Chicago February 20, 2018
7 Undeniable Differences Between The North And South Sides Of Chicago
Obviously, the Chicago experience is different for everyone. The neighborhood you are from will dictate the types of restaurants and stores you frequent, as well as many other aspects of daily life. North Side vs. South Side has been a debate in the city since its creation, and we’re aware there are some negative differences that are undeniable too, but this list aims to show the
strengths of each side of the city. No matter where you live in the Windy City, you’re still a Chicagoan who has much to offer!
1. One half is bigger than the other.
Everything below I-290 (or the Loop) is considered Chicago's South Side, and you can see that there is much more to it than the North Side. The upper neighborhoods get more attention, generally, but the south is where most people live.
2. Wrigley Field vs...
...Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field.
This is the ultimate Chicago rivalry. No matter what you call the White Sox's stadium these days, it's definitely in competition with Wrigley Field. North Siders root for the Cubs and South Siders root for the Sox. The two don't actually play each other during the regular season because they are in different leagues, but they do host a special game each year so they can play each other.
3. The architecture.
From houses to strip malls to skyscrapers, the city itself looks different depending on which side you're from. The Near North Side, River North, and Lincoln Park are right in the midst of the bustling business district, so the structures here definitely have a more "big city" vibe, but the neighborhoods spread out a bit the further you get from the Loop.
Chicago's history is deeply embedded in the South Side, and many buildings there show it. While Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Beverly are certainly the most affluent areas on this side of I-290, the South Side is quite diverse. Bungalow-style homes like the one pictured above are quite common and attract families, but you'll also find neighborhoods like Bridgeport, a traditionally working class area, that still show elements of Chicago's industrial roots.
4. The restaurants.
The North Side of Chicago is awash with trendy restaurants, including some of the most highly-rated in the city. Alinea, Au Cheval, and The Purple Pig all call the North Side of Chicago home, but if you head to the South Side, there is a wide variety of ethnic restaurants reflective of the area's diverse cultures. Calumet Fisheries is a classic Chicago favorite found on the South Side. It's not all home cooking and comfort food, though; new restaurants pop up all of the time, and those in Hyde Park and Pullman have to be top-notch to compete.
Chicagoans living on the North Side are more likely to work in office jobs and business fields. There are also many students and young professionals living and working on the North Side. Due to its wide spectrum of social classes, South Side residents often work in government jobs, construction, and delivery, though there are plenty of people who commute into the Loop for work from both the North and South Sides.
One obvious difference between the North and South Sides of Chicago are the people who live there. As we mentioned, more students and young people live up on the North Side. They are often only planning to live there long enough to go to school, work for a bit, and then move somewhere cheaper. The South Side is made up of more families and life-long Chicago residents, so there's a wider range of ages and lifestyles.
7. Where North Siders and South Siders go to have fun.
Both sides of the city are amazing in their own ways, and both are worth visiting and supporting. The reason for the differing vacation spots is just about location; North Siders are closer to Wisconsin and the dells, and South Siders are closer to Indiana and the dunes. No matter where you live, we suggest exploring the best of both sides!
What other North Side vs. South Side differences do you notice in the city? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
No matter which side of the city you hail from, you’ll
laugh at these 11 hilarious jokes about Chicago.