bigstock-view-of-chicago-river-at-dusk-55016216_640The River North district in Chicago finishes second to Manhattan when it comes to art galleries! That is just for starters. This area is a must see if you are visiting the Windy City.

Where is River North?
A stylish urban neighborhood that is just west of the Magnificent Mile and is just across the bridge from the Loop, River North is the go-to district for those who appreciate fine art and design. And for those who appreciate fine dining and drinks, there is a concentration of venues that is only increasing.

The History and Development
Empty factory buildings and industrial warehouses began their transformation in the 1970s and 1980s, becoming work spaces and studios for artists and entrepreneurs. What followed was an influx of new businesses that densely concentrated the area and have made River North a hub for creativity and entertainment. There are new architectural standouts now amongst the renovation making the district eye-catching.

Activities during the day
A great starting point is to take one of the river architectural tours. This gives you not only a perfect vantage point but adds the history behind the many refurbished and repurposed buildings. Once you have that in your back pocket the district is easily accessible via the elevated El train system. The gallery district is peppered with museums, like the one featuring Broadcast Communications, exhibitions spaces and multiple galleries. Furniture stores abound as well as very unique lighting showplaces. You’ll find many bistros and boutiques for daylight dining and the icing on the cake may well be the largest blues and jazz record shop in the world!

Enjoying Dining
River North is best known for steakhouses, but the neighborhood also has plenty of other culinary gems. With Mexican restaurants, Czech food and seafood restaurants, the area has a diverse array of options. Bavette’s is a French steakhouse evolution. This restaurateur also has some charmers in the Gilt Bar and Au Cheval. Frontera Grill is the brainchild of Rick Bayless and offers a vibrant slice of Mexico City. Big & Little is a quick-serve fish shack and offers cheaper meals. Eataly, one of two national locations, is an Italian megastore that sneaks in a sit-down restaurant. Whoops! Finally, don’t’ forget the Donut Vault! Really, waiting in line for a donut? Yep, the best in town!

When the sun sets
This is hands down the neighborhood of choice for the younger adults. You can choose from the House of Blues to the Comedy Bar to the dozen and dozens of other venues. The Green Door Tavern dates back to 1921, Bub City can give you loud country western or The Broken Shaker is the newest cocktail bar. A spin off from its big brother in Miami, this hotspot slams the tropics in the Midwest. Something for everyone in River North!


Just some things to do when you’re visiting our neighborhood if you have some extra time! Need any more suggestions let us know!

Curious about the history of Chicago as a whole? Read some here!

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