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Still searching for the perfect Chicago neighborhood to call home? This week's neighborhood spotlight features West Loop, a neighborhood which was a former meat packing district and now is one of Chicago’s best areas to live. Here are a few highlights of what West Loop has to offer.
West Loop is a foodie haven due to an explosive restaurant scene that has taken over this former industrial area, turning old warehouses into some of the city’s finest culinary hot spots. Randolph Street is home to West Loop’s Restaurant Row, where you’ll find everything from high end restaurants to hidden noodle joints and sandwich shops. The Fulton Market, Greektown, and the Chicago French Market also offer up some delicious choices to satisfy any craving. Stop in to Boqueria for Spanish tapas and a glass of wine, into Green Street Smoked Meats for Texas BBQ, and absolutely make a reservation in advance for Girl and the Goat, one of Chicago’s most loved establishments. There’s absolutely something for every food lover in the West Loop.
The Entertainment Scene
Where there’s a huge restaurant scene, the bar and entertainment scene will follow and West Loop does not disappoint. Handcrafted cocktails, craft beer pubs, sports bars, wine bars, comedy clubs, and billiard halls are all at your disposal in this fun and energetic neighborhood. Shoot a game of pool at Billiards at 157 N Morgan, enjoy a craft beer, arcade games, and a DJ at Emporium Fulton Market, or indulge in a creative craft cocktail at The Aviary. One thing is certain – there’s always something to do.
Festivals and Events
As if there weren’t enough to do, West Loop also hosts some fun events throughout the year for residents and visitors to enjoy. The Taste of Randolph Street is a three-day festival that occurs each year during Father’s Day. You’ll enjoy samples from the amazing restaurants in the area, vendors with handcrafted items for sale, as well as live music to get your toes tapping. Each fall you can enjoy Taste of Greektown which is a celebration of the Hellenic culture food and spirits. Or you can grab the family and head on out to Heritage Green and Mary Bartelme Parks for Movies in the Park. Also, from June through October, the Green City Farmers Market offers up organic produce and products at Mary Bartelme Park.
Wanting some outside time for you or your pooch? No problem, West Loop has a few choices for you. Union Park has green space, facilities for swimming, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis as well as a playground. Skinner Park has a community garden, while Heritage Green Park is a large green space spanning an acre with paths and sculptures in the garden. Mary Bartelme Park has a playground, a beautiful fountain, and an innovative dog park with obstacles for your dog to enjoy.
You can certainly do some shopping in West Loop from their quaint boutiques to the Fulton Market and the Chicago French Market, however, one market in particular that is worth a mention is the Randolph Street Market which is known as America’s Largest and Liveliest Urban Antiques Market. This indoor/outdoor market hosts over 100 vendors selling their wares. You will be sure to stumble across some unique finds as they sell everything from clothing to antique housewares, furniture to antique jewelry, items from bazaars around the world, and more. This event typically takes place the last weekend of each month from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Definitely a unique shopping experience.
From meatpacking district to foodie haven, West Loop is not only a dynamic dining destination but also an ideal place to call home. Explore the area and let us know what you think.