Fast-growing former industrial area with top restaurants
West Loop is a bustling urban area in Chicago’s Near West Side known for its converted industrial buildings, hip restaurant scene, and glittering corporate headquarters. Once a gritty area of warehouses and meatpacking plants, recent years have seen West Loop and its Fulton Market District neighborhood transform into one of the city’s trendiest sections. Restaurants here are among the city’s best, as are the hi-tech businesses, such as Google, Twitter, and Uber, that have offices here.
Housing options in the West Loop are a mix of refurbished industrial spaces and stylish, contemporary condo buildings. West Loop’s lofts make for spacious and chic living quarters, with soaring ceilings, exposed brickwork, and huge factory-style windows.
Cool, contemporary vibe
Stylish loft conversions
Randolph Street Market
West Loop is one of Chicago’s fastest-growing areas. This former industrial zone has an endless diversity of places to check out, from art galleries and antique stores to sports bars and ultra chic modern cocktail lounges. The Greektown neighborhood is full of authentic Hellenic bakeries and tavernas, while Restaurant Row on Randolph Street is a foodie’s paradise of Michelin-starred restaurants and cutting-edge culinary pioneers.
Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row runs east-west through West Loop and features some of Chicago’s finest dining and drinking spots. “Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat was one of the restaurants that kick-started Randolph Street’s fine dining reputation when it opened in 2010. Its dramatic open kitchen and innovative small plates remain a Restaurant Row cornerstone. Its nearby sister restaurant Little Goat Diner brings Izard’s creative flair to classic diner comfort food. Au Cheval also elevates the American diner experience by utilizing high-end ingredients and cooking techniques in its open kitchen. Rick Bayless’ Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taqueria combines small-batch craft beers with superior Mexican-style bar food. Mediterranean and Midwestern flavors are used to create unique shared platters at avec. Bad Hunter is a hot new eatery serving veg-forward food and low-alcohol cocktails. Michelin-starred Elske’s Danish-influenced cooking is described as “pure culinary magic” in its Michelin Guide review. Maude’s Liquor Bar rounds out the Randolph Street standouts, pairing delicious seafood and classic French dishes with a curated all-French wine list and handcrafted cocktails.
While Randolph Street is the heart of the West Loop culinary scene, excellent restaurants and bars can be found dotted throughout the area. At Fulton Market, check out the vintage cocktail lounge at The Aviary, premium steaks and seafood at Swift & Sons, delectable seafood and pork dishes at The Publican, and Grant Achatz’s Michelin Guide-featured event dining destination Next, where the ever-changing menu follows themes such as ancient Rome and Hollywood. Other Michelin Guide-recommended dining spots in West Loop include Japanese restaurant Momotaro on West Lake Street and the unique twists on traditional Italian fare at West Madison Street’s Monteverde.
North Green Street is also home to a number of outstanding eateries offering literally elevated dining experiences. Enjoy exceptional Mediterranean small plates and cocktails at Aba’s rooftop patio, or head to the Hoxton Hotel’s rooftop Cabra restaurant to experience Stephanie Izard’s take on Peruvian cooking. The Hoxton is also home to sublime Mediterranean spot Cira. High Five Ramen takes North Green Street’s exceptional dining options underground, serving up delicious Japanese eats in an intimate basement.
In addition to being a major dining destination, Randolph Street hosts a monthly Street Market featuring upscale antiques, art, and jewelry. During the Street Market’s anniversary weekend in June, the event is expanded into Randolph Street Fest, with two stages of live music and food from some of the best local restaurants. For outdoor activities, look no further than the 2.7-acre neighborhood green space of Mary Bartelme Park, which has a children’s playground, sunken dog park, and a hill with views of the Chicago skyline. Fresh produce is available from Green City Market at Bartelme Park every Saturday between June and October. For local entertainment options, visit the Bottom Lounge music venue, which stages performances from some of the latest up-and-coming and underground acts.
Public schools within West Loop and Fulton Market belong to the City of Chicago School District 299.
Skinner West Elementary School Public, PK–8
Whitney M. Young Magnet High, Public, 9–12
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