4 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Chicago’s Riverwalk

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Spending time by the water when temperatures rise is always a good idea. And we cannot think of a better way to spend a hot summer day than to go for a stroll on the Riverwalk. 

The Riverwalk is truly Chicago’s second waterfront.  Chicagoans have long treasured our beautiful lakefront, but now, more than ever, we are spending time close to our river.  This is new because Chicago long ignored its river.  But the Chicago River has undergone a major transformation. There is life in and along the river once again, including dozens of species of fish, many birds…and happy humans.  

Enjoy meandering the continuous scenic parkway that is the Riverwalk, enjoying the views of Chicago’s famed architecture while enjoying many other pleasures: food, drink, shade trees, flowers, music, art.  

So Many Options

The design of the Riverwalk is unique.  From State Street to the west, between every two bridges is a section called a “room.” These inviting public spaces create different experiences, from dining to boating to–believe it or not–fishing.  

The award-winning Chicago Riverwalk offers many amenities.   Accessibility is one of the priorities.  Every third room on the Riverwalk has a well-designed ramp. And public art is on show all along the Riverwalk, much of it symbolizing the story of Chicago and its river.

You can choose to experience the Riverwalk from the water by renting a kayak. Or you may decide to stay on shore and head to one of the most scenic bars and restaurants in the city.  Relax and take it all in. We selected four of our favorite places to grab a bite, enjoy a drink, and watch all the boats go by. 

Chicago Brewhouse

This popular Riverwalk restaurant and bar celebrates Chicago. The Brewhouse exclusively offers local craft beers. And the menu pays tribute to the city’s diverse neighborhoods and their respective global cuisines with its menu of tacos, wontons, gyro sliders, Italian beef, and more.

Tiny Tapp & Tiny Café

Tiny Tapp & Tiny Café deliver a genuine neighborhood experience in the heart of downtown along the iconic Chicago River.  This ideal location allows guests to escape to the oasis of the River while being immersed in the excitement and beauty of the city. The Café features freshly brewed coffee from locally sourced beans, to-go breakfast items, and ice cream.  The Tapp is a lively gathering place featuring great cocktails, craft beer, and contemporary American fare, a perfect patio from which to enjoy all that the Riverwalk has to offer. 

The Northman Beer & Cider Garden

The Northman immerses you in a European-style beer garden along the river. Cider is the star here, but a vast beverage menu includes craft beers, wines, hard seltzers, kombucha and more. Have a seat at one of the picnic tables and order some hearty Old World food to accompany your drink: from sausage and cheese to warm pretzels. And there will be live music too, from Memorial Day through Labor Day!

Island Party Hut Tiki Bar & Grill

There’s always a party atmosphere at this tropical-themed bar.  Enjoy pulled pork or a Big Kahuna Burger with a frozen cocktail or your choice of island-inspired drinks. Then play a round of ping pong, jumbo Jenga, or corn hole, all while enjoying the music wafting on the summer breeze.

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