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Welcome To East Village

East Village is a charming, charismatic west side neighborhood that seamlessly blends old brownstones with new buildings, and Eastern European residents with new inhabitants. Modern townhomes and condominium developments have been built next to 100-year-old, vintage walkups, encouraging a fresh generation of Chicagoans to move to the area and make this Old World neighborhood home. Foodies will find the East Village lacks nothing in the way of culinary supremacy and the nightlife is just as full with hip clubs, lovable dives and even a hookah bar. East Villlage shopping should not be overlooked — music, fashion, gift items and any offbeat accessory you could want are all right down the street from your front door.

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[Demographics, Shopping, Entertainment, and more…]
East Village
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East Village Home Sales Statistics

East Village Facts

Location: About 2 miles northwest of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Wicker Park, United Center Park, Ukrainian Village, Noble Square, West Loop
Boundaries: Division Street to the north, Ashland Avenue to the east, Grand Avenue to the south and Damen Avenue to the west
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents


Then and Now

East Village Real EstateLike so many of its West Town counterparts (Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Noble Square, etc.) East Village saw the largest population boost after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when refugees began to make their new homes west of downtown. The name East Village comes from being situated east of Ukrainian Village. Clever, eh? In fact, it was originally considered part of Ukrainian Village.

East Villages population continued to expand in the late 1800s, as the Logan Square and Humboldt Park Rapid Transit lines were completed and the Paulina Street trolley was installed. East Villages proximity to the "El" trains (so-named for its elevated tracks) caused the area to be more densely populated and working-class than its West Town neighbors. East Village began to gain its own identity as older buildings were rehabbed and re-inhabited, and small mom-and-pop shops and restaurants appeared on the Village streets in the early twentieth century.

Through the years, East Village has seen demographics ebb and flow, and crime rates soar and then drop. But one thing has stayed consistent: the Eastern European influence is still evident.


East Village Real Estate

Housing in East Village is characterized by a slew of brown- and greystones that are at least 100 years old. But the neighborhood is hardly one-dimensional when it comes to real estate. If you cant snag one of the historical homes (a few of which are designated official Chicago landmarks), you can find housing options that range from classic two-flats to Eastern European-inspired, small cottage-style single-family houses, to brand new condos. Modern townhomes have sprung up next door to vintage walk-ups, but still East Villages residential rows maintain a continuity that seamlessly blends the old with the new.

Whatever your housing preferences, youll likely be settled on a quiet, tree-lined street filled with families, artists and entrepreneurs, some who have been in the neighborhood for generations and others who have just arrived. Regardless, well guarantee that they all really love their charming, peaceful and quiet urban neighborhood.

East Village Homes for Sale


Whats on the Menu?

An East Village morning spot is Atomix (1957 W Chicago Ave, 312-733-2701), a coffee bar whose environment combines 1950s Donna Reed with the space-age theme of Star Trek. Though Atomix is open at night too, our perfect day begins with a fluffy Atomix waffle and one of their killer espresso drinks. Afternoon and evening fare features sandwiches, vegetarian chili and hummus.

Another great spot for breakfast and lunch is the Breakfast House (1800 W Grand Ave, 312-997-2400). Open seven days a week, whats not to love about getting a good early morning meal at a reasonable price? They have everything from French toast, huevos rancheros, and a good succulent burger. 

If youve got a sweet craving, head over to La Fama Bakery (1751 W Chicago Ave, 312-421-2002) for a Mexican twist on traditional baked goods, with specialties like apple empanadas. The staff begins whipping them up at 3:45 a.m., and the best part is you can pay for these yummy treats with the change you find in between your couch cushions! With that being said, this little bakery is a cash-only place, so leave the plastic at home. With a Chicago Avenue bus stop three steps from the doors, La Fama is a morning ritual for many East Village commuters.

Sticking to south-of-the-border cuisine, Dona Natys Tacos (1815 W Chicago Ave, 312-243-2209) stands out in a sea of inexpensive taco stands. Why? Their steak and rib-eye tacos are succulent, the tortilla chips are freshly fried, the salsa is homemade, and the prices are shockingly low. Keep their number on speed dial, because the best news is they deliver.

Habana Libre (1440 W. Chicago, 312-243-3303) is a garlic-lovers paradise. Serving up authentic Cuban fare, villagers are abuzz over their ropa vieja (spiced shredded beef), red snapper, Cuban paella and empanadas. Bring along that tin of Altoidsthe garlic is delicious, but potent.

Jumping continental cuisines, Bob San (1805 W Division St, 773-235-8888) is a great spot for traditional Japanese food and raw fish dishes. The waterfall sculpture, metallic sushi bar, and trendy clientele give this East Village fixture a chic vibe, and the high-quality fish is super freshany Bob San fan will tell you the House Crunch roll is a must-try.

If its pizza East Villagers want, its Pizza Metro (925 N Ashland Ave, 773-772-3267) they get. Were huge fans of their buttery crust and unique toppings such as gorgonzola cheese, red peppers and rosemary potatoes. But dont worry. You can still get a slice of plain old cheese if you like, and it will still knock your socks off. 


Best Shopping Stops

Music lovers will find East Village a shopping haven, thanks to the presence Permanent Records (1914 W Chicago Ave, 773-278-1744), which specializes in harder-to-find material. Their light blue walls, plastic chairs and homemade CD bins make us feel like were digging through a friends collection of tunes. Come and look for that album you have been dying to have or just chill out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Sometimes you just need to pick up a new comic or two. Vigilante Press (1931 W Chicago Ave, 312-423-6774) is the place to go in East Village if you are in dire need of a new DC comic. Need a newly released comic? This shop is the place for you to stock up and add to your collection.

If youre looking to add a little green to your new place, Sprout Home (745 N Damen Ave, 312-226-5950) is the gardening stop in East Village. They have home accessories, tableware and gardening supplies indoors, while the outdoor garden contains rows of plants and flowers. Got lots of sun? A shady bedroom? The experts here are ready to help you select the best plant for your living conditions. If picking up a gorgeous arrangement is more your speed (or having one delivered to that special someone) stop by Cattails (1935 W Division St, 773-486-1621) where you can get everything from simple red roses to ornate orchids, lilies and peonies in price ranges that suit all budgets.

Aesthetic Eye (1520 W. Chicago, 312-243-1520) blends the feel of a gallery with the selection of an eclectic boutique. They offer affordable art, gift ideas and home accessories that combine form and function. Youll find many affordable items but also stumble upon that $100 glass piece.

Need a quick gift? Housed in a former pharmacy, RR #1 (814 N Ashland, 312-421-9079) gives and old-fashioned vibe, with modern-day gifts. This little gift shop provides customers with hawks original jewelry, home decor, bath/body items, homeopathic remedies, and other gift-able items that youll buy for others and end up keeping for yourself.

They say that knitting is trendy these days, which is why Nina (1655 W Division St, 773-486-8996) is one of East Villages most popular shops. Dubbed a well-knit shop, Nina hawks a wide variety of yarns and knitting supplies, modern knitting and pattern books, and also offers both group classes and private lessons for both novices and vets. After youve knitted something for everyone in your life, youll need pretty gift cards for your stockpile of birthday, Christmas, Chanukah, wedding, anniversary and graduation presents.

Where can you go to add to your closet? Head over to Penelopes (1913 W Division St, 773-395-2351) for a fun and youthful style. The styles here are cute, hip, fun and flirtatiouseven for the mens clothing. Besides apparel, they carry shoes and accessories for both men and women, and throw in some gift-y items, too, like notebooks and candles.

Lets jump all the way to the other end of the fashion spectrum (and the other end of East Village) to Alcalas Western Boots (1733 W Chicago Ave, 312-226-0152). This is one of the largest retailers of western wear in the Midwest. Pick up cowboy boots, hats, buckles, jeans, belts and anything else with a splash of out-west flair. Alcalas has been a Chicago staple since 1972, proving that a little cowboy/cowgirl gear never goes out of style. 


Night on the Town

Whether you feel like wearing a sparkly tank top, a well-loved white T-shirt, or anything in between, East Village has a bar to suit your particular mood.

One of East Villages older bars is Olas Liquor (947 N Damen Ave, 773-384-7250). Whether youre stopping by to grab a sixer, or sidling up to the bar for a brewsky, this place will never cease to amaze with its layers of dive qualities: dirt cheap drinks, jukebox stocked with Polish hits, and a communal sink outside the bathrooms for hand-washing.

Continuing with the dives, we spend a lot of time at Inner Town Pub (1935 W Thomas, 773-235-9795), or ITP to locals, across the street and down a block. They have free pool, a dart board, a jukebox that pits alternative hits like R.E.M and Wilco next to country legends like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, a photo booth, and a cable TV playing some great movies while you drink. No fancy martinis herethe ITP crowd digs their beer, and they have seven different kinds on draft.

Across the street from ITP is one of East Villages best beer gardens. Happy Village (1059 N Wolcott Ave, 773-486-1512) boasts a giant back patio, complete with plants, a goldfish pond, and plenty of picnic tables. The uber-casual joint draws mainly a neighborhood crowd, who down cheap drinks among vintage posters and slot machines. But this isnt Vegas, so dont expect a payout.

Pinching pennies these days? We are too, which means weve been spending a lot of time at Gold Star Bar (1755 W Division St, 773-227-8700). Make sure you have the cash on you though, because this place does not take cards. As you listen to Tom Waits, the Beatles, or Jesus Lizard on the jukebox and enjoy your dirt-cheap beer, try to take in the history. This joint has been around since the Prohibition era.


Night Cap

Heading down to Chicago Avenue be sure to hit up Cleos (1935 W Chicago Ave, 312-243-5600). The dark, candlelit room makes a good date spotor somewhere to go on those nights we dont feel like putting on makeup and doing the hair. The kitchen pumps out better-than-average bar food, and neighbors line up on Sundays for their brunch. Check the attitude at the door because the regulars here wont have it.

Down the street at High Dive (1938 W Chicago Ave, 773-235-3483) you can slip into velvet booths and stare up at plasma screen TVs, all while listening to a jukebox stocked with indie-rock goodies. The bar food is greasy, but well bear the extra calories for just one more encounter with their amazing ranch fries.

For those of you who get nostalgic at the mere mention of Tetris (or for those who were secretly playing it at work today), Club Foot (1824 W Augusta Blvd, 773-489-0379) may be your perfect bar. In addition to Tetris, Club Foot has a pool table, oodles of drink specials, black-and-white rock posters on the walls, and eclectic DJs who spin everything from punk to pop to rock to hip hop. The best part? Club Foot attracts those who want to shake their groove thing, so you dont even have to head to a glammed-up downtown club to dance.


Getting Around

East Villagers find having a car incredibly easy in their neighborhood. Theres little to no permit parking, plenty of open spaces, and the area is in close proximity to the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94). But for those who prefer the public transportation of the CTA, East Village has plenty of options for that method as well.

The Blue Line 'El' (referring to the trains partially elevated tracks) stops at Division Street, where a quick walk west will bring you to stores, restaurants, and bars galore. The El is great, but when in East Village, we like to take the bus. The #70 Division Street bus will take you further west towards Humboldt Park or east to the Rush/Division shopping and bar area. A terrific option for getting down to the lakefront, or to Water Tower Place in the heart of the Magnificent Mile is the #66 Chicago Avenue bus. The #50 Damen bus is happy to shuttle you up north towards Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Wrigleyville or Lincoln Square, or down south towards Bridgeport, Beverly or Midway.

When its nice out, we try to travel via our own two feet, and East Village is perfect for that. Being a small neighborhood, its easy to walk everywhere, and Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown and other happening west side neighborhoods are just a hop, skip and a jump awayliterally. And with all the peaceful, tree-lined streets in the East Village vicinity, we can assure you it will be one beautiful walk.


Schools in Session

East Villagers can send their school-age children to class at any of the neighborhood schools, or to other educational facilities throughout the city. For more info on these and other Chicago area schools visit our Chicago Guide Schools page.

Hans Christian Anderson School - 1148 N Honore St - (773) 534-4276
Talcott Elementary School - 1840 W Ohio St - (773) 534-7130
Wells Community Academy High School - 936 N Ashland Ave - (773) 534-7010


Basic Needs

Below is a short list of some places in East Village that will help you cover those basic needs.

Pharmacies

Deitch Pharmacy - 1800 W Chicago Ave - (773) 486-1200

Walgreens  1650 W Chicago Ave  (312) 829-6186

 

Grocery Stores

Amish Healthy Foods  1023 N Western Ave  (773) 278-1717

Dominicks Finer Foods  2045 W Chicago Ave

Sahar Food & Liquor  1759 W Division St  (773) 486-3202

Wicker Basket Café  2113 W Division St  (773) 698-8413

Entertainment

Theatres
Chopin Theatre - 1543 W Division St - (773) 278-1500

Galleries
Lotus Keep Gallery  1017 N Western Ave  (773) 315-9866

Paperish Mess  1955 W Chicago Ave  (312) 265-1497

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art  2320 W Chicago Ave  (773) 227-5522

 

Shopping

Aesthetic Eye (1520 W. Chicago, 312-243-1520)

Alcalas Western Wear - 1733 W Chicago Ave - (312) 226-0152

Cattails - 1935 W Division St  (773) 486-1621

Comrade Cycles  1908 W Chicago Ave  (773) 292-2522

Division Street Watch Co.  2017 W Division St  (312) 788-7510

Labrabbit Optics  1104 N Ashland Ave  (773) 957- 4733

Nina - 1655 W Division St  (773) 486-8996

Paper Doll  2027 W Division St  (773) 227-6950
Penelopes - 1913 W Division St - (773) 395-2351
Permanent Records - 1914 W Chicago Ave - (773) 278-1744

Psycho Baby  1657 W Division St  (773) 772-2815
RR1 - 814 N Ashland Ave - (312) 421-9079
Sir & Madame  938 N Damen Ave  (773) 489-6660

Sprout Home  745 N Damen Ave  (312) 226-5950

Very Best Vintage  1919 W Chicago Ave  (312) 226-5530
Vigilante Press - 1931 W Chicago Ave - (312) 423-6774

 

Dining

American Cuisine
Bite Café  1035 N Western Ave  (773) 395-2483

Breakfast House  1800 W Grand Ave  (312) 997-2400

Fatpour Tap Works  2005 W Division St  (773) 698-8940

Janiks Café  2011 W Division St  (773) 276-7930

Asian Cuisine
Bob San Restaurant - 1805 W Division St - (773) 235-8888

Cafes/Coffee Shops
Atomix - 1957 W Chicago Ave - (312) 666-2649
Café Ballou  939 N Western Ave  (773) 342-2909
Starbucks - 1701 W Division St - (773) 252-5084

Mexican/Latin Cuisine
Dona Natys Taco - 1813 W Chicago Ave - (312) 243-2209
El Taco Veloz - 1745 W Chicago Ave - (312) 738-0363

Habana Libre  1440 W Chicago Ave  (312) 243-3303
Tecalitlan Restaurant  1814 W Chicago Ave  (773) 384-4285

Pizza
Natys Pizza 2 - 1757 W Chicago Ave - (312) 666-7229
Pizza Metro - 1707 W Division St - (773) 278-1753

Roots Handmade Pizza  1924 W Chicago Ave  (773) 645-4949

Tortorices Pizza  1746 W Grand Ave  (312) 243-4444


Nightlife/Bars
Cleos - 1935 W Chicago Ave - (312) 243-5600
Club Foot - 1824 W Augusta Blvd - (773) 489-0379
Gold Star Bar - 1755 W Division St - (773) 227-8700
Happy Village - 1059 N Wolcott Ave - (773) 486-1512
High Dive - 1938 W Chicago Ave - (773) 235-3483
Inntertown Pub - 1935 W Thomas St - (773) 235-9795
Loop Tavern - 1610 W Chicago Ave - (312) 226-6740
Nildas Sports Bar - 1858 W Iowa St - (773) 486-4720

Olas Liquor  947 N Damen Ave  (773) 384-7250

Our neighborhoods guide is meant to give potential homebuyers a general overview of what every Chicago neighborhood has to offer and what makes it unique from the rest, and believe us, no two neighborhoods are the same! Searching for a new home isnt just about finding that perfect condo or house, making sure the setting fits your style and needs is just as important. And whether East Village is your ideal locale to settle down, or youve found the scene here just isnt your cup of tea, were here to help you find the right place to make sure your home purchase a is total success. From the type of restaurants to the outdoor venues and local schools, every detail is an essential factor in what makes a property a dream home. By utilizing our comprehensive accounts of each community, such as this one for East Village, we hope to provide a detailed picture of not only the residential real estate available in the area, but also the additional features of the neighborhood. A quick glance and youll know exactly what shopping, dining, entertainment, and resources are in East Village, all without ever having to go anywhere.


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