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African art | © Peter Rivera/Flickr
African art | © Peter Rivera/Flickr
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What To Do And See In Chicago's West Loop

Picture of Alyssa Reyes
Updated: 9 February 2017
Chiacgo’s West Loop neighborhood combines the bustle of downtown with the serene feel of a quiet, residential area. This part of the city is filled with restaurants of all kinds, parks, shops, and festivals, so there’s always something to do at any time of the year. Here is your guide to exploring Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

Douglas Dawson Gallery

The Douglas Dawson Gallery is a hidden gem and features art and sculptures from various sites across the world. The gallery was opened in 1983, and it has been a place to store and display art from Africa, Asia, and the Americas ever since. The Douglas Dawson Gallery features everything from ancient tribal works of art from ceramics to traditional clothing. Previous exhibits have included From the Fire: Historic African Ceramics and Animal Instinct: Animals in Ethnographica

Douglas Dawson Gallery, 224 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 226 7975

African art | © Peter Rivera/Flickr

African art | © Peter Rivera/Flickr


Bottom Lounge
Concert Hall, Music Venue
Bottom_Lounge,_Chicago

The Bottom Lounge serves up incredible concerts, food and beer in Chicago's West Loop. | © Mr. Granger / WikiCommons

Bottom Lounge

For a great night out, visit Bottom Lounge. There are many music venues in the city, but Bottom Lounge is one of the best, and bands and solo artists are featured nearly every night at Bottom Lounge. Munch on appetizers and sip on drinks while watching your favorite artists perform in this intimate lounge setting. Upcoming 2016 events include performances by The Percy Morgan Band, Chris Medina, Young Fathers, and She is We.

Bottom Lounge, 1375 W Lake Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 666 6775

Concert at Bottom Lounge | © Kumar McMillan/Flickr

Concert at Bottom Lounge | © Kumar McMillan/Flickr

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Fulton Market Kitchen

If you’re looking to experience both food and art, then look no further than Fulton Market Kitchen, which is a totally unique dining experience. Inspired by the art scene of 1980s New York, the Kitchen combines a menu of distinct flavors and the ambiance of an experimental art gallery. Guests can enjoy popular dishes like ravioli or their suckling pig while taking in the art surrounding the restaurant. Each week, an artist in residence takes over the Fulton Market Kitchen and designs the space as their own art studio, occasionally working among the busy crowd. You might even see the artist working on a painting while you dine.

Fulton Market Kitchen, 311 N Sangamon Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 733 6900

Fulton Market area | © Edsel Little/Flickr

Fulton Market area | © Edsel Little/Flickr


National Hellenic Museum

For a trip to ancient Greece without leaving Chicago, visit the National Hellenic Museum in the West Loop. Located in Greektown, the National Hellenic Museum is in perfect company, as it is surrounded by authentic Greek restaurants that line several blocks on Halsted Street. The museum opened just five years ago, but has since become the premier spot for all things relating to Greek history and culture, and it holds over 17,000 pieces that span decades. Visit exhibitions like Aegean: Creation Of An Archipelago and Transcending Boundaries: The Art of Anthony Quinn.

National Hellenic Museum, 333 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 655 1234

Outside of National Hellenic Museum | © Chicago Architecture Today/Flickr

Outside of National Hellenic Museum | © Chicago Architecture Today/Flickr


Mars Gallery

For over 25 years, the Mars Gallery has been a place for artists to display their work and for admirers of art to peruse the gallery in search of the perfect piece to take home. The Mars Gallery features a wide variety of art made by local creators. Contemporary and modern pop art pieces are a main fixture of the gallery, but they also feature some abstract art and other mixed media pieces. The Mars Gallery also offers interactive events like art showings, poetry sessions, talks, and fundraising nights.

Mars Gallery, 1139 W Fulton Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 226 7808

Pop art detail | © Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

Pop art detail | © Ruth Hartnup/Flickr


Chicago French Market

For a taste of Europe without leaving the city, visit the Chicago French Market. Nestled inside the Ogilvie Transportation Center is a collection of French and European shops. Charming markets and authentic European food vendors offer up fresh produce, carryout lunch items, and an array of pastries. Stop by on the weekend for a true European-inspired breakfast or simply stop by to pick up a box of colorful macaroons.

Chicago French Market, 131 N Clinton Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 575 0306

Macarons at the Chicago French Market | © Goatling/Flickr

Macarons at the Chicago French Market | © Goatling/Flickr


Pitchfork Music Festival

Kick off the start of summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park. The Pitchfork Music Festival is a three-day event featuring a diverse lineup of artists from hip hop and rock to electronica. Head out to Union Park in the West Loop and enjoy your favorite musical acts in the Chicago heat. The 2016 lineup includes Beach House, Blood Orange, Carly Rae Jepson, BJ the Chicago Kid, FKA twigs, and many others. 

Pitchfork Music Festival, Union Park, 1501 S Randolph Street, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 746 5494

Performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival | © Matt Janicki/Flickr

Performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival | © Matt Janicki/Flickr