A 20-Something’s Guide to Life in Chicago’s River North Neighborhood

guide to life in Chicago's River North neighborhood

Are you a new resident of River North? Welcome to the neighborhood! To help you get acquainted with the area, we put together a 20-something’s guide to life in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

guide to life in Chicago's River North neighborhood

Why River North?

For anyone in their twenties looking to live in Chicago, River North can’t be beat. Bustling with nightlife, bars, restaurants, and culture, it’s the go-to district for young professionals ready to experience everything Chicago has to offer. And with plenty of public transportation available, the rest of the city is yours to explore. Simply put, life in River North is fun!

River North Restaurants & Bars

River North’s selection of incredible restaurants and bars is just one of the many reasons the area is so desirable. From casual bites and watering holes to upscale dining and cocktail bars, River North is home to some of the tastiest food and drink spots in Chicago. There’s always a new place to try, so it’s impossible to run out of take-out or dine-in options. Here are a few of our tried-and-true neighborhood recommendations:

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

For great drinks and great food, check out Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. Just steps from the Red Line, this is the best spot in the River North neighborhood for draft beer, tasty cocktails, and bar bites like burgers and wings.

Giordano’s Pizza

Famous for its stuffed deep-dish Chicago-style pies, Giordano’s has some of the most delicious pizza in the city. Choose from a selection of veggie and meat pizzas or create your own dream deep dish pie. The mouthwatering flaky pastry crust is not to be missed.

Rosebud on Rush

If you’re craving classic Italian comfort food, head to Rosebud on Rush, a city staple since 1976. Serving handmade pasta and more with a charming ambience, the menu features traditional favorites like chicken parm, fettuccine alfredo, fried calamari, and stuffed mushrooms. Plan to arrive hungry — the portions here are huge!

Fogo de Chao

When it’s time to celebrate, we know just the place. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao offers an upscale, cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for special occasions. Go for the full “Churrasco Experience” for a “continuous tableside service of signature cuts of fire-roasted meat.” The menu also features seafood, including pan-seared salmon and Chilean sea bass.

The Green Door Tavern

Established in 1921, The Green Door Tavern is Chicago’s oldest tavern, offering flavorful cocktails and a generous whiskey selection in a vintage setting. Expect super friendly service and pub food fare at this local favorite. Try the Fried Nutella Sandwich for dessert!

Althea

For vegan fare, look no further than Althea, a sophisticated spot featuring a plant-based menu from celebrity chef Matthew Kenney. The restaurant offers unique dishes like Kelp Noodle Capio e Pece and provides lots of gluten-free choices in addition to being 100-percent vegan.

tribune tower

Arts & Culture in River North

City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower

What once housed a 135-foot iron standpipe used to regulate water pressure is now home to one of Chicago’s most celebrated galleries featuring artwork and photography from locals. Designed by architect William W. Boyington, the Historic Water Tower survived the Chicago fire of 1871 and is now a city landmark.

Tribune Tower

Another Chicago landmark near PPM’s River North apartments is Tribune Tower, a breathtaking 36-floor skyscraper. Back in 1922, the Chicago Tribune held a design competition for its new headquarters. New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood came up with the winning neo-Gothic design still standing today. When you visit, keep an eye out for historic international artifacts found in the building’s walls.

Arts Club of Chicago

The Arts Club of Chicago hosts a collection of contemporary artworks by national and international artists. Founded in 1916, the Club is best known for exhibiting avant-garde work by emerging and established artists, paving the way for modern art exhibitions.

River North Shopping

Yet another reason to get excited about living in the River North neighborhood: You don’t have to travel far when you’re in the mood to shop. From Nordstrom Rack, Zara, and Neiman Marcus to luxury brands like Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co. the shopping district has it all!

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