North Center Chicago is a large neighborhood on the city’s north side. North Center is one of the city’s 77 community areas and, according to some maps, encompasses other neighborhoods (including nearly all of Roscoe Village and the smaller neighborhood of St. Ben’s, which surrounds St. Benedict, a parish that dates back to 1902).
Known for its tree-lined streets, large parks, and diverse independently owned businesses, North Center is a great community for putting down roots.
Read on for a deeper dive into what it’s like to live in North Center Chicago.
Entertainment and Eating
The unofficial center of the North Center neighborhood is the six-way intersection of Irving Park Road, Lincoln, and Damen. Branching out from there, you’ll find all sorts of options for entertainment and dining, from a bowling alley to a British soccer (a.k.a. football) bar to a modern Indian restaurant to, of course, a couple of neighborhood breweries (namely Begyle and Dovetail). For the artistically inclined, there’s a drama school, a community art center, a live music venue, and much more.
Head a bit deeper into the neighborhood for more gems, like Grace & Leavitt “G&L” Tavern, a laid-back firefighter themed bar with great cocktails and a large craft beer list. Or the Bad Apple, a beloved beer and burger bar with a game room. Or Taqueria El Asadero, a no-frills, cash-only Mexican restaurant. Or even another brewery, one of the city’s most well known: Half Acre.
The community gathers at Northcenter Town Square for their weekly Farmer’s Market, on Saturdays from June to October. The Northcenter Chamber of Commerce puts on events throughout the year, the biggest of which is RibFest, an annual three-day festival.
A Bit of History
North Center’s history and architecture is largely influenced by the early European immigrants who first populated the community. Homes and buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries display these cultural roots. In the St. Ben’s neighborhood, newer construction condos and lofts blend with classic Victorian homes.
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