River North, Chicago.
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Includes: Near North Side.

With its proximity to the moneyed mecca of the Gold Coast and the downtown Loop, River North boasts some of the most coveted loft space, longest stretches of art galleries, and highest concentration of retailers in the city, while its nightlife scene is easily one of the most glamorous around.

The four-million-square-foot Merchandise Mart – so large it had its own zip code until 2008 – is one of the largest commercial buildings in the world, drawing nearly twenty thousand shopaholics a day looking for everything from deluxe home décor to cooking classes and art fairs. Meanwhile, the Gallery District on the northern end of Franklin Street entices moneyed couples and art hounds with its nearly eighty independent dealers packed into a few short blocks.

During the day, diverse ethnic restaurants bring in a young crowd of professionals and post-grads for laid-back lunches on Saturday afternoons, or to unwind over after-work mojitos at a mellow rooftop bar.

Although River North is home to affluent finance types and powerful business people who frequent the posh restaurants along Kinzie and Clark Streets, its upscale demeanor doesn’t preclude a vibrant nightlife – and when the sun goes down, Chicago’s party-seeking youth move in.

East Ontario and North Dearborn are lined with posh nightclubs, sleek lounges, and the see-and-be-seen crowd that comes with them, while Hubbard Street is somewhat more budget friendly, attracting gaggles of tourists looking to pass the hours singing at a piano bar or catching a show at a jazz club.

There’s definitely money in River North, but its nightlife does not discriminate.


Where to Go in River North

  • * Castle Balcony / Club Music / Clubwear
  • * Epic Button-downs / Cocktails
  • * Sunda All Ages / All Types / Asian Food

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