Explore Avli River North, Downtown's New Bright and Breezy Modern Greek Restaurant

Explore Avli River North, Downtown's New Bright and Breezy Modern Greek Restaurant

Avli’s grilled octopus. | Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Avli River North is downtown’s first new upscale Greek restaurant in years.

Greek-American chef Louie Alexakis’s highly anticipated third restaurant is his first in downtown Chicago. Avli River North, open for a week, brings the chef’s modern Greek food closer to the heart of the city at 702 N. Wells Street. Alexakis also has restaurants in Lincoln Park and suburban Winnetka.

Entering the competitive River North market means Alexakis and partners Fox Chicago sports anchor Lou Cannelis and investor William Glastris Jr. went high end for their newest restaurant. The space is bright and breezy, in an effort to remind customers of a Greek vacation. Thomas Montgomery, the architect behind the bombastic Paradise Park in Wicker Park and shuttered bakery bar Bibliophile in Hyde Park, opts for a more nuanced design with Avli. The space has two levels, with 30 seats on the first floor. When Chicago thaws from the winter, staff will open a 56-seat patio.

The restaurant serves a seven-course tasting menu, a family-style dinner, and an la carte menu. Chicago bartender Peter Vestinos, who created the drinks for Avli Taverna in Lincoln Park, also designed cocktails for the River North restaurant. The wine list is full of Greek options with plenty of natural selections.

Tour the space below. Avli River North is now open.

Plenty of space on the second floor.

Kakavia (seafood stew)

Village Cooler (Roots Mastiha, Prairie Gin, cucumber mint, carbonated water and cardamom bitters)