Chicago vs. New York City — 6 Things You Should Know

If you’re thinking of moving or visiting a new city, you may be wondering which one is right for you. 

Chicago and New York City are two popular options, but they have very different vibes. 

Here are six things you should know before making your decision.

How Are New York City and Chicago Similar?

New York and Chicago are two of the most well-known cities in the United States. Despite their differences, they have more in common than one might expect. 

Firstly, both cities are economic powerhouses with immense influence on their respective states and the country. Both of them are home to bustling business districts and a variety of industries. 

In addition, both cities offer residents and visitors various entertainment options, from music performances to theater productions to world-class restaurants. 

Furthermore, they have each taken proactive steps towards becoming more sustainable in recent years, with policies such as investment into green technology and bike lanes throughout the downtown areas. 

Last but not least, New York and Chicago are both extremely culturally diverse cities, offering something special for everyone who visits or calls one of these metropolises home. No matter what aspect of life interests you, there will surely be something for you in either New York or Chicago. 

It can easily be seen how these two cities share plenty of commonalities when looked at from a bird’s eye view. These similarities make them two genuinely remarkable places to explore and experience.

How is Chicago Different From New York City?

Both Chicago and New York have much to offer when looking for a city to call home. Both have countless opportunities for employment and entertainment, excellent public transportation networks, and dynamic cultural scenes. 

However, they each offer a unique experience in other ways as well. 

Chicago is Midwestern through and through:

  • Its people are warm and friendly but fiercely loyal.
  • The architecture is stately yet iconic.
  • The skyline is dynamic and ever-changing while retaining the city’s character. 

In contrast, New York radiates that classic East Coast charm — the hustle and bustle full of life no matter what time of day — and possesses an energy that is unique to the city. 

All in all, it’s up to personal preference which experience suits you best. Whether it’s Chicago or New York, each will certainly provide an unforgettable stay.

Does It Snow More in Chicago or New York City?

While Chicago and New York are both located in the northern tier of the United States, their climates differ significantly when it comes to snowfall. 

On average, New York receives an annual snowfall of 48 inches, compared to Chicago’s 37 inches. This is due to a number of factors, the most significant of which is the effect of Lake Michigan on weather patterns in Chicago. 

Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes and helps temper winds coming from the southwest, thus reducing winter temperatures and precipitation for areas around its shoreline. 

As a result, snow in this region accumulates slower than it does further east near New York City. When storm systems move offshore over the Atlantic Ocean, they tend to be stronger and carry more moisture, producing more snowfall for eastern states like New York than they do for those in the Midwest, such as Illinois. 

Thus, while Chicago typically gets colder temperatures than most areas along the East Coast during winter months, it usually experiences less total snowfall than places like New York City.    

However, blizzards can occur anywhere, as large storms are always unpredictable no matter where they hit. 

All-in-all though, New York benefits from heavier winter snowfalls. On average, they will get 11 more inches annually than Chicago when all is said and done.

Why Is Chicago Cheaper Than New York City?

Chicago and New York are two of the most well-known cities in the United States, and both offer vibrant cultures, dynamic attractions, and a range of job opportunities. 

However, Chicago is much cheaper than its east coast counterpart. This is partly because of differences in taxation, as New York levies higher taxes on income and property. 

The cost of living itself is also significantly lower in Chicago – essential items such as groceries, utilities, and rent all tend to be cheaper. 

In addition, Chicago’s relationship with regional agriculture provides lower food costs while its transportation networks make it easier to get around cheaply. 

Overall, these factors help to keep the cost of living in Chicago much lower than in New York City. 

For those looking for a bustling city experience without breaking the bank, Chicago is a great choice – especially when compared with its more expensive east coast rival. ​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​

Why Is Chicago Cleaner Than New York City?

Chicago and New York are two of the most populated cities in the United States, and yet one is noticeably cleaner than the other. 

The main reason why Chicago is so much cleaner than New York is its location. 

Because Chicago sits near the Great Lakes, it has strong natural drainage systems that help keep pollution out of the city’s waterways. 

Furthermore, regulations play a key role in maintaining a clean environment for residents and visitors alike. For example, Chicago has strict laws on business practices such as power plant emissions and water runoff from manufacturing operations. 

Additionally, Chicago also has strong enforcement of existing laws regarding littering, smoking, and public urination. 

On top of this, there are extensive public transportation infrastructures across the city — including numerous bike paths—that reduce the number of cars on the roads. All these factors together make Chicago much cleaner than New York overall.

Why is New York Pizza Better Than Chicago?

Although many people regard Chicago-style pizza as being some of the best in the world, there are a number of reasons why New York-style pizza is superior. 

For starters, the appearance of New York-style pizza is far more aesthetically pleasing than a bulky deep dish slice. The thin crust allows for an even distribution of cheese and sauce on each piece, giving diners a chance to fully appreciate all of the flavor combinations that go into a quality slice. 

Additionally, with thinner layers, you get greater crispness and chewiness when compared to thick pan pizzas. 

Furthermore, the toppings on New York-style pizza are more generous, meaning more flavor per bite. And lastly, New York-style pizza is exceptionally lightweight compared to its Chicago counterpart, making it easier to enjoy multiple slices without feeling overly stuffed. 

When considered together, all these factors clearly demonstrate why New York-style pizza is better than Chicago’s offering.

Should I Visit Chicago or New York City?

Picking between Chicago and New York can be a tough decision, especially since both cities offer unique experiences. 

Visitors to Chicago can explore the city’s vibrant downtown and its iconic skyline while also taking advantage of the neighborhoods and museums dotting Lake Michigan’s shores. 

If you’re looking for history, stop by Millennium Park or take a walk through Navy Pier. There are also theater shows and entertainment offerings every night in The Loop. 

Meanwhile, New York City provides an array of cultural events, from theater performances to music gigs. Here you’ll experience a range of different foods from around the world — all delivered with the hustle and bustle characteristic of the Big Apple. 

You could spend your time exploring Central Park or the North East Harbor Seaport Museum. 

To make your decision more manageable, consider what kind of activities you’re most interested in — whether it’s art displays or outdoor explorations — then choose which city has more options in that category. 

Ultimately, there is no wrong choice as both cities offer amazing benefits for any visitor.