Located just 3 miles northwest of the Loop, Noble Square is an underrated Chicago gem.
With vibrant cultural, shopping, and dining scenes, the neighborhood offers a low-key alternative to nearby Wicker Park. Residents love their affordable homes, tree-lined streets, and the lovely Eckhart Park. And, for work and play, the CTA Blue Line makes getting around the city a breeze!
Noble Square Neighborhood Guide
While Wicker Park and all of its attractions are within a short walk, residents don’t have to leave their neighborhood for a good time. With top restaurants, shopping, and culture, Noble Square is an attraction in its own right.
It’s still a bit under-the-radar, but Noble Square has quietly become a Chicago dining hotspot. From Japanese to Polish, variety and eclecticism are the rules. Local standouts include Arami, an excellent Japanese restaurant, Flo, an inventive Mexican eatery, and Frontier, a quirky gastropub.
Looking to taste some old-world flavors? Podhalanka serves up Polish eats like your mother used to make (ok, maybe not your mother). Ruxbin has a Michelin star. Like all of West Town, Noble Square has a fair share of cozy neighborhood bars. These include Five Star Barm and The Chipp Inn.
Culture and Entertainment
While the hip neighbors get most of the cultural buzz, Noble Square has a vibrant cultural scene of its own. With offerings ranging from local hip-hop to experimental theater, there is something for everyone. The Chopin Theater is known for cutting edge performances and film screenings. The Vittum Theater is home to the Adventure Stage Chicago, an inventive local theater company. Rounding out the scene are outstanding art galleries and Polish and Ukrainian ethnic museums.
Noble Square Shopping
Lining Chicago and Milwaukee Avenue, Noble Square’s shops bring visitors into the area. Local favorites include The Noble Grape, for a curated wine selection, Urban Source, interior design experts, and little high little low, a hip clothing boutique. For daily necessities, the area also has easy access to several grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores.
Parks and Recreation
Noble Square gets its “square” from Eckhart Park. The square 12-acre park offers residents a wonderful place for recreational activities, playgrounds, indoor pools, fitness and more. The park district offers youth gymnastics, swim lessons, and a summer day camp. For adults, sports leagues are available. The park also hosts special events nights, including “movies in the park”, concerts, and plays.
Noble Square History
Noble Square was first settled by Euro-American settlers in the mid-1800s. The first group to settle in the region was a small Polish community. As with neighboring Ukrainian Village, the area was dominated by Eastern European cultural institutions and ways of life. The area experienced significant growth after the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Becoming Noble Square
In the early 20th century, Noble Square was a vibrant, if overcrowded immigrant neighborhood. As part of an initiative to provide green space and social services to the area, the lovely Eckhart Park was built in 1907. Many moved to the suburbs after World War II, as the construction of the Kennedy Highway divided the area. The neighborhood became an immigrant “port-of-entry” for South Asian and Hispanic communities.
Noble Square Today
In recent years, the neighborhood has been revitalized by its close proximity to trendy neighborhoods. Most streets remain residential, but Chicago and Milwaukee Avenue’s shopping and dining have picked up a splash of Wicker Park hipness. Today, with a nice blend of old-school residents and new arrivals, families and young adults, Noble Square’s uptick in popularity suits it well.
Noble Square Homes
While culture and history are well and good, what really matters to renters and buyers are the quality of the homes. With Noble Square’s flourishing selection of original homes and new construction, you can check off that box. In addition to single-family homes, two- and three-flats, newly renovated condominiums, and upscale townhomes are available.
With an affordable price tag and a great location, Noble Square has been climbing neighborhood rankings. Come check it out!