Welcome to River North
Landmark skyscrapers and a huge collection of art galleries.
River North is an artsy neighborhood with hundreds of galleries and a large design district with upscale furniture showrooms. This lively neighborhood is also home to countless restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. River North was originally developed as an industrial area. The first galleries moved into the neighborhood in the 1970s and it now boasts the second largest concentration of art galleries in the United States after Manhattan. Recent decades have seen River North undergo further transformation with the construction of new high-rise towers and the opening of many restaurants and nightlife spots along Franklin Street and Hubbard Street.
River North features landmarks of the Chicago skyline, such as the Marina City twin corncobs, 330 North Wabash, and the Merchandise Mart. Housing options mostly consist of stylish apartments and condominiums in gleaming contemporary high-rises and converted industrial buildings.
What to Love
- Huge number of art galleries
- The Merchandise Mart
- Landmark skyscrapers
- Diverse global dining scene
People & Lifestyle
River North is a refined neighborhood and a sprawling hub of arts and culture. Art lovers will find much to enjoy amid the community’s huge collection of galleries. This convenient neighborhood also offers lots of dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
With four million square feet of retail space, the 1920s Art Deco landmark Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River was, for a long time, the largest building in the world. Now branded as theMART, this structure remains the largest privately owned commercial building in the United States. Spanning 25 stories and two city blocks, theMART hosts luxury home showrooms alongside offices and numerous annual trade shows. At night, theMART is illuminated by the Art on theMART display featuring 34 digital projectors. Just north of theMART, Kinzie Street and Hubbard Street are lined with more furniture showrooms as well as a wide array of restaurants and nightlife spots. Kinzie Chophouse has attracted many prominent politicians and celebrities since it opened in 1991.
This dining establishment has a more laid-back vibe than most of Chicago’s premier steakhouses since there is no formal dress code, but Kinzie’s prime steaks, seafood, and excellent wine list are the equal of anywhere in the city. Other steakhouses in the River North neighborhood include stylish French spot Bavette’s and classic white tablecloth Italian-style Gene & Georgetti. Refined Italian fare is also on offer at Ciccio Mio, Il Porcellino, RPM Italian, and Top Chef star Fabio Viviani’s Siena Tavern. Eataly is an Italian food hall featuring many more Italian eateries, cafés, and groceries. Other River North dining highlights include Californian cuisine and cocktails at Pacific Standard Time, flavorful Peruvian fare at Tanta, and authentic Greek cooking at the Michelin Guide-featured Avli Taverna. River North’s nightlife options are similarly extensive. Enjoy giant cocktails and live music at The Bassment, tropical tiki drinks and over 200 rum varieties at Three Dots and a Dash, late-night crooning at Redhead Piano Bar, and glamorous partying at trendy New York transplant TAO Chicago. The Magnificent Mile runs along North Michigan Avenue directly to the east of River North. This iconic shopping street is home to many upscale retailers, shopping malls, department stores, and restaurants.
Things to Do
The Merchandise Mart isn’t the only historic landmark in River North. The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is housed within the grand Gilded Age Samuel M. Nickerson House. Popularly known as the Marble Palace, the Driehaus Museum exhibits a wide range of late 19th and early 20th century furnishings and artworks, including an extensive collection of works by stained glass decorative artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. River North’s many art galleries include displays of hot wax paintings at the Addington Gallery, East Asian artwork at the Andrew Bae Gallery, fine art from Chicago and Europe at the Jennifer Norback Fine Art Gallery, and contemporary visual art at The Project Room. On the neighborhood’s western waterfront, East Bank Club is a huge fitness center with more than 350,000 square feet of state-of-the-art amenities.
River North is served by the City of Chicago School District.
- The Gardner School of Chicago, Private, PK