Illinois Nature December 16, 2016
11 Incredible Waterfront Restaurants Everyone In Illinois Must Visit
Regardless of whether we are in the midst of another harsh, long winter or we have already experienced the winter amnesia that happens when we get to enjoy the first few warm days, life is just a little bit happier when you can be near the water. It’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, it’s healing. And what sounds like a better way to enjoy the day or evening than with a beautiful meal overlooking the water? In no particular order, take in the amazing views at these waterfront restaurants in Illinois.
1. Reflections on Deep Lake, 38564 N. Edgewood St., Lake Villa
If you want a restaurant that boasts both casual and intimate then it’s time to check out this Polish American restaurant in Lake County. When you pull up you’ll be greeted by a building that may look like a Colorado ski lodge, but inside is a cozy setting with a stone fireplace and full bar to nestle up to in the winter. In the summertime enjoy glorious views of Deep Lake while relaxing with a hearty helping of seafood or Polish sausage on their patio.
2. The Pier Restaurant, 401 Bayview Dr., Quincy
Now situated along an old railroad pier, this amply named restaurant prides itself on Midwestern cuisine. From fresh seafood to steaks and pasta, you’ll enjoy a traditionally delicious meal with creative flair. While leisurely grazing on beautiful dishes also enjoy taking in the gorgeous wildlife and nature that surrounds you. For a real treat, make reservations for a jaw-dropping sunset dining experience.
3. The Harbor’s Edge, 175 S. Harbor Pl., Waukegan
Welcome in the first warm days here in Illinois by checking out the city of Waukegan’s first outdoor live music bar and restaurant, which reopens in May. Take in breathtaking views of the sunset while enjoying seafood tacos or jerk wings and listening to their fantastic lineup of music.
4. Bridge House Tavern, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago
Yes, this place might be in the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago but we promise it’s worth fighting through the traffic to get to this American pub that offers a beautiful view of the Chicago River, the city’s towering skyscraper landscape and a great location for people watching. After a long day of shopping, head to the Bridge House Tavern for a stiff martini and oysters by the half shell.
5. Red Dog Grill, 1970 N. 2753rd Rd., Ottawa
Right off Heritage Harbor, Red Dog Grill has been serving up traditional Americans favorites while taking in views of the waterfront. They even have loads of vegetarian options so anyone can find something to love on the menu. Enjoy a refreshing beach cocktail while relaxing near the water (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?).
6. Kuchie’s on the Water, 579 Wesley Rd., Creve Coeur
Okay, so the name might be a bit odd but this chill restaurant is a must. The Peoria Journal Star voted both their Shipwreck Bloody Mary and their outdoor dining the Best of the Best in 2016. With great drink specials all week long and boasting the “best corn fritters you will ever eat” enjoy some comfort foods while taking a break on the outdoor deck after a long workweek (you deserve it!).
7. Big Fish Bar & Grille, 27425 Will Rd., Wilmington
Big Fish Bar & Grille is a hidden and delicious gem that awaits you at the end of a country drive. Enjoy fresh, mouthwatering seafood dishes or braised short rib risotto while overlooking the banks of the Illinois River. Whether you are planning a romantic evening out or you want to treat yourself to a lovely meal on the water, you might just want to move Big Fish right up to the top of your list.
8. River Beach Pub & Grill, 13637 N. River Beach Dr., Chillicothe
Do you love live blues music? Do you love having a front-row seat to a beautiful waterfront view? Are you just looking for a good ole pub burger or other delicious bar foods to satisfy your comfort food cravings? If so, then it’s time you headed to River Beach Pub & Grill. Whether you are looking to have a relaxing weekend lunch or you want to dine out with friends, this is the place to be.
9. North Pond, 2610 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Hidden within Lincoln Park near a quiet little pond is North Pond. You won’t believe this peaceful setting is right in the Second City, except for the beautiful view of the city’s skyscrapers. Once a shelter for ice skaters, this restaurant now boasts the 2017 Michelin Star and is a 2016 OpenTable Diner’s Choice Winner. Enjoy pastries and cheese, a lovely brunch, or choose from one of their beautiful main courses and pair it with a glass of wine or refreshing cocktail.
10. Atwater’s Restaurant, 15 S. River Ln., Geneva
If you are looking for an upscale place to dine that has a picturesque view of the water then may we recommend Atwater’s at the Herrington Inn? While you may not be able to sit outside to enjoy your meal you will be dining among floor-to-ceiling windows that give you a perfect view of Fox River. This is certainly a great place to impress a date or to take family for a weekend brunch they won’t soon forget.
11. Ike’s Riverfront Tavern, 490 E. 1st St., Dallas City
There are some things you can count on when you come to Ike’s Riverfront Tavern: Fantastic bar food and a cozy haunt that has become a dining pillar for the locals of Dallas City. While Ike’s has recently changed hands, the local charm is still alive and well. On boat days, feel free to ride on up the Mighty Mississippi to Ike’s for some grub. Enjoy some live music or sing your heart out at karaoke.
It’s amazing how much a day near the water can lift spirits, relax the mind and rejuvenate. Enjoy these gorgeous views and delicious eats all year long! Do you know of other amazing restaurants near the water that are a must for any food lover? Be sure to share your recommendations in the comments below.