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Neighborhood Spotlight: West Town

Street art in West Town, Chicago

Street art in West Town, Chicago

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of funky, artsy, eclectic and exciting, West Town is the place to be. The neighborhood is one of Chicago’s hottest, boasting great experiences from a thriving, diverse restaurant scene to an approachable neighborhood vibe. Here’s everything you need to know about West Town: 

A Brief History

West Town is a somewhat-recently defined neighborhood, bumping up against Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and River West. Some of the area was within the original 1837 Chicago city limits, so as commerce and construction expanded, people flocked to the neighborhood. German, Italian and Polish immigrants were some of the first settlers. In the second half of the 20th century, Puerto Rican and Mexican immigrants joined the community as well. West Town’s diverse foundation accounts for its rich, creative and welcoming spirit today.

What to Explore

Where to even start in West Town? Botanic brews at Forbidden Root, Chinese dumplings at Lao Peng You, Michelin-recognized soul food at Soulé, tamales at Tamale Guy and plenty more dining options line Chicago Avenue. Small businesses like Alcala’s, Sprout Home and Lost Girl Vintage are great spots to explore if you want to shop small. In a typical year, the neighborhood is also home to summer festivals, including West Fest Chicago, West Town Art Walk and Renegade Craft Fair. If you plan on exploring on your own, check out Chicago Eater’s map for a more extensive list of restaurants and eateries. 

What to Consider as a Resident

While main streets like Chicago Ave are buzzing with action, the side streets in West Town are quiet and tree-lined. Buildings range from single family bungalows to multi-family condos, spanning across most of Chicago’s residential architecture options. The neighborhood is a mix of renters and owners, with plenty of residents who wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. 

If you’re interested in searching for your own place in West Town, feel free to contact someone from our team. And stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our blog!