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Chicago Lakefront Dining

The summer weather is still in full force, leaving Chicagoans and visitors alike another reason to dine alfresco.  Why not indulge in the view of Chicago’s incredible Lake Michigan at the same time, while the getting is still good?  You may think you’ve hit all the great spots, but have you tried these?

South SideSouth Shore Cultural Center Chicago

The Parrot Cage Restaurant at the South Shore Cultural Center is a must-try for Sunday brunch.  Well-known to many as the old private South Shore Country Club where President Obama and the First Lady were wed, the architecturally acclaimed South Shore Cultural Center is a Chicago Landmark and is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places.  Now owned by the Chicago Park District, it shares its scenery equally with the waters of Lake Michigan and the foliage of the 9-hole golf course located on the grounds near 71st and Lake Shore Drive.  This New American and International fare restaurant is operated by the nationally commended cooking school, the Washburne Culinary Institute.  Be sure to come hungry for waterfront dinner or brunch, with your preference of inside or out.   

Waterfront Cafe Chicago

North Side

Go casual with sand between your toes and a glass of sangria in your hand on the patio of The Waterfront Cafe.  Located at the lake’s edge in East Edgewater, where the waves lap against the rocks, this tiki torch-lit restaurant offers fresh pub food, cold drinks, and the best interactive view of Lake Michigan in Chicago.  Whether it’s the live music offered on weekend evenings, the easy street parking, or the fact that you can skip rocks on the lake from your table, you’ve got a plethora of reasons to keep coming back.

Downtown

If you can’t be outside while eating, why not dine in elegance from one of the best views in the city at Cite on the 70th floor of Lake Point Tower.  Open 5-10pm daily, this New American fine dining restaurant offers a romantic atmosphere, a stellar Skybar, and most spectacularly, a panoramic view of the city to feast upon.

Get the best of both worlds at Riva on Navy Pier, where you can formally dine at Riva Crabhouse on the waterfront in a chic 2nd-floor indoor setting, while overlooking the serene Lake Michigan through the floor-to-ceiling windows.  Or, if you want to get in on more of the action, relax all day at the street-level Riva Cafe, where you can see the boats launching and docking from the pier, all while chomping on seafood, sandwiches, and salads from inside or on the outdoor patio.

The Chicago dining options are limitless, but when it comes to lakefront dining, I’ve got you covered!

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