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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Mathena

Moving to Portage Park Chicago, IL Neighborhood Guide

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Moving to Portage Park Chicago, IL Neighborhood Guide

Welcome to Portage Park, Chicago! As a trusted local Portage Park moving company, we are thrilled to be your guide to this thriving and diverse neighborhood. Nestled on the city's Northwest side, Portage Park exudes a unique charm that effortlessly blends urban energy with a welcoming suburban community feel. From its lush parks and historic architecture to the laid-back neighborhood bars, restaurants, and shops, there's always something to do in this bustling neighborhood. We invite you to explore the hidden gems and cherished landmarks that make Portage Park a true gem in the Windy City.

Portage Park History and Overview

The history of the Portage Park neighborhood in Chicago is deeply rooted in the city's development and its ties to transportation and recreation. European settlers arrived in the early 19th century, attracted by the region's fertile land and proximity to waterways. The name "Portage" originates from the historical practice of "portaging," where early explorers and traders carried their canoes and goods overland between the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers. This portage point became a crucial link connecting the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, with the growth of Chicago as a major industrial hub, the area witnessed significant urbanization and development. Immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Germany, settled in the region, contributing to the area's cultural diversity.

The park was constructed between 1913-1917. It quickly became a focal point for the neighborhood, offering recreational opportunities and hosting various community events. The iconic Portage Park Field House, completed in 1922, served as a cultural and recreational hub for the area, adding to the neighborhood's appeal.

Over time, the Portage Park neighborhood flourished and attracted more residents and businesses. The neighborhood's cultural heritage is still evident today, with various influences seen in the local businesses, restaurants, and community events.

What is it Like to Live in Portage Park?

Portage Park is known for its charming bungalow-style homes that define the Bungalow Belt. Alongside these iconic residences, much of the rest of the neighborhood showcases two-flats, three-flats, and vintage apartment buildings. There are a few contemporary developments with modern condominiums.

  • According to Redfin, as of September 2023, the average Portage Park home price is $400K, a 0% change compared to last year.

  • Rentcafe states that the average Portage Park apartment rent is $1,778 which is 20% lower than the Chicago average rent of $2,215.

  • 38.8% of Portage Park residents are renters while 61.2% are homeowners.

  • Portage Park has a Walk Score of 78 making it very walkable. Its Transit Score is 59 and Bike Score is 63.

  • According to Niche, Portage Park is the 45th best neighborhood for young professionals and the 44th best neighborhood to raise a family in Chicago. Its overall Niche grade is B+.

  • The population of Portage Park is 63,020 per Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

  • The median age is 39.2.

  • The median household income is $78,052.

  • Niche gives Portage Park a grade of C for crime and safety.

Map of Portage Park, Chicago

Portage Park Chicago Location

Portage Park is located approximately 10 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Nearby neighborhoods include Belmont-Cragin, Dunning, Jefferson Park, Irving Park, and Mayfair, as well as the suburb of Harwood Heights.

The approximate boundaries of Portage Park are the Northern boundary 4800 North (Lawrence Avenue and Gunnison Street), the Southern boundary mostly 3200 North (Belmont Avenue) as well as 4000 North (Irving Park Road), the Eastern boundary primarily 4600 West (Kenton Avenue, the Metra/Milwaukee District North Line, and Cicero Avenue), and the Western boundary 6000 West and 6400 West (Austin and Narragansett). The Portage Park zip codes are 60630, 60634, and 60641.

Portage Park is rated B by Niche for commute and has good transit with a Transit Score of 59. The Kennedy Expressway runs through and nearby Portage Park making a convenient commute to downtown Chicago. The CTA Blue Line has several stops just outside of Portage Park at Irving Park, Montrose, and Jefferson Park, as well as buses. The Metra Milwaukee District North Line stops in Portage Park at Mayfair station and just outside Portage Park at Grayland station. To downtown Chicago, it takes approximately 35 minutes by car and 50 minutes by public transportation.

Portage Park Restaurants

Portage Park may not be known for its cutting-edge gastronomy, but it boasts a delightful array of eateries that embrace the neighborhood's character and heritage. Within the neighborhood a delightful collection of restaurants await that showcase the true essence of Portage Park: a down-to-earth neighborhood with a strong focus on comfort and familiarity. From the sizzling goodness of a Colombian steakhouse to the comforting flavors of an Italian trattoria, Portage Park invites you to savor a diverse range of cuisines. Sink your teeth into mouthwatering burgers at a classic burger joint or indulge in the beloved Chicago fast food staples like hot dogs and Italian beef that have stood the test of time.

Made from scratch pub food along with local craft beers, craft cocktails, and wine.

Rock 'n' roll-themed spot known for its on-site ground meat burgers and hand-cut fries. July 2023's burger of the month is the slaw-spangled burger with blue cheese, roasted red pepper, hickory-smoked bacon, firecracker coleslaw, and citrus aioli.

Upscale pub featuring American food with an Asian influence such as kim-cheese fries and short rib dumplings.

Build your own pizza or choose one of their specialty pizzas such as mac n' cheese or shredded beef along with appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.

Columbian steakhouse featuring classics such as churrasco, bandeja paisa, and sancocho de castilla along with cocktails, beer, and wine.

Gastropub featuring wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta dishes, and other Italian favorites along with wine, cocktails, and beer.

Local favorite for over 50 years featuring Italian classics such as pizza, pasta, chicken, seafood, and steaks.

Portage Park Bars

Portage Park's bar scene offers a down-to-earth and welcoming atmosphere, embracing the neighborhood's charm and heritage. From classic neighborhood pubs and sports bars to Polish establishments and dive bars, this lively community provides a diverse range of options to enjoy.

Lively Irish pub with craft beer, cocktails and bar food. Plenty of TV's to catch a game or play darts and ping pong.

Spirited bar with bar food, a large beer selection, and often has music, karaoke and dancing.

Plant-themed cocktail bar featuring ingredients inspired by the owners' backgrounds.

Neighborhood tavern offering a wide selection of pub food and a large beer list. Great place to catch a game and munch on their celebrated Portage Park fries which were featured on Chicago's Best.


Chill dog-friendly brewery for a beer while playing a board game.

Portage Park Coffee Shops

Coffee shop with great coffee, pastries, truffles, live music, and a wide array of newspapers and magazines.

Cute retro neighborhood cafe for fresh roasted coffee along with soup, sandwiches, and pastries.

Coffee shop with a variety of coffee drinks, espresso, teas, and pastries.

High quality freshly roasted coffee featuring in-house roasted beans from around the world.

Places to Shop in Portage Park

Marketplace at Six Corners features a variety of national retailers. Unique locally owned shops can also be found in the area along Milwaukee Avenue and Irving Park Road.

Artisan made bath and body products using locally sourced natural ingredients.

Year-round costume shop.

Indie bookstore specializing in comics and graphic novels.

Bar supply store for pros and home cocktail enthusiasts.

Chicago-themed gift shop.

Home goods and textile store with unique items sourced primarily from women entrepreneurs.

Gift shop with handmade items by Illinois artists.

Record store specializing in a variety of genres including metal, punk, classic rock and more.

Outdoor Activities in Portage Park

Outdoor activities in Portage Park are centered around it's namesake park and other neighborhood parks in the area.

Named after the famous Polish pianist and composer the park features numerous amenities including baseball fields, tennis courts, a fieldhouse, and a playground.

Largest park on Chicago's northwest side boasting a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, sports fields, and pools.

Portage Park Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring a variety of vendors.

Things to do in Portage Park

Axe throwing entertainment venue.

Museum displays and studies artwork created by veterans of the Vietnam War and other wars.

Portage Park Grocery Stores

Serbian bakery and deli.

Gyms in Portage Park

Portage Park Dry Cleaning

Roosevelt Cleaners

Portage Park Post Office

Other Helpful Information

As we come to the end of our neighborhood guide to Portage Park, we trust that you are now brimming with anticipation and enthusiasm for the wonderful experiences that await you in this charming Chicago neighborhood. As you prepare to embark on your new adventure, remember that our Portage Park movers are here to make your move to Portage Park seamless and hassle-free. For a complimentary moving estimate and personalized assistance, reach out to Under One Roof at 773-472-5784.

Blog authored by Michelle Mathena, President of Under One Roof, a local moving company in Chicago. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the moving industry. Under One Roof has had thousands of satisfied customers since 1982.

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