With a small-town vibe in the heart of the city, Roscoe Village has become one of Chicago’s most popular areas.
Residents enjoy a laid-back vibe and a welcoming community. The area is renowned for being super family-friendly. Some have even called the area the “stroller capital” of Chicago! Highly walkable – beautiful parks, schools, and great local businesses are just steps away.
What sets the area apart are its lovely homes and excellent public schools. Homes range from historic two flats and charming single-family houses to hip lofts and new luxury developments. The area’s schools are consistently ranked in Chicago’s top ten and send students to top colleges and universities across the country. It’s no overstatement to say that residents get the benefits of the suburbs with the excitement of the city.
Just 6 miles from downtown, getting around is easy with two nearby CTA Brown Line stops and the nearby Kennedy Expressway!
Roscoe Village Neighborhood Guide
With great shopping, dining, and entertainment, Roscoe Villagers don’t have to go far for a good time. Read on to find out why folks are flocking to this charming neighborhood!
Roscoe Village residents have great shopping options within walking distance from their homes. The area is home to great locally owned boutiques like Praha, a unique furniture store, and Shargri-La Vintage, one of the oldest (and best!) places to thrift in Chicago. The Chicago Music Exchange’s two-story showroom is a musician’s dream. Plenty of grocery stores are nearby including a Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and several boutique grocers.
Food and Drink
From pizza to fine dining, whatever you’re craving Roscoe Village has you covered. Local classics include Turquoise Cafe, an incredible Turkish restaurant, Kitsch’n on Roscoe, a top-notch brunch spot, and Red Hot Ranch, one Chicago’s finest dives. Foodies will love the Beef and Barley, a great local gastropub. And like the best Chicago neighborhoods, the area has some friendly local bars including the Village Tap Bar and The Green Lady.
The community gets together all year long for some fun local festivals. Summer favorites include Retro on Roscoe, a music festival featuring three stages of live music, the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, and an annual Halloween parade.
The area also has some excellent cultural amenities. Music fans will love Beat Kitchen, a great local bar renowned for being a stepping stone for local bands. Smaller touring bands and comedians are also known to play the venue. Interested in jazz and experimental music, check out Constellation. That’s not all: you can also find great theater, art galleries, and movie theaters within a short drive.
Just to the south of the neighborhood is the beautiful Hamlin Park. With great park features a field house, a pool, baseball diamonds, and a dog park. The Chicago Park District also features great sports and arts programming at the park’s fieldhouse. One can also find several nice playgrounds, riverside trails, and a dog park nearby.
While these amenities are nice, what puts Roscoe Village into a unique class of family-friendly neighborhoods are its schools. The area’s public schools are in the top 10 in Chicago and are supported by motivated teachers, administrators, and parents.
Roscoe Village History
Early Years (1870-1910)
Euro-Americans began to settle in the Roscoe Village area in the late 19th century. These German and Swedish immigrants established a community of farms, greenhouses, and a small downtown on Roscoe street. Greater growth came when Riverview, an early amusement park, was built in the area in 1904. Known as the “roller coaster capital” of America, Riverview attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to Roscoe Village. Businesses and thousands of new residents followed.
Growth and Hard Times (1920-1970)
In the early 1920s, the growth of major industrial area along the Chicago River transformed the neighborhood into a popular middle-class area. Roscoe Street became a bustling commercial marketplace and hundreds of frame houses and greystone two-flats were built. These buildings still represent the majority of housing in the area.
These good times were short-lived, however. In the 1930s, the Great Depression hit the area hard. Many factories closed and many residents lost their homes. After World War II, Roscoe Village did not immediately bounce back like many Chicago neighborhoods. Suburbanization and lack of investment in the area contributed to this slow recovery.
Roscoe Village Today (1970- today)
Roscoe Village began to take its modern form in the mid-1970s. Folks began to rediscover the charms of the village, including its excellent, if somewhat run-down, housing stock. In these years, “urban pioneers” restored the area’s single-family homes and historic two-flats. Today, Roscoe Village is a thriving mix of businesses, families, and parks.
Roscoe Village Homes
A charming, family-friendly area, Roscoe Village offers residents tons of great housing. With quiet side streets and the bustling Roscoe Street, the area lives up to the “village” in its name. The area has beautiful single-family homes, lovely renovated two-flats, and a growing market of luxury new construction. In recent years, several former industrial buildings have been converted into hip lofts. Generally, Roscoe Village is pricier than the immediately surrounding neighborhoods.
A charming mix of businesses, homes, and parks, Roscoe Village has become one of the Northside’s most popular residential areas. Come check it out!