LUXE City Guides - Chicago - - River North -

Home to the mas­sive Mer­chan­dise Mart, this district is show­rooms and gal­leries ga­lore, though many close on Mon­days. Sneak into the Mart un­der the wing of a de­sign pro (see Adv. Shop­ping), or... Start off at the mega Golden Tri­an­gle at 330 N Clark (nr W Kinzie) / 312 755 1266 / gold­en­tri­an­gle.biz / for Asian an­tiques and cus­tomis­able faux-tiques. Exit left and whip up past W Kinzie to #406 Me­cox / 312 836 0571 / me­cox.com / for two storeys of lav­ish home decor (plus chan­de­liers). If your tum’s growl­ing, con­tinue up a block for Fron­tera Grill at 445 N Clark / 312 661 1434, and its mobbed cantina XOCO next door at #449 / from 8am Tue-sat / where Chef Bay­less is el­e­vat­ing Mex­i­can street food to a whole new level. Or, exit right from Me­cox and right into W Kinzie for Os­car Is­be­rian Rugs at #120 (see Adv. Shop.) fea­tur­ing im­pos­si­bly in­tri­cate weav­ing, and OTT ro­coco Thomas Jolly An­tiques at #124 / 312 595 0018 / thomasjollyan­tiques.com / with C.18th chairs and gold-tinged bric-à-brac. Con­tinue down W Kinzie a block, then un­der the El tracks and you’ll be con­fronted with the gi­gan­tic Mer­chan­dise Mart and The Chop­ping Block cook­ery school (see Very Use­ful). Keep go­ing along W Kinzie and cross to glammy Haute Liv­ing at #222 / 312 329 9000 / haute-liv­ing.com / for envy-in­duc­ing de­signer wares for your loft, from names like USM, Mater and Phase De­sign. Al­right. Time for a calo­rie recharge. Exit right from Haute, turn right at N Franklin and join the queue at rammed hole-in-the-wall Dough­nut Vault at 401 N Franklin (see Coffee & Cake). Pre­fer savoury? Exit left from Haute, re­trace and left into N Wells, cross­ing ei­ther for a beer and cheese­burger at #431 Bull & Bear / 312 527 5973 / bull­bear­bar.com / or a gor­geously gooey deep-dish pie at the iconic #439 Lou Mal­nati’s / 312 828 9800 / loumal­natis.com. Once you’ve emerged from your food coma, wad­dle up to Rita Bucheit at #449 / 312 527 4080 / ri­ta­bucheit.com / for a hoard of musée qualité Em­pire, Bie­der­meier and Vi­enna furny. Fancy a quick spin round the art block? Push up N Wells a cou­ple min­utes, zig left into W Erie, and zag right into N Franklin, past W Huron and fi­nal left into W Su­pe­rior for Cather­ine Edel­man at #300 / 312 266 2350 / edel­man­gallery.com / packed with con­tempo pho­tos. An­drew Bae is in the same build­ing for works by emerg­ing Asian artists, then Rus­sell Bow­man is at #311 (see Art for both). Re­trace along W Su­pe­rior and you’ll hit a gallery tri­fecta: Gruen Gal­leries at #226 / 312 337 6262 / gru­en­gal­leries.com / mixes US and Euro mod­ern-day stars, Zyg­man Voss at #222 (see Art) shows fine art span­ning the C.17th-20th, and Ann Nathan at #212 / 312 664 6622 / annnathangallery.com / has con­tem­po­rary paint­ings and sculp­ture. Back on N Wells, go left and cross for Roy Boyd at #739 (see Art); fan­ci­ful life­style loft El­e­ments at #741 (see Stand­out Stores); and cross back for Karyn’s Cooked at #738 / 312 587 1050 / karyn­raw.com / veg­gie-tas­tic com­fort fare, or Cleise Brazil­ian Day Spa at #732 (see Spa). Fin­ish here, or if you’re a vogue diva, power strut up N Wells and left at W Chicago for stashes of Dries Van Noten and other Euro la­bels at #212 Blake / 312 202 0047. You black belt re­tailista! Take your gi­gan­tic tip­ple at The Ter­race at Trump or The Penin­sula Bar (see Bars). Taxi!

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