Where To Eat
Listen up, foodies — the West Loop has one of the city's most incredible culinary scenes. Much of life in the West Loop revolves around Randolph Street. Here, you'll find an array of restaurants that serve everything from inventive small plates to deep-dish pizza, casual diner food to fine dining experiences, and homemade ice cream to gelato. Au Cheval serves up one of the most famous burgers in town, while Girl & The Goat is known for its bold, inventive creations. Further north, Momotaro offers a fantastic array of Japanese cuisine, and The Publican employs a variety of seafood and pork dishes for dinner as well as an indulgent brunch menu.
Friday Night Fun
A Friday night in the West Loop will most likely begin at one of the packed restaurants on Randolph Street. Then, head to Fulton Market and switch your tune from dinner to libations at one of the bars that dot this stretch. They're not run-of-the-mill pubs and sports bars, either — you'll find wine bars, artisan beers, and craft cocktails on this side of town. West Loop is also a destination for concertgoers, with The Mid hosting well-known names in electronic music and Bottom Lounge bringing in rock and hip hop acts.
The Perfect Sunday
A Sunday in the city should always start with brunch, and West Loop has plenty of options. Once you've broken the fast, make your way to the once-monthly Randolph Street Market Festival. Here, you can find hidden gems amongst one of the nation's largest antique markets. You'll also find indie designer pieces, products from around the globe, and, of course, delicious street eats to further fuel your shopping expedition.
Ogilvie Transportation Center is a Metra hub for those commuting into the city or migrating to the north or west suburbs, while the Amtrak and long-distance buses (think Greyhound and Megabus) depart from Union Station. Bus routes abound in the West Loop, taking you west, north, and south, with the 'L' taking you east to the Loop. The West Loop is also a fairly car-friendly neighborhood, especially compared to the rest of the Downtown area. Street parking is available in most areas as long as you're willing to pay the meter.
Though the West Loop has prominent residential pockets, the neighborhood layout is reminiscent of its days as a meatpacking district. Large, industrial-style buildings make the area feel a little more spread out than the Loop or River North, but it is still easily navigated by foot.