Neighbourhood Guide: River North, Chicago
A cultural destination for both locals and visitors, River North is brimming with art galleries, chic boutiques, vibrant nightlife, and delicious dining establishments.
101 E. Erie Street; conradchicagohotel.com
Don’t be confused by the small reception area when you walk into Conrad Chicago. Their lobby is actually on the 20th floor of the building; not only is it spacious, but it also boasts stunning panoramic city views. Featuring bold, geometric patterned carpets, interactive abstract art, and wood furnishings, Conrad Chicago has created the perfect balance between contemporary luxury for the ultimate stay.
Tip: You can easily book your stay at the Conrad Chicago through Porter Escapes.
The Hampton Social
353 W. Hubbard Street; thehamptonsocial.com
The Hampton Social is a laid-back spot that serves refreshing cocktails and fresh seafood. The dishes here are inspired by East Coast cuisine (think lobster rolls and oysters), while the decor is as coastal as it gets. While you’re there, don’t miss a photo in front of their Insta-popular Rosé all day sign – which the staff are more than happy to snap for you.
Must Try: Lobster Roll, Crab Cake, Frosé All Day.
401 N. Franklin Street; doughnutvault.com
Doughnut Vault just might be the cutest, tiniest and most popular doughnut shop in Chicago (some have even suggested in the country). Don’t be surprised if these freshly-baked doughnuts sell out by 10 a.m. – they’re that good!
Must Try: Chestnut Glazed, Old Fashioned.
108 E. Superior Street; chicago.peninsula.com/en/fine-dining/
If you’re craving delicious Cantonese cuisine set amidst a swanky 1930s supper club vibe, head to Shanghai Terrace. The restaurant offers a wonderful selection of Cantonese dishes like the freshly-steamed dim sum that are truly works of art and, needless to say, rich in flavour.
Must Try: All dim sum dishes are delicious, Peking Duck Salad, Sesame Balls, Traditional Sling.
100 W. Ontario Street; portillos.com
Eating an original Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo’s is just as messy as it looks, but it tastes even better. And FYI, putting ketchup on a Chicago-style hot dog is sacrilege. Instead, ask your server to drag your hot dog through the garden, which essentially means you want everything on it.
Take a photo in front of the Flamingo Mural
601 N. Wells Street
Your trip is not complete if you don’t capture your Insta-perfect moment at River North’s most popular mural, the Flamingo Mural.
Go on an Architectural Boat Tour
Tired of walking the streets of Chicago, but can’t get enough of the beautiful skyline? Hop on a 60-minute Architectural Boat Tour and cruise along the Chicago River for a fascinating history lesson featuring Chicago’s most notable buildings.
Walk down River North Bank
330 N. Wabash Avenue
Not feeling the Architectural Boat Tour? No problem. Enjoy the city views strolling down River North Bank instead. Don’t forget to grab a coffee and a doughnut to enjoy while perusing the renowned Gentlemen statues installation.
Visit Driehaus Museum
40 E. Erie Street, driehausmuseum.org
Take a self-guided tour at the Driehaus Museum to experience the beautifully-restored interiors of this Gilded Age mansion. The museum also boasts an impressive array of historical pieces in their permanently- installed Driehaus Collection of fine and decorative arts.