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2024 NRA Show Talk, Episode 1: River North  

The National Restaurant Association Show is just weeks away. To help you prepare for the event of the season, the Show Talk Team took to curating a new, improved selection of the best places to dine, wine and entertain in River North. Because building the right relationship and the best connections is what this holiday weekend is all about.  

In the list that follows, click on the names to get a lengthier look, or head straight to reading reviews and making reservations.  

Restaurants & Bars

Torchio Pasta Bar  
738 N. Wells St.  
Chicago, IL 60654 

Everyone loves Italian food. That’s a bit of the M.O. behind Torchio, known for its traditional fare, like saffron arancini and roasted mushroom risotto. It’s also known for its inviting environment with antique brass features, a tin ceiling and a copper bar top.  

Make a reservation 

74 W. Illinois St.  
Chicago, IL 60654 

Ema proves that shareables are always in. Serving a California take on Mediterranean small plates, the menu here shows off the lighter side of Mediterranean food, like hummus, feta and olives, falafel and grilled octopus. All situated in an airy atmosphere.  

Make a reservation 

59 W. Hubbard St. #2  
Chicago, IL 60654 

This neighborhood noodle joint is bold and energetic, bursting with liveliness and playing some of the best 90’s hip hop. While the menu follows traditional Japanese cuisine, its yuzu sake bombs, crispy dumplings and spicy kimchi ramen bring the twists of excitement.  

Make a reservation 


111 W. Hubbard St.  
Chicago, IL 60654 

On the first floor, The Whiskey Bar is a classic neighborhood establishment for casual happy hours. On the second floor, Deco Supper Club offers a leisurely and sporty craft cocktail menu. On the third floor, Disco serves as an intimate dance club glimmering in blue light. Then on the fourth floor, Garden offers a cozy greenery to lose yourself in.  

Make a reservation 

The Berkshire Room  
15 E. Ohio St.  
Chicago, IL 60611 

Specializing in craft- and barrel-finished cocktails in an upscale lounge, The Berkshire Room is retro classy and menus bar snacks and small dishes to pair. Order the “Dealer’s Choice”—a concoction made by you and your bartender, together—featuring a spirit, a flavor addition and a choice of glassware.    

Make a reservation 

Three Dots and a Dash  
435 N. Clark St.  
Chicago, IL 60654 

Take a trip into a tropical speakeasy. Three Dots and Dash is the premier tiki bar, utilizing the freshest exotic fruits and spices, the finest rums and distilled spirits, plus juices, elixirs and other delectable ingredients.   

Make a reservation 

Events & Entertainment  

Headquarters Beercade 
213 W. Institute Pl.  
Chicago, IL 60610 

A modern take on vintage arcades, HQ promises an entertaining night full of carefree fun. With more than 65 classic games (yes, that includes pinball), there’s something for everyone—and bar equipped with 28 rotating drafts and 40 canned craft beers.  

Make a reservation 

Chicago River Architecture Tour   

The best way to see the city of Chicago is from the river. Learn about the 130-year long history of the skyline abroad the coziest of cruises from Wendella—equipped with accompanying bar and bartenders.  

Purchase tickets  

House Of Blues  
329 N. Dearborn St. 
Chicago, IL 60654 

Classic city venue and brunch spot, the House of Blues celebrates and recognizes all the diverse, modern music genres that make America the melting pot it is. You can find us here on Saturday night for Billy Idol.  

Make a reservation 

Looking for other local neighborhood recos? We’ve got you covered

Courtesy of Esrock Partners, a food marketing agency located near Chicago, Illinois that specializes in the food, beverage and foodservice industries and their current market trends. For a close-up of our capabilities, see our services

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