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Neighborhood Guide: 5 must-sees and must-do’s in West Loop

The historic Chicago Union Station is the third busiest railway in the US


Chicago’s West Loop is one of the most vibrant parts of the city, home to world-class restaurants, nightlife, and numerous other attractions. Here’s a look at our five best picks.

    • FOOD – avec
      615 W Randolph St., Chicago

Established in 2003, avec is an award-winning Randolph Street mainstay that features a superb menu of rich and flavorful Mediterranean small plates and dishes and top-notch service.

avec’s reign continues as one Chicago’s top foodie destinations thanks to incredible dishes like their famous bacon-wrapped chorizo, stuffed medjool
dates, whipped brandade, deluxe focaccia, and their superb slow-roast pork shoulder. The restaurant also offers a great selection of wines.

avec is tucked behind a nondescript exterior. Inside, an electric energy permeates the cozy minimalist interiors with communal seating.

    • SHOPPING – Randolph Street Market
      1340 W Washington Blvd., Chicago

From antique furniture and vintage collectibles, to couture clothing, art, jewelry, home decorations, and other amazing treasures, Randolph Street Market is a trove of finds for anyone and everyone.

The market features over 200 vendors from all over the city. There are also great food and drinks, including locally made candy, pastries, chocolates, and other sweet treats.

Held outdoors from May to September and indoors from October to December, the market lists vendors for each month, schedules, and vendor sign-up information on their official website.

    • DRINKS – The Lunatic, The Lover, and The Poet
      736 W Randolph St., Chicago

Located on the corner of Halstead and Randolph Street, this multi-level wine bar and restaurant that just opened in March.

Rocking a rustic chic look, The Lunatic, The Lover, and the Poet serves an impressive selection of 75 specialty wines, a variety of original cocktails, and a mouthwatering menu of New American and European small plates. It has quickly become one of the hottest additions to the West Loop.

Owner, sommelier, and renowned West Loop restaurateur Tom Powers said their wine list is expected to grow to 200.

    • ATTRACTIONS – Chicago Union Station
      225 S Canal St, Chicago

Opened in 1925, Union Station is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks.

Located between West Adams Street and West Jackson Boulevard on the west side of the Chicago River, the historic station is the third busiest rail terminal in the US.

The station is a great example of American Renaissance-era architecture. In 2012 it was designated as one of America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association.

The Great Hall, with its 110-foot tall atrium, features a large beautiful barrel-vaulted skylight. It’s also home to many of the station’s fantastic eateries, retail stores, and services.

    • ATTRACTIONS – Mary Bartelme Park
      115 S Sangamon St, Chicago

Named after the first woman to be elected judge in the state of Illinois, Mary Bartelme Park is a beautiful 1.4-acre patch of green one block east of Greektown along Sangamon Street. It features great running and walking paths, an open lawn area, a children’s playground, a dog park, and more.

Mary Bartelme Park is a great place to relax and take in some fresh air. Its famous fountain plaza features diagonally placed gates that spray a refreshing mist to help cool down visitors during summer.

A six-foot viewing hill provides a spectacular panorama of the park with the scenic Chicago skyline as its backdrop. The dog park features a continuously-filled water bowl for dogs.

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