Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Your Ultimate City Guide

18 Insanely Fun Things To Do In River North Chicago

Published by Josh Hirsch on  2/18/2020

When you’re planning a night out, you want to look for things to do that you wouldn’t normally do. A good night out generally involves a delicious place to eat and maybe an exciting activity. If you’re looking for a way to spend a good night in River North, you’re in luck. There are plenty of things to do and amazing places to eat in this area. Whether you are visiting Chicago, or you live there permanently, you’ll find that these exciting activities are a great way to spend a night out on the town. River North is filled with exciting local businesses that will make you fall in love with this trendy area!


Go for A Stroll and Eat Amazing Food With Sidewalk Food Tours

If you want to explore a city, you need to know the right places to eat. Fortunately, with this amazing food tour, you can sample not one, but five top cuisine options in the area. This three-hour tour lets you meet your steps goal and feast on some absolutely delicious local cuisine. If you’re not sure where to eat, this group has you covered and is more than ready to show you the city at the same time!

a bunch of different types of food on a plate

Savor The Flavors of Delicious Foods!


Eat at Ema 

This charming Mediterranean restaurant provides modern twists on old favorites. With its touted “California style” cooking, you can expect delicious takes on all kinds of amazing dishes. If you’re looking for anything from brunch to dessert, this restaurant has it, and it will be the kind of meal you brag about to friends. You’ll love the look and feel of this restaurant almost as much as you will enjoy the food. This is a great place to grab a meal and visit with your loved ones.



Enjoy Drinks at Arbella

Sometimes only a cocktail will do. If you need to unwind from a rough day or just want to go somewhere fancy to enjoy drinks, Arbella is absolutely perfect for you. This is one cocktail lounge that will not disappoint. You can enjoy all of your favorite drinks or go with one of their specialty options instead. This is the perfect place to decompress and grab a drink with some good company.



Drink Bottomless Margaritas at Hutch American Café

If you’re feeling up for an adventure, you’ll love the amazing food and drink options presented by this one of a kind restaurant. They have a variety of delicious choices for every kind of meal and also offer bottomless mimosas, margaritas, and sangria for a little more fun.

a dining table with a plate of food


Listen To Live Music At The Bassment

This is one live music lounge that you will absolutely want to visit if you are in the area. At this location, you can listen to a ton of talented musicians show off their stuff while you enjoy all of your favorite drinks. They even offer a collection of signature cocktails and delicious bar bites if you need a snack!

a crowd of people in a dark room


Have A Cocktail at Three Dots and a Dash

This is one cocktail lounge that will leave you talking about it for weeks. It isn’t just that everything here is perfect for taking amazing pictures to share on social media that makes it so special. Everything about this place is designed for some good old-fashioned adult fun. You can enjoy trying a wide variety of cocktails, and they even have food if you’re in need of something to soak it all up. 

a vase of flowers on a table


Enjoy A Fun Water-Based Tour on A Water Taxi

For those looking for a little fun in the water that lets you stay dry, this one is absolutely perfect. Water taxis can take you all over to experience the best parts of Chicago. You can easily jump on one and enjoy the tour or use it to get to your destination for the night.

a yellow boat in the water with a city in the background


Grab A Meal at Girl and the Goat

There are some restaurants that stay in your mind because they have an interesting name and others because they have an exciting environment and delicious food options. This restaurant uniquely offers you both. This is one modern place that has absolutely no problem with being itself. You can enjoy a beautiful dinner environment with an incredibly photographable bar while you feast on a variety of tasty foods. These are not your everyday dishes, but you’ll wish that they were once you have them.

a sandwich sitting on top of a table


Dance the Night Away At The Rec Room

Every once in a while, you just need a night on the town to cut loose. The Rec Room is the perfect place to do exactly that. You can enjoy delicious drinks and a fun night of dancing here for a great price. If you’re looking to enjoy music and some great energy, this is a great way to pass a night with friends. The DJs at this site are talented and know how to get a room moving to a good beat!

a crowded street in front of a store


Enjoy Dinner and Drinks at The Franklin Room

If you’re in mixed company, you might want to go somewhere that can cover everyone. The Franklin Room does an amazing job of bringing together delicious food with a complete tavern experience. You can easily go here for food, drink, or both. It provides a great atmosphere and plenty of high-quality treats for you to enjoy.

a plate of food on a table


Take A Distillery Tour with The Barrel Run

Jumping into a bus with some friends to go enjoy a tour of a local brewery is a great way to pass time. You can enjoy a scenic experience and get some delicious drinks with this fun tour. You’ll love learning about how all of these delicious beers get made almost as much as you’ll love drinking them.

a truck is parked on the side of a road


Stuff Your Face at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab

Sometimes you need a little bit of luxury and that is something that this restaurant delivers on. You’ll enjoy the way that this gourmet food tastes almost as much as you’ll love visiting any of its locations. While this is technically a franchise, don’t for a minute think that you will find generic food here. This is one place to eat that is perfect for bringing joy to seafood and steak lovers everywhere.

a plate of food on a table


Play Games at Headquarters Beercade

There are moments when you realize that you just need to play a game and unwind. While you might not be tempted to visit a traditional arcade, chances are this one might catch your interest. You can spend time playing exciting arcade games, drinking, and even partake in trivia.

a man standing in front of a store


Get Your Irish On at Emerald Loop

Sometimes you just need an Irish meal and this restaurant is more than happy to provide one. This is a great place for locals and tourists alike looking to enjoy some tasty food and amazing drinks. You can enjoy their weekend breakfast buffet or sample crowd favorites like Bangers and Mash. When you go here, you’ll find a great time and some quality food that makes the experience that much better.

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place and a dining table


Take A Cooking Class at The Chopping Block

If you and your friends are looking to break away from the traditional night out, The Chopping Block has you covered. With this amazing business, you can learn how to cook exciting new dishes from professional chefs. This is a fun and tasty way to spend time!

a group of people preparing food in a restaurant


Feast at Bavette Steakhouse

This restaurant is a little bit French and a little bit something else. The result is a beautiful restaurant that is perfect for spending your evening chowing down on delicious food. You’ll absolutely love the ambient lighting in this restaurant, but you will stay for the specialties coming out of the kitchen. If you’re looking for a good place to get steak or seafood, this restaurant is perfect for you.

a pizza sitting on top of a plate of food on a table


Break Out at Art of Escape Room

Escape rooms are an absolutely delightful way to pass time any night of the week. These fun challenges allow you and your friends or family to put your minds to work solving a variety of fun riddles in order to earn your freedom as a timer counts down. Enjoy a fun night here with their exciting casino heist room!

a stack of flyers on a table


Enjoy A Show at The Comedy Bar

If you’re in the mood for some quality entertainment, look no further than The Comedy Bar. You can enjoy a variety of amazing shows from talented comedians at this location, making it a great place to visit any time of year. You can have fun listening to hilarious comedians while you drink the night away. They even offer a brunch special!

a red stop sign sitting on the floor



Finding the right thing to do on any given night can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know the area or you know it too well. Fortunately, River North is a beautiful area that has plenty to offer you when it comes to having a good time. Whether you’re looking for a fun event to check out with friends or you’re just looking for a great meal and some strong drinks, this area has you covered. This is one trendy place that has plenty to share with you. Make sure that you take the time to explore River North and all of the amazing local businesses that are waiting to show you a good time!