Gold Coast. Lincoln Park. Bucktown. Iconic Chicago neighborhoods abound—but those looking for a deal or a wise investment might be interested in the lesser-known, up-and-coming areas. From hot new restaurants and craft breweries to top-rated schools, these hidden gems have it all—and are worth a deeper look.
Whether or not Avondale is still a hidden gem is debatable, but the neighborhood is nevertheless experiencing an exciting renaissance. Lonely Planet recently singled Avondale out as one of 10 “neighborhoods you need to visit.” Most notable about this neighborhood is its growing collection of hot restaurants and breweries—including Revolution Brewery and Michelin-starred Parachute. Equally exciting for potential home buyers are the deals to be had. Proximity to other hot neighborhoods like Logan Square and Roscoe Village, and easy access to public transit are the icing on the cake.
Along with Avondale, this one’s attracting young, hip Chicagoans looking for a respite from high rents and heavy gentrification. Pilsen has deep historic roots and a thriving Hispanic cultural and dining scene. And according to HomeVestors, Median sales prices are around $250,000 and median rents are around $1,800, making the area a promising choice for real estate investors looking for rehabs or income properties.
Last year, Niche.com named Beverly the second best neighborhood to raise a family in the Chicago area (right behind Forest Glen, next on our list!), thanks to good schools, picturesque tree-lined streets, diversity and low crime rates. This ‘hood came out of the shadows a bit recently—appearing front and center in an episode of the popular Netflix series, Easy.
This neighborhood trifecta on the Northwest side has been a longtime haven for police officers, firemen and other city workers who must reside within city limits, but long for a suburban feel, tightknit neighborhood vibes and bigger lots. In fact, many of the residents remain in the neighborhood for decades. But the area is experiencing revitalization as younger families move in, snapping up deals on single-family homes they remodel and make their own. As with Beverly, CPS schools here are top-rated. And being surrounded by one of the city’s most beautiful forest preserves doesn’t hurt either!
Imagine Bowmanville as Lincoln Square’s quieter, less talked-about sister—all the charm without the ever-increasing traffic and hype. Single-family home prices are still relatively affordable compared to nearby areas; and lush green spaces, plus the bordering Rosehill Cemetary, offer a buffer from noise and congestion. For craft beer aficionados, Half Acre just opened its much-anticipated tap room nearby.