Chicago was recently named the best big city in America, and now it’s also home to one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods.
Hyde Park, the vibrant South Side community area, has been ranked the 19th coolest neighborhood in the world by Time Out. The 2023 edition of the list features 40 neighborhoods, which are spread across six continents. How does the process work? Time Out surveyed thousands of readers from around the globe about the coolest spots in their cities and used that data—along with expert input from our editors—to compile the final rankings.
Taking the crown this year is the neighborhood of Laureles in Medellín, Colombia. Hyde Park is joined by other U.S. hubs like Mid-City, New Orleans (No. 7); the Arts District, Los Angeles (No. 13); and Forte Green, New York (No. 15). Chicago neighborhoods that have previously been honored include Avondale (2022), Andersonville (2021), Uptown (2020), Pilsen (2019) and West Loop (2018).
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So what exactly makes a neighborhood “cool?” It’s certainly a subjective quality, but the entrants on the list all share some similar features—great food and beverage options, cutting-edge culture, a lively nightlife scene and a strong community atmosphere. Hyde Park exemplifies the best of Chicago, with the spirit of a small town, yet the many amenities of a bustling metropolis. You can dine at the neighborhood’s top restaurants and enjoy everything from award-winning Southern fare and po’ boys to mouthwatering burgers and amazing Italian cuisine.
There’s plenty to do in Hyde Park as well. The sprawling Museum of Science and Industry offers a host of dazzling wonders that can take an entire day (or more) to explore, while Jackson Park boasts 551 acres of green space, a stunning Japanese Garden and art like Yoko Ono’s Sky Landing installation. And architecture lovers have historic landmarks, such as the Frederick C. Robie House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to check out. If that’s not still enough, take a walk down 53rd Street to shop at a variety of charming boutiques and locally-owned businesses.
Ready for a vacation? Take a look at all 40 picks for Time Out’s coolest neighborhoods in the world.