7.1 out of 10

Near South Side

Ranked 23rd best neighborhood in Chicago
41.8577088467342 -87.6179924379842
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Clean & Green
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  • Pest Free
  • Internet Access
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

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

"Affordable and close to the real action."

The Near South Side is really close to the Loop (only a few miles) and it has a moderately nice feel, while at the same time being affordable. I wouldn't say that any of the residences are especially nice, which accounts for the lower prices, but you could fix up a loft and have a great place to live that's really close to more interesting neighborhoods.
Shopping is very scarce, so I doubt anyone would come here for retail, but it is close enough to better shopping destinations that you wouldn't suffer if you lived here.
It's a similar theme when it comes to food. Nothing special, and everything that's okay here is better elsewhere, but there are some decent Chinese restaurants if you don't want to travel. Again, you're close enough to neighborhoods with better dining that you wouldn't suffer.
The only park I can think of to help you with your exercise is Dunbar Park, but yet again, there are better parks in other nearby areas.
To me, the best thing about the Near South Side is that you can find an affordable place to live while being able to get to other areas without a hassle. Take it for what it is.
Pros
  • Close to the Loop
  • Safe
  • Good atmosphere
Cons
  • Not much shopping
  • Expensive
  • Not much for dining
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Near South Side - Books, Music & Museums"

The near south side is called the South Loop. This is a really great area, and an example of what neighborhood redevelopment can do in a GOOD way (sometimes it’s not so good for actual residents). There have been a lot of high rise condo and apartment buildings going up, but they haven’t really taken over the neighborhood. The streets have been fixed up and local businesses have opened up all over the place.

The main attraction in the neighborhood is the museum campus. The Field Museum, Alder Plantetarium and Shedd Aquarium are there right on the lake. They’re surrounded by a really nice park where people hang out, as well as a beach and Northerly Island, which used to be a air strip and is now an outdoor music venue.

Just north is Soldier Field, where the Bears play, and McCormick Place, the convention center.

Printer’s Row is one of my favorite spots in the South Loop. Maybe because I’m a writer, maybe because I love books, I don’t know. Either way, this small area has a lot of cool old buildings that were print shops a century ago. Many of them have been converted to apartments. The annual Printers Row Lit Fest is there.

I’m a sewer, so I visit the many local fabric stores that are in the South Loop a lot – Vogue, Rainbow Fabrics and Fishman’s are all along Roosevelt Road.

There’s also some great dining in the neighborhood – Eleven Diner, Café Bionda and The Bongo Room are my three favorites, but there are TONS of options.

There’s a really good music scene in the South Loop too. It was home to the legendary rock and blues label Chess Records, and was THE place to be for the blues back in the 60s. Now, there’s Northerly Island, Buddy Guy’s Legends for blues, The Velvet Lounge for jazz, The Shrine for hip hop and Reggie’s for rock and punk. I’m a big music lover, so this neighborhood is great for me!

The South Loop is energetic but not trendy or expensive .
Pros
  • Location
  • Attractions
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Near South Side remind you why you love Chicago"

The Near South Side is a neighborhood in Chicago that mostly hosts tourists and people seeking entertainment. It is conveniently located directly south of the Loop and is right on beautiful Lake Shore Drive.

From what I have seen there aren't many people living in this neighborhood overall. While it is not highly populated, you do see a fair amount of lofts and condos. Many of these are very cool, as they were converted from old factories. There are also interesting lofts in Printer's Row. Generally, this is a pretty pricey place to live. In many of these lofts and condos, you will have spectacular views of the Lake. However, you are probably not going to have as much space as you would have in other parts of Chicago.

Another major plus to this neighborhood is that not only is it accessible to all the arts,shopping and entertainment that downtown has to offer, it is also easy to get to most of the places in Chicago via public transportation.

In the Near South Side, you can find famous attractions including Soldier Field, the Field Museum, the Aquarium and the Planetarium. See what I mean? This part of town is a must-see for tourists. Also most people going to Chicago for conferences go to the Near South Side, as this is where the huge convention center McCormick Place is located. The Near South Side definitely reminds you that you are living in a world class city!
Pros
  • Attractions
  • Interesting housing
  • Location
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Location is Everything"

If you’re in love with the idea of living in the Loop, but can’t quite afford it, the Near South Side is the best choice. Found just minutes from the heart of downtown, the Near South Side boasts some of the city’s most prominent attractions. Easily commutable to downtown, suburbs, and other parts of the city, this area is noted as being a vibrant and exciting mixture of parks, museums, restaurants, and historic structures.

Chicago sports fans will know the Near South Side as the home of Soldier Field, where their beloved Bears play. Tourists will certainly spend time in this neighborhood because it is where you’ll find some of the most popular tourist attractions. Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, McCormick Place, and many other hot spots are found in the heart of the Near South Side.

Chicago residents and visitors often come to the area to tour the Prairie Avenue Historic District, which includes some of the city’s most important landmarks. The developme
Pros
  • Location
  • Interesting housing
  • Attractions
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
2yrs+

"Location, Location, Location!"

This area is what defines "famous by association". The area is well known by residents and tourists alike, but only because it is very close to much cooler areas. Near South Side is the low man on the popularity totem pole. It's cool, but only because the other cool kids want to hang out with him for some reason.

The Near South Side sits extremely close to the Loop and other really hopping sections of Chicago, but has not yet been over-saturated with hungry buyers and renters. The living is affordable, and while you might have to trek a few miles to get your food, shopping and entertainment fix it is a nice place to come home too and the price point really does make a few mile walk or ride seem completely worth it.

As for safety I've never felt unsafe nor particularly safe. It is a neutral zone in which you realize your in a big city but don't feel like someone is coming around the corner to take your wallet any second. It really is a good option for people who are looking for proximity to the Loop without paying a ridiculous amount of money to live.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Stability and Plenty to See"

Tourists looking for a little bit of a break on hotel prices might want to check out this neighborhood, since it’s close to the real Chicago action (the Loop, Magnificent Mile, etc) but a little bit cheaper than staying right IN the action. And those who are interested in parks and museums will find them here as well (like the Shedd Aquarium or the Adler Planetarium). Near North Side is close to the White Sox’s field, as well as a number of historic buildings – and as an added bonus, the neighborhood is not nearly as congested as the Loop.

Near South Side is less expensive than neighboring North Side neighborhoods, and it keeps things competitive. A lot of new construction is going on in the area, but hopefully the historic homes and buildings will be kept safe by the city.

The neighborhood has seen just about every kind of condition, but these days – with all the new condos and apartment buildings going up – the Near South Side enjoys a certain amount of stability and is a place that I recommend visiting.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Bit of Suburbia in the City"

The Near South Loop neighborhood of Chicago is bounded by Congress Parkway to the north, Cermak Road/22nd Street to the south, Burnham Harbor to the east, and the South Branch of the Chicago River to the west. This sprawling area contains at least 4 very notable and distinct areas:

Printer’s Row
Located just south of and adjacent to the central Loop, Printer’s Row began its development as a city-dweller’s neighborhood in the early 1980s. Its name comes from the many publishing companies that were centrally located in this area, housed in some of Chicago’s first concrete and steel high-rises. Because there are so many of them that showcase Chicago’s early architecture and design, the area was designated an historic district in 1996. Some of the most distinctive buildings such as the Monadnock and the Fisher buildings have been converted to combinations of retail/office space and loft condos.

Dearborn Park
The evolution of Dearborn Park began with conversion of the Dearborn Street train station in the Printer’s Row neighborhood. Since the mid 1980s, development spread to the south and west of the station and the area quickly became a haven for city-dwellers with children. Although there are a few high-rise condos, most of Dearborn Park is covered with 2-3 story townhomes. Some have a traditional look with a front yard and a porch; some have that austere “city” look – no front yard/porch, but a cute little 2nd floor balcony overlooking the street. Much more family-oriented/residential than the other neighborhoods in this area.

Museum Campus
This former landfill area was developed and built up just after the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and contains 3 of the world’s most famous museums: The Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. It is also the site of historic Soldier Field – home turf of the Chicago Bears, and host to a variety of concerts and other public events.

Prairie Avenue Historic District
This area was Chicago’s original “Gold Coast” neighborhood from 1872-1904 and included such notable residents as Marshall Field, George Pullman, and Philip Armour. Many of the stately city mansions were razed or converted during the next 60 or so years as the magnates moved north, however 11 of them survived and are still standing – and occupied by the nouveau-riche. Since the mid-1990s, the neighborhood has seen an explosion of new developments of townhomes. Older commercial buildings have been converted to lofts and condos. And the larger mansions have been converted and opened to the public as museums, showcasing the spectacular interior design and architecture of these Grand Dames of upscale housing.

The “New” South Loop
The real estate surrounding the Museum Campus and the Prairie Avenue district has been transformed from old rail yards, vacant lots, and abandoned office buildings and warehouses to a densely populated neighborhood of newly-built townhomes and high-rise condos. Along with that, there is an abundance of quaint upscale and casual-dining restaurants, boutique shops, and of course neighborhood sports bars. What used to be considered a wasteland has become a popular and (mostly affordable) inner city neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Unranked Streets in Near South Side

Indiana Ave

3.5/5
"Things to do and see near Downtown"
41.8669832440704 -87.6224293865901
"Museums Museums Museums!"
41.8677005008265 -87.6160492495758

East 15th Pl

3.5/5
"The modern feeling"
41.8612409792471 -87.6214683124305
"One of my favorite roads!!!"
41.8650101256971 -87.6166009501596
"A sporty field"
41.8603696613856 -87.6145196813912
"pleasant, friendly people"
41.855946169847 -87.6238863650226
"Chicago Public Library on South State Street"
41.85684539527 -87.6271037399496

West 18th St

2.5/5
"Mexican neighborhood with a lot of culture"
41.8577587030203 -87.6314352846333

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