Dining Guide: Waterfront Restaurants in Chicago

Author: Lauren Ross

Dining Table At Sunset

Chicago is home to many exceptional restaurants, with some being right on the water.  From the beach bars on Lake Michigan to patio seating overlooking the pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago has plenty of fun waterfront dining restaurants with exquisite fare and an atmosphere to match.

While you’re out and about enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze, go ahead and check out these 5 waterfront restaurants – in walking distance of your Chicago apartment.

Caffe Oliva

This delightful beachfront restaurant has excellent skyline views and plentiful summer cocktails. Located on Ohio Street Beach, Caffe Oliva is right on the sand and has all the perks of a vacation – without the grueling expenses! Their menu items include Mediterranean fare and specialty burgers. On Sundays, take your crew to the lobster broil on their open patio.

The Waterfront Café

Enjoy an evening of casual lakefront dining at The Waterfront Café in Berger Park. This beachfront eatery is serving up fresh salads, wraps, and fish & chips – and has live musical entertainment for most of the week. Sit and sip on their beautiful patio, while the waves crash ashore. Fido can come along too since The Waterfront Café is dog-friendly!

Parrot Cage Restaurant

The Parrot Cage Restaurant is hidden in the Chicago South Shore Cultural Center, overlooking pristine Lake Michigan beachfronts and the South Shore Golf Course. This elegant, white-tablecloth restaurant specializes in modern American cuisine, prepared and operated by students of the Washburne Culinary Institute. Their award-winning brunch is something of a treat, and is available on Sundays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Castaways Bar & Grill

If you like beachside bar food and cold brews, then you’ll love Castaways Bar & Grill on North Avenue Beach! Hang out by the water in a full service cabana or pick up a cone at the terrace-level ice cream café. The rooftop patio is a perfect place to drink a cocktail and view the lake. As for food, Castaways Bar & Grill has an assortment of summer-inspired salads, gourmet burgers, light appetizers, and tasty handmade sandwiches.

North Pond

What once was a warming shelter for ice skaters is now North Pond, a farm-to-table contemporary cuisine restaurant inside Lincoln Park.  Patrons can enjoy their meal with stunning park and pond views – plus the Chicago skyline! Menu items include crisp salads, cheese and fruit platters, New York strip, and Sunday brunch prepared by James Beard Award Winner Bruce Sherman.