South Loop is one of the most accessible neighborhoods in Chicago. It is home to historic buildings, fantastic restaurants, and exciting entertainment. Bordered by Lake Michigan, Grant Park, the Chicago River, and the museum campus, the South Loop should feel busier than it is. We have highlighted some top places to escape the busy streets or be in the middle of a show.
Places to Visit
If you’re looking for a nice walk outside, check out Northerly Island. It’s newest attraction is a 40-acre park on the southern part of the island. The majority of the space is dedicated to nature. It features a trail for walking and biking, a 5-acre lagoon, play areas, and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. Another popular destination is Soldier Field. Home of the Chicago Bears, this stadium not only hosts football teams but also top musicians and events. Check online to see the exciting upcoming festivals and performances. If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, stroll into Harold Washington Library. Not only is it a literary castle, but on the 9th floor, there is a Winter Garden with sprawling glass ceilings and spectacular city views. We also highlighted the South Loop’s museum campus for The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.
South Loop Restaurants
Restaurant options in South Loop range from easy and casual to fine dining. Head to Devil Dawgs at 767 South State Street for a classic Chicago hot dog. This laid-back counter service restaurant offers creative hot dogs, burgers, milkshakes, and hand-cut fries. Fatpour Tap Works located at 2206 South Indiana Avenue, features one of the longest beer lists in the South Loop neighborhood. Stop in for a pint of beer and burger or just to relax at the bar. Our next recommendation would be The Chicago Firehouse. Rebuilt after a devastating fire, this American eatery set in a former firehouse has an elegant and traditional look. The sophisticated atmosphere is paired with an upscale classic menu backed by a full bar including cocktails, punch bowls, and a global wine list. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, check out the two Michelin-starred Acadia. The restaurant has an airy upscale feel while serving seasonal New American dishes inspired by coastal Maine.
Nightlife in South Loop
While there are countless bars and clubs in the South Loop neighborhood, we’ve highlighted a few unique options for a night out on the town. If you want to tap into Chicago’s classic blues, check out Buddy Guy’s Legends the premier blues club in Chicago. Located at 700 South Wabash Avenue, you’ll find local and national blues players gracing the stage seven nights a week. Plus, you can dine with delicious New Orleans inspired dishes. If you’re looking for a different type of entertainment, check out Tommy Gun’s Garage at 2114 South Wabash Avenue. Enjoy American dining with a gangster & flapper show in a Prohibition-themed bar. Another fun spot is Brando’s Speakeasy on 343 South Dearborn Street for karaoke singing with friends. This intimate lounge delivers drinks, karaoke, and dancing in a vintage space of a historic building. There is also a cocktail lounge on the second floor for those who want to enjoy their night out, but not join in the karaoke.
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