River North or Fulton River District: Which Will You Choose?

If you love the idea of living in a neighborhood where you can walk to anything you need, then the River North and Fulton River neighborhoods are for you – but for different reasons. I’ve lived on the border of these two neighborhoods for four years now and I spend a ton of time in each, so if you’ve got a minute, let’s check these out together.

River North

I currently live on the River North and Fulton River border, just a few steps away from the Kinzie Avenue bridge, the most photographed bridge in the city and the artery that connects the two neighborhoods. River North is social, with big city hustle and bustle, established restaurants like Frontera Grill, Hub 51 and iconic bars and shops. I think of it like a comfortable pair of loafers that never wear out. The energy is electric and the action never stops. It’s where you want to be and it can back it up…my girlfriends and I can attest to that!

The Perfect Evening in River North

I can’t imagine living in a neighborhood that isn’t both active and walkable. I love people, and one of my favorite nights this past summer was going to dinner at Erie Cafe – right on the river, and then heading to the park across the street for an outdoor screening of the “Bridge of Spies.” Neighbors and strangers all gathered to enjoy a warm summer night together. I grabbed some free popcorn, a cardboard backrest, and plopped down in the grass to watch. I’m sure there was some wine in there somewhere.

If you’re thinking of living in River North, you’re in luck. A ton of new luxury high-rises have gone up in the last five years, offering everything from breathtaking river views to uber-prime locations that put you in the heart of it all. Rent in these apartments can be a bit pricey, but you can’t beat their locations or amenities.

River North also has some of the best value high rises in the city, but if you want similar luxury at a lower price (and don’t mind a two-minute walk over a beautiful Chicago bridge), then we have to talk about the Fulton River District.

Fulton River District

For your money, Fulton River is the best-kept neighborhood secret in the city. It offers all of the benefits and proximity of River North and West Loop, but at a lesser cost. Fulton is subtle, but purposeful, with countless restaurant distributors, hip shops like Kit and Ace (think Lululemon you can wear to work), and stores that sell vintage furniture and apothecary items. I love the area because it is charming and sophisticated, without needing all of the attention that River North gets.

My Favorite Fulton River Amenities

There is so much to do if you live on the border of these two neighborhoods, but one of my favorite Saturday morning activities is to stroll over the Green City Market at Halsted and Fulton. We have a big dog, Harper, and the three of us love to pick out fresh veggies, talk with the local chefs and get fresh flowers. I LOVE cherry tomatoes and there’s a guy that has nine different varieties to taste. Not to mention local cheese-brokers, organic meats, and seasonal fruit.

When it comes to living in the Fulton District, I just can’t say enough positive things. The luxury apartments here are well-appointed and offer a great variety of newer buildings. The area is less crowded, connects easily into the city via the Green, Pink and Blue CTA lines, and has a Jewel grocery store only seconds away. But the best part is the value. By living just a 5-10 minute walk from River North, you get the same quality apartments for less. My River North rent payments are sometimes jealous.

I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life and I love, love, love this city. If you’re thinking of moving downtown to River North or Fulton District, let me be the first to welcome you home. If we can help in anyway, feel free to contact us. Heck, maybe we’ll just go grab a drink at City Winery on the Riverwalk and do some people watching.