NFT Chicago South Loop / River City

South Loop / River City

This longtime industrial deadzone is emerging as a bustling business district -- including a swanky new Whole Foods -- to serve the rampant residential growth in all of the adjacent 'hoods. River City residents have never had it so good. Seriously, they haven't.

Manny's is essential for folks who enjoy sarcasm with their pastrami; pack a wire -- this place is so popular with deal-making politicos that you never know what you'll overhear. The 24-hour White Palace Grill has sopped up late night booze since 1939. Although a shadow of its former self, the Maxwell Sunday Market remains a haven for tube socks, churros, and trashy treasures.See more.


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Posted By:  Raf Miastkowski
Photo:  Raf Miastkowski

One of Chicago's quintessential sandwich shops, Manny's has been churning out Jewish comfort food since 1942. Whether you come for breakfast to rub elbows with local politicos or for lunch to get stuffed, you can't go wrong with Manny's. The mounds of thinly cut corned beef or pastrami on your sandwich are so plentiful that you won't be able to find the bread. The potato pancakes are delightfully crispy, the macaroni and cheese is deliciously gooey, and the chicken noodle soup is just right. Free water has to be poured into charming paper cones and dessert comes shrink-wrapped on its own plate. Everything at Manny's is delicious and reminiscent of older, simpler times. Hey, there's a reason why Obama has frequented this place for years!

Posted By:  Jamie Smith
Photo:  Courtesy of Jason Shueh

Binny's Beverage Depot
It's not often that you walk into a liquor store and exclaim, "Wow, what a view!" Most are windowless dungeons with lighting seemingly designed to drive you to drink. But not at Binny's Beverage Depot in the South Loop: their second floor features an entire wall of windows looking out onto downtown and the Sears Tower. The skyline isn’t the only impressive view, as the rest of the store is filled with booze as far as the eye can see. Binny's is a chain known for its helpful staff and excellent beer and wine selection. You'd probably have a great experience at any of their Chicago locations, but what sets the South Loop store apart is the opportunity for a little scenic appreciation with your alcohol consumption.

Posted By:  Paul Barile
Photo:  Paul Barile

So the neighborhood might be a little shady at night right now. That will change soon enough as the west and south loop complete their transition and are restored to their former beauty. In the meantime, White Palace Grill—which is no longer white terra cotta tile but red brick—continues to serve up an unparalleled BLT followed by ice cream creations that recall the best scenes from the old black and whites on late night theater. The modest red vinyl dining room mixes booths with tables in an Al’s diner-like setting. The nostalgic effect is so complete you almost expect to see the waitresses come out on roller skates. One wall has an enormous mural of famous Chicagoans past and present. Harry Caray plays cards with Oprah and Mayor Daley while Al Capone and other Chicago figures—real and imagined look on. There is one character in a blue tuxedo leaning against a wall that no one seems to be able to figure out. The breakfast—served all day long—makes this a great place to start your day or end your evening.

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