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Top 13 Places to Get a Drink by the Water in Chicago

Chicago is famous for its architecture, museums, and food scene, but also stands out for its waterfront bars with stunning views of Lake Michigan.

glasses of liquor at waterfront bars in Chicago

These bars offer a lively atmosphere and good drinks.

As a bar enthusiast, I’ve scoured the city to bring you my top picks for the best waterfront bars in Chicago.

Check out my list below and get ready to sip, savor, and soak up the scenery!


Smith & Wollensky

318 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 670-9900
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With its prime location along the Chicago River, Smith & Wollensky offers outstanding views of the city’s iconic architecture, making it a perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic date night.

The bar boasts a classic steakhouse ambiance, with dark wood furnishings, cozy leather seating, and dim lighting.


North Pond

2610 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (773) 477-5845
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Nestled in the heart of Lincoln Park, North Pond is a waterfront bar that offers a serene and natural escape from the bustling city.

I have found North Pond to be a charming and unique spot for unwinding with a drink while immersing myself in the beauty of the surrounding park and pond.

It’s perfect for a tranquil waterfront experience amid the city’s hustle and bustle.


Chicago Cut Steakhouse

300 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 329-1800
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Chicago Cut Steakhouse is a waterfront bar with a sophisticated and upscale atmosphere.

The bar offers panoramic views of the Chicago River and the city’s iconic skyline.

The interior boasts a modern, sleek design with floor-to-ceiling windows providing abundant natural light and stunning views.


River Roast

315 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 822-0100
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With its prime location along the Chicago River, River Roast provides stunning waterfront views, both indoors and on its outdoor patio.

The bar is known for its friendly and welcoming vibe, with live music performances adding to the energetic ambiance.

The drink menu features a variety of craft cocktails, local beers, and an extensive wine list.


Miller Lite Beer Garden Grove

700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
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Miller Lite Beer Garden Grove is a laid-back and casual waterfront bar that offers a relaxed and festive atmosphere.

Situated at Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations, the bar provides sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline.


RPM Seafood

317 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 900-9035
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RPM Seafood is one of the best waterfront bars in Chicago and a great spot to visit if you want seafood.

The vibe at RPM Seafood is elegant and refined, with a sleek and modern design that features floor-to-ceiling windows offering an excellent view of the Chicago River.


Waterhouse Tavern and Grill

3407 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60657
Phone: (773) 871-1200
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One unique aspect of Waterhouse Tavern and Grill is its extensive beer selection, with various craft beers and classic favorites on tap.

The bar also offers a diverse menu of comfort food favorites, making it an excellent spot for a casual meal or a night out with friends.


South Branch Tavern & Grille (The Loop – Chicago)

100 S Wacker, Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 546-6177
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This waterfront bar features a spacious indoor area with large windows that provide scenic views of the Chicago River and a cozy outdoor patio for al fresco dining and drinking.

The bar offers a diverse menu of American classics, including burgers, sandwiches, comfort food favorites, and various craft beers and cocktails.


Waterfront Marine Inc

14042 S Croissant Dr, Burnham, IL 60633
Phone: (708) 862-5118
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My experience at Waterfront Marine Inc’s was phenomenal! The ambience was divine and the drinks were out of this world.

The bartenders were professional and engaging, making me feel like a VIP.

With a prime location by the waterfront, the scenery was breathtaking. It was the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the company of friends.


Beatnik On The River

180 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 526-3345
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In addition to being one of the best waterfront bars in Chicago, Beatnik On The River has one of the best names.

It’s a hidden gem in the city, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that transports you to a whimsical world of bohemian elegance along the riverfront of Chicago.

The bar features an artistic and whimsical design with lush greenery, colorful textiles, and a fusion of global influences, creating an otherworldly vibe.


IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

127 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 374-1830
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IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge offers an extensive menu of craft cocktails and a selection of small bites and appetizers.

As someone who appreciates rooftop bars with a sleek and upscale atmosphere, I have been impressed by the chic vibe and breathtaking views at IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge.


Boat Drinks Bar & Grill

600 E Waldron Dr, Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: (312) 838-0544
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One unique aspect of Boat Drinks Bar & Grill is its focus on tropical-inspired drinks, offering a variety of refreshing cocktails with fun names like “Rum Runner” and “Pina Colada.”

The bar also provides a menu of classic American bar food, making it a perfect spot for a casual and enjoyable dining experience by the water.


Offshore Rooftop

1000 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 535-6660
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I have personally enjoyed the vibrant vibe and unique setting of the Offshore Rooftop.

It’s a must-visit spot for anyone looking to elevate their waterfront bar experience in Chicago.


Chicago’s waterfront bars offer a unique and vibrant experience for locals and tourists alike, with stunning views of Lake Michigan, refreshing drinks, and lively atmospheres.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing spot to unwind, a trendy venue for a night out, or a place to catch a fantastic sunset, Chicago’s waterfront bars have something to offer.

Remember to comment and let us know about your favorite waterfront bars in Chicago!

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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