Near West Side
Explore one of Chicago’s coolest neighbourhoods, home to innovative startups, great galleries, and amazing restaurants
The Near West Side area is fast becoming Chicago’s tech hub, and the fashionably edgy atmosphere makes it an exciting place to live.
Living here, you’ll have endless opportunities to discover Chicago’s rich history. Walk down Maxwell Street, the birthplace of Chicago Blues, and the former home of the fabled Maxwell Street Market. Today you’ll find coffee houses and juice bars instead of jazz musicians and sidewalk vendors, but look out for the vintage storefronts, statues and plaques which pay tribute to its colourful past.
Downtown Chicago’s business district, known as ‘The Loop’, is a short walk away, but the streets around the ‘West Loop’ have a distinctly bohemian flavor. Visit exciting art galleries, restaurants and bars, and head to Randolph Street for flea markets and food festivals. Pick up lunch from a food truck, or check out the restaurants in Little Italy or Greektown. Try the artisan bread from Greek bakery Artopolis, sample deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s, or get a real taste of Chicago at Jim’s Original Hot Dog.
When you want to shop, catch the bus or ‘L’ train to ‘Magnificent Mile’ and Streeterville, which are lined with boutiques, malls and high-end stores, including the eight-level shopping centre Water Tower Place.
After dark, see the late show at El Circo Cheapo Cabaret - a hip, underground circus. Bring your own drinks and snacks, sit on a picnic blanket in front of the stage and be amazed by the talented acrobats, jugglers and aerialists.