River North

River North offers both easy access to the Loop right across the Chicago River and a well-established artistic community, so there are plenty of things to do across the area. It’s an urban area dense with art galleries and some of the cities most iconic architecture, making River North real estate appealing to those who want a heavy does of the Chicago cultural experience.

Things to Do in River North

Numerous galleries can be found in the neighborhood’s nooks, from the Andrew Bae Gallery, which features modern Asian works, and Gruen Galleries, which presents European sculptures and paintings. Even a walk along the streets is an event to look forward to since River North includes some of Chicago’s most famous architectural works, including the iconic Wrigley Building.

There are also plenty of opportunities for some retail therapy, with the Magnificent Mile and the Merchandise Mart flanking the area. The former showcases the flagship stores of some of the world’s most celebrated designers, while the later houses a variety of stores and trade-shows.

Once the sun sets, head to the House of Blues, which has played host to such greats as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Etta James. Once summer rolls around, residents will look forward to the Taste of River North festival and its live music, children’s activities, and vast assortment of foods.

Top Restaurants and Bars

The River North area is home to more than its fair share of popular restaurants, including:

  • Cafe Iberico: Enjoy specialty Spanish tapas and some refreshing — and strong — sangria in a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: For steak frites, peppered duck and goat cheese, or even a bowl of whiskey ice cream, the French-inspired cuisine of Bavette’s is not to be missed.
  • Tanta: Sample Peruvian delicacies such as octopus anticuchos, mazamorra, and ceviche. It’s the best you can find north of the equator.

Gilt Bar is an old-fashioned bar with dark wood, traditional wallpaper, leather-bound books on the shelves, and red velvet booths in which patrons can enjoy the upscale atmosphere and sip on a drink of their choice. For a more relaxed atmosphere, Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant is a more likely spot.


River North is home to several highly respected schools, including:


River North is bordered on the north by W. Chicago, on the south by Wacker, on the west by N. Michigan, and the east by Lake Michigan. River North’s location means that finding a taxi is never too hard, but there are also plenty of public transportation options. Several bus routes serve the area, while the CTA Brown Line and Purple Line stop at Chicago & Franklin and Merchandise Mart, and the Red Line travels below State Street to reach Chicago and Grand avenues.

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