Welcome to Bucktown
Artistic vibes and chic living in a cool Chicago neighborhood.
As one of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods, Bucktown acts as the city’s super-stylish older sister who knows the latest trends before they even happen. An artists' community, nightlife hotspot, foodie destination, and boutique heaven, this dynamic enclave has cornered the market on cool.
A Bucktown by any other name may be as sweet, but it wouldn’t have the history. Legend has it that the neighborhood’s name dates back 200 years to when Chicago’s first Polish settlers raised goats or bucks. The name stuck, but the vibe certainly changed — by the 1970s, the community had become a haven of bohemian living for artists and musicians. Today, the housing market reflects that influence with an eclectic mix of luxury homes and vintage rental units.
What to Love
• Art on every corner
• The hottest concerts
• Hip nightlife scene
• Chic boutiques and inspired shopping
• Artistic green space
People and Lifestyle
Bucktown’s artistic vibe and youthful buzz are thanks in part to the concentration of Gen-X and Millennial residents who tend to be involved in the music, restaurant, and small business scenes. Boutique shopping is the queen of Bucktown, and residents favor supporting local artists to big-box retailers. You can find the locals catching brunch with friends, hitting up the various parks and trails for exercise, or checking out the hottest new artist-owned boutiques and chef-driven bistros.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
In a town this cool, there are plenty of chic spots to see and be seen — and in Chicago, that always includes a pizza joint. In-the-know residents head to hidden gem My Pi Pizza for the best deep dish and thin crust pizzas in the city. The special fresh tomato sauce, Wisconsin cheeses, and secret herb recipe elevate this counter-service food court location to must-try status.
For a true taste of Bucktown’s hip culture, head to The Bristol, a neighborhood staple. This contemporary bistro offers a menu of innovative, seasonal New American cuisine, plus a tasting menu and wine pairing, in a hospitable, rustic space. Farm fresh produce, housemade pasta, and a warm welcome make this a local favorite.Check your iPod at the door and get into the swing of Bucktown’s hip music scene at Reckless Records. Originally started in London, the Chicago location has been going strong since 1988 and carries new and used CDs, DVDs, games, and, of course, loads of vinyl.
Hang with the cool kids and enjoy that youthful Bucktown energy at the Emporium Arcade Bar. Come for the curated craft beer and classic arcade games and stay for the live music, DJs, cocktail bar, and pinball machines. You can even catch the game on one of the 20-foot screens.
Things to Do
Bucktown is here to entertain with a full lineup of festivals, concerts, dancing, and outdoor recreation. The community’s strong tradition of supporting the arts is clear at the Bucktown Arts Fest, one of Chicago’s premier arts festivals. A neighborhood tradition for more than 30 years, the nonprofit festival is run entirely by volunteers. This is a true celebration of the arts with no corporate sponsorship, and all proceeds go to fund, develop and support arts education programming for neighborhood schools and parks.
For a modern music experience, head to the Concord Music Hall. This mid-size concert venue offers a variety of genres, including hip-hop, indie rock, and dubstep. Get your hipster on at Subterranean, a two-floor venue with every kind of live entertainment, from musicians and DJs to burlesque dancers. Housed in a hundred-year-old industrial building, the venue hosts the hottest bands, the coolest music, and loud, buzzy entertainment.
Bucktown knows how to elevate anything to an artistic experience, and outdoor activity is no different. The innovative, hip energy of this community is clear in The 606, a formerly abandoned rail line that has been transformed into an elevated trail almost three miles long. With art installations, murals, and creative landscaping, this urban oasis is a favorite for biking, running, and taking in the neighborhood’s unique mix of nature and art.
One of the educational highlights of Bucktown is Drummond Montessori, a magnet school serving preschoolers through 8th-grade students.