Things to do

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


By Time Out Chicago editors

Posted: Wednesday October 4 2017


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

More eating and exploring in the Loop

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

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.