Best Chicago Restaurants On The River
Food is enrichened by Chicagos proximity to water. Restaurants along the river, like Smith & Wollensky, carry rich dishes and unique dining experiences.
If youre planning to visit the Windy City, consider this your indispensable foodie-find guide.
Our list of the twelve best Chicago restaurants on the river takes you from lobster to linguine and from cauliflower tacos to chicken kabobs:
Summer House Santa Monica
New American, Italian | $$$ | Website | | 634-4100
Crispy chicken sandwich with snappy pickles and the Tropical Dreams cocktail
Light, airy, and wellsummer-y, is how Id describe the atmosphere at Summer House Santa Monica, which is located on N Halsted St in Lincoln Park. Considering the large atrium and ambiance of the summer-inspired dining room, this makes sense. On the wall, they even have a countdown to summer.
Most of the food is New American cuisine, with some Italian, Asian, and Mexican influences blended in. Each time Ive dined here, the food and drinks have never disappointed me. Everything on the menu is tasty, but I always get the crispy chicken sandwich. The truffle fries are also delicious!
Pro Tip: If you can, dine here in the summertime when the atrium is open. Its great!
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Bloom Plant Based Kitchen
If youre seeking vegan dishes for the holiday, Bloom Plant Based Kitchens Thanksgiving carryout menu includes sweet corn arepas, jackfruit sofrito, a fall salad, mustard greens, pumpkin tamal and a sweet potato maple pie for dessert. Most dishes available will also be gluten-free. Orders can be placed through Nov. 22 for Nov. 23 pickup between 5-8 p.m. $70 per person. 1559 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-363-3110, bloompb.com
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South Branch Tavern & Grille
Dine inside or outside in the shade of the Willis Tower at this fancy but-not-too-fancy riverside restaurant. South Branch’s large menu has something for everyone with a variety of sandwiches and small plates as well as steak and fish entrees. Simple but refined cocktails join a solid beer list for the grown-ups.
Island Party Hut Tiki Bar & Grill
Come party at Island Party Hut Tiki Bar and Grill, tucked away on the east side of the Riverwalk. The tropical-themed bar and grill has multiple bars serving up frozen cocktails and island-inspired drinks that will transport you to the tropics. The menu includes plenty of favorites right off the grill, like slow smoked pulled pork, a Big Kahuna Burger, and brats. Theyre also fully stocked with group games, like ping pong, corn hole, jumbo Jenga, giant connect four, and more.
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Island Party Hut Tiki Bar And Grill
Come visit us at our new Oasis Bar for live music while you sip on a Mai Tai!! Island Party Hut is a one of a kind tropical island oasis that creates the feeling of relaxing in the islands while in the middle of an urban park. Live island music is enjoyed while our chef prepares delicious grilled meals and our bartenders mix Riverwalk Ramblers and Margaritas. You can also book a charter aboard Island Party Boats and enjoy the City from the water. Our entire Tiki Boat fleet has upper decks and water slides for swimming in the Lake. You can also visit us by water and tie up your boat at our transient dock.
355 East Riverwalk South |
Top Chicago Restaurants On The Riverwalk
The Riverwalk is an award-winning walkway that stretches along the Chicago River. Along the way, you will find cool cafes, wineries, art, monuments, museums, and water activities.
If you start at Wacker Drive and walk to Lake Michigan, the length is about 1.5 miles. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and cafes along the way. You can sit along the corridor in numerous locations.
The Chicago River is one of my favorite places, so I highly recommend visiting this area. It’s a lovely space for spending a day and there are some terrific riverwalk restaurants to enjoy everything from brunch to dessert.
Lawrences Fish And Shrimp
Dock and dine at Lawrences Fish and Shrimp, a 51-year-old establishment on historic Canal Street! If youre in town without your boat, its no problem. You can rent a pontoon boat straight from the restaurants website. The fried perch and fried shrimp have been on the menu since day one, as have fried frogs legs and fried chicken.
Best Restaurants On The River: Chicago River Dining For Families
Chicago is known as The Third Coast because of its gorgeous Lake Michigan skyline, but another body of water brings beauty to the city as well. The Chicago River and the Riverwalk that has developed along its banks has become a destination for tourists and locals alike, especially in the warm summer months when visitors can dine outside. Operable drawbridges and CTA trains that cross the river add extra interest to the area for kids.
Some of the best restaurants on the river in Chicago operate only from April or May through October, while others are year-round fixtures. They become destinations during major events like the dyeing of the Chicago River and the Chicago Marathon, but they’re truly relaxing at any time of year. Try to make a reservation at one of these top-notch riverfront restaurants in Chicago for the best results!
For more tips on dining out with kids in Chicago, check out our Kid-Friendly Chicago Restaurants Guide.
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Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Southern | $$ | Website | | 478-4000
Head to Chicagos north side for a casual, filling brunch of southern comfort food. Honey Butter Fried Chicken serves up one of Chicagos best chicken sandwiches with different versions like the OG fried chicken sandwich, honey buffalo sandwich, and the honey butter fried chicken sandwich.
Their sides like pimento mac n cheese, corn muffins, and grits are also popular!
Related Reading: Honey Butter Fried Chicken is located a little ways outside the city in Avondale. If you plan on driving, check out our guide for driving in Chicago for visitors.
Chicago Riverwalk Restaurants: A Complete Guide To Dining On The Chicago River
One of the best things about summer is dining at one of the Chicago Riverwalk restaurants.
Located on the south side of the Chicago River, the Chicago Riverwalk is one of the citys must-visit summer activities. Its a vibrant destination thats popular with Loop lunchtime crowds as well as tourists. A stroll down this 1.25-mile long path is like a mini-vacation.
In addition to renting boats and cycles, there are also several places to eat. Restaurants line this walkway that begins at Lake Street and runs all the way to Lake Shore Drive.
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Bar Mar By Jose Andres
120 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606 | Website
Bar Mar by Jose Andres is the place to go for fresh oysters, lobster rolls and other seafood classics. In fact, the menu is mostly fish and seafood, topped off by a nice selection of wines. The dining room features floor-to-ceiling windows for enjoying the views.
Chicago Riverwalk Private Party Venues
320 Riverbar. 320 Riverbar. Your party can soak up the beautiful Chicago River view as they enjoy cocktails and bites at 320 RiverBar at The Westin Chicago River North. Rent the entire outdoor â¦
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Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab River North
Joe’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey breast and leg confit, stuffing, cirtus cranberry relish, butternut squash with toasted marshmallow, a pumpkin pie dessert and more. $69.95 per adult, $34.95 for children. For those who aren’t big into turkey, Joe’s, at 60 E. Grand Ave., will also offer its regular menu. Reservations available here.
For The Perfect Dinner With A View
We may be miles away from the ocean but that doesnt mean we cant enjoy some top-notch waterfront views. From bohemian hideouts by the river to beachy hangouts by the lake, these 10 stunning waterfront spots are all open for outdoor dining and offer the perfect spot for drinks or dinner. Scroll down to our map below to check out the ones close to you!
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Restauranter I Nrheden Af The Chicago Hotel Collection River
Nr. 177 af 5.825 restauranter i Chicago. 614 anmeldelser. 548 N Wells St Wells Street And Ohio Street. 0,6 km fra The Chicago Hotel Collection River North. â Fy for pokker! â â¦
Gene & Georgetti River North
The famous Chicago steakhouse at 500 N. Franklin St. will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a special menu that features both Thanksgiving favorites like pumpkin soup, along with restaurant classics like Garbage Salad and Chicken alla Joe. $95 per person. Reservations available on OpenTable.
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The Kitchen American Bistro
The Kitchen will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with a meal that includes salad, squash bisque, a roasted whole turkey, rolls, butternut squash, seared Brussels sprouts, braised greens and pumpkin pie or an apple galette for dessert. $99.50 adults, $45.50 children 12 and under. A $25 per person deposit is required. 316 N. Clark St., 312-836-1300, thekitchenbistros.com
Smyth And The Loyalist
New American | $$$$ | Website | | 913-3773
Smyth and The Loyalist is a dual-concept restaurant located in the West Loop. The first floor, Smyth, is a tasting menu restaurant with an open kitchen and dining room concept. Just below Smyth is the restaurants bar and lounge, The Loyalist, which has a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
The burger is a fan favorite at The Loyalist, but both floors shine a light on seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. This is a great restaurant to book for special occasions.
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What Food Is Chicago Famous For
Chicago is famous for its deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. However, Chicago is also known as a foodie destination, so there are a diverse range of cuisines to pick from, making it an all-around global food scene.
Thats it for our list of best restaurants! When it comes to food, Chicago does not disappoint. No matter your taste buds, youre sure to find something delicious.
Before you go, be sure to check out my guide to the best stuff to do in Chicago.
I hope Ive helped you find one of the best Chicago restaurants for you!
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Pretend Like You’re Vacationing On The Coast
Nothing beats summer in Chicago. The al fresco dining is arguably what leads to the locals winter amnesia. But thanks to the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, the city gives guests the opportunity to transport themselves to another world. Along the shimmering water, under a shaded corner, winter feel like a distant memory. Take advantage of the citys unique topography at one of the 15 best places to enjoy the water. Make a reservation whenever possible and plan around the fireworks.
Streeterville$$Somehow the chaos of a noisy downtown evaporates when you make your way to the dining area for Roberts Pizza & Dough Co. Besides having one of the best pizzas in the city its subtle ambiance will leave you wanting more. The restaurant is located on a beautiful, tree-lined terrace and bordered by the Chicago River where boaters can pull up to to pick-up their food. The restaurant boosts plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Its patio is dog-friendly and if you dine in on Wednesday or Saturday evening in the summer, youll catch the dazzling display of fireworks from Navy Pier.
Loop$$$Located in the heart of Chicagos downtown business district, Bar Mar is the upscale dining the area needs. Come with work colleagues, girlfriends or make it a trip to see and be seen. Its high, airy ceilings bring complimentary light and energy to a modern menu focused on surf and turf. Expect classics like fried calamari, lobster rolls and ceviche at Chef José Andrés’ newest restaurant in Chicago.
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Restaurants Near Embassy Suites By Hilton Chicago Downtown
Restaurants near Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown River North Osteria Via Stato Subway L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates Alliance Patisserie Cold Stone Creamery â¦
Porter Kitchen & Deck
150 N Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606 | Website
Porter Kitchen & Deck serves up lunch, dinner, and drinks from its location right on the Chicago River. Expect to find American cuisine on the menu, including seafood, sandwiches, salads and more. Youll also find a drink menu including wine, cocktails, and craft beer. The restaurant is typically open every day of the week but Sunday.
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City Winery Chicago Riverwalk
LoopThis festive downtown outpost is positioned directly along Chicago’s riverwalk and comes outfitted with plentiful umbrella-shaded seating for comfortable outdoor dining and imbibing. Score wine through the concept’s unique tap system, and dine on a curated lineup of gourmet sandwiches and salads and a rotating selection of sorbets and gelatos to help you stay cool.
Le Sud Mediterranean Kitchen
Get your Thanksgiving meal to-go at this Mediterranean restaurant Nov. 23. The Roscoe Village restaurants menu includes herb and lemon brined turkey with caperberry gravy, butternut squash, bacon and Idiazabal cheese gratin, duck confit chestnut stuffing and brioche dinner rolls. For dessert is a pumpkin tiramisu. A select list of half-priced bottles of wine will also be available Nov. 24. Orders must be in by Nov. 20 for Nov. 23 pickup. $99 for up to three people, $199 for up to five. 2301 W. Roscoe St., 773-857-1985, lesudchicago.com
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Shore Club At North Avenue Beach
1603 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL, 60610Phone: 312-635-8058
A quintessential summertime experience, Shore Club is a multi-themed beachside restaurant, bar and beach club on the sands of North Avenue Beach.
Whether you want a refined restaurant, a casual picnic lunch at a beach bed, or a tropical cocktail on their deck, Shore Club has something for everyone.
I loved their light and summery dishes, especially the colorful Shore Club Nicoise, with sesame-crusted tuna and lemon dill vinaigrette. Theyre an excellent choice for a private dinner with friends.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Steakhouse | $$$$ | Website | | 266-8999
This is the original Gibsons location!
When it comes to all things steak and meat, Gibsons is the classic place to go in Chicago. Arrive hungry and ready to eat.
The meat-heavy menu includes steak done a variety of ways , as well as other local favorites like pork chops, roast chicken, ribs, and burgers. Drinks are also great. If for whatever reason you still have room for dessert at the end of your meal, snag a piece of cake, too.
As far as ambiance goes, the indoor dining room looks like a timeless steakhouse. Think warm tones with lots of wood. They even have a wall dedicated to autographed photos.
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City Winery Chicago At The Riverwalk
City Winery’s Riverwalk location brings urban wine country to the heart of Downtown Chicago, providing guests with stunning views and locally-made wine paired with delicious food. Beyond wine, City Winery at Riverwalk offers a full bar and a selection of local beers. With table seating and a large standing wine bar, guests can drop by for a drink or sit for a full lunch or dinner experience. DJs and live music set the mood in this beautiful al-fresco setting. City Winery also hosts unique wine, cocktail and culinary events along with the option for guests to host private events on the Riverwalk.
11 Chicago Riverwalk | www.citywinery.com/chicago
Mannys Cafeteria & Delicatessen
Jewish Deli | $$ | Website | | 939-2855
Sandwiches at Mannys are stacked high
Since 1942, Mannys Cafeteria & Delicatessen has been serving up Jewish deli classics. The place is no-frills and has a large dining room set up cafeteria-style. As soon as you walk in the door, youll be hit with old-school vibes.
The corned beef sandwich is the most popular item on the menu, stacked high with meat. But they also offer an array of other hot dishes such as matzo ball soup and more. To top off your Mannys experience, head to the gift shop area in the back where you can get baked goods, coffee, candy, and more.
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Artango Bar & Steakhouse Lincoln Square
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The Argentinian Steakhouse on Chicago’s North Side at 4767 No. Lincoln Ave. offers live jazz and a 3-course prix-fixe three-course menu for $75 per person. The dining room opens at 2 p.m. Reservations available on OpenTable.
Beat Kitchen On The Riverwalk
Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk is an outpost of a popular music venue and restaurant in Roscoe Village. Located under the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk serves carefully crafted food with fresh ingredients, including inventive tacos, thin-crust pizza, mac and cheese, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. The space also features the only full-service bar along the Riverwalk.
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