Neighborhood Guide: West Loop Fulton Market

Welcome to the West Loop Neighborhood!

With one of the most happening food scenes in Chicago due to some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, some might say the West Loop is the Best Loop. No doubt, it has become a very desirable and active area! Fulton Market and Randolph’s Restaurant Row are just a few of the main attractions in this popular neighborhood!

FACTS

The West Loop was once strictly industrial. The hip, industrial vibe is still alive today, with former manufacturing and warehousing buildings converted to loft condos, restaurants, nightclubs, event spaces, showrooms and art galleries.

Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated television show, Oprah, was previously produced in the West Loop at Harpo Studios.

Google recently reclaimed and remodeled the old Cold Storage building for their Chicago Headquarters. The southeast corner of the building is home to Cold Storage Oyster Bar and Swift & Sons Steakhouse.

EATS

Chicago is a food city! With too many great restaurants to include them all, consider this a quick start guide to your flavorful adventures… enjoy exploring your new neighborhood eateries!

Au Cheval
800 W. Randolph Street
Awarded the “Best Burger” title by Bon Appetit magazine in 2012, and has since ballooned with popularity. Au Cheval goes through about 400 hamburger patties each weekday and up to 500 a day on the weekend. Head to Au Cheval when it will serve you best: for a burger and a beer at the bar.

Publican Quality Meats
825 W. Fulton Market Street
Located in the neighborhood’s meat-packing area, this a butcher shop, a sandwich joint, a grocer and a bakery. Menu offerings include house-made charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked breads, specialty coffee drinks and rustic soups and sandwiches. The little sister restaurant of The Publican, PQM acts as The Publican’s private dining room by night.

Little Goat
820 W. Randolph Street
Stephanie Izard’s bakery and diner serves up reimagined comfort food. As the sequel to her popular Girl & the Goat, the restaurant that put the West Loop on the map, Little Goat has redefined the small-plate trend and proved that winning Top Chef can actually translate into real world success!

Chicken & Farm Shop
113 N. Green Street
Located in Soho House, serving rotisserie-cooked, free-range birds sourced from Pine Manor Farm in Indiana—birds come whole, by the half or quarters. The chickens are continually roasting on a rotisserie behind the bar, so they come out hot and juicy in minutes. You will also be able to enjoy classic American sides and British dessert “puddings.” Craft cocktails, beer and wine offered in a stylish, industrial diner featuring exposed brick walls and big windows.

The Corned Beef Factory
1009 W. Lake Street
An offering of tender, slow-cooked meats awaits you at this cozy, spot located in what was once the front office of the 60+ year old Ex-Cel corned beef factory, an old-school meatpacking district staple that used to sell wholesale briskets out the back door. The meats are cured on site and boast exceptional flavor, and every sandwich comes with house made potato chips and a perfect pickle.

High Five Ramen
112 N. Green Street
Journey under Green Street Meats and feel the vibe of a gritty basement ramen shop in Tokyo. Spice is the name of the game in this hidden gem, but there are plenty of mild bowls to choose from as well. Slushy cocktails are a must at this hip, subterranean eatery.

DRINKS

As previously stated, consider this a quick start guide to begin your exploration!

The Beer Bistro
1060 W. Madison Street
A low-key, tavern with a neighborhood feel just steps from the high-profile establishments of Randolph Street, The Beer Bistro carries upwards of 100 beers. Enjoy one and strike up a conversation with your beer-geek bartender or another good-natured patron.

Fulton Market Kitchen
311 N. Sangamon Street
Part restaurant, part lounge and part art gallery. Grab a seat in this chic warehouse space on one of the couches or at the bar and check out the artwork that is created by local artists and a street art-inspired mural.

Haymarket Pub & Brewery
737 W. Randolph Street
A throwback brewpub that offers a rotating selection of housemade craft beers and pub fare, as well as occasional live music. Even with so many outstanding restaurants in close proximity, this is a great place to grab a drink and a bite.

RM Champagne Salon
116 N. Green Street
Enter this champagne bar through an unmarked alleyway, where glowing strings of lights lead to a cobblestone courtyard! RMCS serves American cuisine small plates in an elegant setting replete with marble fireplace and chandeliers.

City Winery
1200 W. Randolph Street
A veritable one-stop-shop, this unique, 30,000 square foot venue is not only Chicago’s premier  wine and fine dining experience with attached concert venue, but also offers food and wine classes, flexible event space and seem to be on a noble, artistic quest to find the perfect combo of drink, food and sound that will leave you breathless and satisfied.

PARKS AND INTERESTS

Randolph Street Market Festival
1340 W Washington Boulevard
Typically occurring on the last weekend of each month, RSMF boasts 100+ vendors selling goods from antiques, furniture, clothing. During the warmer weather months of May through September, the market features an outdoor spot, with more vintage shopping and a beer garden. Shop for vintage clothes and jewelry, enjoy a fancy food market and global goods or bring your own items for appraisal. Tickets are available at a discount online or can be purchased at the gate.

Mary Bartelme Park
115 S. Sangamon St
At 1.4 acres, this city park is very kid-friendly with swings, slides and a lot of other cool things on which to run around—this park also features pieces that allow for inventive, non-linear play without traditional play equipment! For the dog in your life, there is a sunken dog park which includes a continuously filling, oversized dog bowl, ramps, ledges, steps, and an artificial grass exercise area. You can also find a “viewing hill”, up to six feet high that provides an incredible view of the park with the Chicago Skyline as the backdrop.

Brooklyn Boulders
100 S. Morgan Street
An expansive rock climbing facility which offers classes for beginners to advanced climbers. The building is also home to an “Active Collaborative Workspace,” a co-working office in which you may participate in a little physical activity during the workday. Gee, wonder what that is…

Aspect Ratio
119 N. Peoria Street
The go-to place for video art. Here is the only commercial video art space in the city so be sure to check out the top film-focused exhibitions.

Union Park
1501 W. Randolph Street
From the 1920s through the 1950s, this park was well-known for cultural and social events. Many notable musicians performed there, including: Thomas A. Dorsey; trumpeter Sunny Cohn; and jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis. In the last 12 years, the park has been home to many music and art festivals, including the annual Pitchfork Music Festival, usually held in July, featuring artists from all different music genres including rock, metal, alternative, electronic, pop, hip hop, jazz and more!

TRANSPORTATION

The L

Easy access to the CTA Blue, Green and Pink Lines service this area. Stations are located at Clinton and UIC Halsted (Blue Line), Morgan and Clinton (Green and Pink Lines).

Bus

The #20 bus (Madison) services the West Loop.

Proximity to Downtown

Obviously there is a bit of fluctuation depending on where exactly you live within the neighborhood, but the West Loop is approximately 2.5 miles from Chicago’s Downtown Loop. Driving (without traffic) would yield about 10 minutes. If traveling via the CTA, allow approximately 15 minutes.

Surrounding Areas

Greektown, Fulton River District, West Town and Little Italy are your closest neighbors. The awesome thing about the surrounding neighborhoods is that they offer up different atmospheres that are unique to them—quite honestly, that’s what makes Chicago great.
Welcome home!

Thinking about purchasing or renting property in The West Loop? Get in touch with our experts to learn more about this wonderful neighborhood.

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