Things to do in the Chicago Loop

Explore the heart of downtown Chicago with our guide to the best restaurants, attractions, hotels, things to do and theater in the Chicago Loop

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

The Loop has a reputation for rolling up its sidewalks at 5pm and being a ghost town on the weekends. But a lot has changed in recent years. Millennium Park and Lollapalooza have made downtown a major destination for concerts in Chicago all summer long. The revitalized Downtown Theater District has put high-profile musicals on the cultural map next to longstanding institutions like the Art Institute, CSO and Lyric Opera. DePaul University, Columbia College and SAIC have a strong student population living downtown, and long-term living has followed with dozens of new residential towers—which leads to more evening and late-night dining and drinking options. Here are the best things to do in the Chicago Loop.

Top attractions in the Chicago Loop

Best restaurants in the Loop
Restaurants

Best restaurants in the Loop

Best bars and nightlife in the Loop
Bars

Best bars and nightlife in the Loop

Boutique shopping in the Loop
Shopping

Boutique shopping in the Loop

Best hotels in the Loop
Hotels

Best hotels in the Loop

Best things to do in the Loop
Things to do

Best things to do in the Loop

Chicago theater in the Loop
Theater

Chicago theater in the Loop

More eating and exploring in the Loop

Cafeterias and buffets in Chicago's Loop
Restaurants

Cafeterias and buffets in Chicago's Loop

Buffets in Chicago are hidden in skyscrapers and pack lunch value. Nostalgic for your school dining hall? Eat by the pound at these top Loop cafeterias.

A complete guide to the Chicago French Market
Restaurants

A complete guide to the Chicago French Market

With 28 different food vendors (not counting an olive oil purveyor and flower shop), the Chicago French Market is a beast. Overwhelmed by the options? We ate at every single food stall. Here's what you should get.

Discover more of the Chicago Loop

Best downtown Chicago tours
Things to do

Best downtown Chicago tours

Explore the Chicago Loop by boat, bike, Segway and more.

The best lunch spots in the Loop
Restaurants

The best lunch spots in the Loop

There are more options than you think.

Riverwalk guide
Things to do Buy tickets

Riverwalk guide

The river’s edge is one of downtown’s newest hotspots

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Ride a Divvy bike
Things to do

Ride a Divvy bike

Get places on a cheap rental bike.

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