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Best Chicago Restaurants with Views of the City

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Rich with important and adventurous architecture, big shouldering against a truly great lake, embracing greenspace and public art like few big cities do, Chicago is home to dazzling views at seemingly every intersection. It is also home to world-class dining. But which restaurants best blend Chicago’s food scene with the scenery?

Here’s our list:

Aba (302 N. Green St.) — This West Loop newcomer is a Lettuce Entertain You enterprise with a Mediterranean bent. Since Day 1, its enormous, greenery-filled rooftop patio has been a bustling and decidedly casual drawing card for its views of the Fulton Market District and the skyscrapers beyond.

Caffè Oliva (500 E. Grand Ave.) — Stick your toes in the sand at this seasonal, resort-style shack resting on Streeterville’s Ohio Street Beach. The views of the lake and skyline are stunning, and the vibe is full-on beach party. You can even rent cabanas while enjoying Mediterranean fare, burgers, beer bucket specials and more.

Cindy’s (12 S. Michigan Ave.) — The rooftop patio of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 13 floors above Millennium Park in the Loop, might have the best views in the city. And the setting is spectacular — vaulted steel, glass ceilings and open-air seating atop an 1893 Venetian Gothic landmark that was for 122 years a private men’s club. The food is elevated American fare, often paired with organic wines and craft cocktails, but the atmosphere is decidedly unstuffy.

Cité (505 N. Lakeshore Drive) — From the 70th floor of Lake Point Tower, the only residential tower on the lake side of Lakeshore Drive, Cité diners get unparalleled, panoramic views of the lake and skyline. The menu leans toward French-inspired takes on American cuisine, and the ambiance is first-tier elegance. Definitely a place for the most important meals (and people) in your life.

Everest (425 S. Financial Place) — A private elevator to the 40th floor of the Exchange Building whisks diners to this Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the Loop’s financial district. Commodities traders don’t even need to leave their office building to sample the amazing views and French cuisine proffered by Everest for more than 30 years.

The J. Parker (1816 N. Clark) — On the 13th floor of the Hotel Lincoln, where Lincoln Park meets Old Town, the J. Parker boasts 140 outdoor and 55 indoor seats. It has a retractable roof to ward off the occasionally fickle Chicago weather. The crowd tends to be young and casual. The food selection emphasizes small plates with creative takes on familiar fare.

North Pond (2610 N. Cannon Drive) — You don’t always have to scale the heights for incredible views. North Pond is on the edge of a pond in Lincoln Park where flora and fauna create a quiet remove from the bustle while the beautiful Chicago skyline remains within your gaze. The restaurant, built in 1912 as a warming center for ice skaters, has been reimagined in the Arts and Crafts image. The food, earning recognition from Michelin and the James Beard Foundation, emphasizes contemporary, seasonal fine dining.

River Roast Social House (315 N. LaSalle St.) — This River North spot has an amazing elevated patio hugging the north side of the Chicago River and affording not only views of this very active waterway, but many soaring structures and the percolating Riverwalk on the opposite bank. James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano’s contemporary American tavern fare — roasted and carved tableside — draws crowds for lunch, brunch and dinner. You can even get there via water taxi.

The Signature Room (875 N. Michigan Ave.) — On the 95th floor of what was formerly known as the John Hancock Center, The Signature Room takes you to the highest level of Chicago dining — literally. The views are jaw-dropping. The vibe is luxe, so you’ll want to dress up for this meal. The food is classic fine dining — oysters on the half shell, shrimp de Jonghe, rack of lamb, surf and turf. A bucket-list Chicago venue.

Terzo Piano (159 E. Monroe St.) — Stunning visuals are to be expected at the Art Institute of Chicago — and Terzo Piano is a sleek accompaniment to the museum’s Modern Wing. This Loop space is on the third floor of the wing designed by architect Renzo Piano, and can be accessed by a pedestrian bridge from neighboring Millennium Park. Open for lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner on Thursday and Sunday brunch, expect sophisticated renditions of Italian favorites.

These restaurants take advantage of Chicago’s world-class scenery. Downtown Apartment Company can help you find a place to live near any of them. Contact us and speak to an agent today!