West town is one of Chicago’s largest communities, comprising all or parts of 11 neighborhoods, including some of Chicago’s liveliest and most exciting. There’s always something to do in West Town. With hip and eclectic music halls like Double Door, Empty Bottle and Congress Theater, you’re sure to find great live music any day of the week. West Town is also known for all its vintage stores, boutiques and quirky, unique stores like Rotofugi. All the exciting nightlife, restaurants, cafés, taverns, entertainment and events are only part of West Town’s charm. Residents of West Town homes also appreciate the warmth of the tree-line streets and old neighborhood feel.
West Town is community area 24 of Chicago. It’s located 3 miles NW of the Chicago Loop and is known for its eclectic and diverse population.
West Town’s borders are roughly composed of Bloomingdale Ave on the north, Kinzie St on the south, the north branch of the Chicago River to the east, and Kedzie Ave to the west.
West Town consists of 11 unique neighborhoods: Bucktown, Clybourn Corridor, Fulton River District, Goose Island, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, East Village, Smith Park, Noble Square, and River West.
West Town’s famous landmarks include Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths.
Population (2000) - Total 87,435
Density 19,126.3/sq mi
African American 9.13%
Hispanic/ Latino 46.9%
Median income $38,915
In 1840, workers arrived to build railroad lines and others came to work at the factories along the river.
Around 1900, Polish workers were settling around Division and Ashland Streets, bringing that area the name of “Polish Downtown”.
Around the same time Germans and Scandinavians were populating the area now known as Wicker Park. Russian Jews were settling in the neighborhood now known as Humboldt Park, and Italians were taking up residence in the southeastern portions of West Town.
The Ukrainian community was settling in what’s now called Ukrainian Village. Their presence and impact is still there with the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art as well as the architecturally striking churches they built such as the St Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral.
A Puerto Rican and Mexican population took residence in West Town at the turn of the century.
African Americans began settling there in the 1930s but became more of a presence by the 1970s. The influx of African American artists in the latter part of the 20th century lead to Wicker Park’s current incarnation as a place for the affluent, young, rebellious and hip.
By the turn of the century, West Town was becoming the place for students and artists to take up residence, transforming it into the affluent and bohemian community we know today.
With all the old churches, the sidewalk dining, the delis, the bakeries, the shops, the festivals, the art, and the eclectic and ethnically diverse population, West Town is one of Chicago’s favorite neighborhoods.
An old neighborhood with a growing surge in popularity, West Town is known for its tree-lined streets, easy access to transportation, and beautiful West Town homes and condos.
Some West Town Real Estate property managers include: Chicago Apartment Source, MCM Properties, Chicago Property Services and Post Oak Property Management.
Single-family West Town homes range between $125,000 and up to 4 million. Townhouses go for $325,000 to over 1 million. Condos range from $20,000 to over 1 million. West Town apartment rentals can cost around $800 a month for a 1 bedroom up to $2400 a month for a 3 bedroom. Search for West Town Real Estate.
The CTA Blue Line services much of West Town and its 11 neighborhoods. The 49 Western, 50 Damen, 56 Milwaukee, 65 Grand and 66 Chicago CTA Bus lines are the buses used most by residents of West Town apartments and homes.
Parking is plentiful throughout the community and parking garages are easily found whether you’re in Logan Square or River West.
Wicker Park is home to many schooling options, for all levels of education.
The communities that make up West Town are some of Chicago’s liveliest. There’s always something to do in West Town, whether it’s an evening out for drinks, live music, dancing, an art opening, or just people-watching from a sidewalk café.
The California Clipper provides a classic venue for country music, dancing and good grub. The California Clipper has a lounge feel with a dance floor and bingo every Monday night.
Rainbo Club (1150 N Damen Ave, 773-489-5999) is a bohemian haven located in Ukrainian Village. Rainbo Club offers its patrons comfortable booths, cheap drinks, local artwork on their walls and every bar hopper’s favorite: a photo booth.
Club Foot (1824 W Augusta Blvd, 773-489-0379) is another great find in Ukrainian Village. Club Foot is decorated in all sorts of interesting nic nacs, from kids toys to stickers to band paraphernalia and other rare finds. Cheap drinks and rock music are aplenty at Club Foot.
Beachwood Inn (1415 N Wood St, 773-489-9806) is the place to kick back, relax, play some pool or pinball, and enjoy the company you’re with. Located in Wicker Park, Beachwood Inn is known for a low-key atmosphere, a good jukebox and reasonable prices.
Inner Town Pub (1935 Winchester St, 773-237-9795) is a neighborhood bar that offers good tunes on the juke box and a full bar. Inner Town Pub’s interior is instantly recognizable with its Elvis paraphernalia, the helmeted moose behind the bar, and the infamous “psychedelic” Mona Lisa.
The Map Room (1949 N Hoyne Ave, 773-252-7636) in Bucktown is a beer lover’s dream. They have over 200 different brands that represent 36 different brewing styles from around the globe. They offer a cask conditioned ale that changes regularly and you’ll find 26 beers on tap as well as unique bottled beers like Jolly Pumpkin, ‘t Gaverhopke, Hoppin’ Frog and more. The Map Room even offers Beer School.
Green Eye Lounge (2403 W Homer St, 773-227-8851) in Logan Square is the perfect place to grab a pint before or after a show at nearby Congress Theater. Or you can stay a while at the Green Eye Lounge playing one of their various board games.
Finding West Town entertainment is a breeze with so many options to choose, from comedy clubs to music halls to theater and more.
The Double Door (1572 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-489-3160) in Wicker Park is a popular concert hall and nightclub featuring bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, Legendary Pink Dots, The Rolling Stones, Wilco, and Local H. The Double Door has a dance floor, a bar and pool tables.
For a night of cutting-edge indie-rock, electronic, experimental, or jazz music, residents of West Town houses hit up The Empty Bottle (1035 N Western Ave, 773-276-3600) in Ukrainian Village. This favorite neighborhood hotspot features lives acts from Anti-pop Consortium to Trans Am. You’ll also find great drink specials and affordable food at The Empty Bottle.
Another great music venue is Congress Theater (2135 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-276-1235) in Logan Square. Congress Theater is a larger venue than The Empty Bottle and Double Door and feature acts from Devo and Crystal Castles to Soulja Boy. Congress Theater was built in 1926 and was designed in the style of Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance.
Danny’s (1951 W Dickens Ave, 773-489-6457) in Bucktown features underground DJs, a good beer selection, an edgy décor, a friendly vibe, as well as a poetry reading series.
The Edge Comedy Club (777 N Green St, 312-733-6000) in Noble Square has 3 shows a week as well as an open mic on Thursdays.
In the heart of Wicker Park is Chopin Theatre. Chopin Theatre has won numerous awards and includes performances of plays, music, films and live interviews. Plays have included Thieves Like Us, The Nutcracker, and original productions. To date, Chopin Theatre has produced over 5000 theatrical presentations, 1000 films, 800 poetry evenings and over 100 music events.
West Town shopping offers residents of West Town homes everything from vintage clothes shops to used book stores to art galleries and more.
For the very best vintage clothing residents frequent Very Best Vintage (1919 W Chicago Ave, 312-226-5530) in Ukrainian Village. At this cute and quaint shop you’re sure to find those unique Yves St. Laurent heels or that perfect retro maxi dress.
Rotofugi (1953 W Chicago Ave, 491-9501) in Ukrainian Village is site to awesome “toys, art and other unique stuff for you.” A quirky and completely original store, Rotofugi is a rare find and offers rare finds for its patrons. Rotofugi Gallery is attached to the store and features modern pop, illustration art and character/toy design.
Shebang (1616 N Damen Ave, 773-486-3800) in Wicker Park stays on top of the latest trends and specializes in handbags, jewelry, hats and hair accessories from independent and emerging designers. Shebang has a friendly staff and often offers great sales.
Reckless Records (1532 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-235-3727) is one of Chicago most well-known records store. Reckless Records specializes in used vinyl, DVDs, videogames and more.
Permanent Records (1914 W Chicago Ave, 773-278-1744) is another music shop staying true to the vinyl. You’ll find a friendly staff, rare and new records, as well as cassettes and CDs, and a helpful cat. Permanent Records also hosts performances by small local acts, as well as well-known acts like the Meat Puppets.
Broken Cherry (1734 W North Ave, 773-278-4000) in Wicker Park is a boutique with an edge. Broken Cherry can do custom apparel, logos, flyers and business cards, as well as custom web design work. You’ll find everything at Broken Cherry from Trophy Queen bags to Tarina Tarantino and Fred Perry.
Vive La Femme (2048 N Damen Ave, 773-772-7429 in Bucktown) is the best boutique for plus-sized women’s clothing and accessories. Known for their helpful team of femmes, Vive Le Femme also has one of the best selections of clothing for the curvy woman.
The Boring Store (1331 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-772-8108) is a store where nothing is what it seems, just like their name. The Boring Store is the complete opposite of boring providing its patrons with hours of entertainment just perusing their selection of spy gadgets, disguise kits, X-ray specs, message decoders, gizmos and more. The Boring Store also funds a non-profit creative writing and tutoring program, 826CHI.
Myopic Books (1564 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-862-4882) should be praised for soldiering on while many independent book stores disappear. Myopic Books hosts a curated music series and poetry reading series.
Mirai (2020 W Division St, 773-862-8500) serves only the freshest and best sushi in Chicago. The freshness is the key. The sushi at Mirai is artfully presented and melts in your mouth. The botan ebi (large prawn), Tuna Salmon Maki Roll, Spicy Mono Roll and the Zuke Roll are just a few favorites.
Rosa De Lima (2013 N Western Ave, 773-342-4557) serves up fine Peruvian cuisine at reasonable prices. The roasted chicken has become a signature dish of Rosa De Lima, but their menu offers delectable steak options as well as an extensive cocktail list. The atmosphere is comfortable and friendly, making Rosa De Lima one of Bucktown’s most popular restaurants.
Spring Restaurant (2039 W North Ave, 773-395-7100) in Wicker Park offers American and Asian fusion cuisine paired with elegance and class. Spring Restaurant is known for catering to its guests and providing only the highest quality and memorable experience. Popular menu items include the crispy pork belly, lemongrass coconut soup and kaffir lime panna cotta.
La Scarola (721 W Grand Ave, 773-243-1740) in River West has received rave reviews from Zagat and offers valet parking. La Scarola serves some of the best Italian cuisine in West Town. The grilled calamari, penne alla vodka, and the pounded veal chop are just a couple of the many favorites La Scarola serves up.
Schwa (1466 N Ashland Ave, 773-252-1466) was opened by Chef Michael Carlson in 2005. Schwa is a fine dining establishment that promises an intimate and unforgettable dining experience. Interaction with the chefs, a rotating prefix menu, upbeat atmosphere and absolute artistry keep Schwa filled daily. Call for reservations.
Green Zebra (1460 W Chicago Ave, 312-243-7100) gives vegetarians of West Town and all the Chicagoland area reason to celebrate. Green Zebra believes dining to be a sensuous experience, one that is an event and takes time to enjoy and savor. They serve fresh, vibrant fare from Grilled Heart of Palm to Slow Roasted Shittake Mushroom and Creamy Anson Mills Grits.
Takashi (1962 N Damen Ave, 773-772-6170) is owned by the famous Japanese chef, Takashi Yagihashi. Offering contemporary French-American fare with Japanese influences, Takashi serves up unique and inviting flavors.
West Fest takes place in the summer and has something for everyone. Taking place on Chicago Ave, between Damen and Wood, West Fest features a live music lineup booked by Empty Bottle Presents, as well as Kid Fest for the kids, and Pet Fest and Pup Fest for the pet owners and their pets.
The Renegade Craft Fair features over 300 of today’s best and brightest indie-crafts talents. The Renegade Craft Fair takes place in Wicker Park and will bring out the crafts-lover in you with a wide assortment of handmade jewelry, clothing, ceramics and stationary, as well as bath products, posters, housewares, comics and plush objects.
Design Harvest occurs in the fall on Grand Ave in West Town. Design Harvest showcases Chicago’s best local furniture and home accessory crafts people, as well as vintage and antiques collectors, and local retailers of the home design industry.
Parks in the West Town area of Chicago include: Bickerdike Square Park, Bloomingdale Trail, Churchill Dog Park, Eckhart Park, Hass Park, Holstein Park, Humboldt Park, Kosciuszko Park, Palmer Square Park, Senior Citizens Memorial, Playlot Park, Smith Park, Walsh Playground Park, and Wicker Park.