Welcome to Riverside
When you live in Riverside, you’re living inside or alongside a National Historic Landmark. Deemed as such in 1970, the Village has been a bucolic and satisfying hometown to those seeking to raise a family, young professionals who appreciate the proximity to Chicago, and seniors hoping to relax in a community-driven setting.
Riverside was designed by none other than famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and much of its architecture is the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and William Le Baron Jenney, among others. It will come as no surprise, then, that Riverside is a handsome place, living up to the dream of the Riverside Improvement Company back in 1869: to develop “a perfect village in a perfect setting.”
What to Love
- A National Historic Landmark with a timeless atmosphere
- A short ten-mile commute to Chicago and a local metro station
- Walkable community with ample parkland
Life in Riverside is tranquil, yes, but always within easy reach of the bright lights and amenities of the big city. Residents settle here to enjoy the tranquility of a rural setting and to savor the small-town charm, kept alive by the original elements of Olmsted’s design plan, from gas-lit street lanterns to ample green spaces. You can walk just about anywhere in town, adding to the community feel.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
While Chicago’s Loop may call some weekends, Riverside diners typically stay in town, thanks to a number of unbeatable restaurants and eateries. Sip sangria and tuck into tapas at Emilio’s Tapas, where your small plates and peerless paellas are served in a fun, casual, yet sophisticated setting. At Empanadus, order a few or a bunch of their irresistible hand pies, with fillings ranging from beef and BBQ pork to broccoli and apple.
Local favorite The Chew-Chew offers two levels of dining amid vintage decor that will keep your eyes roving. Order filet mignon sliders and Yukon gold potato skins, chicken-and-avocado stone-baked flatbread, and a chopped wedge salad, or sacchetti and vodka sauce. There are even “good-for-you” bowls for the more health-conscious diners, from poke tuna bowls to cauliflower concoctions.
Just want a really good sandwich? Peruse the menu at Sawmilly, known for its hand-crafted sammies, soups, salads, sides, sweets, craft beer, and more. With all manner of meat, meatballs, seafood, vegetables, and cheese, you can’t go wrong no matter what style of sandwich you order.
Things to Do
There are a number of fascinating cultural, educational, historic, and natural attractions in and around Riverside. Families love the proximity of the Brookfield Zoo, the state’s largest zoo, and just a mile down the road. From grizzly and polar bears to snow leopards and African lions, kids of all ages (and their families) will find much to gape at.
Birders adore Riverside for its plethora of migratory birds, who come into town spring and fall, thanks to the town’s location on the Mississippi Flyway. The Riverside Des Plaines River Corridor was designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Great Lakes both for these migratory species that visit and the hundreds of local species that live here year-round.
If the village’s historic architecture isn’t enough, there’s always the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio nearby, the master’s home and studio from 1889 to 1909, as well as the Unity Temple, one of his most influential buildings.
Learn more about the village history and planning at Riverside Historical Museum, where exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and archival materials outline the work of landscape architects Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, as well as the local history dating from the Native American period to the present.
Riverside is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
Blythe Park Elementary School, K-5, highly rated public elementary school
AF Ames Elementary School, K-5, highly rated public elementary school
LJ Hauser Junior High School, 6-8, highly rated public middle school
Riverside Brookfield Township High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school