Old Town/Near North Neighborhood Guide

Neighborhood Overview

Named a Chicago Landmark District in 1977, this historic pocket of Lincoln Park maintains its rustic yet eclectic charm. At the center of the neighborhood lies the intersection of North Avenue and Wells Street, where lively storefronts butt up against traditional Chicago pubs.

In the 1960s Old Town was home to a thriving hippie culture, and though the area has since gone through major gentrification, the laid-back, artsy atmosphere lingers. Many buildings in the neighborhood are Great Chicago Fire survivors, including Bavarian-influenced St. Michael’s Church. The neighborhood has also long since been the center of Chicago folk music, and was the original location of the famed Old Town School of Folk Music, which moved after the 1968 riots. Several spots have kept their place in the neighborhood for more than 40 years, though, including the famed comedy theatre The Second City, the Old Town Ale House, and the Old Town Aquarium.

Among lingering artistic influences is the Old Town Art Fair, which started in 1950 and is an annual Chicago event. Though sometimes lumped in as a part of Lincoln Park, or even the Gold Coast, this classic Chicago hood is a destination in its own right.

What’s up in Old Town/Near North

Gyms & Spas (Coming soon!)

Old Town/Near North Super Map

Public Transportation

L: Brown Line (Sedgwick), Purple Line (Sedgwick)
Bus: #11, 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, 156

Attractions in Old Town/Near North

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Restaurants in Old Town/Near North

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Nightlife in Old Town/Near North

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Gyms & Spas in Old Town/Near North

Coming soon!

Check out all of UPchicago’s featured neighborhoods:

Downtown North Side Northwest Side South Side West Side
The Loop Andersonville Avondale Beverly Bucktown
Magnificent Mile Edgewater Ravenswood Hyde Park Humboldt Park
River East Gold Coast North Center Pilsen Logan Square
River North Lakeview Irving Park UIC/Tri-Taylor River West
South Loop Lincoln Park Roscoe Village Ukrainian Village
Streeterville Old Town/Near North Wicker Park
West Loop Uptown