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Chicago Cityscapes And City Views
It’s cooler by the lake.
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Where to Eat Along Chicago’s Lakefront

Find delicious treats with beautiful views of Lake Michigan

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It’s cooler by the lake.
| Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Summer in Chicago brings a much-needed wave of festivals, warm weather, and an atmosphere that makes this season a truly special one. Capitalize on warm, clear days with a meal or drink accompanied by an aquatic backdrop of Lake Michigan, where scenic lakefront views combine with food and drink to create a memorable summer experience. This map highlights some of the top options along the water. For riverfront dining selections, head here.

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Waterfront Café

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Waterfront Cafe is a hidden urban oasis located in Edgewater’s Berger Park. This spot is worth a visit for the atmosphere and live music from local performers on the lakefront stage.

The Dock at Montrose Beach

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Downtown doesn't get to have all the fun. The Dock at Montrose features American fare with a few tacos thrown in for good measure.

Clock Tower Café

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Snag a spot at this historic site that features two dog-friendly patios and lovely views of the lake and Downtown Chicago. A casual menu of beach eats includes hot dogs, burgers, beers, and more.

The Lakefront

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The Lakefront, an upscale tavern at Theater on the Lake, opened in 2017 and offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus full of crowd-pleasers like wings, tacos, and chicken fried chicken. The restaurant’s Skyline Patio, open seasonally, seats 80.

Shore Club

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This three-in-one lakefront hotspot reopens its large patio for the season on May 20, serving seafood dishes such as salmon ceviche, crispy lobster tacos, and tuna poke, as well as plenty of boozy frozen cocktails and draft beers.

Caffe Oliva

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Off the bike path at Ohio Street Beach, Caffe Oliva serves Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. It’s run by the same folks as the Dock on Montrose.

Navy Pier

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Navy Pier welcomes tourists with a food court including McDonald’s and Starbucks. Forget the national chains and opt for the Chicago chain restaurants of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, which offer Big City Chicken, Big Bowl, and Frankie’s By the Slice. There’s also Rainbow Cone, Frio, America’s Dog, a Billy Goat Tavern, and the Beat Kitchen (the Lakeview music venue actually has pretty amazing food). Don’t forget Giordano’s, I Dream of Falafel, and Snow Dragon Shavery.

Offshore

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This 36,000 square-foot bar and lounge on the third floor of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall has the nation’s largest rooftop deck, as certified by Guinness World Records. The space includes retractable glass walls to shield customers from the elements, seven fire pits, and seating for groups to drink and socialize.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Navy Pier is also home to Lirica, the all-day sister spot to Offshore inside the 223-room Sable Hotel. The Spanish- and Iberian-inspired restaurant offers dishes like paella, beef empanadas, and a short rib burger with smoked cheddar. It’s a great location for views of Lake Michigan.

Chef Art Smith’s Reunion

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The latest addition to Navy Pier brings comfort fare from Art Smith, who served as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade. Start with deviled eggs with crispy ham before digging into a plate of fried chicken with whipped mashed potatoes and housemade hot sauce. There’s plenty of space outside with booths and umbrella-topped tables.

Pier 31

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This spot off 31st Street Beach offers music and a family-friendly menu with hot dogs and other sandwiches. Drink, dance, and dine just steps from the sand.

Reggies on the Beach

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The beachside arm of South Loop rock club Reggie’s is open at the century-old 63rd Street Beach House with frozen cocktails, bar food, and a laid-back atmosphere.

Waterfront Café

Waterfront Cafe is a hidden urban oasis located in Edgewater’s Berger Park. This spot is worth a visit for the atmosphere and live music from local performers on the lakefront stage.

The Dock at Montrose Beach

Downtown doesn't get to have all the fun. The Dock at Montrose features American fare with a few tacos thrown in for good measure.

Clock Tower Café

Snag a spot at this historic site that features two dog-friendly patios and lovely views of the lake and Downtown Chicago. A casual menu of beach eats includes hot dogs, burgers, beers, and more.

The Lakefront

The Lakefront, an upscale tavern at Theater on the Lake, opened in 2017 and offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus full of crowd-pleasers like wings, tacos, and chicken fried chicken. The restaurant’s Skyline Patio, open seasonally, seats 80.

Shore Club

This three-in-one lakefront hotspot reopens its large patio for the season on May 20, serving seafood dishes such as salmon ceviche, crispy lobster tacos, and tuna poke, as well as plenty of boozy frozen cocktails and draft beers.

Caffe Oliva

Off the bike path at Ohio Street Beach, Caffe Oliva serves Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. It’s run by the same folks as the Dock on Montrose.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier welcomes tourists with a food court including McDonald’s and Starbucks. Forget the national chains and opt for the Chicago chain restaurants of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, which offer Big City Chicken, Big Bowl, and Frankie’s By the Slice. There’s also Rainbow Cone, Frio, America’s Dog, a Billy Goat Tavern, and the Beat Kitchen (the Lakeview music venue actually has pretty amazing food). Don’t forget Giordano’s, I Dream of Falafel, and Snow Dragon Shavery.

Offshore

This 36,000 square-foot bar and lounge on the third floor of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall has the nation’s largest rooftop deck, as certified by Guinness World Records. The space includes retractable glass walls to shield customers from the elements, seven fire pits, and seating for groups to drink and socialize.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lirica

Navy Pier is also home to Lirica, the all-day sister spot to Offshore inside the 223-room Sable Hotel. The Spanish- and Iberian-inspired restaurant offers dishes like paella, beef empanadas, and a short rib burger with smoked cheddar. It’s a great location for views of Lake Michigan.

Chef Art Smith’s Reunion

The latest addition to Navy Pier brings comfort fare from Art Smith, who served as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade. Start with deviled eggs with crispy ham before digging into a plate of fried chicken with whipped mashed potatoes and housemade hot sauce. There’s plenty of space outside with booths and umbrella-topped tables.

Pier 31

This spot off 31st Street Beach offers music and a family-friendly menu with hot dogs and other sandwiches. Drink, dance, and dine just steps from the sand.

Reggies on the Beach

The beachside arm of South Loop rock club Reggie’s is open at the century-old 63rd Street Beach House with frozen cocktails, bar food, and a laid-back atmosphere.

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