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Lakeview Neighborhood Chicago, Illinois
One of Chicago’s most livable neighborhoods, Lakeview beckons the young and trendy, start-up families, and savvy tourists with its abundance of unique boutiques, plentiful nightlife, and restaurants that run the gamut from cheap, greasy spoons (perfect for that post-bar snack or morning recovery meal) to fancy fusion.
There’s a high concentration of BYOB (bring your own beer and wine) restaurants in Lakeview as well, meaning you can dine in style on any budget. And of course, prime access to the shores of Lake Michigan only increases Lakeview’s appeal.
The Lakeview neighborhood is technically divided into several smaller enclaves, each with a distinctive feel. Lakeview East, more commonly just called Lakeview, runs up Belmont from Diversey to Irving Park, encompassing Belmont Harbor and Lake Shore Drive as well.
In this area you’ll find hotspot restaurants like Pingpong and Adesso lining Broadway.
Turn east onto a side street and you’ll find a mix of apartment buildings and historic greystone residences called three-flats, as your make your way to the Lakefront Path, a biking and running trail where Chicagoans get their exercise.
Boystown, the stretch of Halsted between Belmont and Addison, is home to much of Chicago’s gay community.
Here you’ll find the “oh so fabulous” gay nightclubs like Sidetrack plus chic lounges like MiniBar and eclectic restaurants like HB and Firefly, along with a myriad of adult shops that’ll keep your love life spicy no matter which way you swing.
As more and more yuppies and young families have moved in, prices in Boystown have risen and the neighborhood’s wild side has been tamed a bit, but you’d never know that when events like the Gay Pride Parade and Market Days (the largest street festival in the Midwest) roll into town.
Head just a block east from Halsted over to Clark, between roughly Irving Park and Belmont, and you’ll find yourself in Wrigleyville, party central for Chicago Cubs fans. Wrigley Field is located at Addison and Clark, a fact that is impossible to ignore during baseball season.
Every bar in the surrounding area, like the famous Cubby Bear, will be packed before, during, and after the games with excited, and often a little too tipsy, fans.
While the neighborhood is perfectly pleasant on off days (and admittedly fun, if you are in a certain mood) it’s best to avoid it on game days unless you fancy feeling as through you’re back in college at a fraternity party.
Lakeview may lack the towering skyscrapers and historic monuments of Chicago’s downtown area, but it is a place many people chose to call home. If you want to see Chicago from a local’s perspective, this is one great place to do just that.
So take a ride on the Chicago El (the Red Line stops of Belmont and Addison service Lakeview) and come see where the locals live in Lakeview.
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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson