Chicago, IL Neighborhood guides

Lakeview: Something for Everyone on Chicago’s North Side

Lakeview is one of Chicago’s largest and most densely populated neighborhoods. This North Side neighborhood contains many smaller enclaves, including sports haven Wrigleyville and LGBTQ-friendly Boystown. If you’re moving to Lakeview, know that this neighborhood attracts a wide variety of residents – many college students and young professionals love the nightlife, while families enjoy access to good schools and beautiful parks.

Where is Lakeview?

The borders of the Lakeview are generally considered to be Diversey Parkway to the south, Irving Park Road to the north and Ravenswood Avenue to the west. However, these boundaries can vary slightly depending on who you ask – some people may also include areas further west or north as part of Lakeview. The neighborhood sits directly on the shore of Lake Michigan and includes the Belmont Harbor and Waveland Park.

Lakeview is north of the Lincoln Park neighborhood and south of Uptown. It borders the North Center and Lincoln Square neighborhoods to the west. Lakeview is geographically the largest neighborhood in Chicago, with a total area of over 3 square miles.


Before the north side of Chicago was settled by European immigrants, several Native American tribes lived and traveled through the Lakeview area. In the mid-19th century, a Swiss immigrant built a home there, and the area quickly grew. Lakeview initially had a reputation for being very luxurious and attracting wealthy visitors during the summer. It also attracted many western European immigrants, who built farms there.

The makeup of the neighborhood slowly became more diverse as it developed, and even today contains a mix of luxurious high-rises and more affordable condos. It was initially incorporated as a township in 1857 and was annexed into Chicago in 1889, at which point the neighborhood had become much more urban.


Lakeview is known for being a very lively area with plenty of fun things to do. Although the neighborhood is very large, it’s also very walkable and densely populated so if you’re moving to Lakeview, expect some traffic on the weekends, especially in the summer.

What To Do

The variety of smaller enclaves within Lakeview mean there is truly something for everyone to explore. Lakeview is home to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, and thousands of people flock here for baseball games in the summer and fall. Those over 21 can also enjoy the nearby sports bars, which can get very boisterous on the weekends.

If you’re looking for a different kind of nightlife, Boystown is home to the city’s best LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs. Here you’ll find drag shows, themed parties and a place where you can be yourself regardless of your sexuality or gender identity. Those who enjoy live music and theater will also enjoy the Belmont Theater District, which is home to dozens of venues. These include the Annoyance Theatre for comedy, the Music Box Theatre for indie film, and the Vic Theatre for live music.


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There’s also plenty of shopping to enjoy when moving to Lakeview. There are several commercial districts that are home to popular local boutiques. For those who love to spend time outside, Waveland Park has a small golf course, tennis courts and even a bird sanctuary right on the water. Additionally, the Belmont Harbor is a great place to try your hand at sailing.

Where To Eat And Drink

Lakeview has no shortage of restaurant options, and it’s a great place for foodies. Ella Elli, Tied House and Ceres Table are all great choices for an upscale dinner or date night, while Fish Bar, Frasca Pizzeria, Tango Sur and Coda di Volpe are great cozy yet high-quality neighborhood spots.


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Lakeview is also an excellent area to grab brunch, as it is home to staples like Southport Grocery, Mortar and Pestle, and newcomer Wake ‘n Bacon. For something more casual, check out Strings Ramen Shop, Panes Bread Café or the Chicago Diner.


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There’s also no shortage of excellent places to grab a drink in Lakeview such as classic dive bars, sports bars and many other. Check out L&L Tavern or Friar Tuck for the classic Chicago dive bar experience. If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, Sheffield’s Wine & Beer garden has an excellent selection. Mordecai is another excellent pick for those who love craft cocktails.


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Moving To Lakeview

Real Estate Snapshot

Lakeview has an excellent mix of housing options that cater to a broad variety of residents. You’ll find affordable apartment buildings next to luxury high-rises and even some single family homes. Moving to Lakeview comes with a slightly lower rent compared to Chicago as apartments for rent in Lakeview go for an average of $1,584 per month.


Getting around in Lakeview is easy. Not only is the area very walkable, but it has great public transportation options. The Red, Brown and Purple L trains all have stops in Lakeview, making it easy to get downtown in less than half an hour. Buses provide crosstown connections as well. Lakeview is also a 15-minute drive from downtown for residents that do prefer to have cars.

Schools & Employment

Lakeview has no shortage of excellent schools in the area. Chicago Public Schools run Lake View High School as well as several elementary schools in the neighborhood, most of which get good ratings from parents. There are also private school options nearby. While there are no universities or colleges in Lakeview, many students at DePaul University in nearby Lincoln Park live here. While there are no major corporations with offices in Lakeview, there are plenty of small companies with offices here. The hospitality and retail industries are also big employers in Lakeview.

Interested in moving to Lakeview? Check out RENTCafé to find the latest apartment listings in the Chicago area.

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About the author

Florentina Sarac

Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email.

Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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