Best Neighborhoods to Live: Ukrainian Village, Chicago

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Best Neighborhoods to Live: Ukrainian Village, Chicago

Demand for homes in Ukrainian Village, Chicago has reached an all-time high; Redfin even named it the hottest neighborhood in the nation in 2016! Iconic brick two flats, 1800s workers’ cottages, converted historic buildings and a few brand new construction homes can be found in Ukrainian Village. These diverse buildings demonstrate the rich history of the neighborhood and the city of Chicago. The development of nearby neighborhoods have priced out many homebuyers, so Ukrainian Village is becoming an attractive option. Local business owners are noticing, as small businesses are opening businesses throughout the neighborhood.

If you’re thinking about moving to Ukrainian Village, Chicago, or just want to visit, here’s a list of our favorite places to go and things to see.

Location

Nestled in the middle of West Town, Ukrainian Village is fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. To the north are Wicker Park and Bucktown, which have become two of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago over the last 10 years. Real estate-wise, Ukrainian Village offers more bang for your buck, but it’s still within a mile of everything Bucktown and Wicker Park have to offer. Another hot neighborhood, the West Loop, is just a mile or so to the southeast. Ukrainian Village offers not only a more affordable option than the West Loop, but in a less densely populated area. Taking advantage of this unique position, Ukrainian Village is becoming a destination in its own right.

Popular Bars, Restaurants & Nightlife in Ukrainian Village

Lockdown
The Lockdown bar is a neighborhood favorite in the Ukrainian Village. Image via lockdownbar.com

Lockdown Bar and Grill

Location: 1024 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Phone:
(773) 451-5625
Go there for: Punk Rock Burgers
Must try: Arson (if you can stand the heat)
Description: Right on Western Ave, this punk themed burger bar keeps it simple: Quality burgers cooked to perfection. The signature burgers are well thought-out, but you can also create your own using their extensive toppings menu. The food is accompanied by a great beer list, making this a neighborhood favorite.

Black Dog Gelato

Location: 859 N Damen Chicago, Il 60622
Phone: (773) 235-3116
Go there for: The amazing selection of unique gelato flavors
Must try: Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel Gelato
Description: This very popular desert spot has lines out the door as soon as they open in the spring. Unique flavor profiles bring customers back time and again. If only they offered a loyalty card! If you ever find yourself there on a night they are featuring the elusive donut Gelato sandwich, you must indulge.

Bar Deville

Location: 701 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (312) 929-2349
Go there for: Dancing
Must try: Ask the bartender (they know what they’re doing)
Description: On Damen and only blocks from Chicago Ave, Bar Deville still manages to feel like an oasis. A European inspired bar that has fantastic bartenders, three distinct lounging rooms to please any mood, and amazing DJs that create inspired dance parties. Patrons don’t seem to mind a steady stream of cabs from all over the city.

Hidden Gems: Where the Locals Go in Ukrainian Village

Empty Bottle
The Empty Bottle has helped many bands like the White Stripes and The Strokes rise to stardom. Image via emptybottle.com

Epic Spices

Location: 1725 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (312) 733-6445
Go there for: Spices
Must try: Spark up a conversation with an employee and they will hook you up with some amazing flavors
Description: Epic Spices is supposed to feel cramped. Why is that? A majority of their business is done direct to restaurants, and the storefront takes up only a small portion of their space. But don’t worry, there are many more spices in the back. The owner is a former chef and very knowledgeable. Just ask for a suggestion and you will find something new (like Egyptian Berbere) to experiment with in the comfort of your own kitchen. And, yes, it’s technically not quite in Ukrainian Village, but very accessible from the neighborhood and literally the best spice shop in the city.

Empty Bottle

Location: 1035 N. Western Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (773) 276-3600
Go there for: Live music
Must try: The food at Bite Cafe (same owners right next door)
Description: A down-to-earth music venue where you can find everything from garage rock to indie to folk, Empty Bottle has hosted many bands on their rise to stardom, including the White Stripes and The Strokes. A staple in the Ukrainian Village since 1993, it continues to draw quality acts. They even upped their game in recent years and now serve a great brunch and dinner right next door at Bite Cafe.

The Winchester

Location: 1001 N Winchester Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (773) 698-8703
Go there for: Weekend brunch
Must try: Waffles or biscuits and gravy with a fried egg
Description: With few retail locations just east of Ukrainian Village, this brunch and dinner spot is all alone on Winchester and Augusta. The restaurant consists of a large light-filled space with a small side patio for warmer weather. While the dinner menu receives mixed reviews, Winchester is proving itself as a go-to brunch spot. Lines form early on the weekends, but anything on the brunch menu is worth the wait.

Things to Do & See in Ukrainian Village

division street
Division Street has many fun bars and restaurants that give the neighborhood life. Image via YoChicago.

Division Street

Shared with our neighbor Wicker Park, Division Street is on the northern border of Ukrainian Village. Many bars and restaurants take advantage of the wide sidewalks, making this stretch a perfect place for al fresco dining. Wander farther east for more great restaurants and shopping.

Happy Village

Hands down one of the best neighborhood bars in the city, located just to the east of Ukrainian Village. Ping pong tables and a year-round beer garden make this place feel like home. No food is served here, but they encourage bringing your own, or even ordering food to the bar. When you come here, you are part of a Happy Village – a bar that truly lives up to its name.

Authentic Markets

Tour the European-inspired markets of Ukrainian Village. Rich’s Deli offers a massive selection of pickled items, barrels of fermenting fish, fresh pierogies or borscht. Many say this store feels like an Eastern European market was dropped straight into Chicago. A majority of items imported direct from the old country.

Kasia’s Deli has won the “Best Pierogi in Chicago Award” multiple times. There is a small market, but this spot is mostly a deli counter full of prepared foods to eat. On a nice day, enjoy your food at the small park one block away at Superior and Hoyne.

Amish Healthy Foods is another unique market with duck eggs, Amish pastries and a fabulous selection of meats, poultry, dairy, grains and flour. A majority of their items are bought direct from an Amish farm in Indiana.

Real Estate in Ukrainian village

Ukrainian Village

Much of Ukrainian Village has been landmarked, so many of the buildings are 2- or 3-flat late 1800s brick or stone structures, though you’ll also find some workers’ cottages, as well as new construction in the few unprotected areas. The neighborhood is generally fairly low-density compared to its surroundings, with few if any large condo buildings and many detached single-family homes.

If you’re thinking about moving to Ukrainian Village, you can go to the Ukrainian Village page on Redfin and hit the “save search” button at the top left to get alerts about new homes coming on the market and how much they cost. If you live in the Ukrainian Village, you can also claim your home to stay up-to-date on what is happening with similar properties around you. When you’re ready to buy or sell, a Redfin agent can help you through the process.

Getting Around Ukrainian Village

Walk Score

One of the beautiful parts of the Ukrainian Village, is it’s not necessary to go very far. The Walk Score in the area is a very high 93 due to the close proximity of grocery stores, bars, restaurants and shopping. Cycling is one of the best options for people looking to get places quickly from Ukrainian Village. There are also public transit options, with major bus lines on Chicago, Ashland, Damen and Western. The Blue Line is about one mile, with options at Damen (above ground) as at Division (subway).

Thinking about Moving to Ukrainian Village?

Here are some additional resources that might help:

What’d we miss? If you have a place you’d encourage people to visit in Ukrainian Village, let us know in the comments below!

 

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