River North is the area north and east of the Chicago River and west of Michigan Avenue. Map. Over the last twenty years it has evolved from an artist loft and gallery district into a dining and nightlife mecca. There’s hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs at all price points.
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Free and cheap things to do:
A Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury St. (312) 742-7895. Grab some food from Mr Beef, Tall Boy Taco or elsewhere and walk 4 blocks west and dine by the River.
Eataly, 43 E Ohio St, (312) 521-8700. Check under Cheap eats River North for dining recommendations at Eataly. Peruse contemporary and colorful cooking items on the main floor and of course all things Mario Batali.
Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N State St, (312) 245-8200. Free admission on Wednesdays.
Rock N Roll McDonald’s, 600 N. Clark St., (312) 867-0455. A giant McDonald’s with rock memorabilia, a green roof and free wifi. It’s open 24 hours. I’m sorry to say I once went through the drive thru, in a taxi, at 4AM.
Open Books, 216 W. Institute, (312) 475-1355 . Open Books takes donations of hundreds of thousands of books every year, sells them and uses the proceeds to fund their literacy programs. They have a great selection of used and new books.
POSH, 613 N. State Street, (312) 280-1602. Packed full of European and Parisian themed home decor, entertainment accessories and more. Items are sourced new and from estate sales and flea markets both locally and from Europe.
Dining and drinking
Where to buy groceries in the River North:
Binny’s Beverage Depot, , 213 W. Grand, (312) 332-0012. Full service liquor store.
Whole Foods, 30 West Huron St, (312) 932-9600.
Jewel-Osco, 550 N State St, (312) 527-2162. Full service grocery store.
Walgreens, 30 N. Michigan, “Super” Walgreens, 151 N. State Street Sells takeaway food, sushi, huge liquor department and more.
Walmart Express, 225 W Chicago Ave, (312) 274-9581
Areas adjacent to River North: