News / City Life

Chicago’s most overrated neighborhood won’t surprise you at all

Three Dots and a Dash
Photograph: Melissa Hom Three Dots and a Dash

We know Chicago’s the best city in the world, but last month, we got the cold, hard evidence. In late 2017, Time Out surveyed the residents of 32 cities worldwide and found that Chicago beat out towns including Tokyo, London, Melbourne and New York City as the world’s best city for having it all. To us Chicagoans, that’s no shocker. With an unparalleled food and drink scene, relatively affordable housing and genuinely friendly inhabitants (the stereotype is true), living here is a no-brainer.

But Chicagoans weren’t gushing about every single aspect of the city—nor every area of it. According to the 15,000 surveyed residents, River North is the most overrated neighborhood in Chicago. Despite (or perhaps, because of) its proximity to the Magnificent Mile, great shopping, fine art museums and stunning architecture, Chicagoans turn their noses up at the jam-packed nabe. The survey revealed that Wicker Park is the second-most overrated area, followed by Lincoln Park.

But it’s not all hate for River North. The district was voted the third-best food and drink neighborhood in the city. (Logan Square and West Loop took silver and gold, respectively.) The culinary love is obviously due to Rainforest Café’s presence at Clark and Ohio streets—oh, and also the iconic steakhouses, Rick Bayless joints and stellar seafood. The area was also voted the third-most fun ‘hood, after Logan Square and Wicker Park, thanks to its bustling nightlife scene. 

Though ranked as the third-most overrated, Lincoln Park won out as the most beloved zone in the city, followed by Logan Square and Lakeview.

Of course, this is all a matter of personal preference. We love Chicago neighborhoods like they’re our children: equally, until you get us drunk enough to tell you what we really think.

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Kyle B

Can you explain how your "poll" resulted in River North being the third best in food and drinks and third most fun but still be the most overrated?