Is La Grange IL a Good Place to Live?

When I was considering moving to a new suburb in Chicago, the first thing I wanted to know was what it’s like; whether it’s safe, affordable, and would cater to all the needs my family has.

Though there are plenty of websites with data on the western suburbs, sometimes you need somebody with first-hand knowledge to answer – is La Grange IL a good place to live? 

La Grange IL ranks among the best Chicago suburbs to live in and is highly rated for safety, schools, and family life. It has a small, dense population of 16,321 and lots of amenities. The downtown offers over 80 retail and dining outlets and a 25-minute metra connection to Chicago. 

That’s the short answer. In this article, I’ll give you a detailed breakdown of everything La Grange has to offer; I’ll show you around the best things to do, compare the local schools, and explain the housing market, including a comparison of property taxes in and around La Grange.  

What it’s Like Living in La Grange, IL 

La Grange might be small in size but it’s big in its offering. Two main things initially attract people to this village in Cook County – the easy commute into Chicago by metra or car, and the reputation as a great place to raise a family. But what makes people enjoy living here for years to come? 

The village of La Grange ensures a high quality of life for residents by continuously reviewing and investing in community facilities, including the streets, parks, events, and schools. The area also offers unique natural and cultural landmarks, including Salt Creek to the north, the historic district, and a popular downtown populated by independent outlets. 

La Grange offers something that you won’t find in many Chicago suburbs, which is walkability. The village is 2.5 Square miles, which allows many of its residents to take a stroll from their home to the vibrant downtown. With a coffee in hand, you can explore the leafy sidewalks through the suburbs and parks, taking in the mix of historic and modern architecture, including impressive Queen Anne and Frank Lloyd Wright homes. 

Another significant benefit of living in La Grange is the connections to surrounding areas. La Grange is on the I-294 corridor and it’s within twenty minutes by car to reach the Eisenhower expressway, the Stevenson Expressway, O’hare airport, and Midway airport. Similarly, Chicago or other popular suburbs like Naperville, Downers Grove, and Glen Elynn are all less than 30 minutes by car from La Grange. 

So whether you’re looking for a characterful place to settle down or a well-placed base for exploring wider Chicagoland, La Grange has plenty to offer. Let’s take a closer look at the amenities that make this village stand out.

The Best Schools in La Grange

If, like me, you have young children, one of the first things you’ll check out about an area is the educational opportunities. But comparing all the schools one by one takes time, so I’ve put together a quick comparison of the local schools to help you answer the question – what are the best schools in La Grange? 

La Grange has three school districts all highly rated for public education. Whether located in District 102 in the north or District 105 in the south, children can attend an A-rated elementary school and middle school. District 205 serves all of La Grange and includes the A+ rated high school, Lyons Township High. 

Comparing the schools in La Grange

Some of the schools lie geographically in the La Grange Park area to the north of La Grange or the unincorporated La Grange Highlands to the south. Due to
La Grange’s high walkability, most children can attend their chosen school on foot. 

Schools in La Grange spend an average of $14k per student, compared to the national average of $12.5. La Grange directs slightly more spending towards schools with a high percentage of low-income students, allowing the village to offer consistent opportunities throughout all its schools. All schools in La Grange are rated A+ to B. 

With such a consistent level of good education, La Grange makes our list of the top five affordable western suburbs for schools. 

Lyons Township High School 

3,989 students attend the A+ rated high school, Lyons Township, which ranks 31st best public high school in the entire state of Illinois, according to Academic, athletic, and creative students will all find strong development opportunities at Lyons Township. Students can compete in at least eighteen different sports.

Lyons Township also runs an award-winning student newspaper, The LION, as well as a student YouTube channel, and not to mention, the award-winning radio show that gave some of the nation’s talent their start in media. As if that wasn’t enough, Lyons Township also offers over 100 extracurricular activities, ranging from theatre groups, the Science Olympics, sports medicine, and a photography club, to name a few. 

Real Estate in La Grange, IL

Take a walk or a drive around the tree-lined streets of La Grange and you’ll soon see there is an exciting range of housing stock. From size, style, age, and price point, the village boasts characterful and eclectic neighborhoods. With so many beautiful homes on display, you’d be crazy not to ask the question - what is the real estate market like in La Grange? 

Since 2019, the median sale price for a single-family home in La Grange has fluctuated between $400-500K. However, properties in La Grange start at $130K and the high end of the market includes luxury homes valued at over $1.5M. Most properties are single-family homes, however, there are condos available, particularly in the downtown and southeast parts of La Grange. 

The real estate market in La Grange is considered competitive, with homes usually receiving more than two offers. Homes usually sell for 98% of the list price. 

The next thing you might be wondering is whether all the neighborhoods here were created equal. It is a relatively small village, which makes it easier to answer the question – what are the best neighborhoods in La Grange? 

La Grange can be divided into four main neighborhoods, which are northwest, northeast, south, and the village center. There is some variety between the neighborhoods.

As a general rule, the most affluent neighborhoods and expensive properties are located in the northwest of La Grange and the village center. According to, most of La Grange is rated as a desirable place to live, except for a small area of the La Grange Highlands in the far southeast of the village. 

Market Research

La Grange Park, Illinois Market Report

Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.

Homes for Sale in La Grange Park

Are property taxes high in La Grange, IL?

Following suit with the rest of Cook County, La Grange IL has higher property tax rates than the U.S. national average, at 2.02% vs 1.10% for a single-family home. 

As you’ll see in the table below, La Grange has higher property tax rates than its neighboring suburbs Hinsdale and Western Springs; however, the average median home value is lower in La Grange. Comparatively, La Grange Park and Brookfield to the north both have higher property taxes and lower median home values than La Grange.

High-quality education, clean and green streets, a historic village hall and a well-maintained public library are just a few of the community resources that La Grange property taxes go towards.  

Is La Grange a good place to raise a family? 

La Grange ranks ​​#24 for best places for families in Chicago, out of an impressive 501 areas, according to The demographics alone support La Grange’s reputation; 25% of households have children and a whopping 8% of the suburb’s community are under five years old. There’s more to it than data, though. 

Several things that make La Grange a good suburb to raise a family. The village has low crime rates, good schools, clean streets and lots of youth activities. 

La Grange’s walkability also means that children in this village will have independence not always offered by the sprawling suburbs of Chicago. Most of the village’s businesses can be found on South La Grange Road, which runs the entire length of the suburb. This means that shops, markets, and cafes are within walking distance. Most children can also attend school on foot and easily reach parks close by. 

Is La Grange safe? 

Both property crime and violent crime are approximately 80% lower in La Grange IL than the national average. Residents report feeling safe in their community and note that they are largely unaffected by any crime. 

Things to Do in La Grange 

No guide to La Grange would be complete without showcasing the fantastic days out you can have here - it’s one of the best things about living in La Grange.

La Grange is not only close to destinations like Naperville and Chicago but has its own charming and bustling downtown area too. So if you’re wondering what there is to do in La Grange… The answer is, plenty!

Downtown La Grange is known for its independent personality, with most outlets being boutiques, one-of-a-kinds, and mom and pops. It’s no surprise it was voted the best in Chicagoland by Chicago magazine. There is also a second shopping district located three blocks west, by Stone Avenue. 

Here are just a few things worth exploring in and around downtown La Grange: 

  • The La Grange Farmers Market, for the very freshest local produce 
  • Jackson Square mall, home to two stories of antiques and vintage wares
  • The Village Hall, for its stunning Georgian Renaissance architecture 
  • Olivaceto, to sample a huge selection of artisan olive oils and vinegars 
  • Anecdote, to get inspired by their curated collection of high-end homeware
  • Wonderful Matcha, to peruse teas from around their world and consult their very own teologist on the perfect brew
  • Linnea Jewelers, to pick up unusual pieces made by one of Chicago’s last traditional jewelers  
  • The historic Stone Avenue station, whose Richardsonian Romanesque design looks like it’s straight from a fairytale 
  • La Grange Art League, a gallery and studio hosting works and workshops from talented local artists 
  • The La Grange Country Club, an exclusive 18-hole, 112-acre golf course
  • The La Grange Theatre, although temporarily closed, this historical and cultural landmark has been part of the village’s identity since 1925
  • La Grange Area Historical Society, a museum and research center in one of La Grange’s oldest homes – if you’re a La Grange resident, you may even be able to see old records of your house 


Community events in La Grange

The community ethos of La Grange is no doubt helped by their strong calendar of events throughout the year. Whether it’s the weekly farmer’s market, or many anticipated yearly events like the Pet Parade, Illinois’ leading Craft Fair, the West End Art’s Festival, or Summerfest, residents usually have something in their calendar to look forward to. 

Local organizations are known for pulling together when the community needs it most. For the Covid era Christmas of 2021, the La Grange Business Association displayed thousands of lights; from shopfront decorations to large installations.

Their mission was to make sure families in La Grange had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the festive season. Throughout the year, the community-led association uplifts La Grange businesses with initiatives, workshops, and local promotion. 

Best Restaurants and Bars in La Grange 

There are around 50 restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from in La Grange, and it’s no doubt part of the reason it’s such a popular suburb to live in. A fantastic selection of cuisines caters to the urban sophisticate tastes of the locals, but La Grange’s restaurants pull visitors from all across Chicago. While the village isn’t known for its nightlife, many of its restaurants double up nicely as a cozy place for a cocktail or glass of wine, while the local sports bars provide a livelier atmosphere. 

The Milkstop Cafe

Stop by the Milkstop Cafe for a plate packed with flavor and a slice of La Grange’s history. This multiethnic diner is housed in a historic 120-year old building opposite the original milk stop on the Aurora railroad, now known as Stone Avenue station. The cafe was founded by local community members, making it a true neighborhood cafe. They serve food all day long, so you can stop by for french toast in a cup for breakfast, Chilaquiles for brunch, avocado club sandwiches for lunch, or crispy chicken thighs and blistered shishito peppers for dinner. 

Insider tip: Try one of their wine-topped cocktails, such as the tequila moonrise; a delicious elderflower, tequila, and lime trio topped with a fizz of Prosecco. 

Marcos Kitchen 

In a time where international travel is sorely limited, you can expand your culinary horizons by stopping by Marcos Kitchen, where Chef Marco brings you dishes from far-flung corners of the globe, inspired by his decades of travel. Your evening will no doubt be elevated by the exquisite interior – the art deco decor is intimate, yet modern and upscale, while white tablecloths and dark wooden flooring cleverly nod to the menu’s traditional European inspirations. The menu changes with the seasons, but a sure staple is Marcos’ freshly baked bread, served with delightful accompaniments; think whipped butter laced with cabernet. 

Insider tip: The menu is ever-changing, so keep an eye on their social media so as not to miss their special offers and one-off specialty dishes.  

The Elm 

Think big flavors on small plates. The Elm, La Grange, is serving up fusion food in a chic setting. Complete with indoor and outdoor rooftop seating, a large bar, and a grand staircase, this location makes for one of La Grange’s coolest destinations. If the friendly staff doesn’t put you at ease, then perhaps the one-of-a-kind cocktails will. The menu features pork belly tacos, fig bruschetta, and salmon wontons; this is relaxed dining at its finest. 

Insider tip: The crab cakes are not to be missed. 

Blackberry Market 

This health-focused market-style eatery is the perfect place to swing by for an energizing lunch or dinner. Believing in all that is non-processed, natural, and fresh, they offer a warm welcome to all the usual suspects; gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or sugar-free – but there’s plenty of feel-good food for all folks. Come expecting salads, sandwiches, and soups, and enjoy a colorful plate of no-nonsense tasty food.  

Insider tip: The cinnamon buns have pride of place on the countertop for a reason, so be sure to grab one to go! 


If you’re looking for something dark and smokey, then look no further. Q-BBQ offers umami-gold with their 13-spice rub and 24-hour hickory smoking. The hush puppies are surprise gems on a menu of big players, and their sauces are best served slathered. Q-BBQ is fast food that isn’t fast forgotten. 

Insider tip: The smoked meats are the star of the menu 

The Barrel House Social 

A friendly and relaxed gastropub and sports bar in the heart of downtown La Grange. The outdoor patio is perfect for summer drinks; inside, the eleven TV screens make it hard to miss the game. They serve up Midwestern-style comfort food; chicken wings, chicken biscuits, pulled pork nachos, and mac and cheese, to name a few. 

Insider tip: Head here in the evening to catch the happy hours, live music nights, and pub trivia 

Milk Money Brewing 

As the Milk Money Brothers put it themselves, this establishment is ‘born, bred and brewed in the village’. To kindly assist you in drinking more of their creative craft beers, they’re served up alongside an interesting artisan menu; wood-fired oysters, fried chicken and hot honey mash, and grandma's pizza by the slice. 

Insider tip: We can’t tell you what to order because the menu is seasonal! We can tell you to take a peek at the kids’ menu for a good laugh.

Best Parks in La Grange

Despite its proximity to Chicago, La Grange has preserved a respectable amount of green space for the community to enjoy. 

In total, La Grange has 82 acres of parks, which, combined with the 112-acre country club, makes up 12% of the village land area. As well as the community parks within the village, you can reach Salt Creek Nature Preserve, Possum Woods, La Grange Park Woods and Arie Crown Woods by car in ten minutes.

La Grange Park District

The park district manages 13 green spaces in La Grange, in addition to providing robust activities and athletics programs for children. Across the locations, the park facilities include: 

  • A recreation center
  • Running tracks
  • Soccer pitches
  • Full and half basketball courts
  • Community gardens
  • Playgrounds
  • Tennis, baseball, volleyball, softball and handball courts
  • A skate park
  • T-ball fields 
  • Picnic shelters 

Salt Creek Nature Preserve

This historic natural site features the slow-moving salt creek, which winds through 245 acres of ancient oak savannah, prairie, marsh, and meadows. Lucky ramblers might spot great horned owls, hawks, and American bullfrogs among the tall grasses, and, rumor has it, there are flying squirrels at night. Keen volunteers of all levels can get involved in the ongoing ecological restoration of the site. 

Possum Woods and La Grange Park Woods

The woodlands are located right next to the Salt Creek Nature Preserve and provide a welcome natural refuge for dog walkers, bird watchers, and runners. You can take one of the many hiking trails through the woods and past the creek and stop off for a bite to eat at the picnic benches along the way. 

La Grange Country Club

This exclusive golf club has been part of the La Grange scene since it was founded in 1899. Members not only enjoy the 18-hole golf course spread over 112 acres, but take advantage of the tennis courts, swimming pools, and the selection of dining spots.

Arie Crown Forest

Located just past the southern edge of La Grange is a 3.4-mile trail through Arie Forest. It’s a quiet, unpaved route that takes you through the woods, past large open fields, pavilions, and picnic groves, and alongside the fishing lake. 

In short 

If you’re looking to move to a Western Chicago suburb with a high quality of living, proximity to the city, and lots of amenities for families, then La Grange deserves a place on your list. If you’re still not convinced, check out our list of the best commuter suburbs in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs with the best downtowns

Have Questions?

Ask The Velasco Reynolds Team!

Give us a call to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale

Posted by Rafael Velasco on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.