Near North Side, Chicago Places

Part of our Chicago travel guide; our list of the best things to see in Near North Side, including International Museum of Surgical Science, Fleet Feet Sports and Newberry Library.
  • The best place in Near North Side Chicago: International Museum of Surgical Science

    International Museum of Surgical Science

    1524 N Lake Shore Dr
    Su-We 10AM-5PM; Th-Sa 10AM-9PM. $12-$22. Housed in a historic mansion, the Museum contains four floors of exhibits dedicated to the history of medicine and surgery and is filled with artwork and artifacts ranging from Incan surgical tools circa 2000 B.C.E. to state-of-the-art prosthetic joints. Of special interest to those in the medical field, the collection appeals to anyone interested in history, art, science and architecture. The Museum is currently showing an innovative new version of OUR BODY: The Universe Within--an anatomical exhibition that integrates preserved whole-body and organ specimens with artifacts from the Museum's permanent collection.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Fleet Feet Sports

    Fleet Feet Sports

    210 W North Ave, Piper's Alley
    M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Reinforce tired feet and outdoor gear here. Fun runs on M-W at 6:30PM (Tu women only).
    Lincoln Park
  • Newberry Library

    Newberry Library

    60 W Walton St
    Reading rooms Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-1PM. Free. The oldest public library in Chicago, although not part of the city library system. The collection focuses on the humanities, American and European history, and the age of exploration. Occasional author events are held.
    Near North Side restaurants nearby
  • Loyola University Museum of Art

    Loyola University Museum of Art

    820 N Michigan Ave
    W-Su 11AM-6PM, to 8PM Tu. $6, free Tu. Right next to the Water Tower, LUMA is best known for its exhibits on sacred art and architecture, but it occasionally veers into modern art as well, such as an installation of Andy Warhol's silver balloons.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Driehaus Museum

    Driehaus Museum

    40 E Erie St
    Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Adorning the first floor are decorative arts from the collection of the museum's namesake, Richard H. Driehaus, with plenty of Tiffany stained glass. But it's the restored 1883 mansion itself that garners glowing reviews; inside are 17 different types of marble, hand-painted ceilings, carved exotic wood wainscoting and other marks of superior 19th-century craftsmanship. If you're interested in historic architecture and interior design, this is still a hidden gem without crowds. General admission is $20, but there are good senior and student discounts and occasional free programs that include admission.
    Near North Side eat nearby
  • Old Town Aquarium

    Old Town Aquarium

    1538 N Wells St
    M,W,F 12-7PM, Tu-Th 12-8PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 12-6PM. If you can't make it to Shedd, at least you can go to one of their sources, and without the price of admission. Old Town Aquarium stocks freshwater and saltwater fish from around the world, and they have an extensive portfolio of custom aquarium designs to their credit.
    Lincoln Park
  • Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

    Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

    376 N Michigan Ave
    $4 adults, $3 children 6-12 and seniors, children 5 and under free. Open late spring (mid-May), summer, and fall. A new, small museum spread over the five floors of the southwest tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Visitors can see displays on the history of Chicago's famously abused river, and also check out the machinery used for raising the bridge.
    Loop food nearby
  • EC Gallery

    EC Gallery

    215 N Aberdeen St
    Sat 11AM-4PM or by appointment. Contemporary art. The primary focus at EC Gallery is the introduction and representation of emerging and mid-career artists whose practices traverse painting, drawing, mixed media and photo media.
    Near North Side eat nearby
  • Ann Nathan Gallery

    Ann Nathan Gallery

    212 W Superior
    Tu-F 10AM-5:30PM, Sa 11AM-5PM. Focuses on emerging artists, with an emphasis on contemporary realism, and some African tribal art.
    Near North Side restaurants nearby
  • The Arts Club of Chicago

    The Arts Club of Chicago

    201 E Ontario St
    Easy to miss, as it's located on a side street without much in the way of signage (or advertising), but this gallery has a long history — it opened in 1916, and hosted Pablo Picasso's art show in the U.S. Visitors will find three public art shows each year, usually of exceptional quality. Note the Mies van der Rohe central staircase, which was transplanted from the club's previous Mies-designed location.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Moto

    Moto

    945 W Fulton Market
    Dinner only, Tu-Sa from 5PM. Ten course tasting menu $135, full tour $195. Chefs Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche star on the television show "Future Food", which chronicles their attempts to make things taste like other things you would not normally expect them to taste like, often with an eye toward ending world hunger. Quite a lot of fun, actually. This is their restaurant. Reservations are a good idea; definitely call ahead if you have vegetarian or other dietary requirements.
    Near North Side
  • Moto

    Moto

    945 W Fulton Market
    Dinner only, Tu-Sa from 5PM. Ten course tasting menu $135, full tour $195. Chefs Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche star on the television show "Future Food", which chronicles their attempts to make things taste like other things you would not normally expect them to taste like, often with an eye toward ending world hunger. Quite a lot of fun, actually. This is their restaurant. Reservations are a good idea; definitely call ahead if you have vegetarian or other dietary requirements.
    Near North Side
  • Maya Polsky Gallery

    Maya Polsky Gallery

    215 W Superior St
    Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-5PM. Consistently one of the most intriguing galleries in the area, with playful, well-displayed paintings and sculpture both local and from Russia.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Bistrot Margot

    Bistrot Margot

    1437 N Wells St
    M 11:30AM-9PM, Tu-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 10:30AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-9PM. $18-26. Casual French bistro at reasonable prices, with an enthusiastic chef and charming decor. There's a bar on the second floor.
    Near North Side
  • The Publican

    The Publican

    837 W Fulton Market
    M-Th 3:30-10:30PM, F-Sa to 11:30PM; Su 10AM-2PM, 5-10PM. $20-35. Come hungry and carnivorous, as the Publican delivers mighty plates stacked high with ham, lamb, pork bellies, and other meats. There's also quite a lot of gourmet seafood from around the world. The Sunday brunch will destroy you.
    Near North Side
  • Marina City

    300 N State St
    M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. No tours available, unless you're cheeky enough to fill out a fake rental application (24 hours in advance), but these iconic twin buildings are worth a photo. (You might recognize them from the cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, among many others.) Designed to be "a city within a city," they include a wildly overpriced bowling alley and the House of Blues (see Drink below). If you like Marina City, be sure to visit the South Loop for two more of architect Bertrand Goldberg's corncob structures.
    Loop food nearby
  • Andrew Bae Gallery

    300 W Superior
    Specializes in contemporary Asian art, particularly Korean and Japanese.
    Near North Side eat nearby
  • Catherine Edelman Gallery

    300 W Superior St
    Contemporary photography and mixed-media.
    Near North Side restaurants nearby
  • The Second City

    The Second City

    1616 N Wells St
    8PM (Su 7PM), F-Sa also 11PM. Tickets M $14, Su,Tu-Th $22, F-Sa $27. The list of Second City alumni in show business has become something of a cliche — Alan Alda, John Belushi, Bill Murray, on and on — and it's still going strong today, with recent graduates like Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Tina Fey. The separate revues on the Mainstage and the e.t.c. theaters are consistently smart, timely, and funny. (The third stage, Donny's Skybox, is rented out to local sketch troupes outside the artistic direction of Second City, and is hit-or-miss.) The third act of the night is fully improvised, and if there's space left among the paying customers from the first two acts, admission is free.
    Lincoln Park food nearby
  • Valerie Carberry Gallery

    875 N Michigan Ave, Suite 2510
    Pre and post-war American art, particularly 1930-1949.
    Near North Side eat nearby
  • Stephen Daiter Gallery

    311 W Superior St
    Artistic and documentary photography from America and Europe.
    Near North Side restaurants nearby
  • Melanee Cooper Gallery

    740 N Franklin St
    Fascinating contemporary art, mostly abstract and representational.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Ken Saunders Gallery

    230 W Superior St
    Contemporary glass sculptures.
    Near North Side eat nearby
  • Zanies Comedy Nite Club

    1548 N Wells St
    Su-Th 8:30PM, F 8:30PM & 10:30PM, Sa 7PM, 9PM, & 11:15PM. $25 cover & 2-item order minimum, cover may vary. This is Chicago's flagship stand-up comedy club and hosts all the big international stand-up touring acts. Each show hosts two openers, a great chance to see some future stars as some of the Second City folk develop their voice. It is a must see place for Chicago Comedy.
    Near North Side restaurants nearby
  • Richard Gray Gallery

    875 N Michigan Ave, Suite 2503
    Big and very big names from modern and contemporary American and European art, including Millennium Park sculptor Jaume Plensa.
    Near North Side food nearby
  • Illinois-Indiana State Line Boundary Marker

    Avenue G
    (located on the Illinois-Indiana State Boundary Line). An Obelisk marking the State Line between Illinois and Indiana near Lake Michigan just south of Calumet Park and beach along a small road leading to the front gate of the State Line Generating Station. [1]
    Loop eat nearby
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Chicago uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.