Once an area known mostly for its warehouses, River North has changed into the city’s most exciting place to live, work, and play. River North takes the high-rise living standards of the Gold Coast and mixes it with the fun atmosphere of Lincoln Park, creating a great new downtown Chicago neighborhood right next to the river. River North has also been a hotbed of residential expansion, with many new high-rise options available. River North is home to a huge art scene with the second largest concentration of art galleries in the United States, and design stores clustered near the Merchandise Mart, the most famous design collection in the country. With its proximity to numerous schools and the central business district, as well as its numerous cultural destinations, nightlife, and restaurants, the neighborhood offers something for everyone.
River North has undergone a massive transformation in living spaces over the last couple decades. With older warehouses that have been turned into lofts and a great collection of both new and old high-rises, there is something for everyone in the area. The incredible thing about all the new construction in River North is that most of these luxury apartment and condo buildings have some of the best amenity packages in the city. From massive gyms to fantastic pool decks to indoor basketball courts, health clubs are unnecessary (Check out our post on best luxury apartment fitness centers!). With its location just north of the Loop, it’s a convenient place to live to balance work and play. And of course, you can’t beat the river view!
Luxury apartments in this locale offer a mix of renovated loft spaces and full amenity high-rise living. Incredible new residential towers like Amli River North and Hubbard Place offer the perfect jumping off point for a night of delicious food and fun on Hubbard, W Kinzie, Fulton Market, Grand, State.... Well, the options are endless! Gourmet kitchens finished with granite and stainless are chef's dreams, and the views of the rest of the city from any direction are simply incredible.
River North is situated directly north of the Loop, making trains easily accessible. The Red Line runs down State and stops at Grand and Chicago. The Brown Line is at Wells and Kinzie and Franklin and Chicago. There are buses that run both north/south and east/west on every major street throughout the neighborhood. With all the restaurants and bars in this area, cabs are always an easy option.
River North is home to many of Chicago’s most highly regarded restaurants, ranging from 5 dollar meals to 5 star fares. All of Chicago's famous hometown dishes are represented--Portillos, Mr. Beef, Gino's East, Lou Malnati's. Exceptional hotel bars and restaurants (be sure to make a date at Sable for brunch or dinner is a must). For those with an expense account, Joe’s Stone Crab has fantastic seafood. Looking for a taste of old Chicago? Gene & Georgetti’s is a must try. Top Chef Masters' winner Rick Bayless’ trio of restaurants Frontera Grill, XOCO, and Michelin star restaurant Topolobampo make for great Mexican meals. Fellow starred restaurants Naha and Sixteen simply add to the list of incredible depth in River North. From sushi to sangria, all of your taste buds will be happy.
If the restaurants aren’t enough, the entertainment and nightlife in River North puts this neighborhood in elite category. To start, we recommend seeing a concert at the historic House of Blues for big name acts in an intimate setting. If you’re into live country music and barbecue, we recommend Bub City. For exception food and music (that might not be live), bet on neighborhood hot spots such as Hub 51, Sunda, and Rockit for phenomenal dining, reasonably priced drinks and great times. Afterwards, we recommend a private table with bottle service at Paris Club and Underground for celeb-spotting and a good time. And 3 dots and a dash has rejuvenated the tiki bar scene--in the middle of the city!