If you’re like me, and summer’s got you all…
…then you’re positively PUMPED that the Chicago Riverwalk is poppin’. New restaurants, pop-up bars, and awesome river activities have taken over the beautiful Loop area, and well, you’re a fool if you pass it up this summer. There is something for everyone, at any price point, at any part of the river; and hey, if you’re not wanting to sit down at one of the new establishments, taking in the gorgeous views of Chicago while strolling along is just as great! Check out some of the can’t-miss offerings:
One of the newest bars along the river, Tiny Hatt is adorably set up with a walk-up bar, patio tables, and creative cocktails to boot. The Tito’s Cooler is refreshing and delicious, and a wide array of mostly local beers are on tap. Sit along the steps leading down to the Chicago River and a server will still come to take your order!
A riverwalk staple, City Winery offers delicious sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts with beautiful outdoor seating reminiscent of an old-timey Italian village. The Spanish Panini and the “Famiglia Andreotti” Burrata are two of my favorite dishes, along with a scoop of salted caramel gelato. Not hungry for a sit down meal? Stop by for a glass of vino with a view!
Bridge House Tavern, located in the heart of the riverwalk, is the perfect spot for a casual yet tasty dinner-and-drinks evening. Amazing daily specials (half off bottles of wine anyone?) and incredible sharable dishes make up the diverse menu and the impeccable service completes a fun evening out. I recommend the Tavern Fries and the Spicy Chicken Avocado Rolls!
Want to do something active on a sunny afternoon? Check out Urban Kayaks! Rentals for kayaks are issued on an hourly basis for experienced kayakers and safety videos and advice is offered upon rental. Not an experienced kayaker? Take advantage of an Intro Paddle class that is offered every hour for beginners!
Looking for more of a sit-down restaurant along the river? Look no further than The Kitchen, which offers locally-sourced ingredients and fantastic menu items along a rustic yet sophisticated backdrop. The Half Chicken is to die for, perfectly cooked with grilled Swiss chard and Yukon potatoes. Take a look at their uber-diverse beer and whiskey list as well–from goldens to imperials, and bourbons to scotches, The Kitchen truly has something for everyone.
River Roast offers British-inspired cuisine along the river with a romantic ambience, occasional live music, and of course, a can’t-be-beat patio with a view. Take advantage of a warm summer night with some pork meatballs, a charcuterie board, and the country fried rabbit. Bonus–the fantastic staff is more than well-equipped to help you navigate this creative and tasty menu to suit your tastebuds!
Looking for an island paradise in the heart of Chicago? Head to Island Party Hut, a new, adorable tiki bar on the east side of the riverwalk for some grilled eats, exciting cocktails, and live music! Want to get out onto the water? Island Party Hut offers boat rentals too!