Streeterville Neighborhood Guide

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The artist representations are provided for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice.


the hidden east end Parks, beaches, theaters, boutiques, a revitalized waterfront. If you thought you knew Chicago’s neighborhoods like the back of your hand, take a closer look at Streeterville and its surrounds, tucked between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan to the west and east, and Oak Street and major parks to the north and south. Its renaissance is shifting the city’s center of gravity closer to the lakefront. Only in Chicago do such revered addresses come with such an esoteric backstory. According to city lore, drifter George Wellington Streeter was out on his dingy in 1886 when a perfect storm grounded him on a sandbar just outside of Chicago’s city limits. He squatted on the spit of land as the rest of the city rebuilt from the Great Fire, leasing bits of “his” selfproclaimed property to contractors who used the site to deposit dug-up earth from new construction projects. The result: this tiny dune grew to 186 acres. “Cap” Streeter ultimately lost his landfill to developers, who thought the area was better suited for high-end residences as well as what would come to be Navy Pier. In the century since, that little sandbar has become one of Chicago’s most sought-after destinations for living, working and playing. Bound by the lake, Michigan Avenue, green space to the south and world-class museums to the north, it’s exactly where you want to be.


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s e r i o u s e at s From charming cafés and brunch meccas to white-tablecloth steakhouses where the cuts are as big as the personalities who frequent them, Streeterville’s food scene captures the best of Chicago.


bander a

shaw ’s cr ab house


carson ’s ribs

coco pazzo café

the purple pig



vol are

the hampton social

joe ’s stone cr ab


k anel a breakfast club

the capital grille

les nomades

rpm steak

molly ’s cupcakes


rl restaur ant

fred ’s




east chicago avenue

Rare is the restaurant that’s attached to a major fashion brand and hits all the right notes. RL does. This see-and-be-seen spot is perfect for taking a break while shopping on Michigan Avenue (order the lobster roll), but romantics come on winter nights to commandeer the two leather club chairs by the fireplace and share a burger and a Burgundy. Yes, Americana decor is courtesy of Ralph Lauren.


east pearson street

Satisfy all five senses at MCA’s restaurant and bar. Marisol offers creative dishes from Chicago chef Jason Hammel in an art-filled dining room. Just need a pick-me-up between exhibits? Visit the coffee counter and take a seat in the community workspace to recharge.

coco pazzo cafe

212 E ast O hio S treet This romantic Italian restaurant has a Tuscan vibe and the best pasta this side of Florence. Grab a seat outside if the weather’s good and relish your surroundings.



north st . cl air street

Even Chicago émigrés roll out of bed early for the consistently delicious egg sandwich or the wildly popular avocado toast at Beatrix.

shaw ’ s crab house


east hubbard street

Lettuce Entertain You’s first big hit is two concepts in one: the oyster bar and the expansive fish-focused restaurant. Insiders know to get bloodies and oysters at the bar; for a big night out among all those red leather booths, the chopped seafood salad is a must.

kanel a breakfast club


east illinois street

Brunch plans are laid out well in advance, and snagging a spot at Kanela earns you a gold star. Of the four locations, the one on Lake Shore Drive stands out: outdoor seating, sweet and savory breakfast dishes and indulgent mimosas draw young professionals out of bed for a Sunday rendezvous.



east illinois street

The industrial chic all-day café across from One Bennett Park offers everything from coffee and scones to cocktails and skirt steaks. House-made fare and noteworthy beverages make Cupitol the ideal place to meet friends or catch up on work.


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les nomades


east ontario street

This may be the best French restaurant in Chicago, and its brownstone setting and formal demeanor make it a favorite for special occasions. Big birthdays, engagements, celebrations—they are all marked here.

the purple pig


north michigan avenue

Native son Jimmy Bannos Jr. has caught global attention and his top-rated restaurant, hailed for its small plates and after-work cocktails, is going strong. Circumvent the long line and grab a seat at the bar for some porcine pleasure and wines to match.



north michigan avenue

Set on the second floor above the storefronts of Michigan Avenue, Bandera’s dark interiors beckon shoppers during the day and couples in the evening. In winter, its draw is magnetic. Order the chicken and fig salad at lunch or the sticky ribs at dinner. joe ’ s stone crab


east grand avenue

This Chicago outpost of the beloved Miami original does as much steak as its namesake crabs. Regulars come here for a white-tablecloth meal served by big Chicago waiters paired with big red wines. Good luck finding anyone in town who doesn’t love this place (fortunately, it’s big enough to accommodate them all).

molly ’ s cupcakes


east illinois street

Build your own treat at this retro-lovely bakery. Cookies, brownies and center-filled mini-cakes are also available ready-made.


P R I M E M E AT S The Windy City was once the epicenter of the meatpacking industry and big cuts of beef still play heavily in local cuisine. But it’s evolved so that those men in white tuxedos serving sirloin and creamy mash in the past decade are now serving sturgeon with caviar, downmarket stacked burgers, and even—oh my! — quinoa and kale salad. Nowhere in the world is steakhouse culture so diverse, and so inclusive. Starting with the chains, you’ve got old-school Capital Grille, which serves mega cuts to diners on expense accounts. Then there’s the first Morton’s, which opened here some 40 years ago before it exported the idea; its grotto-like setting is retro and elegant and filled with tuna tacos, oysters Rockefeller, and highly nouveau soy- or gluten-free menus. Also holding on to tradition—but only just—is the Chicago original, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, where a porterhouse is as common as a miso-marinated Chilean sea bass. Then there are the relative newbies like STK and Maple & Ash — though you can’t step foot into either without at least tasting a filet at Chicago Cut, considered by many to cook the best steaks in the city, if not the country. Try them all, then decide which is best.


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a rt a n d l e i sur e Strange and wonderful artists make their home in this waterfront enclave of the Windy City, where cultural institutions are top-notch and compete neck and neck with any major international city’s attractions.


lookinggl ass theatre

amc theatres

the art institute of chicago

arts club of chicago

chicago cultur al center

museum of contemporary art

chicago theatre

shakespeare theater

chicago children ’s museum

winter ’s jazz club

chicago yacht club

broadway pl ayhouse


shakespeare theater


east grand avenue

Performing everything from The Tempest and Othello (and an Othello remix) along with best-ofs and modern classics (Hello Dolly!, Little Mermaid), CST entertains some 30,000 audience members in Chicago with high production values and serious talent.


north michigan avenue

Set in the Pumping Station of the old historic Water Tower, the building has preserved the iconic stones that were left intact from the Great Fire. The company is known for its avant-garde productions, as well as Alice, a Cirque du Soleil– style show that thinks outside the black box.

amc river east 21 theatre


east illinois street

In-the-know locals reserve seats in advance for the cozy lounge chairs at one of the 21 screens at this massive theater. Within the complex, Lucky Strike Entertainment’s creation, For The Win, is a 20,000-square-foot arcade-gastropub hybrid with more than 130 games, a six-hole miniature golf course, chef-focused food, and craft beer and cocktails.

chicago theatre


north state street

State Street’s central comedy spot has welcomed A-list comedians like Jim Gaffigan, and huge pop stars such as Janet Jackson. For an intimate show, this is where to go.


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chicago children ’ s museum


east grand avenue

Founded in 1982 by the Junior League of Chicago, the city’s best kids’ museum dazzles little ones with clay creations, a tinkering lab, a schooner you can climb around, story times and more. Grownups, grab a coffee and watch your kids escape reality into a parallel universe of fun.

chicago cultural center


east washington street

The free center on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Washington plays host to the Chicago Architecture Biennial, where global architects take over the entire space from October to January every other year. Stop in for a quick but immersive introduction to global designers, or sign up for the Chicago Greeter program, whose free walking tours make for fabulous outings, even for old Chicago hands.


MASTER CLASS So many museums, so little time. Unless you live in Chicago, you can’t truly get to know the city’s vast artistic offerings...and even then it’s tough. There are emerging artists graduating the various schools pouring into the Art Institute of Chicago, more modern offerings at the new Modern Wing, all that contemporary mind-blowing work at the Museum of Contemporary Art and talks with minted darlings at the Arts Club. And that doesn’t even begin to

hit upon the vast array of galleries. Still, start with the big leagues to get a sense of the density and diversity of work being done in, around and for the city of Chicago.



the art institute of chicago

the modern wing

Hands down one of the best museums in the world. Crowd-pleasing shows and collections—a Degas exhibition, the largest Impressionist collection outside the Louvre and a beautiful Asian art wing—are its bread and butter (though hometown hero Tony Mantuano’s Terzo Piano also brings in the dough).

Perhaps an even a bigger draw is Renzo Piano’s 2009 Modern Wing, which houses one of the world’s great collections of modern and contemporary art.



museum of contemporary art

the arts club of chicago

Unexpected exhibitions are put up here, like the 2014–15 David Bowie retrospective. A huge park behind the MCA encourages art aficionados to linger.

You don’t have to be a member to see the exhibitions on display at this century-old institute, but inner-circle patrons get special privileges, like access to private rooms for meetings, tea, lunch and parties. The point is to allow art lovers and buyers to mingle with actual artists, leading to some lively conversations and potentially lifelong relationships.


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chicago board of trade


west jackson boulevard

Built in 1885 as a trading floor and offices, the Art Deco building has a three-story statue of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, at its peak.

b e au t y t h at wa s b u i lt to l a s t Mention Chicago anywhere in the world and the first image that comes to mind is that of towering skyscrapers that defy gravity, which redefined what engineers can do throughout the decades. Though the city is dense with stunningly elegant skyscrapers and swooping monuments to man’s ability to shape the landscape, many of the iconic buildings are clustered in and around Streeterville. 13

buckingham fountain john hancock center chicago architecture foundation tribune tower water tower wrigley building cloud gate dusable bridge chicago board of tr ade palmolive building civic oper a of chicago

chicago architecture foundation river tours

From April to November you can cruise under 13 bridges to see the Wrigley Building, the Marina City Towers (aka the “corncobs”) and more than 50 other important monuments that weave together to create the fabric of Chicago. Docent-led cruises leave from the Michigan Avenue bridge and last one and a half glorious hours, allowing architecture buffs to experience the stunning cityscape from the water.

water tower


north michigan avenue

The only building in the area to survive the Great Fire, this stone tower built to enclose pipes that pump water from Lake Michigan was completed in 1869.

wrigley building


tribune tower


north michigan avenue

north michigan avenue

A multimillion-dollar overhaul gave this esteemed address a modern interior, though it retains that glorious Spanish Revival and French Renaissance exterior, along with the four-sided clock—often called the world’s most beautiful clock tower.

This neo-Gothic stunner by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood stands 36 stories tall and was completed in 1925. Don’t miss a glance at the ornate buttresses at the top.

palmolive building

john hancock center



east walton pl ace

The Art Deco masterpiece was built by Holabird & Root to house the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company. A beacon to guide planes to Midway International Airport, named for the aviator Charles Lindbergh, was added in 1930.

north michigan avenue

This eleven-hundred-foot skyscraper was topped off in 1968 by SOM architects, when it was the tallest building outside of New York City. It’s nicknamed Big John.


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perist yle

Originally built in 1917 by renowned local urban planner Edward H. Bennett, who laid out much of the city’s grid, this 40-foot-tall concrete Doric column structure was meant to bring a classical elegance to Grant Park. Sadly, its materials couldn’t withstand the Windy City weather; the columns were razed in 1953. In 2002, a limestone replica was erected with the dedication of Millennium Park.

michigan avenue bridge

Officially the DuSable Bridge, the double-decker bridge crosses the Chicago River, which carries Michigan Avenue down to the parks. Its fixed-trunnion bascule design—more commonly referred to as Chicago-style bascule—was designed in part by architect Edward H. Bennett.

The lesser-known architect of the brilliant Plan of Chicago is seeing a resurgence in appreciation. Edward H. Bennett was the right-hand man to urban planner Daniel Burnham, who gets top billing when it comes to credit for the city’s renewal after the 1909 fire. But Bennett’s role was equally as impactful— and lasting.

inspired by the Latona Fountain at Paris’s Versailles; the original Peristyle, a semicircle of paired Roman Doric columns, at the edge of Millennium Park; and Grant Park, the lungs of the city and an urban front yard for residents of all walks of life. In some ways, this English-born urban planner’s quiet recognition mirror’s Chicago’s so-called “second city” mentality. Like many of his modern peers, Bennett wasn’t looking for star status. He saw his contribution to the beautification of his adopted city as a civic duty.

Walk around the city today and his monuments, referencing other great cities and cultures, are everywhere: the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the landmark link across the Chicago River that stands as the backbone of the city; Buckingham Fountain,



buckingham fountain

Architect Edward H. Bennett, of Bennett, Parsons and Frost, designed the fountain—one of the largest in the world—and French artist Marcel Loyau created the sculptural elements. When it’s in action, it goes off every 20 minutes.

Daniel Burnham may receive all the credit for the city’s revival— the Plan of Chicago is often called the Burnham Plan—but as a trained architect, Bennett drew and planned the actual layouts, streetscapes and landmarks. He understood the snarl of traffic that crippled the city, and found simplified ways to streamline movement. He created zoning standards that are still in place to this day which delineate business districts from residential ones, thus enhancing the quality of life for Chicagoans like himself. Long after Daniel Burnham’s death in 1912, Edward H. Bennett was the keeper of the flame, pushing forward on the Plan until its completion and his city’s glorious rebirth.

Bennett’s vision elevated Chicago’s status to one of America’s most livable cities. Even in the 21st century, Chicago remains the standard-bearer for thoughtful urban planning and iconic architecture. Thanks to Edward H. Bennett, Chicago today is a place where business and residential districts don’t distract from one another, where green space is available for everyone nearly everywhere and where lasting architecture is the city’s legacy.


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the g re at o utd o o rs Just south of Streeterville lie “the lungs� of Chicago: Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. All around this vibrant area are piers, parks, beaches and bike paths to keep Chicagoans pumped full of fresh air and culture.

bennet t park

ohio street beach

jay pritzker pavilion

chicago riverwalk

l akefront tr ail

milton lee olive park

maggie daley park

l ake shore east park

nav y pier

l ake shore park

millennium park oak street beach


maggie daley park

With its ice-skating ribbon and climbing walls, Maggie Daley Park is being touted as the city’s winter camp. There’s also plenty to do in warmer months at this lakefront retreat— with such venues as a playhouse, a field garden, tennis courts and picnic groves, to name a few.

millennium park

The pride of Chicago opened in 2004 to the tune of $475 million, more than half of which came from private funding. Within the 24.5-acre, free-access park lives Anish Kapoor’s magical, mirrored Cloud Gate.

jay pritzker pavilion

A bandshell (its swooping curves designed by Frank Gehry) and the world’s largest rooftop garden, where anyone can pitch a blanket and catch free outdoor concerts, plein air movies, Broadway shows on tour and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Bring wine and cheese and make a picnic of it.


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l akefront trail

This beloved trail runs 18 miles along the coast of Lake Michigan, connecting beaches, picnic spots, parks and varied neighborhoods. Whether you choose to amble on foot, run or cycle all or part of the trail, it’s there for you, all year round, to get your outdoor fix.

chicago riverwalk

This pedestrian walkway that runs from Michigan Avenue to Lake Street has loads to offer outdoor enthusiasts—like kayaking and bike rentals—and social types alike, from wine tastings at City Winery Chicago to lunchtime lectures organized through the Friends of the Chicago River speaker series.

navy pier

The great attraction that is Navy Pier has drawn visitors from near and far for over 100 years. Today it is a bold, contemporary space for art and culture including water features, public spaces with bold gardens, modern plazas, a boutique hotel, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Chicago Children’s Museum - and that enormous Ferris wheel. Navy Pier is centrally located along the 18-mile Lakefront trail with a pedestrian flyover to alleviate car traffic and allow cyclists to continue their lengthy rides on the shore of Lake Michigan.

oak street and ohio street beaches

Name a city with beaches in the heart of downtown - we dare you. In Streeterville, there are at least two fabulous lake beaches with two very different takes on the concept (meanwhile, 26 miles of uninterrupted lakefront abut the eastern edge of the city). Oak Street Beach draws visitors from around the world, since it’s a straight shot from the shops of Michigan Avenue to its powdery sands. Blocks away at Ohio Street Beach, local residents enjoy a summer bistro and buoys to mark quarter-mile and half-mile swims.



Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh created the ultimate amenity for residents of One Bennett Park. A lawn bowl, a small and large dog run and a hypermodern playground will make this public green space feel private­­— like a private backyard to residents. Consider it Chicago’s answer to Gramercy Park.


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magnificent markets Not all top shops come with international fame and flashy storefronts. Some of the best retail experiences in Chicago are found off-piste, away from Michigan Avenue and the throngs of tourists who frequent them. These homegrown boutiques proffer one-of-a-kind fashion finds.


saks fif th avenue


bloomingdale ’s

p. o. s . h .


salvatore ferr agamo


whole foods market



christine noelle design

water tower pl ace


pr ada

ermenegildo zegna

jimmy choo

ikr am


neiman marcus


apple store

tod ’s



east ohio street

This outpost that takes up a whole city block is an ode to all things Italian and edible. You can dine in or carry out; just be sure not to miss the creamy Taleggio—it is beyond words.

whole foods market


east grand avenue

Entertaining at home? Whole Foods has pretty much anything a host would want to offer their guests, and there are loads of other destination food halls from which to bring home the bacon.

Optimo 320

south dearborn street

One of the last true hatters left in the country, the hatmakers at Optimo make fedoras and porkpies the old-fashioned way, for Hollywood A-listers. Expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for these handcrafted accessories sold at a secret showroom on Dearborn Street, but the compliments are worth every penny.



east huron street

Namesake owner Ikram Goldman has quite the eye. Her taste in fashion has shaped iconic wardrobe’s. Come here for McQueen, Alaïa, Maison Margiela and dozens of designers that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the country, let alone in Chicago.


christine noelle design


west oak street


Follow this stunning flower shop on Instagram (@christinenoelledesign) to get a sense of the world of beauty its florists create for thank-yous and holidays. Classes are also hosted so you can learn the art of arranging peonies and poppies.

north state street

Vintage silver and china salvaged from old hotels and even older Chicago families are beautifully curated at this local haunt. Set designers, interior decorators and major entertainers come for estate china, English tea sets and porcelain candy dishes.


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M I C H I G A N AV E N U E Right up there with the grand boulevards of Paris or Manhattan’s Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue is one of the world’s most acclaimed shopping promenades. All the top international brands are represented — Chanel, Zegna, Ferragamo, Tod’s, Burberry, Apple, Cartier, and more fan out from the main retail thoroughfare.

lake shore drive

chanel tod’s


neiman marcus

saks fifth avenue

ermenegildo zegna

salvatore ferr agamo



nordstrom apple store

chicago river