7.2 out of 10

Oakland

Ranked 22nd best neighborhood in Chicago
41.824910122886 -87.606384362413
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
  • Retirees

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jan 03, 2018

"Ignore This Review (read the others) and Keep it a Hidden Gem"

We moved to Oakland a year and a half ago and have quickly come to love this area.

Pros:
- Beautiful old homes & architecture
- Neighbors (people say hi to each other when they walk on the sidewalk - what a concept, right? - amazing block parties)
- Proximity to the lakefront (a particularly beautiful part of the lakefront may I add. Amazing for bike commuting)
- Proximity to 41st beach (on the hottest day of the summer this beach is 25% at capacity, maybe)
- Proximity to LSD (drive to anywhere in the city can be less than 30 min if you hit the traffic right)
- Promising future (recent additions in past 2 years include Mariano's, Binny's, but much more is needed. Clearly an increase in development in this area. New bridge @ 41st & 35th street)
- Proximity to Hyde Park (HP still has a ways to go, but nightlife there has gotten better in recent years)

Cons:
- Lack of commercial amenities & nightlife (Norman's Bistro is a great spot - especially on Tuesday if you are looking to turn up.)
- Glut of empty lots (Particularly in areas which are zoned commercial such as 39th, Cottage, & 43rd. It is sad to see, but the lots are starting to fill in)
- Public transit is limited to bus and bus 2 train (CTA & Metra stripped this area of its once great access to medium & heavy rail commuting in the 60s, 70s, & 80s)
- Schools (don't have kids, but everyone I know sends there kids to schools outta the hood it seems. I've heard Phillips is getting better tho)
- Theft (Cars and Garages must always be locked & secured, but this is really city life 101)
- Litter (there seems to be an inordinate amount of trash on the ground at any time - this really annoys me, but there also are like no trash cans so...idk)
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Go ahead, call it a comeback."

Oakland is an up and coming Chicago neighborhood. Not too long ago it was dominated by housing projects, and while there are still a fair number in the area, many have been torn down, and there are more nice condos and homes being built all the time.

I wouldn’t say that Oakland is the best neighborhood, but I see an upward trend for the most part. Still, there is some crime in the area, and you may find some people who worry about being mugged. At present, I’d say there’s still too much danger for most families. Too much can still go wrong.

That said, I like the potential Oakland has. There isn’t much in the way of restaurants. In fact, I can’t think of any place I’d recommend if you’re hungry. Not that the options are bad, it’s just that there’s next to nothing there. You certainly wouldn’t go to Oakland looking for restaurants.
Mandrake Park is definitely a highlight. There’s a good amount of room to participate in most fun activities, and the Movies in the Park event is a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of going a while back while on a date, and it was a night very well spent. There aren’t enough of these types of venues in Chicago, and I really wish there were more, so if for nothing else specifically, I do recommend Oakland for Movies in the Park.
Pros
  • Its coming back from some bad times
  • Mandrake Park is nice
  • Affordable
Cons
  • The bad times aren't over yet
  • Still a bit unsafe
  • Few restaurants/locations of interest
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • 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 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 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Art and Culture in Chicago's South Side"

Oakland is a mostly African American neighborhood that is situated near the lake in South Chicago. While this is a pretty poor area overall, there are some interesting things to note about this neighborhood. You can see some interesting artistic and cultural attractions. Also this part of town has some homes that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Like many of Wright's homes, the ones in Oakland have a very interesting and diverse style.

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center is place dedicated to displaying art from those living in the neighborhood. This is one of those places that shows a lot of local spirit and gives the neighborhood its own unique charm. There is also the Hyde Park Art Center. This center provides various programs and promotes modern art and relationships between mentors and students.

There are also some very famous people who have lived in Oakland. You can find Nation of Islam's founder Louis Farrakhan's house on Woodlawn Avenue. It is a rather impressive home to behold! Not too far away is Mohammad Ali's former home too. There are some new developments including modern homes and condos. This neighborhood is different from what you will find in virtually any city and is definitely interesting to check out.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
2yrs+

"Call it What You Want, but It's Not There Yet."

Once upon a time a friend told me that Oakland was the next big thing in Chicago. She insisted that the area was going to grow quickly and everything that was being done to slow the crime rate and remove the projects would transform Oakland into the place to be. Well, that doesn't seem to be happening. Sure, the housing projects are being converted and nicer homes and apartments are being built, but there is little in Oakland to draw the upper crust in and there is little night life to draw in young trendies to jump start the area.

What Oakland appears to be is a project that grew in the wrong direction without outside support. You can build all the homes you want, but people need something to be drawn too, and sadly no one wants to buy a home with a housing project in close proximity. They either need to clear this place out or consider it a lost cause project. Either way the big swing isn't coming to Oakland anytime soon, buyer beware!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"Caution, Chicago Newbies"

Empty lots have recently been transformed into new developments in Oakland, but in my opinion the neighborhood still has plenty of room to grow. And in the vernacular of the current economy, the phrase "new developments" often means new condos and high rise apartment buildings, which is true for this South Side, lakeside area. It’s not a cheap place to live, but the population remains pretty diverse – many of the African-American residents have been in Oakland for a long time.
The neighborhood has been on the up-and-up since a number of housing projects were razed to the ground in the late nineties (thanks, Obama), but it remains so residential that you have to travel outside of it for a lot of things.

Because of its South Side locale, I wouldn’t advise that any newbies just go strolling into the neighborhood without supervision. It isn’t the roughest neighborhood, but it’s not the best Chicago has to offer, either. Use caution when in the area. And, on a personal level, I would probably never move here myself. Houses – many of which are newly built or newly renovated – are pretty cheap out here, but with good reason.

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