Explore Chicago: The Historic Fulton Market District

Welcome to Fulton Market District, where the past and present collide in the heart of Chicago’s bustling Near West Side. Take a stroll through this historic area, and you’ll see both industrial memories of the 19th and 20th centuries and modern office buildings housing tech companies in the 21st century. Randolph Street and Lake Street are the main arteries running east to west, while Halsted Street is the major north-south corridor.

Take a tour of this unique area, once known as “The Market” – named after American inventor Robert Fulton – to learn why it has become one of Chicago’s most iconic neighborhoods. From its humble beginnings as a meat-packing district, Fulton Market District has gone through a revitalization that now includes corporate headquarters, hotels, bars, restaurants, and retail shops. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant area to explore!

History and Culture of Fulton Market District

Fulton Market District is known as the creative and business hub of the near West Side of Chicago. The area was formerly an industrial district, but has experienced a massive transformation into a dynamic multicultural community. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was bustling with activity from meat-packing, warehouses, and industrial purposes.

Today, Fulton Market District is home to some of the most innovative companies in the tech industry and many corporate headquarters. Between the art galleries, hip hotels, chic bars, vibrant restaurants and bustling retail stores; there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re looking to explore a new restaurant scene or enjoy a day of shopping, you’ll find it all here in this historic district.

The district’s iconic name pays homage to American inventor Robert Fulton who developed the first commercially successful steamboat. You’ll find unique pieces of history around every corner from old-style butcher shops to long-standing local taverns and many other gems tucked away in this dynamic destination.

Corporate Headquarters, Tech Industry, Hotels, Bars & Restaurants

The Fulton Market District is so much more than its industrial roots—it’s now a popular spot for corporate headquarters and tech industry, especially in the areas where Randolph and Halsted Streets meet. Here, you can find modern high-rises mixed in with the historic warehouses that remain from the industrial days.

Along with its modern business presence, the Fulton Market District also has some of the newest, trendiest hotels. These hotels are situated among impressive sky scrapers in this metropolitan area. So if you’re looking for a unique lodging experience, you’ve come to the right place!

When it comes to food, drinks and night life. Fulton Market District is also home to some of the most popular restaurants and bars in all of Chicago. Whether you’re looking for a casual hangout spot or an upscale dining experience, there’s something here for everyone. Plus, it’s close to other attractions like Theaters and Museums – making it ideal for a night out on the town.

Fulton Market District Activities

When you’re visiting the Fulton Market District, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy! Here are some of the activities and events that you might want to check out in this historic part of Chicago.


The Fulton Market District is packed with unique and trendy shops and stores. So you can go wild picking up souvenirs or items for your home. Whether you’re looking for stylish clothing, vintage décor, or that one-of-a-kind art piece. You’ll find something special along the bustling streets. Plus, with plenty of restaurants nearby. It’s easy to take a break from your shopping excursions to grab a bite or a drink!

Art and Culture

Chicago is known for its incredible art scene, and the Fulton Market District is no exception. You’ll find plenty of museums and galleries full of modern and contemporary artwork to explore. Plus, keep an eye open for live performances throughout the area—from musical concerts to theater shows. That offer an authentic look into Chicago’s vibrant cultural life.


No trip to the Fulton Market District would be complete without trying some of its world-renowned dining options—from casual eateries to high-end restaurants. With its close proximity to Chicago’s famous riverfront dining district (River North) as well as several other hip breweries and eateries. There are plenty of culinary delights just waiting to be discovered in this district!

Shopping and Eating in the Fulton Market District

If you’re looking to shop or grab a bite to eat while visiting Chicago’s Fulton Market District, you’re in luck! From boutique-style shopping, to craft beer and fine dining, it’s all there waiting for you.

Shopping Spots

When it comes to shopping in the Fulton Market District, your options are varied. You can find old-school Chicago brands like Kinzie & Green and Pickwick & Frolic, furniture shops like Design Within Reach, and specialty stores like Aesop — not to mention the unique finds from vintage gems like The Lost Larson.

Food & Drink

One thing that makes the Fulton Market District unique is its incredible restaurant scene. You’ll find everything from classic Italian eats at Sorano’s Osteria to tacos from Big Star—and everything in between. Plus don’t forget about the rotating selection of breweries and distilleries! Whether you want high-end cuisine or a quick bite on the go, you won’t be disappointed.

Transportation to and From the Fulton Market District

Since the Fulton Market District is in the heart of downtown Chicago, getting there and around can be surprisingly easy. The district is located about seven miles northwest of the city’s Loop, and it’s easy to access a variety of public transportation options that will take you from one end to the other.

Metra Trains

The Metra station, located just west of Halsted Street on Ogden Avenue, offers regular service between Chicago and suburbs including Libertyville and Wilmette. The district is also within walking distance of Ogilvie Transportation Center. Which provides train service to destinations throughout the city and surrounding suburbs.

CTA Busses and El Train

The area also has several bus lines running through it. As well as the Green Line El Train which runs along Lake Street on the south end of the district. This makes it easy to get around without a car if you’re visiting or working in Fulton Market District.

Zipcar & Bike Share

And if you’re in need of a more flexible option for getting around. There are plenty of zipcars available for immediate rental as well as bike share programs that can help you explore your surroundings. Whether you need a quick ride or want something more leisurely for sightseeing, there’s something for everyone!

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