Your Guide to Living in Chicago’s South Loop

Here at 1001, there is a wonderful blend of attraction and history that makes living in the South Loop an environment for inspiration, convenience, and knowledge. Because in order to know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you’ve been. Whether you’re new to the South Loop area, or it’s been your home for a while, here are some of the things you should know.


Living in Chicago's South Loop

Getting Around the South Loop

With the increased interest in public transportation, residents of the South Loop have access to numerous CTA subway stations. Here at 1001 South State, we are equidistant between the Harrison Red Line and the Roosevelt Red/Green/Orange lines, with the LaSalle Blue Station also nearby. These stations are also close to the Metra, making it even easier to navigate around the city and even into the suburbs. Being on State Street, there are many bus lines that run right by us in addition to the express routes that run up and down Michigan Ave.


Where To Eat and Drink

With South Loop living getting more and more popular, it’s become a haven for eateries, cafes, upscale restaurants and bars. For mornings and lunch, we recommend places like Cafecito, which has an amazing cafe con leche and a cubano that will change the way you think about sandwiches. There is also Yolk South Loop and their hearty omelets with a price that can’t be beat. Looking for burgers? Devil Dawgs and Burger Bar Chicago have you covered.

The variety is endless with Italian spots like Gioco for a more upscale experience or Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria for that quick slice.  In the mood for Spanish tapas? Mercat a la Planxa should be on your list. Then finish it with a glass of wine from Square One or a pint from First Draft.


Pet Friendly Activities in the South Loop

We know that you’ve got furry friends to take care of, and there’s plenty of things to do with the pups as well. If you want to take them out to lunch, Blackie’s and Rubi’s at the New Maxwell Street Market allow dogs. All dogs need exercise, which makes Grant Bark Park the perfect place to let them run around and mingle with other dogs. There’s an abundance of toys and balls for them to play with, as well as baggies in case nature calls. And when it’s time to get them cleaned up, Kriser’s Natural Pet is your spot. They take great care of the dogs and the selection of food and treats is pretty impressive.


Living in Chicago's South Loop

Attractions, Entertainment and Events

One of the best things about living in the South Loop is your easy access to some of Chicago’s best attractions. You’re within walking distance of the Museum Campus, which is made up of the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. You’re also close to Northerly Island and its summer concerts, as well as the home of the Chicago Bears, Soldier Field.

Beyond these popular tourist attractions are several other things to do in the South Loop. The Glessner House Museum and neighboring Clarke Museum are historic landmarks. Tommy Gun’s Garage is Chicago’s longest running interactive dinner theater, bringing the audience into the action. The Museum of Contemporary Photography has free admission, although since it’s part of Columbia College Chicago it’s closed when the college is closed.

As the former Motor Row, it’s only fitting that the South Loop host the Chicago Auto Show. Buddy Guy’s Legends offers live blues seven nights a week, including a residency by the blues man himself every January. The neighborhood is also a growing site for breweries, with Baderbräu, Motor Row Brewing, and Vice District all brewing the South Loop.


Living in Chicago's South Loop

Fitness and Health

It’s easy to stay fit when you live in the South Loop. The proximity to Lake Michigan means easy access to the Lakefront Trail, an 18-mile running and biking path that extends from 5800 North all the way down to 7100 South. The Trail features several beaches, including the nearby 12th Street Beach. For indoor recreation FFC has a location in the South Loop. UFC Gym, specializing in boxing and MMA, also has a location. To put a little pep in your step you can take a class at the American Rhythm Center or take advantage of the free seasonal Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park. Also in Grant Park is the new Skate Park, a world-class facility for skateboard enthusiasts.

For a more detailed list, take a look at our Best Gyms in the South Loop blog!



Shopping in the South Loop reflects the personality of the neighborhood. While you can shop at Target, Whole Foods, Banana Republic, and The Container Store, there are also plenty of specialty stores to fit multiple needs. On the Route Bicycles,  Haberdash Roosevelt Collection, Loopy Yarns, and Artist and Craftsman Supply are just a few of the niche stores. Whatever you can’t find in this neighborhood can probably be found just a few blocks north in the Loop. If you’re interested in shopping local, visit some of the local farmer’s markets in the South Loop area. 

Living in the South Loop offers both convenience and comfort, putting you close to the action but keeping that charming neighborhood feel that makes urban living unique. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about why we love living in the South Loop Chicago.


What South Loop spots do you love? Join the conversation with us on Twitter at @1001SouthState!