River West is part of the West Loop Community located on the west side of the Chicago River. Once a flourishing market area, River West is still home to locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and bakeries. River West offers unique communities built above old warehouses and factories.
Just a few blocks away, River West neighbors other top Chicago neighborhoods such as Wicker Park, River North, Little Italy, Greek Town, and the Loop. For sports fans, River West also houses the United Center Stadium, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, and many large concerts.
River West is commonly seen as the perfect option for those looking to live near their office but still looking to live outside the busy city. Many of the former industrial buildings have been converted into large residential loft spaces, creating ample space throughout the neighborhood for potential residents. The residences also provide short commutes to the Downtown area, the suburbs, and both airports, making River West a popular choice for those who want easy access to it all.
The area is surrounded by Grand, Division, and the Kennedy Expressway, which allows for easy transportation throughout the city. The Blue Line and CTA busses have multiple stops in River West which makes it easy to travel into the Loop or out to the airports. You can also jump on a bus that runs along Milwaukee Avenue and provides direct access to neighboring Wicker Park or the West Loop. Milwaukee Avenue is also known for protected bike lanes so cyclists feel safe cruising through River West.
River West also plays host to top restaurants. Although there are so many to choose from, we highlighted a few of our favorite spots to grab a bite to eat.
La Scarola is a quaint and cozy spot for all occasions. Whether you’re on a date with your significant other, entertaining a large table of friends, or catching up with family, you will not be disappointed. The ambiance is low-key and the food is spectacular serving delicious Italian comfort food.
If you’re looking for a classic Italian restaurant with white tablecloths, candlelight, and more wine than you have ever seen, then try Piccolo Sogno. This restaurant has a very romantic interior with a sprawling lively patio. You feel as if you are in Tuscany with fresh rustic Italian food. The menu is also forever evolving with seasonal favorites.
Au Cheval is known for the burger and is a top spot in Chicago. People wait for hours to get in the door and seated at the few tables in the restaurant. The wait is worth it! The open kitchen at this upscale diner restaurant works with ingredients ranging from bologna to foie gras. Your burger could be paired with classic sides, or upgraded with eggs, avocado, and more.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out The Swill Inn. Enjoy an upscale tavern with distressed brick walls & a wood bar serving burgers, oysters & other pub eats. As far as the menu, there’s classic chicken wings, a walking taco, and an “everything” biscuit (not bagel) served with smoked salmon.
River West is also a fun destination for a night out in Chicago.
A fun neighborhood bar is the Twisted Spoke. As its name implies, the Twisted Spoke is a bar/restaurant with a hard-driving biker ambiance. But you don’t need to drive a Harley to enjoy this spot. The sign on the corner of Ogden and Grand is topped with a human skeleton riding a vintage bike. Inside, the walls are decorated with antique bike parts and accessories. Check out the impressive whiskey and bourbon selection or enjoy a Bloody Mary.
The Dawson is a bi-level gastropub restaurant that serves up handcrafted cocktails in a lively environment. The back patio turns into the perfect spot for large tables while drinking large drinks. The interior has warm vibes with fireplaces and chandeliers. This cocktail-heavy restaurant is perfect for a Friday night out on the town, or a boozy brunch on Sunday.
Directly across the street is a bi-level Irish pub called Emmit’s Irish Pub. This old-time vibe pub serves up food and all the Guinness you could drink. Pull up a stool and play the ring toss game for hours. This pub was also featured in top movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Uncle Buck.
Aire Ancient Baths are inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Roman, Greek, and Ottoman civilizations. Taking water as the main element and creating an atmosphere of pure magic and sophistication around it, the Aire experience is complemented by a careful selection of massages and exclusive rituals. Schedule a time to relax at Aire Ancient Baths.
Intuit is The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. This is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of and appreciation for intuitive and outsider art through a program of education and exhibition. These artists are dedicated to presenting self-taught art, defined as the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions. Stop in today and experience art from a new perspective.
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