A WALK THROUGH CHICAGO’S HOTTEST NEIGHBORHOOD: The West Loop

Showtime at the historic Chicago Theater in the Chicago’s Financial District - The Loop.
Showtime at the historic Chicago Theater in the Chicago’s Financial District - The Loop.

The West Loop neighborhood, comprised of the Fulton Market District and the Randolph Street Corridor, has been historically known as an industrial area. Just west of Downtown Chicago, the neighborhood has gradually shifted focus over the last few years from its usual meatpacking operations, commercial storage and food distribution to what Chicagoans now call “Restaurant Row”. Home to some of the best chefs in the nation and the world, this booming neighborhood has grown into Chicago’s hottest social scene, complete with an ultra-chic boutique hotel [SoHo House – Chicago], luxury loft residences and high-end real estate developments.

“Chicago’s West Loop has transformed from Skid row to the style of NYC’s Soho,” says real estate broker Vicki Colovos Soupos. The neighborhood has also attracted business & industry heavyweights like Google HQ, Twitter and Uber. Food giants have grown their reputation with multiple restaurants, coffee houses, bakeries and bars on Randolph Street.

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The sexy West Loop is the pulse to Chicago’s hottest attractions. Don’t miss out on Chicago Eater’s recommendations for some local food and drink highlights. Leverage the thriving foodie scene and be sure to make a quick reservation on your Open Table mobile app!

Here are some of Chicago’s West Loop bests, consistently rated at the top of the list by Chicago Magazine, Chicago Eater, Yelp and Time Out Chicago:

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BEST BRUNCH SPOTS:

  1. The Publican: A creative seafood & pork-focused menu plus global brews in a hip setting with communal tables.
  2. La Sirena Clandestina: Rustic spot serving a Brazilian menu with New American touches plus craft beer & full bar.
  3. Avec: Wine-focused with a French flare, inventive small & large plates served in a cozy, minimalist space with communal seating (my personal favorite).
  4. Little Goat: Diner setup serving a large menu of creative, gourmet spin on comfort food classics.
  5. Takito Kitchen: Hip industrial-chic cantina serves up creative tacos, Mexican sharing plates & craft cocktails.

Keep fueling your Chicago visit with a local sweet-tooth remedy or caffeine boost. Visit the following shops for a quick, tasty pick me up:

 

 

BAKESHOP/COFFEE HOUSE:

 

The neighborhood is home to the “best burger in the US” as voted by Bon Appétit. Taste the most popular patty in town and visit restaurateur Brendan Sodikof’s upscale burger spot, Au Cheval.

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The West Loop, including the Fulton Market District and Randolph Street Corridor, is known for its vibrant nightlife. Pick from a variety of champagne bars, fine wine cellars or 7-course cocktail menus. Choose one of the following hot-spots and get some much needed down time with your NRA peers or colleagues, you may just meet some new contacts along the way.

CRAFT COCKTAILS/BAR SCENE

Get pampered and treat your significant with a deluxe beauty treatment, the following are my go-to salon and spa recommendations:

SPA/SALON

  1. Cowshed Spa Chicago, SoHo House
  2. Blowout Junkie

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STREET ART

Chicago is hardly new to the urban street art scene. The city is painted in colorful murals and mosaics that light up the streets – the Fulton Market District is no different. Since the proliferation of The West Loop, the neighborhood street art scene has also flourished.

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Now that you have all of the insider information on Chicago’s hottest neighborhood, come visit me, I’ll be waiting.

By Maria Kiagias

Instagram: @maryeeo

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