Comparing Avocado Toast & Housing Prices In 8 Chicago Neighborhoods

By Rachel Cromidas in Food on May 17, 2017 9:54PM

If you're an entitled Millennial who has ever wondered "how many houses would I have been able to buy by now if it weren't for my addictively Instagrammable avocado toast habit?" then you're in luck. The real estate listings site Neighborhoods crunched the numbers to bring us the answer for Chicago and a number of other high-priced cities.

Assuming the average cost of avocado toast in Chicago is $11 (a bit high, from what we can tell, but not a stretch), with a median home sale price of $225,000, requiring an estimated $45,000 for a down payment and closing costs, Chicagoans would need to turn down about 4,091 avocado toasts to be able to afford a home here.

This got us wondering: where exactly are all the entitled Millennials spending $11+ a pop on avocado toast in Chicago, and how much would it cost them to live where they eat? We assumed—much like millionaire Tim Gurner, who told Australia's "60 Minutes" on Monday that young people would be more likely to become homeowners if they cut back on frivolous spending, i.e. on smashed avocado—that whatever the economic forces, Millennials must be screwing something up. So, we turned to some of our favorite avocado toast spots around Chicago, and compared the menu prices to some nearby homes for sale.

A few trends immediately emerged from our highly-anecdotal data. First, avocado toast may be tempting to fickle Millennials, but it isn't nearly as ubiquitous as we've been led to believe; though it's possible to build an avocado toast item out of side dishes at virtually every brunch place in the city that serves avocado dishes and toast, Avocado Toast—capital A, capital T—itself is most commonly on the menu at restaurants in Chicago's highest-income Near North and Near West Side neighborhoods. The dish is simply harder to find on the South and West sides, where housing prices are typically more reasonable. At Pilsen's Belli's, for example, avocado toast is a bargain at $6.75. Likewise, Pilsen's median home value, $272,500, is nearly half that of Lincoln Park's ($478,500) according to Zillow.

MELICAFE.png
Caprese avocado toast via Meli Cafe Instagram.

We also learned that Avocado Toast is almost never purely smashed avocados and dry toast. At the popular West Side spot the Winchester, for example, $8 gets you avocado toast with toasted almonds, red chili and mint garnish. At the pricier Summer House Santa Monica, you'll spend $15.95 on a glorified side dish, sure, but you'll also get scallion mascarpone cheese and poached eggs. Would Millennials be getting their money's worth, if they ordered these dishes? Debatable, but at least Avocado Toast is not as simple as buying an avocado and a loaf of bread from Aldi and calling it a day.

Have a look for yourself, and see if you can afford avocado toast, or a home, in these eight Chicago neighborhoods. Fun!

Ukrainian Village: Median home value: $372,100
Winchester: $8 for avocado toast with toasted almonds, red chili, mint. Add farm egg for $2.50
924 N Hoyne Ave Unit 1E: $265,900 for this 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo.
Toasts For A Median Home: 46,512

The Loop: Median home value: $274,500
Goddess and the Baker: $8 for avocado toast with sourdough, herbed ricotta, smashed avocado, lemon and chili flakes.
201 N Westshore Dr #2704: $450,000 for this 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom condo with lake views.
Toasts For A Median Home: 34,313

Lincoln Park: Median home value: $478,500
Summer House Santa Monica: $15.95 for avocado toast with poached eggs, hass avocado, scallion mascarpone.
2545 N Burling St: $1.9 million for this 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house.
Toasts For A Median Home: 30,000

West Loop: Median home value: $314,900
Slightly Toasted: $7 for avocado toast with oat porridge bread, avocado two ways, pickled shallots, feta, radish, and poached egg.
650 W. Wayman St. Unit 708C: $439,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo.
Toasts For A Median Home: 44,986

Wicker Park: Median home value: $465,300
Dove's Luncheonette: $12 for multigrain avocado toast with cotija cheese, fresh garbanzos, hard boiled egg, cilantro and green almond vinaigrette.
1224 N Wood St: $1.4 million for a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house.
Toasts For A Median Home: 38,775

Pilsen: Median home value: $272,500
Belli's: $6.75 for avocado toast served on Pleasant House Bakery bread.
1836 S Carpenter St #2: $539,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom duplex condo.
Toasts For A Median Home: 40,370

West Town: Median home value: $377,700
The Allis: $12 for Allis Breakfast, hard boiled eggs, tomato, avocado, smoked salmon choice of toast.
1327 W Washington St Unit 3B: $625,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo.
Toasts For A Median Home: 31,475

River North: Median home value:$290,300
•Public House: $13 avocado toast with poached eggs, pico de gallo, cilantro, queso fresco, lime, multigrain toast.
520 W Huron St #101: $525,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo.
Toasts For A Median Home: 22,330