Belmont Heights

Belmont Heights

Roughly half of one percent of Chicago’s population lives in the Northwest neighborhood of Belmont Heights. That equates to a little under 13,000 people. This diverse group of residents includes old-world Italians and Irish who have been in the area of decades, as well as a newer influx of Polish-American families that moved to the community in more recent years.

Belmont Heights is recognized as the area bound by Harlem Avenue to the east, Belmont Avenue to the south, Pacific Avenue to the west and Irving Park Road to the north. The majority of Belmont Heights’ northwest corner is occupied by the sprawling grounds of Irving Park Cemetery, which abuts Forest Preserve Avenue that cuts diagonally through the neighborhood. South of the cemetery is Hiawatha Park, the community’s main recreational area.

Built after WWII, the 12-acre public park was a welcome plot of green in a well-developed residential pocket of Chicago’s outlying urban expansion. The park provides a dedicated place for local residents to play both indoor and outdoor sports, as well as take part in all of community programs run by the Chicago Park District. In the summer, Hiawatha hosts kids’ activities, storytime, acting classes, flag football and even Movies in the Park, which is a big family favorite. The park gymnasium and fitness center is an excellent facility for working out and staying in shape. There are also tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, and a playground for the little ones that includes a fun water spray fountain.

The housing stock in Belmont Heights includes a typical selection of single-family Chicago homes. Many of these dwellings are brick or frame houses – some two-stories, some single-level or raised ranches. The neighborhood feels suburban in parts (especially similar to the suburbs that abut Chicago city limits). There is a sampling of places to eat in the vicinity, including several Italian restaurants, some Chinese, a popular Mexican eatery called Taco Burrito King, some traditional American and, of course, a fast food joint or two.

Despite its location off the beaten path from Chicago’s major expressways and train lines, Belmont Heights still enjoys the widespread amenities of living in the third largest city in the country. In 25 minutes, you can be downtown and in the heart of everything Chicago has to offer, from job opportunities and cultural institutions to world-class shopping and entertainment venues. And, being on the border of so many Chicago suburbs, Belmont Heights is also within walking/biking/driving distance of many “out of town” destinations, too.

According to walkscore.com, an online rating system for a location’s “walkability,” Belmont Heights has an average “walk score” of 69. That makes it the 126th most walkable neighborhood in the city of Chicago. It is right on par with other highly-residential Chicago neighborhoods such as West Beverly, Edgebrook, Tri-Taylor and Douglas Park.