Trinidad Garcia loves to brag about his North Side neighborhood’s proximity to the Kennedy, bike friendliness, and plethora of ethnic food restaurants (particularly Middle Eastern). The Albany Park native moved away after high school but returned in 2008 when he brought his family to see his childhood home—and ended up buying it.

Shylo Bisnett, a full-time mom and founder of Albany Park Neighbors who has lived in the area for 12 years, raves about the nonprofit Albany Park Theater Project for teens and the newly launched cultural celebration Albany Park World Fest. “People from Lincoln Square are coming over to our neighborhood and are like, ‘What a deal!’ ” she says.

A particularly desirable strip: Bernard Street, near the Brown Line’s Kimball stop. Plus, the violent crime rate in the overall Albany Park community area is relatively low—14.6 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2015, compared with the city average of 28.5 per 1,000.

Yes, the housing bust left behind a lot of foreclosures. But people feel the place is worth betting on—including former Rick Bayless disciple Anselmo Ramirez, whose popular new Ixcateco Grill (Chicago’s dining critic Jeff Ruby wrote he felt “reborn” after eating there) is part of a restaurant revival in the area.