4.6 out of 10

West Lawn

Ranked 53rd best neighborhood in Chicago
41.7693225412416 -87.7274214309823
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Eating Out
  • Lack of Traffic
Not great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Parks & Recreation
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  •  

Reviews

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

"A Diverse neighborhood with excellent food"

Westlawn is not amongst my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad place to live, and you can certainly do worse, but it’s far from the best. One thing Westlawn does have going for it is some really good Mexican restaurants.

Talking to my dad, I know that Westlawn used to be a largely Lithuanian community, and in fact it still has a Lithuanian museum, which is very unique in a city known for its museums. I can’t claim to have an insatiable curiosity for all things Lithuanian, but it is an interesting place to visit, and outside of the food, probably the only reason you would really want to stop by for a day of fun.

The food, while not exactly upscale, is really good. I won’t speak for any of the Lithuanian restaurants, of which there are some, but I will say that there is some great Mexican food in the neighborhood. Definitely check out Taquiera El Pastor, which even my brother, a picky eater, thinks has some of the best food in the city. There are a bunch of really good Mexican joints in the area, due to the largely Hispanic population, and I would definitely give it a look if you’re hungry.

Shopping isn’t exactly outstanding, but there is a nearby mall, the Ford City Mall, so if you live in the area it isn’t like you’ll be lacking in some degree of retail fun. It isn’t a mall to come see, but it should satisfy if you need to pick something up.

The nightlife is relatively relaxed, with some decent local bars, but again, nothing to write home about. They seem like the kind of places where you can become a regular, which for me, is nice, but not exciting the same way some of the places in Wicker Park can be.

Housing is also adequate, but nothing special. Maybe a little on the poor side, but there are worse places in Chicago.

I know it seems like I’m down on Westlawn, and to some degree I am, but it isn’t a bad place to spend a few hours, and while “you could do worse” isn’t exactly a stellar recommendation, I’m also not saying stay away.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • Not very safe
  • Kinda boring nightlifez
  • Kinda poor
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 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Home to a mall and Midway airport"

As the name strongly indicates, West Lawn is an area that is located in Western part of the city of Chicago, specifically, the Southwestern part of the city. Unlike many Chicago neighborhoods, West Lawn enjoys a great deal of diversity, as there are both large White and Hispanic populations with people and immigrants from a variety of different backgrounds. Czechs, Poles, Germans, Italians, Irish, Lithuanians and Mexican-Americans are all represented in this diverse area. Of course, this translates to a variety of interesting types of food!

In what is a piece of history the West Lawn area is also home to the Ford City Mall. What makes the Ford City Mall such an interesting mall is that it was once an aircraft manufacturing facility owned and operated by the Ford Company. Many airplanes were built at this facility during World War II, for example. Today this facility has been converted into a sizable shopping mall. The Ford City Mall has been a fixture in the area for decades and is home to wide variety of stores and movie theaters. In fac, there are well over a hundred different shopping locations in the Ford City Mall.

No doubt the Ford City Mall's presence looms large over the area, but get out and explore as it is far from being the areas only source of activity. The cultural diversity of the West Lawn area means that there are independent restaurants and businesses to explore as well.
Recommended for
  • 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 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
2yrs+

"Diverse, Fluctuating Area"

A warm Chicago community, West Lawn is also known for its diversity and constant fluxuation. Like many of the neighborhoods on the far west side of Chicago, West Lawn feels more like small town or suburb than a city neighborhood – but of course that’s the reason why many families move out here. That is not to say that I am a big fan; personally, I enjoy city life too much to live in an area that feels like the ‘burbs.

But West Lawn is something of a unique take on an outskirts-of-Chicago-style neighborhood in that the people in it are very easy going and helpful. It’s a working class neighborhood populated by a variety of ethnicities and home to the Balzekas Muesum of Lithuanian Culture, the delicious steak tacos of Zacatacos and the classic pizza of Palermo Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria.

Residential homes here are pretty standard-looking – nothing special, and the shopping tends to be of the stripmall sort (Sears, Old Navy, Etc) found in the Ford City Mall. It’s more a place that only someone who lived there could grow to love (and maybe only in retrospect), and not one that a visitor would care for very much.

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Unranked Streets in West Lawn

West 59th St

2.5/5
"Decent place to call home"
41.7860072849904 -87.7184913402892
"Ford City Mall on South Cicero Ave"
41.7651386901658 -87.7419114857392
"South Side Neighborhood With Lots of Ethnic Culture."
41.773882679235 -87.7226367207888

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