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With swanky neighbors like the Gold Coast to the north and the Magnificent Mile to the east, the sophisticated River North neighborhood distinguishes itself by being one of Chicago’s favorite destinations for art, design, fine dining and nightlife. Art galleries and studios carved out of overhauled warehouses abound in this corner of city, which also happens to be the home of some of the Chicago’s most notable landmarks. There’s the Chicago Riverwalk, a picturesque 1.25-mile riverside park space and pedestrian trail peppered with an amalgamation of public art, eateries, and an array of outdoor activities. There’s The Merchandise Mart (aka The Mart), the largest building in the world when it opened in 1930, which resides on the Chicago Riverwalk and now plays host to events like Art on the MART (September 16, 2021), the EXPO Chicago (April 7 – 10, 2022), and NeoCon (October 4 – 6, 2021).


And then there’s the architecture, which includes everything from the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, a Gilded Age masterpiece aka Chicago’s “Marble Palace,” to the 110-story Willis Tower and the historic modernist skyscraper 330 N. Wabash by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Apart from its cultural offerings, River North is alive with an embarrassment of fashionable nightclubs, trendy bars and popular restaurants. A particular standout is Mercadito, an upscale restaurant known for its authentic Mexican cuisine and curated craft cocktails, most notable among which are the margaritas. Imagine cocktails composed with ingredients like hibiscus, green yucateco, cumin, and ginger, paired with menu items like mac & cheese prepared with poblano peppers, chihuahua cheese and lobster, and it becomes clear dining at Mercadito is a next level experience.

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