Whether you see it spelled as Lakeview or Lake View, the nabes are one in the same. This North Side community area stretches from West Diversey Parkway to West Irving Road north/south, and from North Ravenswood Avenue to Lake Michigan west/east. The area is unique in that it houses many residential neighborhoods, like Northhalstead and Wrgileyville, as well as major tourist attractions—from Wrigley Field to an array of live entertainment in the Belmont Theater District.
Boystown, the LGBTQ+ capital of the city, is located within Lakeview as well, home to the Pride Parade each year. Lakeview was originally settled as a farming community in the 19th century. (It was considered a celery-growing capital, in fact.) But in the late 1800s, the population grew dramatically, and the area was absorbed by Chicago in order to provide more public services. In 1889, a real estate boom further developed the neighborhood into the metropolis it is today.
Unlike the price gouging you’ll see in the Loop, Lakeview is home to some great food at affordable prices. There’s the iconic vegetarian Chicago Diner in Boystown, and if you’re out late, you can get a Depression Dog at Red Hot Ranch until 5am. Then there are some pretty great brunch spots and an array of international cuisines—from Argentinian to Thai, Spanish, and Italian.
You’re way North of the city’s prime hotel spots, but there are a few accommodations in the nabe if you’re looking to stay near Wrigley Field. Hotels here a modest. There’s a Best Western, and an Inn at Lincoln Park. The Majestic Hotel offers three-star accommodations just a block away from the lake, if you’re hoping for a view.
Lakeview Tourist Attractions
No matter how the Cubs are doing, there’s nothing more “Chicago” than a ball game at Wrigley Field. If the Cubbies are away during your visit, you can still enjoy a tour of the Friendly Confines, available almost daily. The venue also hosts the occasional concert, but tickets are a tough get.
For historic architecture, stroll the Hawthorne Place District. The openness of the district makes it a breath of air between the Broadway retail district and the high-rises of Lake Shore Drive. Here, you can find residences built at the turn of the 20th century, and works by architects like Burnham & Root and Pond & Pond.
The Century Shopping Center is the area’s premier shopping destination. It is housed in a historic building once a vaudeville theater and movie palace. Today, it’s home to an array of upscale boutiques as well as an axe-throwing venue, Game Night Out, and movie theater.
For more independent shopping, wander into Boystown for an array of vintage shops, trendy boutiques, a record store, and a bookstore.
The theater scene in Lakeview is found in the Belmont Theater District, home to more than 50 theaters. You can see everything from classic performances to gut-busting comedy acts, with more than 100 shows playing every week. Catch everything from Blue Man Group to musicals, film, and comedy.
Lakeview Festivals & Events
With its diverse community fabric, Lakeview is home to an array of festivals each year. The Boystown neighborhood hosts the annual Pride Parade, surrounded by a weekend of events, concerts, and celebrations. There’s also the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts, with more than 150 artists, local music, and culinary treats. Check in to see what else is happening during your visit—perhaps you can catch the Lakeview Taco Fest or annual Oktoberfest.
If you want to watch the boats go by, take in the view from Belmont Harbor. You can also take your pup for a stroll at the nearby Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, a small slice of sandy beachfront for both humans and canines to enjoy.