Uptown Chicago Guide

The colorful community known as Uptown is located in the northern part of Chicago, bordered by Foster Avenue on the north, Irving Park Road on the south, Lake Michigan on the east and Clark Street on the west. Once an elite summer resort, the area has evolved into an eclectic neighborhood of more than 63,000 residents.

Uptown is home to tree-lined streets, stunning architecture, historic jazz clubs, ethnic restaurants, and varied cultural activities. One of the best-known sites is St. Augustine College, which is located in the former Essanay Studios. Long before Hollywood became the film capital of the world, Essanay Studios was the center of the motion picture industry. Today, that energy can be seen in Uptown’s lively nightlife. Residents also enjoy outdoor recreational activities. The area around Lake Michigan provides walking paths, bike trails and fishing at the Montrose Harbor Pier. Golfers can visit the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course.

The community is located near the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) and U.S. Route 14. Express bus service and elevated trains are also available. Uptown real estate ranges from lakefront condominiums and flats to upscale single-family homes and waterfront mansions.


Uptown is a cultural mecca for many Chicagoans, and live music is a vital part of the neighborhood. Local landmarks include the Uptown Theatre, the Aragon Ballroom, the Riviera Theater and the Green Mill Jazz Lounge. The Uptown Theatre is dedicated to promoting arts and music in the lives of community residents. The Aragon Ballroom, a former hot spot for “big bands,” now hosts a variety of rock and Latin groups. The Riviera Theater, which began as a movie house, is another popular rock venue. And the Green Mill Jazz Lounge is among the best-known venues for live music, where patrons can enjoy late-night jazz sets in a nightclub once frequented by Al Capone.


Uptown has a diverse and stylish housing market. Most residences are condos or townhouses, but a few single-family homes are available. Many of these homes are large, Victorian-era mansions. These restored historic properties command high prices from $500,000 to more than $1 million.

Condominiums and townhouses provide a range of styles and prices for buyers. These properties range from the $200,000s to the $500,000s depending on the neighborhood, the size of the unit and the condition of the building. Units are available in both low- and high-rise buildings with waterfront or city views. A small selection of undeveloped land is available, but most of these lots are commercially zoned.


Location & Area

  • North Boundary: 5200 N Foster
  • South Boundary: 4000 N Irving Park
  • East Boundary: ~200 W Lake Michigan
  • West Boundary: 1600 W Ashland
  • Primary Zip Code: 60640

Current Trends and Facts of Uptown Chicago

Right off the shores of Lake Michigan’s Foster Beach and Montrose Harbor, Uptown neighborhood offers residents easy access to Lake Shore Drive and Lincoln Park, the stretch of parks and beaches along Lake Michigan. There are many opportunities for biking, volleyball, fishing and boating. There is even a sled hill for wintertime enthusiasts.

Uptown neighborhood is home of the Green Mill, once a speakeasy of the infamous Al Capone. The Green Mill is a world-class destination for jazz musicians and enthusiasts. It also boasts Aragon Ballroom and the Riviera Nightclub, two of the more popular mid-sized entertainment venues in Chicago. Historically a very popular tourist destination, the current Uptown Entertainment District is home to various music venues, nightclubs, restaurants and shops. The Uptown Entertainment District is now experiencing a revival, with new restaurants and shops opening every year.