Where to Find the Best Gold Coast Chicago Restaurants

Just blocks from Michigan Avenue, this neighborhood is filled with upscale restaurants for date night, casual eateries for you and your friends, and affordable, yet delicious, bites. Check out some of our favorite restaurants in the Gold Coast area! 

Best restaurants for casual dining with friends 

Somerset is a swanky restaurant filled with art deco designs and mid-century modern furniture, just right up the street from Mariano Park. Making brunch reservations is a must here, with an unbeatable ambiance, array of food and drinks, and highly-praised service, this spot books up fast! Another great restaurant for a casual day enjoying apps with friends is Luxbar. This two-level pub features outdoor patio seating and an upstairs lounge. At the corner of Rush and Bellevue, Luxbar is truly a great place for catching up while enjoying breakfast pizza or salmon sliders. Eduardo’s Enoteca is a cozy restaurant and wine bar serving Italian dishes that will easily impress your friends. Make sure to share a charcuterie board and crostinis while browsing their extensive wine selection during happy hour. This little slice of Italia just blocks from Lakeshore Drive is a must in Gold Coast! 

Best date night restaurants in Gold Coast

Nothing beats date night in an intimate and old-school setting like Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. A wealth of history and a great atmosphere, this timeless restaurant offers food and service that is top-notch, just steps away from the happenings on Oak Street. The pianist keeps the mood and energies high, the atmosphere so grand it takes your breath away, and the oysters, lobsters, and steaks will make your mouth water beyond a doubt. Right up the street from Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is Maple & Ash. With over 3,000 – 4.8 star reviews, Maple & Ash is another perfect spot for a night out with your significant other. Full of sleek and modern decor, attentive service, and complimentary cocktails, this pick is truly exceptional. If you’re looking for a little classic Italian, look no further than Carmines. This lively supper club is famous for its hearty portions of pasta and a vast selection of meats. In this cozy club, the Chef personally greets every table, leaving you with the most intimate and personal experience. After dinner, walk a few blocks down to Oak Street Beach for a stroll along Lake Michigan. 

Best affordable restaurants along State Street

If you’re looking for a fairly priced taco joint, make sure to try Velvet Taco. After hitting Michigan Ave, this unique twist on the traditional taco restaurant is a go-to for many locals. Right up the street from Velvet Taco is Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. This pizza and pasta hub is known for its friendly service, great atmosphere, and affordable prices. Their pies have the perfect ratios of cheese, sauce, toppings, and crust… and will fill you up for days as one reviewer said “One deep-dish slice and you’ve been fed for a week!” Across the street from Lou Malnati’s sits Goddess and Grocer, a not-so-ordinary sandwich spot. Goddess and Grocer feature a fresh and creative menu full of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and baked goods. The menu here has something for everyone, with selections inspired from regions all over the world. 

Best Bars in Gold Coast

Right by the Lake Michigan shoreline, Gold Coast is known for being picture-perfect with its vintage homes, charming boutiques and dynamic bar scene. This historic area has everything from summer rooftop bars to cozy lounges to local spots with killer happy hours. Check out some of these Gold Coast go-to’s when looking for a fun night out!

Rooftop Bars in Gold Coast

If you’re looking for a beautiful rooftop spot with impeccable skyline and lake views, Devereaux is the place. Enjoy time with friends or lounge out and take in the city views by the swimming pool. Locals say Devereaux is one of the best spots if you’re not in the mood for a large crowd. Out and about shopping along Michigan Avenue? Make sure to check out Drumbar. This moody, yet energetic cocktail-focused rooftop bar sits atop the Raffaello Hotel and sheds astonishing views of Lake Michigan and the Hancock building. On a breezy summer day, head over to 3 Arts Club Cafe to chill out and enjoy the ambience. One of the most beautiful dining environments, this place gets an A+ when it comes to an unbeatable atmosphere. It has the look and feel of Restoration Hardware, making this a go-to intimate outdoor cocktail space. Oh, and make sure to request seating by the fountain!  

Cozy Bars and Lounges

The Berkshire Room is a quaint spot, nestled in the first floor of a hotel. This super classy and cool bar lets you create your own cocktail based on your flavor profile. It’s dimly lit with an elegant design, making it the perfect starting spot for date night. If you’re looking for more of a low-key vibe with an upscale twist, check out Eight Bar and Patio. This elevated bistro has an array of wines and signature cocktails that do not disappoint. Zebra Lounge is a fun little piano bar with live music and a great atmosphere. A perfect night cap, this hidden gem is deemed as a Chicago classic by locals. If you’re looking for good vibes and bartenders who know their craft, Le Bar is your place. Rewind from the day on the couch next to the fireplace after ordering from their extensive whiskey selection or elegant cocktail menu. 

Best Happy Hours in Gold Coast

Small, dark, and vintage this next pick gives you all the “speakeasy” vibes. Sparrow is an intimate bar with vintage music and boasts some impressive happy hour deals. On Monday-Friday 4-7pm, get 1/2 off wine and drafts and enjoy $5 daiquiris every Monday! Luxbar is also another great spot when it comes to searching for a Gold Coast happy hour. Order yourself a $5 wine with a side of truffle fries because what’s a better combo? Also, make sure to peruse their specialty cocktail menu too, as locals say those are a solid pick. Reasonable prices can sometimes be hard to come by in Chicago, but Doc B’s proves that statement wrong. This is a frequent happy hour spot by Gold Coast residents because of its modern and fun vibes. Located near Michigan Avenue, this spot is very convenient to enjoy some food and drinks while not breaking the bank in downtown Chicago.

Work Out at the Top Gyms in the Loop Chicago

As the hub of downtown Chicago, the Loop is highly concentrated with any amenity you could think of, including gyms. 

From state-of-the-art fitness centers to boutique yoga studios, you can easily find a gym to fit your fitness preferences.

If you’re looking for of a spot to workout, discover the variety of studios and gyms in the Loop, Chicago:

Lakeshore Sports & Fitness– 211 N Stetson Ave- Located right between the Chicago River and Millennium Park, this fitness center offers the traditional gym experience. Members have access to a variety of fitness equipment and workout space. The center boasts a large pool, basketball court, racquet courts, golf simulator, and climbing wall, and an impressive kids center.

Equinox– 200 W Monroe St- This high-performance fitness club, situated on the west side of the Loop, delivers the ultimate workout environment. You can expect a fully equipped gym, steam room, saunas, luxury locker rooms, laundry serves, group fitness classes, and much-needed massages.

Orangetheory– 155 N Michigan Ave- If you’re looking for a structured and high-intensity workout, consider joining orangetheory. This boutique fitness studio franchise, at the northwest corner of Millennium Park, specializes in 1-hour, full-body exercises, focused on your own individual heart rate zones. Before committing, you can also try a free one-hour workout.

CorePower– 100 N La Salle St- As one of the most popular high-intensity yoga in the Windy City, CorePower delivers the perfect combination of mental and physical endurance. Whether you’re looking for a detoxifying hot yoga class or a beginner-friendly full-body flow, members can choose between a variety of classes.  The Loop location does not require appointments beforehand- just be sure to arrive 15 minutes before a class if you’re a new member.

SoulCycle– 111 W Wacker Dr- Situated near the northwest corner of the Loop, this in-demand fitness center boasts high-intensity cardio indoor cycling classes. Members ride together for 45 minutes as a pack in candlelit studios to the rhythm of one-of-a-kind playlists. Classes can fill up fast, so be sure to sign up at the beginning of the week. 

First Ascent Climbing and Fitness– 108 N State St-  Located within Block 37 on the fourth floor, this climbing, yoga, and fitness center offers a dynamic workout experience. Whether you’re an experienced climber or a first-timer, First Ascent provides a wide range of bouldering routes, as well as regular climbing classes.

Get your sweat on at one of these top gyms in the Loop, Chicago!

Looking for Unique Shopping in the Chicago Loop? We’ve Got You Covered

As Chicago’s downtown hub, the Loop never has a shortage of things to do.

Along with plenty of incredible attractions, dining, and nightlife, the unique shopping in the Chicago Loop also draws in visitors and residents alike.

South Loop’s Best Places to Shop

If you’re a strategic shopper and prefer to hit as many shops in one trip as possible, spend a day strolling along State Street. 

From Randolph Street south to Congress Parkway, this infamous street is lined with countless popular shops.

By World War I, seven of the world’s largest and most lavish department stores were competing for shoppers’ loyalties along this half-mile stretch.

Eventually, Michigan Avenue eclipsed this shopping destination; however, State Street remains home to many favorite stores, including Macy’s.

This shopping district has also become a haven for bargain hunters. Many discount stores are concentrated in this area, such as Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx.

For an indoor shopping experience, be sure to spend a day at Block Thirty Seven. Here you can find an assortment of retail stores like Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Sephora, and the Disney Store all under one roof.

If you’re on the search for some fine jewelry, be sure to take advantage of Jeweler’s Row along the Wabash Avenue El tracks. It may not be quite as impressive as the Big Apple’s diamond district, but it’s still a promising spot for rock hunters. Half a dozen high-rises service the wholesale trade, but 5 S. Wabash Avenue opens its doors to customers off the street. 

Where to go After Shopping in South Loop

Once you’ve shopped ‘till you dropped, treat yourself to a relaxing activity or a nice meal afterward. 

During the chillier seasons, enjoy a movie at the AMC Theatre within Block Thirty Seven. If you feel like braving the cold, spend the evening ice skating at the Maggie Daley Park,

When the weather’s nice out, take advantage of all of the outdoor attractions that the Loop offers.

Take a stroll through the legendary Millennium Park where you can take pictures by the Bean, play a round of mini-golf, or see a show at Wrigley Square. 

You can also pop into Cindy’s Rooftop for a hand-crafted cocktail and unprecedented views of Millenium Park at the Chicago Harbor.

When it’s time for dinner, chow down on a classic deep dish pizza at Giordano’s, or enjoy a classier seafood meal along the Chicago River at Catch 35.

The upbeat vibes and unique shopping in the Chicago Loop ensures a good time for any shopper.  Start planning your visit today!

The Best Spots for Clothing Shopping in South Loop

If your wardrobe needs some extra attention, spend a day clothing shopping in South Loop. 

Whether you live in the area, or you plan on visiting, take advantage of the impressive selection of retailers that this vibrant Chicago neighborhood offers.

Roosevelt Collection Shops remains one of the community’s hot spots to shop until you drop. This modern open-air shopping center boasts an incredible number of clothing shops, making it easy to hit up multiple stores on foot.

The shopping center is home to many household brands, including Banana Republic, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Old Navy, LOFT, Francesca’s, and Victoria’s Secret. Along with plenty of clothing stores, you can also find a movie theatre, restaurants, and other retailers within the Roosevelt Collection to accommodate different shopping needs.

For those looking for retailers off the beaten path, check out the South Loop boutiques. 

Right down the road from the Roosevelt Collection Shops, along Michigan Avenue, you can find A’nies Accents. This upscale boutique strives to deliver a uniquely curated collection of female clothing for all of your high-fashion needs. Feel free to stop by during normal business hours or make a private appointment with an in-store stylist.

Also located on Michigan Avenue, Flaunt provides another boutique option for your unique fashion needs. This cozy shop carries gorgeous clothes and accessories to spice up your closet. Stay tuned for the store’s frequent events, including purse swaps and trunk shows.

Minutes north of South Loop, you can find plenty more shops scattered throughout the Loop. These stores are easily accessible by foot, public transit, or shared rides.

If you’re interested in finding a home near the top-notch shops in South Loop, connect with one of our experienced brokers to help you through the process today!

In the meantime, step up your style game and experience the clothing shopping South Loop has to provide!

 

Looking for the Best Restaurants in the Chicago Loop?

If you need some ideas for brunch, lunch, or dinner in the Chicago Loop, we have a few for you! 

Walking Distance to all the Happening

Let’s be real, some meals are just a pregame to all the fun to be had in the Loop.

Near the Chicago Riverwalk is Ocean Prime, an award-winning Modern American restaurant and lounge. After devouring their Surf’N’Turf with a cocktail or two, take an afternoon stroll along the Riverwalk or schedule an Architecture Boat Tour. 

In the Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago sits Terzo Piano, a must-stop for lunch. Terzo Piano features fresh Italian dishes with local, organic, and sustainably produced ingredients. After roaming one of the largest art museums in the United States, head across the street to Millenium Park and snap a picture at Cloud Gate (The Bean). 

If you’re out and about shopping at Block 37, make sure to stop by The Dearborn for a bite to eat. Just around the corner from the shopping center, this stylish American hangout serves anything from Italian dishes to burgers and seafood — and all are to-die for.

Romantic Dinner Spots

Breathtaking views, dimly lit interiors, and fine dining at your service.

Throw on your nicest outfit, we’re going to Everest. This world-renowned restaurant with personalized French cuisine sits 40 stories above Chicago, giving you the most amazing views of the city. Make sure to try their sea bass or venison, both are out of this world!

Melt-in-your-mouth steaks, highly reviewed Old Fashions, and 1920’s inspired interiors… need we say much else? Prime and Provisions is a steakhouse that offers classic fare in a luxurious setting with marble bars and a patio for cigars. Your date will not be disappointed with this pick!

If you’re looking for a speaky-type restaurant vibe, make sure to head to Cherry Circle Room. This award-winning space has been completely reimagined, blending its historical roots with modern design elements. With an acclaimed wine list and impressive seafood tower, this needs to be one of your top contenders for date night.

Brunch The Day Away in South Loop

A casual breakfast or lunch spot on Saturday cheersing mimosas? Count us in!

Grab your friends and head to 312 Chicago. This Italian brunch spot will definitely be the highlight of your Saturday morning plans. Specialty coffee drinks here allow you to start your day off on the right foot and their crafted brunch menu really hits the spot! 

Industrial-chic Land & Lake Kitchen is a staple brunch spot. With an elevated twist on the classic mom-and-pop style dining, Land & Lake Kitchen will be your go-to spot for mid-century brunch vibes.

Cochon Volant Brasserie has one of the dreamiest interiors — round bistro tables, mosaic-tiled floors, and quaint patio seating with umbrellas. This french bistro serves a drool-worthy benedict brunch that’s highly raved about. Oh, and don’t forget to order yourself a bloody mary, too! Your friends will really love this place.

 

Where to Find the Best Taco Restaurants in South Loop

There’s nothing like that perfect taco- except maybe when that perfect taco is accompanied by a margarita.

If you’ve been on the hunt to find a quality city taqueria, look no further. Our team has gone ahead and narrowed down the best taco restaurants in South Loop:

Flaco’s Tacos– 725 S Dearborn St- For all of those happy hour fanatics, be sure to take advantage of this restaurant’s killer Taco Tuesday specials. You can enjoy $1 specialty tacos, with new recipes introduced weekly, and wash them down with $3 sangrias. The taqueria also boasts other awesome food and drink discounts throughout the week.

Aztec Dave’s150 S Wacker Dr- If you’re looking for tacos on the run, make a pit stop to this family-run food truck serving premium Mexican food. Taco Tuesdays are always full of discounted tacos. Follow their social media for the latest specials.

First Draft649 S Clark St- Along with killer draft beer, this sports bar also boasts some pretty impressive tacos. Monday nights, you can order a trio of tacos for six bucks. If not everyone in your group is in the mood for tacos, rest assured that the menu is full of other quality comfort food.

Taco Maya– 823 S State St- This laidback taco joint makes for the perfect spot to chow down on tacos with family or friends. The menu offers every type of taco meat and topping you could imagine, as well as other excellent Mexican dishes.

La Cantina– 1911 S Michigan Ave- If you’re looking for the quintessential Mexican dining experience, this is your spot. Along with a cozy and colorful vibe, the tacos are delicious and generously portioned. You can also choose from an extensive list of fruit-flavored margaritas to go with your meal. Monday through Thursday, from 2 to 4 pm, stop by for half-off select apps.

Spanglish Mexican Kitchen– 555 S State St- This contemporary counter-service eatery, located within the University Center, makes it quick and easy to grab some mouth-watering tacos. If you’re in the mood for seafood, the fish tacos remain a local favorite on the menu. 

Whether you call South Loop or you’re just in the neighborhood, be sure to treat yourself to some tasty tacos at one of the highly-praised joints. We promise the taco restaurants in South Loop won’t disappoint.

Our 8 Favorite Downtown Chicago Bars

The Windy City is packed with unique spots to gather for drinks. Discover eight of the hottest downtown Chicago bars:

Fight Club– 111 Wacker Dr- When you and friends are looking to get creative with the evening, spend your night out over a few rounds of drinks and high-tech darts. Munch on light seafood bites at happy hour prices Monday through Thursday, 4 pm to 6 pm. This chic bar is situated right in the Loop along the Chicago River.

Ace Bounce– 230 N Clark St- Located directly below Fight Club, this one-of-a-kind bar offers even more adult beverages and exhilarating games. Choose to play traditional ping pong, futuristic wonderball, or old-school beer pong. Monday through Friday, from 4 to 6 pm, you can enjoy a wide selection of deals on liquor, beer, and grub.

Cindy’s– 12 S Michigan Ave- If you’re looking for incredible drinks and equally impressive views, you have to stop by this iconic Chicago bar. Therooftop lounge, located along Michigan Avenue within the Chicago Athletic Association, is known for its undisturbed views of Millenium Park and the Chicago Harbor. 

SafeHouse– 60 E Ontario St- When you step inside this bar, you enter the secret world of a spy. Your mission begins when you pass the ultimate test of locating the red door. From there, you can enjoy hearty meals, signature-themed cocktails, and even more covert operations.

The Signature Room– 875 N Michigan Ave- Located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building, this upscale lounge boasts sweeping views of the city and water, along with top-notch libations. Stop by as the sun’s going down or grab a night-cap accompanied by the lit-up downtown Chicago in your peripherals.

Three Dots and a Dash435 N Clark St- This speakeasy tiki-bar, tucked away in an alley, is hard to compare to any other Chicago bar. With over 200 rums, luau bites, and Polynesian decor, this funky slice of paradise will have you forgetting you’re still in the Midwest. 

Bub City– 435 N Clark St- This vibrant spot operates as a barbeque restaurant by day, and honky-tonk by night. Spend your evening sipping on some whiskey and jamming to live country tunes. Take advantage of the daily drink and food specials from 3 to 6 pm. 

Offshore– 100 E Grand Ave- As the nation’s largest rooftop venue, Navy Pier’s brand new rooftop bar is sure to make your jaw drop. Soak up the panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline with a drink in hand and a chef-driven Californian cuisine on your plate.

Stop by these downtown Chicago bars for delicious drinks and a guaranteed good time!

If you’re in the hunt for a downtown Chicago home, connect with one of our licensed brokers today!

The South Loop Coffee Shops You Must Try

Who has the best coffee in the South Loop neighborhood?

While that’s a tough question to answer, the Luxury Living team has narrowed down our favorite South Loop coffee shops:

Cafe Press Chicago– 800 S Clark St- Located in the heart of the historic Printer’s Row, this charming coffee shop offers excellent brews and cozy vibes. The french toast muffin is a must-try! Students can bring in their ID to receive 10 percent off their order.

HERO Coffee Bar– 439 S Dearborn St- While there are multiple Hero Coffee Bars throughout Chicago, the South Loop location has become Insta famous thanks to its adorable lit-up entry. Apart from the appealing aesthetics, this shop also boasts highly praised pour-over java drinks & farm-to-table sandwiches.

Dollop Coffee Co– 801 S Financial Pl- This bright and airy space makes the perfect setting to sip on a cup of joe and munch on some baked goods. The honey cinnamon latte is a local favorite!

Cafecito– 7 N Wells St- For an authentic Cuban experience, stop by this warm cafe. Not only do they serve the best Cuban sandwich in the Windy City, but their Cuban espresso is also out of this world.

Stan’s Donuts and Coffee– 26 E Roosevelt Rd- What’s a better morning combo than gourmet donuts and warm coffee? Whether you stick with a traditional old-fashioned glazed donut or you’re feeling adventurous with the highly-acclaimed lemon pistachio donut, these homemade pastries will not disappoint.

Bridgeport- 150 Roosevelt Rd- Located at Roosevelt Connection, this modern coffee shop prides itself on organic and fair-trade products, as well as some of the finest globally produced beans to ensure delicious brews. When the weather warms up, be sure to grab a seat on the spacious outdoor patio.

Intelligentsia– 53 W Jackson Blvd- Step inside this intimate Italian-style espresso bar, located within the Modanock building, and enjoy a fresh brew. If you need a little snack, be sure to try one of the house-made pastries!

Goddess and the Baker– 33 S Wabash Ave- This adorable cafe is the perfect meet-up spot. While all of the baked goods will have your taste buds in heaven, the rainbow cake is their signature treat. Also, be sure to look into their fun, ever-changing drink specials.

With insight into the best coffee in South Loop, it’s now time to treat yourself to a cup of joe!

If you’re in the market for a South Loop apartment, connect with one of our experienced team members today!

The Best Places for Wicker Park Nightlife

The Wicker Park neighborhood comes alive in the evenings.

Whether you already call Wicker Park your home, or you’re learning more about the area, discover some of the best spots for Wicker Park nightlife:

Big Star– As the evenings warms up, the restaurant also heats up. It’s hard to beat a summer night with friends, sipping margaritas and munching on chips and guac on the infamous Big Star Patio. This centrally located Mexican restaurant is conveniently located right off the blue line.

Emporium– As one of the coolest arcade bar in the city, this spot has earned its well-deserved reputation for its vast selection of local brews and vintage games. You can find over 50 arcade and pinball games, 20 beers on drafts, cocktails, and more. The retro space also hosts live DJs and musical performances on the regular.

Whiskey Business– Along with a selection of over 100 whiskeys, this modern bar also offers one of the only rooftops in the neighborhood, with  30,000 square feet to enjoy. The space is also known for its killer karaoke and movie nights.

The Cabana Club– Spend your warm summer nights on top of the Robey Hotel at this elegant rooftop bar. Soak up the incredible views, warm vibes, and delicious cocktail menu.

The Revel Room– With a worn-Victorian feel, this quirky bar will temporarily take you back in time. While Revel Room is known for its craft cocktails, you can also find an impressive selection of craft beers. 

Nick’s Beer Garden– This chill neighborhood joint makes for the perfect spot if you’re looking for a laidback  evening with friends. You can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday over a game of pool or shuffleboard. Amazing happy hour deals are also offered every day of the week from 4 pm to 4 am.

Subterranean– Spend your weekend immersed in some live music at this intimate entertainment venue. You can find local and touring artists performing on a weekly basis.

Chop Shop– Housed in a 100-year-old former body shop, this unique social spot boasts a butcher, deli, restaurant, and bar. There’s even a 6,000-foot event space where regular concerts take place.

Debonair Social Club– For those late-night owls, this trendy nightclub may be up your alley. Here you can expect delicious drinks, good music, and cool crowds.

Whatever the occasion, spend an evening taking advantage of all of the exciting Wicker Park nightlife!

Where to Find Boutique Shopping in Wicker Park

The trendy Wicker Park neighborhood makes the perfect place to live, hang, and shop.

If you need some new retail finds, check out some of the best boutique shopping Wicker Park has to offer:

Moon Voyage– 210 W Pierce Ave- Step inside this trendy boutique and find all of your fashion necessities. From stylish clothing to gorgeous accessories, you’re guaranteed to spruce up your style in this shop.

Mildblend Supply Co– 1342 N Milwaukee Ave- For the best denim and boots in the city, stop by this rustic boutique. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to jeans, and as an added perk, the shop will hem any pair of purchased jeans for free!

Vintage Underground– 1507 N Milwaukee Ave- Just up the street, you can find the best spot for vintage finds. You’ll find that browsing through the piles of old-school costume jewelry and accessories feels a lot like rummaging through your grandma’s basement.

Silver Moon– 1721 N Avenue- If you’re in need of the perfect wedding dress, look no further. This bridal salon boasts a stunning collection of edgy and elegant gowns. You can also find a meticulously curated collection of vintage dresses and must-have accessories. 

Marine Layer– 1646 N Damen Ave- This cozy shop sells equally comfortable clothes designed in San Francisco. Each unique item is made of Pima cotton and recycled beechwood from NorCal, hand-sewn by two sweet ladies, Xiao Ling and Fei. 

Asrai Garden– 1935 W N Avenue- This Chicago outpost is known for incredible floral arrangements, luxurious fine jewelry, and magical curiosities. Here you can find the perfect decorations for any event or personal occasion.

Goorin Bros Hat Shop– Find yourself the perfect hat inside this classy boutique. Choose from some of  the world’s finest fedoras and flat caps all designed and manufactured by Goorin Brothers.

All of these Wicker Park boutiques are located within walking distance of the Milwaukee Blue Line stop. Multiple bus routes also serve the area.

If you’re not in the mood to deal with public transit, you can catch an Uber or pay for hourly street parking.

For those who already live in the Wicker Park neighborhood, the shops are extremely accessible on foot.

Set some time aside to take advantage of the excellent boutique shopping in Wicker Park!

 

Where to Find the Best Restaurants in Wicker Park

The Wicker Park community offers exceptional dining options- from funky neighborhood joints to highly-acclaimed eateries.

Get your appetite ready and discover some of the best restaurants in Wicker Park.

Best Spots for a Date, Family Meal, or a Night Out

Bring that special someone to Ata St. for an intoxicating experience and cuisine. Enter through a discreet black door and make your way down a long dark corridor. Once inside the secluded dining room, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with romantic vibes and new American-Mediterranean fare.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly Wicker Park restaurant, share a meal with your loved ones at Parlor Pizza or the Pasta Bowl, both laidback and delicious options.

A night out on the town with friends can best be spent at Big Star, especially when the evenings warm up. This Mexican restaurant boasts incredible tacos, and an equally impressive patio right off the blue line.

For a fun afternoon meal, be sure to check out Etta. The inviting interior and stunning decor create the perfect space to enjoy a boozy brunch with friends.

Best Wicker Park Places for a Unique Experience

For a memorable evening out with friends, head to Paradise Park. This trailer-themed pizza joint, complete with indoor turf, pink flamingos, and string lights, offers the ideal weekend setting to eat and drink.

Travel back in time at Dove’s Luncheonette, a laidback, old-school cafe captures the look and feel of the 1960s and 70s Chicago soul and blues. The restaurant’s delicious menu also features a unique southern twist on Mexican cuisine. 

Without leaving Wicker Park, you can take a quick trip to Latin America and the Caribbean at Amaru. Indulge in unique internationally-inspired eats with tropical cocktails amid art and greenery.

Which Wicker Park Restaurant has the Best Signature Dish

Mott St has earned a reputation for serving one of the best burgers in the Windy City. In fact, Thrillist recently named the burger number one in Chicago.  This burger is undoubtedly unlike any you’ve ever tasted before, stuffed with juicy double chuck patties, dollops of Miso Butter, crunchy jalapeño pickles, slices of American cheese, a homemade hoisin aioli and topped with a heap of sweet potato crunchies for the finish.

While many people only think about tasty, local beer when they hear Forbidden Root, this hip brewery also serves one impressive burger. Be sure to stop by for the unmatched $15 burger, beer, and bourbon special.

If you’re looking for some authentic Italian, make time for dinner at Via Carducci. While everything on the menu will have your mouth watering, be sure to try their signature Chicago pizza- topped with Italian beef, bacon, sausage, green peppers, onions, and giardiniera.

Whatever your taste buds are in the mood for, the restaurants in Wicker Park won’t disappoint!

New Condo Developments in Chicago

As an ever evolving-city, it’s no surprise that Chicago is continually undergoing development. This booming city is constantly welcoming brand new condo projects to the area’s diverse neighborhoods.

Discover new developments for condos currently taking place in the Windy City.

Vista Tower– 345 E Wacker Dr- Lakeshore East is preparing to welcome unprecedented luxury condos to the neighborhood.

Vista Tower features a breathtaking 95-story tower situated right along the riverfront and within a mile radius of many of Chicago’s finest attractions.

These luxury condo residences offer an impressive selection of unique units, from one to four bedrooms, with multiple spacious layouts to choose from.  

Regardless of your unit selection, each one is complete with gorgeous finishes, including wide plank hardwood flooring throughout, contemporary snaidero cabinetry, natural quartz and stone countertops, a full-size LG washer and dryer, and floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of the city.

The Vista Tower is also home to the 5-star Wanda Vista Hotel, with all hotel amenities available to residents. Club Vista, an exclusive resident amenity floor provides a private oasis of elegant hotel services and exquisite amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor pool deck, theatre, and wine tasting room.

Units are currently available for purchase with move-ins beginning in the Spring of this year.

Cirrus– 225 N Columbus Dr-This brand new development is bringing Lakeshore East even more luxury condo options.

The 47-story condo tower will provide the downtown Chicago neighborhood 363 new units, ranging from 650 to 3,000 square feet. They are offered in one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom layouts, plus two townhome residences at ground level and 15 penthouse units.

Each unit will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, quartzite countertops, high-end appliances, cabinetry, and fixtures.

Prospective buyers can begin browsing in April of this year, although move-ins will begin in the second half of 2021.

Parkline– 50 E Randolph St- This 26-story residential tower is beginning development in the Loop, steps away from Millennium Park, Mag Mile shopping, and other popular Chicago attractions. 

Among the 214 units that will be offered, 24 private condo residences will be available for purchase in 2021. The remaining 190 units will be available to rent.

The 296,000-square-foot building, just east of CTA el tracks on Wabash Avenue, will boast ground-floor retail space and luxury amenity spaces on multiple floors. The residential units will feature 3 and 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ bath luxury homes, ranging from 2,150 to 2,650 square feet.

More property details will be released closer to the finished project.

1000M– 1006 S Michigan Ave- This future condominium skyscraper will bring a whole new height of luxury to the South Loop neighborhood.

Soon-to-be the 15th tallest building in Chicago, with 74 stories and 421 units planned, 100M will provide future residents the choice between various layouts, square feet, and views. 

Every unit will boast floor-to-ceiling windows, elegant terraces, and spacious rooms. Additionally, each resident will receive access to world-class amenities, including an impressive sun deck, wellness center, library lounge, sky terrace, private dining, and more.

The development for this unprecedented building is scheduled for completion in 2022

For more information regarding these new condo developments, get in touch with one of our licensed brokers today!

Work with Luxury Living

 

The Best Small Condo Kitchen Appliances 

Space-saving is everything when it comes to living in a small condo.

If you’re specifically trying to maximize the square footage in your kitchen, consider investing in worthwhile small condo kitchen appliances.

Ideas for Small Condo Kitchen Appliances

Functionality is the key to small condo kitchen appliances. You want to find products that are purposeful and practical.

After realizing how quickly a tiny space can feel crowded, chances are you’ll be motivated to choose compact appliances.

Many condo-owners find that regardless of room size, there are certain staple kitchen appliances. Refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers are frequently must-haves.

While these items tend to take up the most space, you can find smaller-sized products.

Unlike large-appliance purchasers, small-appliance shoppers more often have luck purchasing what they want or need online. Sites like Amazon, Costco, and QVC boast a wide selection of affordable and quality small condo kitchen appliances.

For the sake of space, you may have to sacrifice some appliances until you have more square footage to work with.

If there are appliances that you just can’t part with, like beloved air fryers or unrivaled KitchenAids, take full advantage of the storage that your condo already offers. 

For those who can’t leave the house without a cup of joe, consider the Nespresso Mini or Keurig-K Mini Single-Serve as a smaller coffee maker. 

If you have extra wall space, it may be helpful to add an extra pantry or shelving to house smaller appliances.

Why Small is a Good Idea

You really have to pick and choose when it comes to the appliances in your compact condo.

If you select appliances too large for your space, they can overpower a room aesthetically and functionally.

Not only do you have to be picky when it comes to the size of your appliances, but you also have to be selective when it comes to which appliances make the final cut. 

As nice as it would be to have all of your desired appliances, you may have to opt-out of your non-negotiables if you’re limited on space.

Which Appliances Usually Come with Condos

If you’re purchasing a condo, the chances are high that your unit comes with a stove, fridge, dishwasher, and microwave if space permits.

Even if your condo already offers these appliances, you can always remodel to find even more practical choices if there’s room in your budget.

Don’t let small space deter you from creating a kitchen that you love and use. Take advantage of these tips to ensure the perfect small condo kitchen appliances!

When Making the Transition From Home to High Rise, You Should Know This

While it may seem like quite the adjustment, the transition from home to high rise can prove to be an exciting move for many!

Living the high rise life does involve making some sacrifices, but it also comes with a whole new set of perks for residents.

What the Major Differences Are

One of the key incentives to high rise living is the convenience offered. Some advantages help simplify the lives of residents, especially those who have lived in a single-family home prior.

Space- Transitioning from home to high rise generally involves giving up some space. While this may initially seem like a loss, many often find this downsizing to be a blessing. 

Less square feet means less space to worry about- less space to decorate, less space to clean, and less space to manage.

To make this shift smoother, be sure to purge before your move. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed with stuff at your new space, so make an effort to discard anything that isn’t necessary.

Amenities- Many high rise apartment buildings gain residents access to desirable amenities. 

Imagine not having to leave your building to take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, or business center? Some developments may even offer services like dry cleaning, valet, or room service.

As you hunt for the perfect high rise, be sure to make a list of ideal amenities. 

Maintenance- When you’re living in a single-family home, maintenance falls under the owner’s responsibility. High rise residents, on the other hand, hand these burdens over to the property management team.

If you need something repaired or replaced, simply put in a maintenance request and let someone else resolve the issue.

Security– Another perk to high rise living is the extra layer of protection. 

Most properties provide security cameras, doormen, security guards, and other staff to improve the level of safety for residents.

Additional Things you May Want to Consider

Making the transition from home to high rise also means adjusting your budget. 

Depending on the property you choose, the chances are that your high rise will cost you less than owning a single-family home. This means more money in the bank account to save or spend somewhere else.

Living in a high-rise also alleviates stress and responsibility. Residents don’t have to allocate the same amount of attention to property maintenance as homeowners. 

Additional Resources

Any move can feel like a significant adjustment. That’s why the Luxury Living team is here to ensure a smooth transition from home to high rise.

Check out our other blog posts for more insight into the moving process. Be sure to read up on what items to move into your high rise, top Chicago moving tips, and condo interior design ideas!

Where to Find West Loop Art Galleries

The trendy West Loop neighborhood is scattered with impressive spots to find artwork.

Whether you’re interested in just browsing, or you’re in the market for some new creative pieces, be sure to check out the many West Loop art galleries.

McCormick Gallery– 835 W Washington Blvd- Located in the heart of West Loop, this contemporary and modern art gallery boasts an incredible selection of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures. For two decades, Thomas McCormick’s gallery has featured a wide array of artwork, many from Chicago-based artists. The next upcoming exhibit, John Santoro: Let’s Talk About the Weather, is open March 21 to May 2.

Carrie Secrist Gallery– 835 W Washington Blvd- Situated in the same building as the McCormick Gallery, you’ll find another popular art gallery specializing in contemporary artwork in all mediums from established and emerging artists. For over a quarter of a century, this gallery has remained a coveted spot among many art aficionados. You can stop by to admire the End of Line solo exhibition by Berlin-based gallery artist Shannon Finle until March 7. 

Kavi Gupta – 835 W Washington Blvd- Also located in the same building in the center of West Loop, this world-renowned gallery has gained quite the attention over the years. Some of the best artists in the world are represented within this space, with a focus on exhibiting mid-career artists in all medias. Gupta has expanded his galleries overseas to a branch in Berlin, as well as two satellite locations in Chicago. One of those satellite locations is also located in West Loop at 219 N Elizabeth St. Visit Gupta’s website to learn more about the multiple exhibitions that are currently open to the public.

Sarah Raskey Fine Art– 17 N Elizabeth St- This luxury West Loop gallery exhibits the diverse and dynamic artwork of Sarah Raskey exclusively. Here you can find a wide range of pieces in various styles and sizing, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. Raskey’s work often includes combinations of light, natural crystals, textiles, glass, metal, and stone to create glamorous masterpieces. Over the years she has created a prolific volume of work in both residential and commercial settings.

Frederick Baker Inc– 1230 W Jackson Blvd-As the Midwest’s largest gallery devoted to works on Paper, American and European fine prints, drawings and watercolors

Chicago Mural Paintings, this spot won’t disappoint. The 800 square foot gallery has been in business for over 35 years and regularly receives exciting and new acquisitions. 

Don’t miss out on the West Loop art galleries and the incredible works of art that these locations offer! For more tips about West Loop, check out our West Loop neighborhood blog post

What Items to Move Into Your Condo

Moving into a brand new home is an exciting, but oftentimes extensive endeavor.

To simplify this transition, the Luxury Living team is here to suggest what items to move into your condo.

Overview of Items you Should Take

Deciding what to pack for your big move is nothing like preparing for a short-term trip or vacation. It generally comes with a great deal of pressure.

Before you get too stressed out, try breaking down your packing list by rooms. Figure out which rooms you have in your condo, and then list what necessities you need for each room.

Let’s say you’ve just purchased a fully furnished condo, complete with a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Here’s what a very basic packing list may look like:

  • Kitchen:
    • Cooking and eating utensils
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Living Room
    • TV
    • Games
    • Extra storage
    • Blankets
  • Bathroom
    • Toilet paper
    • Toiletries
    • Towels
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Bedroom
    • Bedding
    • Clothes
    • Clothing hangers
    • Other personal items

During your initial move, try to worry only about the immediate essentials. Once you’ve moved the major items in, it will easy to shop for miscellaneous and smaller items.

Also, there’s always going to be things you skip over or forget, so don’t fret if the list isn’t perfect. 

Understanding Furnished vs. Unfurnished 

Purchasing a furnished home reduces the list of items needed to move into your condo. 

Furnished condos come with the essential stuff that makes a home livable. 

Basic furnishings generally include beds, wardrobes, sofas, tables, and chairs. Some luxury condos will come furnished with all the bells and whistles, including king beds, modern appliances, fitness equipment, and exquisite decor.

Fully furnished condos may be desirable for some buyers because they alleviate the stress of having to purchase or move these large, critical home staples. 

Keep in mind that furnishings will bump up the cost of the property. However, this price increase may be worth it.

If your condo is unfurnished, this means that all you are purchasing is the property itself. The decorating and finishing falls on the owner. 

Some buyers prefer their condo as a blank slate because they like the creative freedom to take the decorating into their own hands. Others prefer this arrangement because they already have suitable furnishings and don’t need to spend extra money on pre-existing furnishings.

Determining if You Need a Mover

Depending on the items you plan to move into your new condo, you may or may not need to hire a professional to help you with the task.

First, assess if you have the capacity and resources to move your items on your own. If you have a car or some people in your life who are willing to help with the move, professionals may not be necessary.

However, if you’re without a vehicle and have large furniture or items needed to be moved, hiring movers may be worth it.

Regardless, you may just find that hiring movers is a worthwhile investment, helping to alleviate the stress, time, and physical labor involved in big moves.

With a better understanding of what items to move into your condo, our hope is that you feel prepared and excited for your big move! Looking for more information? Check out our latest post about moving!

Condo Moving Tips

Top Chicago Condo Buyer Moving Tips

Purchasing a condo in the Windy City is an incredibly exciting opportunity. However, this big endeavor requires preparation and research beforehand.

To help streamline the moving process, the Luxury Living team is here to share essential condo buyer moving tips.

Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Each Chicago neighborhood has its own unique look and feel. It’s important that you feel at home in the community that you choose to call home.

If you’re looking for the true downtown experience, consider browsing condos in the Loop, the heart of downtown Chicago.

Streeterville, River North, and South Loop also provide authentic city living, with easy walking access to anything one may need, as well as some of the Windy City’s most popular attractions.

For those looking for a bit more peace and quiet, neighborhoods like Lincoln Park or Uptown may provide more of that ‘neighborhood charm’. You’ll find less high rises in these areas and more of a residential vibe.

Check out some of the West Chicago neighborhoods, including West Loop, Wicker Park, and Logan Square, for the trendiest spots to live. These booming areas have experienced exponential growth over recent years and showcase plenty of housing, dining, and retail options.

It’s also crucial to figure out which neighborhoods provide the most practical location for you. Is there a neighborhood you like that’s near your work or your school? 

If you’re moving without a car, consider living somewhere near public transit options. 

Determine Your Non-Negotiables

Along with narrowing down your preferred location, there’s plenty of other factors to take into consideration during house hunting.

When it comes to buying a condo in Chicago, it helps to create a list of must-haves to help direct your search.

Think about what’s necessary for you and your lifestyle.

Do you need an in-unit washer/dryer? Would you prefer a view? Would you like to be near public transit or do you need private parking? What type of amenities are important to you? Are you looking for a brand new building?

Once you narrow down features that you need in your new condo, it’ll be easier to filter your search.

Be sure to have realistic expectations and a budget that aligns with your non-negotiables.

Understand How Condo Associations Operate

Once you purchase a condo, chances are you will become an automatic member of a condo HOA (homeowner’s association).

These associations are comprised of other unit owners in a condominium building who are required to pay regular HOA dues and follow HOA rules. An elected board of directors also oversees the operations of the HOA.

The monthly or annual HOA fees help fund community maintenance services, such as snow and garbage removal, building repairs, and upkeep of amenities. 

Not only does this maintenance help alleviate resident’s stress and responsibilities, but it also helps ensure community curb appeal. The condo associations help keep condominium communities in pristine condition, promoting a desirable location for potential buyers and an enhanced environment for residents.

As you begin to condo shop, be sure to compare HOA fees. These costs can run anywhere from $80 to $500 a month.

It’s also important to inquire about your potential condo’s special assessments. 

Special assessments are funds that the condo association requires to complete a large project. While these significant projects aren’t very common, it’s important to know that they may come up and require you to pay more in association fees to cover the costs.

When narrowing down properties, ask about any planned special assessments or how one might work if there isn’t one in effect.

Figure Out Your Financing 

Buying a condo is a major investment. It’s critical to ensure that this endeavor is financially wise and feasible

Obtaining a mortgage to purchase a condo can be more difficult than a mortgage for a single-family home.

With this in mind, prospective buyers should be qualified and prepared for the process of applying for a loan.

When you walk into the bank to apply for a mortgage, the bank begins the underwriting process. During the phase, the bank will evaluate whether you have the means and credit to repay the loan and assess the property you’re purchasing.

The bank wants to verify that if you default on your mortgage, it can sell your property and recover most of its money.

Unlike mortgages of a single-family home, before banks will approve a mortgage for condos, they also will need to see the finances of your homeowner’s association, the legal condo documents, and the percentage of owner-occupied units at your prospective condo building.

Take Other Costs Into Consideration

Apart from the cost of your mortgage and HOA fees, purchasing a condo comes with additional expenses that you should budget for.

First, be prepared to pay homeowners insurance. Although Chicago doesn’t mandate homeowner’s insurance for condo owners, many homeowner’s associations require it. And even if it’s not required, it’s an excellent idea to keep your condo and assets protected.

Furnishing a condo can also quickly drain the bank account. Be sure to figure out how much money you are going to allocate towards the necessities to complete your home.

If your condo doesn’t have a controlled utility package, you’ll also have to add these costs to your list of expenses.

Find an Experienced Broker

Purchasing a condo is a substantial financial decision, especially if it’s your a first-time as a homebuyer. 

Consider teaming up with a licensed broker to assist you step-by-step through the process. These types of professionals can help alleviate stress, help in the decision-making process, and advocate on your behalf to get the best deal possible.

Our experienced team of real estate brokers includes top producers, negotiation experts, and savvy marketers who are eager to help you find your dream condo.

If you’re ready to begin the search for your new home, don’t feel like you have to walk through this process blind. Take advantage of these condo buyer moving tips and get in touch with a broker today!

Contact Luxury Living Chicago

First Time Homebuyer Guide

Buying a home, in Chicago or elsewhere, is a big step that involves a lot of financial and market research. There’s a whole new vocabulary of words and acronyms to learn. For mortgages alone, there are endless resources dedicated to the many details and varying types.

Thankfully, Luxury Living Chicago created a helpful guide of expert advice for buying your first home. Our guide breaks down the steps and answers common questions. We discuss topics such as:

  • Are You Ready to Buy?
  • Finding the Right Realtor
  • Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan
  • Touring Sales Listings
  • Making the Offer
  • Closing & Other Details

Ready to download our First Time Homebuyer Guide? Fill out the form below and the guide will be sitting in your inbox!

 



Where Are Dog-Friendly Restaurants in West Loop?

During patio season, the hip West Loop neighborhood makes it easy for dog owners to include their pets in their restaurant outings.

If you’re looking to spend a meal accompanied by your furry friend, check out one of the many dog-friendly restaurants in West Loop:

Bar Siena– 832 W Randolph St- Located in the heart of restaurant row, this sleek Italian restaurant makes the perfect spot to take your pup. During patio season, you and your pet can dine alfresco together. The restaurant recently announced its puppy patio menu, complete with entree and dessert options. Don’t let your pup miss out on the woof-cream. 

Formentos– 925 W Randolph St- Right up the street from Bar Siena, you can find another Italian restaurant with an inviting, dog-friendly patio. Indulge in a glass of vino and some homemade pasta, will your pet lounges by your side. Formentos is also known for teaming up with the Anti-Cruelty Society for occasional drinks-and-adoption events.

Saint Lou’s Assembly– 664 W Lake St- This retro-inspired American kitchen features a cozy outdoor patio, complete with bleacher seating, lush planters, a bocce ball court, and a fire pit for chillier evenings. The space regularly hosts dog-centric events, including their Dog Days of Summer, where you’ll find a special canine-friendly menu and a doggy kissing booth.

Jefferson Tap and Grill– 325 N Jefferson St- If you’re looking for a laid back neighborhood bar to bring your furry companion, this place won’t disappoint. As your dog lounges, you too can sit back, relax, and enjoy the impressive food and drink choice.

Parlor Pizza Bar– 108 N Green St- This restaurant’s spacious outdoor and rooftop patios make an ideal location for you and your dog. Drop the water bowl, enjoy some Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, and wrap up your lunch with a round of ping-pong.

City Winery– 1200 W Randolph St- Bring along your four-legged friend to this urban wine country. As you sip on a glass of wine on the sprawling patio, your dog can get a nice rest in. During brunch hours, your four-legged friend can even chow down something from the “Canine Cuisine” menu. Some of the go-to orders include the “Pooched Eggs”, “Bow Wow Chicken”, and “Hot Diggity Dog”.

Be sure to enjoy a delicious meal beside your favorite furry friend at one of the many dog-friendly restaurants in West Loop. Looking to learn more? Check out our blog post about the West Loop neighborhood below.

Learn More about West Loop

West Loop Neighborhood Tips

Are you looking for a dynamic neighborhood with charming character and convenience? Well, look no further! Chicago’s West Loop has all of the above with a unique contrast between old and new. Over the years this neighborhood has evolved from an industrial manufacturing hub to Chicago’s top community for living and overall nightlife.

West Loop, Chicago condos are great options for anyone looking to jump to one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods with some of the city’s best dining options.

Interested in learning more about this city’s thriving neighborhood? Here’s some information into Chicago’s West Loop.

Safety in the West Loop

With all of the neighborhood’s recent growth, it’s important to credit the parallel focus on West Loop Chicago safety. The huge wave of people moving to this area has initiated new safety considerations.

Chicago’s West Loop repeatedly ranks as one of the city’s most walkable neighborhoods. Residential properties, grocery stores, restaurants, and retail shops all so close to each other, getting where you need by foot is a breeze.

Living in the West Loop offers opportunities to get involved with other community members and improve the neighborhood. Neighbors of West Loop, a neighborhood organization, actively promotes local safety efforts. 

With city living, there is always safety precautions you can take on your own when living in the West Loop.

If you have a car never leave bags or possessions in your vehicle, and make sure always to lock your doors and roll up the windows. When walking around the neighborhood after hours, it’s smart to stay on well-lit paths, remain attentive to your surroundings, and leave your earbuds at home. There are also 

Top Bars in the West Loop

The West Loop neighborhood is full of trendy bars with great happy hours and inviting patios. When the workday ends, the hustle and bustle of the West Loop does not cease.

If you are looking for exquisite cocktails, try Kumiko. The drinks here are influenced by Japanese heritage and organized from bright and light to bold, booze-forward. Expect imported spirits and sakes plus enticing ingredients like lavender bitters, purple sweet potato and matcha tea. There’s also a menu of highballs as well as three sake flights that allow visitors to drink their way through different regions of Japan.

Punch Bowl Social is the place to go if you want to take winding down and letting lose to a whole new level. With crafted beverages, arcades games, and a bowling alley, this is the perfect spot for any adult to forget about work and unleash their inner kid.

Bar Siena is always a crowd favorite. Whether it’s the post-work crowd or the late-night owls, the bar scene here is always happening.  Not only is the menu complete with an extensive beer list and signature drinks, but each food item is made from scratch and served late. The beautiful two-story space, complete with an outdoor patio and impressive furnishings, delivers the perfect atmosphere.

CH Distillery is one of Chicago’s most creative distilleries, producing everything from vodka and gin to Malört and aquavit. Take a tour of the distillery on Saturdays at 5:30pm for just $15 per person, which includes “The Tradition,” a tasting of ice-cold CH vodka paired with rye bread and pickles. Just here to drink? Sip classic cocktails like Jesse’s Girl, a summer-ready blend of house-made gin, strawberry, mint, celery and lime.

Chicago’s Top Restaurants in the West Loop

From top-rated spots to small hidden gems, this neighborhood has it all. Strolling down Randolph Street, referred to as restaurant row, you’ll find some of the tre West Loop Chicago restaurants.

The infamous Girl and the Goat has gained praise from Chicago residents and tourists alike. Executive chef, Stephanie Izard, opened her acclaimed restaurant after winning Bravo’s hit show Top Chef.

Au Cheval, another praised West Loop Chicago restaurant located on Randolph Street, has earned its hype thanks to its infamous burger. You need to try this burger for yourself to understand all the hype. From the prime beef patty to the thick-cut peppered bacon, and the infamous fried egg on top, this burger is pure perfection.However, there’s almost always a guaranteed wait at Au Cheval so it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. Plus, we promise it’ll be worth the wait.

The Publican makes you feel as if you are in a European beer hall. They serve up a lot of meat but also have a selection of oysters and vegetables. The Publican is a great stop for large parties or just a date night. Their giant U shaped communal tables allow you to interact with neighbors.

Best Spots to Live in the West Loop

Chicago West Loop condos are on the rise as the neighborhood experiences a rapid influx of residents. Over the years old warehouses have been transformed into residential lofts and new developments have been popping up.

Make Luxury Living Chicago Realty your partner in finding a new home. Our brokers have access to the top real estate openings in the area, and we’ll help you set up tours of the best options for you. View our West Loop condos for sale below.

The West Loop Bars You Must Go To

The vibrant West Loop neighborhood guarantees the perfect spot to grab a drink.

Whether you’re looking for an after-work cocktail or an exciting weekend evening, you can find West Loop bars suitable for any occasion.

Who Has the Best Happy Hour in the Neighborhood

If you’re on the hunt for some prime happy hour specials, the West Loop area will not disappoint.

Madison Bar and Kitchen– This gorgeous space boasts daily happy hour deals. Treat yourself to half-priced cocktails and sparkling wine from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. You’ll also find half-priced sushi rolls and other discounted bites.

Bar Takito– Take advantage of this hip Latin American restaurant’s happy hour Monday through Friday. Guests can enjoy discounted margaritas, shots, and tacos.

Bar Siena– Within the last couple of months, the popular Bar Siena has gained even more traction with the addition of their happy hour menu. From 4 pm to 6 pm you can find all sorts of drink deals- from $5 drafts to $8 libations.

Waydown– This rooftop bar, located at the top of the Ace Hotel, provides both incredible skyline views and killer happy hour specials. Stop by from 4pm to 6m Tuesday through Thursday for deals on snacks and drinks.

Which Bars Have Games or Live Entertainment 

Spice up your evening with entertainment offered at some of the West Loop bars.

Punch Bowl Social– This is the spot to take your friends and relive your favorite childhood activities. Grab an adult beverage and partake in private karaoke, bowling, virtual reality, table games, and vintage arcade games.

Emporium– Known as Chicago’s coolest arcade bar, Emporium features 21 different vintage games for guests to enjoy. The laidback space also hosts live DJs and musical performances.

Lazy Bird– Located in the basement of the Hoxton hotel, this classy speakeasy features hand-crafted cocktails and live jazz bands weekly from Thursday through Saturdays.

Spots for a Date, a Night with Friends, and to Watch games

The Aviary– This swanky cocktail lounge ensures the perfect place to take that special someone. The upscale bar prides itself on its innovative, intricate drinks that taste just as amazing as they look. 

Maude’s Liquor Bar– Tucked away on Randolph Street, this French restaurant provides a chic interior and dim-lighting to create a cozy atmosphere perfect for date night. Make reservations for a romantic dinner or stop by later in the evening for a nightcap.

Kaiser Tiger– If you’re looking for a fun night with friends, head to this gastropub for tasty bites and a huge selection of drinks. When it’s nice enough out, spend the evening out on their spacious beer garden, complete with outdoor games.

Haymarket– This pub makes the perfect spot to watch a game, with over 30 flatscreens and beers on tap. The dining room also provides an impressive view of the brewhouse and fermentation room.

Don’t miss out on the tasty drinks, mouth-watering food, and good vibes that the different West Loop bars have to offer.

 

Where to Find Dog Parks in River West

Dog parks are a must if you and your furry friend are Windy City living. Give your pet a chance to let loose and run around one of the popular dog parks River West offers.

Larrabee Dog Park: Easily accessible to River West, this popular dog park is located at 652 N Larrabee Street. This fenced-in area is a cool place to take your pet to spend the afternoon. Your pup can socialize, play games, and hang out next to the scenic Chicago River. The park sits on an elevated gravel patch and comes equipped with benches for you to relax while your dog has fun. Doggie bags are also available if you forget yours on your way out the door.

Ohio Place Dog Park: Located at 350 W Ohio Street, this dog park offers plenty of space for your pet to run around and release all of that pent-up energy. Here you can find a good mix of concrete, dirt, and grass for dogs to play on. There’s also a running water fountain for you or your pup to grab a drink.

West Loop Dog Park: Situated right next to Mary Bartelme Park at 115 S Sangamon Street, this dog park is just a few miles south of the River West area. In the summer there are kiddie pools and a sprinkling fountain that the dogs go crazy for. Keep in mind that this park is a bit on the smaller side, which means that nice weekends can get pretty crowded. 

Dog-Friendly Places Nearby

After a fun visit to the dog parks near River West, take your pup to other pet-friendly places in the area.

Paw Naturals is steps away from the West Loop Dog Park and has become the neighborhood’s favorite dog-friendly pet store. Here you can find nutritious and natural food to nourish your pooch.

If you’re looking to grab a drink or a bite after a day in the dog park, snag a table on Bar Siena’s dog-friendly patio. You can even request to see the dog menu so that your furry friend can also enjoy delicious bites.

Saint Lou’s Assembly has another fantastic pato that welcomes canines. While your dog lounges around, you can treat yourself to upscale cafeteria-style food, a refreshing adult beverage, and a round of bocce ball.

Sip on a cup of coffee with your dog by your side at Nohea Cafe. Along with specialty coffees and teas, this dog-friendly cafe also serves freshly baked bread, homemade sandwiches, and custom gift baskets.

The Best Places for River West Nightlife

If you’re looking to spend an evening out on the town, rest assured that the River West neighborhood offers plenty of fun bar options.

Discover some of our favorite spots that make up the River West nightlife.

Bars with the Best Food

What’s better than spending an evening out with great people, great drinks and great bites?

If you’re looking for a night full of delicious drink and equally tasty food, pencil in the Aberdeen Tap. This fun neighborhood bar boasts an extensive selection of draft beers and gourmet pub fare.

Twisted Spoke is another bar with an impressive menu. This motorcycle-themed bar serves top-notch bites and unique hand-crafted cocktails to suit any and all taste buds.

Jefferson Tap & Grille is an excellent option if you’re looking for a laidback evening with friends. Along with an incredible pet-friendly patio, the bar’s cozy interior makes for the perfect place to grab a drink and a late-night meal.

Bars with the Best Happy Hour

Happy hours are a great way to end the workday, especially when there are so many options in the area.

For a great bang for your buck, spend an evening at the Dawson. This hip bar and restaurant offers $10 beer and pizza on weekdays from 4 to 6 pm.

The Matchbox is a great happy hour option if you’re looking for a tiny, hip spot to grab a drink. While the space is small, the laidback bar isn’t lacking in the beverage or food selection. Be sure to try the house-made margarita.

If the ideal happy hour involves a dive bar experience, Richard’s Bar is the spot. This classic taproom makes for the perfect place to unwind after a long workday.

Bars with Best Entertainment 

If you’re looking for an evening full of excitement, rest assured that River West is home to bars with various entertainment.

Recess, the neighborhood’s newest bar, provides quite the bar experience. This 5,000-square-foot government themed bar, adjacent to City Hall,  provides hand-crafted cocktails, tasty food, live music, and laid back vibes. 

If you’re looking for the perfect spot to sip some drinks over a few rounds of pool, be sure to swing by City Pool Hall. You can also find dartboards and high definition arcade games scattered throughout the bar.

Catch your favorite sports game at Clover’s. This casual sports bar offers impressive rotating drafts, dart boards, and plenty of television screens.

Be sure to get a group of friends together and take advantage of the exciting River West nightlife!

The Top River West Italian Restaurants

River West, part of the West Loop community, is located on the west bank of the Chicago River South Branch. Once a booming market area, River West is still home to locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and bakeries.

Among the community’s impressive dining options, the River West Italian restaurants have made quite an impression on residents and visitors alike.

Why River West has the Best Italian food

The River West neighborhood boasts an incredible selection of Italian restaurants.  

Many of these restaurants were opened by Itallian immigrant families, who wanted to bring a taste of Italy to the Windy City’s River West community. That’s why the neighborhood guarantees authentic Italian recipes, often passed down over generations.

While all of the River West Italian restaurants feature delicious homemade dishes, each spot has its own unique feel and atmosphere.

Best spots for Any Occasion

La Scarola is one of the city’s classic Italian restaurants, perfect for any family meal. From the moment you step inside this ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant to your first bite, you’ll feel transported back into time and into another country. The homemade Italian dishes are as authentic as you can get.

For a quaint Italian dining experience, spend a meal with friends at Mart Anthony’s. This family-owned neighborhood restaurant carries on their Sicilian family’s recipes and legacy. Here you can find simple but delicious Italian meals, incredible steak, and hand-crafted cocktails.

Piccolo Sogno guarantees the perfect date night. The restaurant’s Italian name translates to ‘little dream’ in English, and the romantic ambiance proves that the name holds true. If you’re booking reservations in the summertime, be sure to request a table on the charming, lush patio. 

Which Restaurant has the Best Signature Dish or Pizza

If you’re looking for unrivaled pizza, check out D’Agostino’s Pizza and Pub. For over 50 years, this family-operated restaurant has served some of the city’s favorite thin crust and deep-dish pizza. Stop by on a Monday for incredible food and their infamous trivia night!

Oggi Trattoria is another beloved family-owned Italian restaurant in River West. For the signature Oggi dish, choose between their classic pizza or pasta. The Oggi pizza features homemade tomato sauce, sausage, pepperoni, green pepper, onions, and mushrooms, while the Oggi pasta is an angel hair pasta dish topped with special Matarocco sauce.

Don’t miss out on the mouth-watering River West Italian restaurants and make a reservation today!

Learn More about River West

Things to Do When Hosting Friends in River West

Aptly named for its location on the west bank of the Chicago River’s South Branch, River West is part of the West Loop community and within walking distance of Fulton Market.

Whether you call River West home, or you’re in the market for a new place in this hot neighborhood, keep in mind this is a great spot to entertain visitors.

Discover our team’s favorite things to do when hosting friends in River West:

Art Galleries

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend the day, consider visiting one of the multiple art galleries in River West.

Head over to Intuit to admire this world-renowned art museum’s intuitive and outdoor art. The gallery features pieces from artists that have little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by unique personal visions.

The Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts is another great tourist destination. Here you can find an impressive array of different art forms and genres, with diverse exhibitions on the regular.

Restaurants in River West

There’s nothing like sharing a great meal with even better friends. While your visitors are in town, be sure to take them to some of River West’s favorite restaurants.

For a memorable dining experience, make reservations at Piccolo Sogno. This charming restaurant offers incredible Italian food and equally impressive vibes. During the nice seasons, the restaurant also opens up its beautiful patio.

Share some margaritas and guacamole with your friends at Blue Agave. This fun Mexican restaurant provides excellent vibes and great tequila.

If you’re looking for a fun spot to brunch, check out the Dawson. This gorgeous, industrial space offers delicious brunch bites and mouth-watering cocktails. Don’t miss out on the bottomless mimosas or the infamous bloody mary- complete with their home-cured bacon.

Bar Scene

Spend an evening out on the town with your friends in River West.

The Matchbox is a great option if you’re looking for a laidback and intimate spot to grab a drink.

For the classic pub experience, bring your friends to Emmit’s. This Irish Pub offers a great selection of pints and traditional Irish bites.

If you and your friends want to catch your favorite sports game, grab a table at Clover’s. This casual sports bar offers impressive rotating drafts, dart boards, and plenty of television screens.

Get excited about hosting friends in River West and show them all that this vibrant Chicago neighborhood has to offer!

Learn More about River West

What It’s Like to Live in Condos in River West, Chicago

River West is part of the West Loop Community located on the west side of the Chicago River. Once a flourishing market area, River West is still home to locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and bakeries. River West offers unique communities built above old warehouses and factories. 

Just a few blocks away, River West neighbors other top Chicago neighborhoods such as Wicker Park, River North, Little Italy, Greek Town, and the Loop. For sports fans, River West also houses the United Center Stadium, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, and many large concerts.      

Where to Live in River West

River West is commonly seen as the perfect option for those looking to live near their office but still looking to live outside the busy city. Many of the former industrial buildings have been converted into large residential loft spaces, creating ample space throughout the neighborhood for potential residents. The residences also provide short commutes to the Downtown area, the suburbs, and both airports, making River West a popular choice for those who want easy access to it all.

Transportation in River West

The area is surrounded by Grand, Division, and the Kennedy Expressway, which allows for easy transportation throughout the city. The Blue Line and CTA busses have multiple stops in River West which makes it easy to travel into the Loop or out to the airports. You can also jump on a bus that runs along Milwaukee Avenue and provides direct access to neighboring Wicker Park or the West Loop. Milwaukee Avenue is also known for protected bike lanes so cyclists feel safe cruising through River West. 

Top River West Restaurants 

River West also plays host to top restaurants. Although there are so many to choose from, we highlighted a few of our favorite spots to grab a bite to eat.

La Scarola is a quaint and cozy spot for all occasions. Whether you’re on a date with your significant other, entertaining a large table of friends, or catching up with family, you will not be disappointed. The ambiance is low-key and the food is spectacular serving delicious Italian comfort food. 

If you’re looking for a classic Italian restaurant with white tablecloths, candlelight, and more wine than you have ever seen, then try Piccolo Sogno. This restaurant has a very romantic interior with a sprawling lively patio. You feel as if you are in Tuscany with fresh rustic Italian food. The menu is also forever evolving with seasonal favorites.

Au Cheval is known for the burger and is a top spot in Chicago. People wait for hours to get in the door and seated at the few tables in the restaurant. The wait is worth it! The open kitchen at this upscale diner restaurant works with ingredients ranging from bologna to foie gras. Your burger could be paired with classic sides, or upgraded with eggs, avocado, and more. 

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out The Swill Inn. Enjoy an upscale tavern with distressed brick walls & a wood bar serving burgers, oysters & other pub eats. As far as the menu, there’s classic chicken wings, a walking taco, and an “everything” biscuit (not bagel) served with smoked salmon.

River West Nightlife

River West is also a fun destination for a night out in Chicago. 

A fun neighborhood bar is the Twisted Spoke. As its name implies, the Twisted Spoke is a bar/restaurant with a hard-driving biker ambiance. But you don’t need to drive a Harley to enjoy this spot. The sign on the corner of Ogden and Grand is topped with a human skeleton riding a vintage bike. Inside, the walls are decorated with antique bike parts and accessories. Check out the impressive whiskey and bourbon selection or enjoy a Bloody Mary. 

The Dawson is a bi-level gastropub restaurant that serves up handcrafted cocktails in a lively environment. The back patio turns into the perfect spot for large tables while drinking large drinks. The interior has warm vibes with fireplaces and chandeliers. This cocktail-heavy restaurant is perfect for a Friday night out on the town, or a boozy brunch on Sunday.

Directly across the street is a bi-level Irish pub called Emmit’s Irish Pub. This old-time vibe pub serves up food and all the Guinness you could drink. Pull up a stool and play the ring toss game for hours. This pub was also featured in top movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Uncle Buck. 

Other things to do in River West

Aire Ancient Baths are inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Roman, Greek, and Ottoman civilizations. Taking water as the main element and creating an atmosphere of pure magic and sophistication around it, the Aire experience is complemented by a careful selection of massages and exclusive rituals. Schedule a time to relax at Aire Ancient Baths. 

Intuit is The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. This is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of and appreciation for intuitive and outsider art through a program of education and exhibition. These artists are dedicated to presenting self-taught art, defined as the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions. Stop in today and experience art from a new perspective.

Want to Learn More about Condo Associations in General?

Check out our blog post that describes everything you should know about Condo Associations, dues, rules, and insurance.

Looking for a Bed and Breakfast in Logan Square? Try These

If you’re traveling and looking to truly experience the Logan Square neighborhood, consider booking a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast (B&B).

B&Bs provide a great accommodation option for anyone looking for a relaxing escape. They offer a cozy and personalized lodging experience that you can’t find at a hotel.

When staying at a B&B you can expect to receive a huge bang for your buck. Bed and breakfasts tend to go out of their way to make guests comfortable, by providing extra attention and service to make your trip feel special.

Additionally, bed and breakfasts make for a great way to truly live like a local. They provide visitors with a homey setting in the heart of the place they’re looking to explore.

Discover a few of the best bed and breakfast in the Logan Square area:

Longman and Eagle (2657 N Kedzie Ave)- This contemporary take on a traditional Chicago inn offers drinking, eating and sleeping options all within a comfy space. Each one of the six rooms provides casual accommodation for ‘urban travelers’ looking for an immersive experience within the heart of the Logan Square neighborhood.

Along with a tasty dining menu, Longman and Eagle also boasts an incredible whiskey selection.

Ray’s Bucktown Bed & Breakfast (2144 N Leavitt St)- If you’re looking for a charming place to stay, this is a great option. Located minutes from Logan Square neighborhood, Ray’s provides a true bed & breakfast experience. Guests can stay in one of the 11 unique rooms, complete with impressive amenities like free wifi, laundry facilities, computer access, a sauna, and a steam room.

Every morning you can expect cooked-to-order breakfast served whenever you would like. The menu is always complete with extensive, fresh ingredients.

Roscoe Village Guesthouse (2104 W Roscoe St)- This contemporary inn provides a unique and urban accommodation near Logan Square. While the guesthouse is within walking distance to plenty of restaurants and attractions, it is situated on a quiet neighborhood street to ensure a peaceful stay.

Each room is recently renovated, with all of the necessary amenities. This is an excellent option if you’re looking to travel with your family!

Wicker Park Inn (1331 N Wicker Park Ave)-  For high quality and hip boutique B&B, consider staying at the Wicker Park Inn. Not only is the space extremely aesthetically appealing, but it also provides easy access to the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood and Logan Square.

The bed and breakfast is situated within a historic Chicago home, fully renovated and decorated with intricate attention to detail and complete with modern amenities.

Guests can also choose from gourmet, mouth-watering breakfast choices daily.

Book your bed and breakfast in Logan Square and start preparing for a trip you won’t forget!

Condo Board Meeting Rules — What You Need to Know

Whether you’re planning on attending or running a condo board meeting, it’s crucial to have a grip on the rules.

Don’t worry—the Luxury Living team is here to break down everything you need to know about condo meeting rules.

Overview of Condo Board Meeting Rules

Condo board meetings designate a time and space for the association’s board of directors to manage the day-to-day administration of the condo association, such as the rules, regulations, and maintenance of housing development.

While specific condo board meeting rules depend on the community’s bylaws, there are standard expectations for any board meeting.

Condo board meetings must remain open to the members of the association unless it is a closed or “executive” meeting. These exclusive meetings are occasionally arranged to discuss more confidential matters, such as a legal issue or a homeowner’s financial status. 

Condo boards are always required to notify association members of meetings, often between seven and thirty days in advance. The notice should include an agenda of topics to be discussed.

During the board meeting, the agenda needs to be followed unless the governing documents provide an open forum during which new members may raise new business.

A member of the board is also required to keep minutes of each meeting and make those minutes available to HOA members.

Know What You Can Ask, Bring Up, Etc.

If you have an upcoming board meeting to attend, it’s helpful to know what’s appropriate to discuss beforehand.

One of the most important rules of thumb is sticking to the agenda. Make sure your questions and comments are relevant to the current discussion unless you’re provided an open forum at the end of the meeting.

Also, keep in mind that the board meeting is focused on more specific, day-to-day matters. if you have any concerns dealing with broader issues, such as rules of the association, or the annual budget, you can bring up these topics at the condo membership meeting.

Additional Resources 

If you’re an existing member of a condo association, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your board for more clarity regarding the condo board meeting rules. You can also examine the association’s bylaws yourself if you feel comfortable.

A licensed broker is another excellent resource if you have questions or you’re still looking for the right condo. Connect with our experienced team today!

What You Need to Know About a Condo Membership Meeting

Whether you own a condo or you’re still searching, chances are you’ll eventually be invited to attend a condo membership meeting.

The Luxury Living Team is here to share everything you need to know about these meetings beforehand.

Overview of a Condo Membership Meeting

When you purchase a condo, you are also expected to pay regular dues which grants you membership into the condo association.

This association is run by an elected board of directors, which handles the maintenance and repair of common areas, disputing among unit owners, and enforcement of rules and regulations, and condominium fees.

While the board manages these community issues, condo unit owners still have a voice in the operations and the choice in board members. Unit owners have a chance to use this voice at condo membership meetings. 

The primary goal of this meeting is to address significant topics that affect the community at large. For example, a membership meeting is necessary when adopting the annual budget, enacting rules of the association, amending the declaration of bylaws, and conducting board elections.

The Illinois condominium statute and the bylaws of each condominium should indicate when a membership meeting is required. The condo association also needs to notify all unit owners of the meeting date and agenda far enough in advance. 

Differences Between a Condo Board and Membership Meeting

When understanding condo membership meetings, it’s important to distinguish them from condo board meetings.

While membership meetings are intended for all association members to discuss major issues that affect the entire community, board meetings are in place for the board to discuss more specific matters.

Condo board meetings allocate regular time for the board to manage the day-to-day administration of the condo association, such as the rules, regulations, and maintenance of housing development.

Although board meetings are designated for a conversation among the association’s elected board, homeowners are still allowed to be present during the meetings. The only exception exists if it is a closed or “executive” meeting. These exclusive meetings are occasionally arranged to discuss more confidential matters, such as a legal issue or a homeowner’s financial status.

Additional Resources

If you’re already a member of an association, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your board for more clarity regarding the condo membership meetings. You can also find specific guidelines and insight within your association’s bylaws.

A licensed broker is another great resource if you have questions and you’re still looking for the right condo. Connect with our experienced team today!

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