RIVER NORTH, CHICAGO - Neighborhood Guide & Tour (Knowledge from a Local)


what's good YouTube its Lewis gussto

welcome back to my channel today we're

in one of Chicago's most touristy

neighborhoods but it wasn't always the

most attractive destination and in fact

was once nicknamed smokey Hollow and

later became a haven for art galleries

that's right

we're in River North Chicago and in this

video we're gonna be sharing some of

River North's cultural institutions its

best food spots and majestic

architecture we'll also be answering

some questions like where is River north

is it worth visiting is it a good place

to move and is it Chicago's oldest

neighborhood if you want to skip two

things to do in River North go ahead and

click this time stamp but I have a

trivia question for you guys in River

North there are five streets named after

the Great Lakes in the comments below

let me know what those are with all that

out the way let's go ahead and explore

River North the borders of Chicago

neighborhoods are not an exact science

but in general River North is bounded on

the north by Chicago Avenue on the east

by Michigan Avenue on the south and west

by the Chicago River and is generally

considered part of Chicago's downtown

although officially it's the near

Northside community area there are so

many ways to get to River north but as

always I highly recommend taking public

transportation one of my favorite ways

to get down here is to take the CTA red

line and get off at the Grand stop it

was built in 1943 and is one of

Chicago's most beautiful subway station

other ways include taking the CTA Brown

Line and getting off at the Merchandise

Mart or Chicago stop the buses that

serve River north include the 22 6566

36 and 156 of course there are so many

other ways to get down to River North


for thousands of years several Native

American tribes had settlements in this

area and they used the Chicago River as

a primary mode of transportation they

probably also ate a bunch of wild onions

as Europeans began to settle in Chicago

River North became the first

neighborhood fast forward to the late

19th century and this area became a hub

of Industry and manufacturing there were

so many factories here in fact that the

smog polluted the entire area some days

you couldn't even see the Sun earning

this spot the nickname smoky Hollow

right now we're in front of the Reid

Murdock building a perfect example of

the chicago school factory building that

once lined this river

up and down river north was also a major

railway and shipping hub there was even

a port on the chicago river and later

became a warehouse district and the best

example of that is the Merchandise Mart

which was built to hold an immense

amounts of goods even to this day it

sells home furnishings far as the eye

can see around this time many Italian

immigrants settled in river north given

it a new nickname little Sicily an

assumption church was the official

parish for all Catholic Italians from

Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River

the early 20th century saw most of the

industry move out of this area as the

city began to commercially and

aesthetically develop the Riverside as

well as clean up the polluted river

however a big side effect is that smoky

hollow went downhill and soon became a

Skid Row when it comes to architecture

in river north of course you're gonna

have your modern skyscrapers your

converted warehouses and your historical

buildings but if you look carefully

you'll find Italianate homes for in the

late 19th century all around you like

1:54 west superior sandwich right in

between these two modern buildings the

old Chicago Historical Society building

is a beautiful example of Richard

Sounion Romanesque architecture who was

built in 1892 and the Chicago Historical

Society called it home until 1931 when

they moved up to Lincoln Park since then

it's been the home of anything from the

Institute of design to Blues recording

studios and now a towel restaurant in

the 1970s a developer named Albert

Friedman began to buy up and restore

buildings in this area he renamed the

neighborhood River north and it became

an art gallery District River North now

has the highest concentration of art

galleries outside of Manhattan NYC

a great way to start the day in River

North is by coming to quarries and white

seed bagel any chance I get when I'm

down in River North come to NYC bagel

quarry hooks it up with a delicious

everything bagel egg and bacon about to

chow down for breakfast when it comes to

food and drink in River North let's go

ahead and state the obvious there are a

ton of national chains here which you

should absolutely avoid unless it's a

Chicago chain that's what we're gonna

start pizzeria Uno's is where deep-dish

pizza was introduced it was founded by

Ike swell in 1943 all across the river

north you can find all the other Chicago

deep-dish chains like Giordano's Gino's

East and of course Lou Malnati's

Portillo's is the other Chicago

restaurant that I highly recommend you

can get Italian beefs

Chicago hot dogs and all other sorts of

Windy City delights we come down the

river north so much for the great food

so here are my personal recommendations

for casual dining

they're sweet Green's Eataly and life

kitchen and for fine dining

you've got EEMA sushi san Sunda and GT

fish and oyster for lunch we stopped at

one of my favorite restaurants in all of

river north true foods kitchen they're

known for their healthy yet delicious

food options right here we've got the

spaghetti squash the KLA juice and the

unbeatable burger which is a plant-based

burger with beet yuzu and all kinds of

other amazing yummy delicious vegetables

were about to chow down at true Foods

kitchen see you we're stopping for

coffee at Big Shoulders its founder Tim

Coonan started out roasting coffee in

his garage

he shared it with family and friends his

neighbors and now Chicago Big Shoulders

is the official coffee roaster of Midway

International Airport and it was one of

the many amazing Coffee Roasters

in Chicago


of the many amazing things to do in

River North Ward Park is one of the best

it's 3.1 acres of green space right

along the North Branch of the Chicago

River the Chicago Park District actually

worked with two major architectural

firms to develop this space and it's

quite beautiful the comedy bar is

Chicago's only downtown comedy club they

have a main stage and a B stage you can

enjoy some delicious Gino's East

deep-dish pizza and Gino's Brewing

Company beer while you laugh to some

hilarious comedians and this building is

a super historic it's one of the only

relics of Chicago's electric streetcar

system we're in front of a LaSalle

Street powerhouse we're now in front of

the DRI House Museum which is located in

the restored Nickerson mansion that was

built in 1883 they do give tours but you

can also explore on your own it is one

of the best things to do in River North

and we highly recommend it the House of

Blues is a popular concert venue that

regularly hosts performers from every

type of musical genre it's actually part

of Marina City designed by Bertrand

Goldberg and the interior is modeled

after the s the Bosque Opera House in

Prague Holy Name Cathedral is the seat

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

it's a Gothic Revival church that was

built in 1875 and is a national

registered Historic Landmark for all you

gym rats and muscleheads you'll find

plenty of places to work out in this

neighborhood from River North Jim in the

Merchandise Mart to the east bank Club

one of the biggest gyms in Chicago at to

full city blocks there really are so

many things to do in River North way too

many to cover in this video the Poetry

Foundation and Museum of Broadcast

communications offer fun and informative

experiences when it comes to shopping in

River North you are close to the

Magnificent Mile River North is also

known for its high-end shopping like art

pieces home appliances and kitchen and

washroom fixtures

if you guys are enjoying this River

North guide go ahead and finesse that

like button and if you're new to my

channel it would mean the world to me if

you subscribe over the years River North

has undergone several major changes but

I feel like that's true of any area in

Chicago there's more than meets the eye

when it comes to River north and it has

some of the best of what Chicago has to

offer if you're a visitor to the city

make sure you don't limit yourself here

but with that said River North is one of

the greatest neighborhoods in all of the

city of Chicago River North is a great

neighborhood to live in there are luxury

buildings converted warehouse condos and

you're close to so many major points of

interest it's perfect for busy people on

the go who want to be part of the action

keep in mind that it is gonna be busy

all day and all year round

not only for the people that live here

but from tourists and visitors and also

be prepared to pay significantly higher

rent and you may miss out on what some

of the other Chicago neighborhoods have

to offer so what's the vibe like in

River North well whether you're visiting

or you live in Chicago there's a good

chance you're gonna find yourself in

this neighborhood at some point there

are so many restaurants and nightlife

close proximity to Magnificent Mile

River North is pretty much jumping at

all hours of the day

so for nightlife in River north there

are so many options like the green door

tavern which was established in 1921


did you guys get the answer to the

trivia question the streets in River

North that her name for Great Lakes

include superior Huron Ontario area and

Michigan shout out to the folks that

requested the River North neighborhood

guide be sure to let us know in the

comments what neighborhood you want

covered next

of course this was just a sample of what

River North has to offer I hope you

enjoyed this neighborhood guide if you

did make sure you finesse that like

button and if you're new to my channel

subscribe to join the gusto gang I will

see you guys next time have a fantastic

rest of your day we're out of here peace

but it wasn't always the most attractive

destination and in fact was once

nicknamed smokey Hollow thank you guys

thank you there were so many factors in

this area that River North became

polluted from the smog and earned its

nickname the smokey Hollow oh it blocked

out the Sun even to this day it sells

home furnishings far as the eye can see

let this little hullabaloo pass and

we'll go and we'll do it the early 2000

K blah blah blah blah the earlier 27

earliest there are a ton of national

chains here which use it that motorcycle

ruined it okay guys get the answers at

the trivia question the streets in River

North names four Great Lakes include

Ontario Erie

Ontario Michigan Erie Huron