters’ moving into the area, but since a lot of areas in Chicago are now changing drastically, I wouldn’t be surprised. But, Garfield Park remains one of the most dangerous areas of the city. Often when people start moving into an area that they know nothing about they’re shocked by the crime. There is a lot of gang activity and drug dealing in Garfield Park. I would not hang out there on purpose, so I don’t really know if there’s much in the way of shopping, restaurants and bars. However, the area is more low-income, so there won’t be anything fancy, pricey or trendy.

This is not to say that most residents of the neighborhood are criminals – that is absolutely not true. In fact, when my brother’s car broke down in Garfield Park one of the neighbors sat with him for hours until a tow truck came so that nothing happened to him. I think this incident highlights both how nice most people in ALL areas are, and how dangerous this neighborhood can be.

Please don’t think that by what I’ve written above you shouldn’t go there at all. The Garfield Park Conservatory is absolutely gorgeous and is a great reason to visit. Unfortunately the roof just got damaged pretty bad in a freak summer hail storm, but they’re working on fixing it. It’s filled with all kinds of plants and is huge. It’s especially good to go in the winter - sit in the fern room for a while and you’ll think you’re in a jungle!
  • friendly people
  • still some crime
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"What A Park!"

I have only a little experience with Garfield Park, but what I have experienced makes it one of my favorite neighborhoods. It's interesting, as I can see some of the negatives, with the lower economic classes in the area and what I think is above average crime (not too dangerous though) but at the same time when I think of Garfield Park, I think of beauty.

Of course, the main attraction is Garfield Park itself. It's a rather large park/conservatory, with a great deal to see every year, with new attractions put in place to keep people coming back. I can't claim to know a great deal about flora or fauna, and while I've done some minor landscaping for my parents, it's nothing that would help make me an expert. Still, there is splendor to behold in Garfield Park. The plant life is of course first on the list, but the overall style and structure of the park dazzles most who come here. I've been to France, seen Versailles (and no, this doesn't compare) but it is still so beautiful. It took me back to some of the beauty I've experienced in my life. It opens you up to something new. There are few places in Chicago quite like it.

I realize that the park contrasts somewhat severely with the rest of the neighborhood, as it does not share the beauty of the park, but the park elevates the area so well that I rank it above average, even if there isn't much else worth noting about Garfield Park.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5

"A mixed bag"

If any neighborhood in Chicago deserves a mixed review, it’s Garfield Park. It’s actually divided into east and west sections on the community board, and one side of the divide differs slightly from the other. Whereas the West Garfield Park area is clearly being gentrified as the area around the Loop becomes more expensive and drives more residents further from the lake, East Garfield Park hasn’t yet seen this action.

So the western half of Garfield Park as earned a reputation as a hipster magnet and an “up-and-coming” spot, but it has yet to completely overcome its working class roots.

The local conservatory is, in a word, inspiring. If you go to Garfield Park for any reason, make sure you stop by this, one of my favorite Chicago attractions. (Currently the conservatory is hosting a tropical flower show and honey bee presentations.)

Even if there are hipsters moving in, Garfield Park remains a pretty rough neighborhood, so I wouldn’t recommend that anyone unfamiliar with the area go alone. I always recommend to city visitors that they keep to more established neighborhoods, as the “up-and-coming” ones aren’t always what you would imagine.

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Unranked Streets in Garfield Park

"The Villa District"
41.8867610669392 -87.7225295357359
"Working Class Hipster Haven"
41.8843201412145 -87.6963777584669
"It's been through hard times."
41.8842062696508 -87.7165015097536
"Seen Better Days"
41.8846318644435 -87.7257805572018

West Polk St

"Neat shops in the loop"
41.870887361451 -87.712381617009

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