Summertime in Chicago is a great time to dine with a beachside view overlooking our oceanic Lake Michigan, drinking in the stunning views as you drink in wine. From a 95th floor restaurant to a beach cafe, here are your best bets for dining and drinking with a beachy view this summer.
The Signature Room (875 N. Michigan Ave.)
Chicago's signature destination for dining with an unparalleled view is unquestionably The Signature Room. Check your vertigo at the door and ride the elevator up to the 95th floor of the John Hancock, where you'll enjoy seasonal American cuisine and any combo of cocktails, beer and wine. Or all of the above. Wherever you're seated, you'll be primed for an astounding vista overlooking Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Especially on the north side of the restaurant, the lake and its beaches look like something out of a South Beach fantasy.
Caffe Oliva (550 E. Grand Ave.)
When it comes to beachside dining, it doesn't get any better than Caffe Oliva. This sunny cafe is literally situated right on a beach by Navy Pier, lending a vacation-y vibe to your al fresco dining and drinking experience. From fried calamari and lamb meatballs to flatbreads, fish tacos, burgers and cookie dough desserts, this leisurely haunt is just the ticket for a casual, warm weather hangout. Caffe Oliva is also offering Sunday night lobster dinners through Labor Day, which is a lovely, apropos way to absorb summer at its finest.
Cafe Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave.)
For fine Italian cuisine with a pristine view, get thee to Cafe Spiaggia. Or for that matter, it's upscale sister restaurant Spiaggia. But for its budget-friendly offerings, Cafe Spiaggia is an easier experience for casual lunch with a killer panorama of Oak Street Beach. The restaurant offers a polished, refined interpretation of traditional Italian fare, which makes for a nice meal while perched at the windows along the Magnificent Mile.
The Terrace at Trump (401 N. Wabash Ave.)
Located 16 floors up in the sleek Trump International Hotel & Tower, the Terrace at Trump is a patio like no other. This ritzy al fresco Eden provides an entrancing front row seat to the downtown action, plus Navy Pier, the Chicago River and the lake. It's the perfect setting to relax while sipping on elegant cocktails and enjoying Mediterranean-style bites prepared by executive chef Michael Fiddler. Think octopus salpicon, spiced chicken triplets and yellowfin tuna tartare. There's also coconut cream pie, Nutella profiteroles, whoopie pies and other nostalgic sweets prepared by pastry chef Aya Fukai.
Photos: The Signature Room, Caffe Oliva, Cafe Spiaggia, The Terrace at Trump