West Loop, a Chicago Neighborhood Visitor Guide

Panorama of Chicago Skyline


West Loop at Night in Chicago IL

West Loop at Night in Chicago IL

The West Loop Chicago is one of the city’s newer neighborhoods. It has only recently begun to be developed, and thus its history is short and rather straightforward. The area was first inhabited in the 1800’s by immigrants looking for employment. While these first settlers did find homes here, much of the area was a warehouse district, full of factories and businesses. When Greektown was founded in the late 1800’s, some commercial sites were brought into the area.

In the 1920’s more people moved into the Chicago West Loop area; these new inhabitants were of diverse ethnic and religious groups. The opening of the Chicago Campus of the University of Illinois brought even more inhabitants to the area. However, despite these new inhabitants the West Loop Chicago area was still of questionable safety and was far from being a desirable place to live.

The Chicago West Loop began to take shape just two decades ago, when a slow but steady transformation began to take place. Several warehouses were converted to loft buildings and restaurants began to open up around the area. The neighborhood’s proximity to the Loop began to be seen as a valuable characteristic and its demographic began to shift.

Today this transformation is nearly complete. The contemporary West Loop Chicago is a trendy neighborhood, full of spacious lofts, cozy cafes and popular nightspots. It is bordered on the North by Fulton Street, on the South by Congress Parkway, on the East by Halsted Street and on the West by Racine Avenue.

The Most Popular Restaurants in Chicago's West Loop

Outside Wrigley Field in Chicago Illinois

Downtown Chicago Waterfront and Beach

Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St
(312) 492 - 6262 

953 W Fulton Market
(312) 226 - 0858 

Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge
1330 W Madison St
(312) 829 - 3333 

The Publican
873 W Fulton Market
(312) 733 - 9555

702 W Fulton St
(312) 850 - 5005

Little Goat
820 W Randolph St
(312) 888 - 3455 

Our Favorite Bars in the West Loop

Maude's Liquor Bar
840 W Randolph St.
A great lounge in the West Loop with awesome food to match. Their French onion fondue is a favorite of many patrons, but their are also widely known for their bone marrow and steak tartare. This is a great hangout for a fun datenight, or an after-work spot with coworkers.
Their drink menu is packed with specialty cocktails that are all worth a try. 

RM Champagne Salon
116 N Green St.
As many say, this is a great choice for a girls night out. In the summer, you can sit out on the patio drinking champagne, but the ambiance inside is cozy and inviting. Being a champagne bar, they have an extensive list of champagnes and wines, with something to fit every budget and satisfy every tastebud. The RM Champgane Salon is perfect for pre-dinner drinks, but they have a great menu of insightful dishes that you'll want to try, like the ravioli, lobster devil eggs and a delicious chocolate souffle.

Chicago Travel Info

Things to do Near the West Loop

Venue Info Price
Chicago Pizza Tours Located in The Loop offoffoffoffoffFamily Friendlyoffoffoffoffoffoffoffoffoffoff

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Bobby's Tike Hike Located in Streeterville ActiveoffoffoffoffFamily FriendlyoffoffoffoffSights of ChicagooffScenicoffoffoff

Adult Price

Interior Architecture Tour Located in The Loop ActiveoffoffoffCulturalFamily FriendlyHistoricoffoffoffSights of ChicagooffScenicoffoffoff

Adult Price

Historic Chicago Bar Tour Located in Magnificent Mile ActiveoffoffoffCulturaloffHistoricoffoffNightlifeoffoffoffoffoffoff

Adult Price

Best Architecture Walking Tour Located in Magnificent Mile ActiveArtsyoffoffCulturaloffHistoricoffoffoffSights of Chicagooffoffoffoffoff

Adult Price

More Chicago Tours...

*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

West Loop Neighborhood Video

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Architecture of Chicago at night

Architecture of Chicago at night

Known as the Loft District of Chicago, the West Loop is full of condominium and loft buildings that were once warehouses. This results in sunny, airy residential spaces with large windows and unique floor plans.

Inhabitants of the area span a spectrum, but due to the public and private schools in the area, there are also a number of young families living here. Its proximity to the Loop results in many professionals also living in the neighborhood.

There is more to the West Loop Chicago than simply lofts, however. Home to a gallery district with dozens of art galleries, Chicago's West Loop is one of the city's cultural hubs. The FLATFILEgalleries deals primarily in photographic art, and provides art to such clients as Ralph Lauren. The Fassbender Stevens Gallery is a 5,000 square foot gallery with a focus on minimalism, abstraction and installation art. Kavi Gupta presents artists in several mediums including paint, photography and drawing. The Thomas McCormick Gallery emphasizes mid-century modernism and Abstract Expressionism, in a variety of mediums including painting and sculpture.

Once you have had your fill of art galleries, check out some of the other attractions the Chicago West Loop has to offer. Hailed as an urban treasure hunt, the Chicago Antique Market runs between May and October on the last Saturday of each month. It is an immense indoor and outdoor market selling everything from furniture and housewares to clothing and jewelry. Also in the area are Harpo Studios, home to the world-famous Oprah Winfrey Show.

Chicago Beach in the Summer

Chicago Beach in the Summer

The Museum of Holography is a virtually unknown gem that is often forgotten in the shadow of the city’s giant museums. The museum features an exhibit area as well as a school, and is dedicated to the “advancement of holography as an art form.” Finish off your day at The Tasting Room, a wine bar that leaves pretension at the door and caters to those who want to taste fine wines without having to know everything about them. You can try over 100 wines by the glass or in a less expensive tasting portion. Order appetizers that complement your wine and enjoy the sumptuous surroundings.

The West Loop Chicago has changed drastically since its beginnings as an industrial area. Now home to some of the city’s most sought-after residences, locals know that their neighborhood is, in many ways, the place to be. Visitors, drawn by the wide variety of attractions and events the neighborhood has to offer, are quickly persuaded of the same.