Navy Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks in Chicago, drawing millions of visitors every year from all over the world.
This stunning attraction is not only known for its breathtaking views of Lake Michigan but also for its delicious restaurants, serving mouth-watering food to satisfy every taste bud imaginable.
With such a large variety of options available, it can be overwhelming for visitors to choose which restaurant to dine at.
Hence, we have compiled a list of the top 15 best Navy Pier restaurants that offer delectable cuisine and amazing views, making your dining experience at the pier unforgettable.
From seafood to steak, pizza to pasta, and everything in between, these 15 restaurants have something for everyone.
So, sit back, relax and let us guide you through the best Navy Pier restaurants that you absolutely cannot miss out on.
- 1 Best Navy Pier Restaurants
- 1.1 1. Riva Crab House
- 1.2 2. Harry Caray’s Tavern
- 1.3 3. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- 1.4 4. Billy Goat Tavern
- 1.5 5. DMK Burger Bar
- 1.6 6. Brown Sugar Bakery
- 1.7 7. Tiny Tavern
- 1.8 8. Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice
- 1.9 9. Ben & Jerry’s
- 1.10 10. Goddess and the Baker
- 1.11 11. Margaritaville Chicago
- 1.12 12. Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach
- 2 Things to consider while selecting Best Navy Pier Restaurants
- 3 Conclusion
Here’s a list of popular dining options to check out:
1. Riva Crab House
Riva Crab House is one of the most well-regarded seafood restaurants in Navy Pier.
Located at the end of the pier, overlooking the stunning Lake Michigan, this restaurant has been serving up delicious seafood since 1999.
The restaurant is best known for its signature dish, the jumbo lump crab cake.
This crab cake is made with fresh, hand-picked crab meat, and is served with a delicious remoulade sauce.
It’s no surprise that this dish is a favorite among both tourists and locals alike.
But the restaurant offers more than just crab cakes – their menu also features a variety of seafood dishes, including lobster, shrimp, oysters, and salmon, as well as a selection of non-seafood dishes for those who prefer something different.
The restaurant’s interior is spacious and stylish, with large windows that showcase the beautiful views of Lake Michigan – making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with family or friends.
The ambiance at Riva Crab House is unmatched, and the friendly staff will make sure that your dining experience is wonderful.
In addition to the main dining room, Riva Crab House also has a private dining area that can accommodate up to 70 guests.
This makes it an ideal choice for business meetings, birthday parties, and other special occasions.
The restaurant also offers catering services, which means you can enjoy your favorite Riva Crab House dishes at your own event.
2. Harry Caray’s Tavern
Another best spots to eat at Navy Pier is Harry Caray’s Tavern.
This iconic Chicago restaurant is named after Harry Caray, a legendary voice in baseball broadcasting, perfectly encapsulating the city’s love for both food and sports.
Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier is the perfect place to unwind and indulge in some of the best comfort food in the Windy City.
The restaurant is located in a prime spot with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.
This family-friendly restaurant offers a unique blend of classic dishes and modern twists.
The menu features an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, steaks, and seafood that cater to all palates.
Their signature dishes include the famous Caray’s Italian Steak, Grilled Lamb Chops, and Garlic Shrimp Scampi.
This cozy tavern has an upbeat and lively atmosphere that will leave you feeling right at home.
With its rustic decor and memorabilia of Harry Caray’s broadcasting career adorning the walls, Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier has an unmistakable charm and personality.
Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the comfortable booths fitted with TVs while families are catered for with spacious tables and an extensive kids’ menu.
3. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a seafood restaurant chain inspired by the movie “Forrest Gump.”
The restaurant chain was named after the movie’s character, Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue, who was a shrimping boat mate of Forrest Gump.
The concept behind the restaurant is to serve fresh and delicious seafood dishes with a Southern flair in a casual and fun environment.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Navy Pier is located on the beautiful Chicago waterfront.
The restaurant has stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.
It is one of the most popular destinations in Navy Pier, providing a unique dining experience for both tourists and locals.
The menu at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. features a variety of seafood dishes, including their famous popcorn shrimp, steamed clams, crab legs, and lobster.
Some of their most popular dishes are the Shrimp and Grits, which combines crispy shrimp and creamy grits with a savory and spicy sauce.
They also have a variety of burgers and sandwiches for those who prefer a more traditional meal.
One unique aspect of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is their interactive trivia games.
Throughout the restaurant, there are monitors that display Forrest Gump trivia questions.
Guests can answer the questions by flipping their “Run Forrest Run” cards to either “Stop, Forrest, Stop” or “Run, Forrest, Run.” This interactive feature adds an extra layer of fun to the dining experience.
4. Billy Goat Tavern
Another historic restaurant located in Navy Pier, Chicago. Founded in 1934, this iconic establishment has been serving up Chicago-style food for nearly a century.
Billy Goat Tavern has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and books, and has become an integral part of Chicago culture.
The menu at Billy Goat Tavern offers a range of classic favorites, including their famous “Cheezborger,” as well as hot dogs, sandwiches, and a variety of sides.
All the dishes are made with the freshest ingredients and are cooked to perfection.
Customers can also enjoy a range of beverages, including beer and wine, to complement their meal.
Despite its humble beginnings as a small bar, Billy Goat Tavern has become a legendary destination in Chicago.
The restaurant has been visited by numerous celebrities and politicians over the years, and its walls are decorated with memorabilia from its long history.
The ambiance inside the restaurant is welcoming and lively, making it the perfect spot to catch up with friends or enjoy a meal with family.
Not renowned for its delectable cuisine, but Billy Goat Tavern also captivates with its vibrant and exuberant ambiance.
The welcoming and friendly staff are always ready with a joke or a smile, adding to the overall experience of dining at this wonderful restaurant.
The restaurant also offers live music and other entertainment, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
5. DMK Burger Bar
If you’re looking for other options, DMK Burger Bar is a great spot to check out.
This restaurant chain prays homage to classic American flavors and offers an array of delicious burgers and sandwiches.
With a wide selection of gourmet burgers, craft beers, and creative cocktails, DMK Burger Bar is the ultimate destination for a satisfying meal.
Their menu boasts a range of mouth-watering burgers, including the classic DMK Burger, made with grass-fed beef, aged cheddar cheese, and smoked bacon.
They also offer an array of vegetarian and vegan options, such as the Impossible Burger and the Tempeh & Black Bean Burger, both of which are packed with flavor.
Not to mention, they also have a variety of hand-cut fries and sweet potato fries.
Apart from the burgers, DMK Burger Bar also features an extensive beer list with over 32 craft beers on tap, as well as a selection of original cocktails made with fresh ingredients.
Their signature drink, the DMK Old Fashioned, is one of the most popular drinks, having just the right blend of whiskey and bitters.
Moreover, Its rustic and inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for casual dining with friends or a relaxing meal after a day of exploring Navy Pier.
6. Brown Sugar Bakery
Known for their moist and decadent cupcakes, this bakery has been serving up sweet delights for years.
With its prime location on the pier, it’s the perfect spot to grab a sweet treat before a day of fun-filled activities or to relax and enjoy the scenic view.
One of Brown Sugar Bakery’s signature items is their red velvet cupcake.
Baked to perfection, the cupcake is incredibly moist and topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.
The bakery also offers a variety of other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and lemon, all equally as delicious.
Aside from their cupcakes, Brown Sugar Bakery also offers a selection of cakes, cookies, and pies.
Their famous sweet potato pie is a must-try, as it’s made from scratch using a family recipe passed down through generations.
The bakery also offers custom cakes for special occasions, perfect for an unforgettable birthday celebration or wedding.
To complement their sweets, Brown Sugar Bakery offers an array of beverages to enjoy alongside them.
From freshly brewed coffee to flavorful teas, there’s something for everyone to sip on while taking in the beautiful views of Lake Michigan.
7. Tiny Tavern
Tiny Tavern is a cozy and inviting restaurant located in Navy Pier, one of the most beloved tourist destinations in Chicago.
The restaurant prides itself on serving up delicious and satisfying dishes that are perfect for any meal of the day.
When you step inside Tiny Tavern, you’ll be greeted by a warm and rustic interior that is sure to make you feel right at home.
The walls are adorned with charming and eclectic decor, including antique sports memorabilia, vintage beer signs, and nostalgic photos of Chicago’s golden age.
The restaurant also features a lovely outdoor patio area where you can enjoy your meal while soaking in the magnificent views of Lake Michigan.
The menu at Tiny Tavern is nothing short of exceptional.
The skilled chefs use locally-sourced ingredients to craft each and every dish, resulting in fresh and flavorful meals that are bursting with flavor.
Some standout dishes include the mouthwatering Tavern Burger, the savory Breakfast Burrito, and the indulgent Lobster Mac and Cheese.
It not only serves delectable food but also boasts an exceptional array of craft beers and meticulously crafted cocktails.
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing IPA, a crisp pilsner, or a perfectly shaken martini, you’re sure to find it at this Navy Pier gem.
8. Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice
One more true icon on the vibrant Navy Pier in Chicago.
Frankie’s Pizza famous eatery has been serving up mouth-watering pizza slices since they opened their doors in 2006.
As one of the best Navy Pier Restaurants, Frankie’s Pizza has earned its reputation by consistently delivering delicious and authentic pizza with a friendly service that keeps locals and tourists coming back time and time again.
From the moment you step into Frankie’s Pizza, you will be greeted with the aroma of freshly baked pizza and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
You will immediately feel at home with their friendly team who go out of their way to make you feel welcomed.
Popular for their pizza toppings which include all-time favorites like pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms.
They also offer pizza slices with crispy bacon, onion, banana peppers, and much more.
One of the reasons why customers keep coming back is because Frankie’s Pizza knows how to nail the perfect crust.
It’s just the right amount of crispy and chewy, with cheese and sauce evenly spread.
If you’re a fan of classic American pizza or looking for a Chicago-style deep-dish pie, Frankie’s Pizza has got you covered.
9. Ben & Jerry’s
If you are on your way to Navy Pier and craving some sweet and tasty treats, there’s no better place than Ben & Jerry’s.
Established in 1978, the company has gained a loyal following with its signature ice creams, made with natural ingredients and creative flavors.
Ben & Jerry’s’ founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, started producing ice cream in a renovated gas station in Vermont.
Over the years, the company has grown significantly and gained recognition for its social justice initiatives.
They have pledged to use only Fairtrade-sourced ingredients and support dairy farming communities by promoting sustainable practices.
When you step into a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop, you’ll be greeted with an array of flavor options.
From classics like Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey to newer flavors like Netflix & Chill’d, there’s something for everyone.
They also offer non-dairy, vegan, and gluten-free options.
To make your Ben & Jerry’s experience truly unforgettable, indulge in their iconic sundae creations.
The Vermonster, for example, consists of 20 scoops of ice cream, three toppings, and four bananas. If a sundae feels too indulgent, try one of their handmade milkshakes or smoothies.
However, treat yourself to some delicious ice cream while supporting a company that values social responsibility and sustainability.
10. Goddess and the Baker
Goddess and the Baker is one of the best Navy Pier restaurants that offers a unique and modern approach to classic American cuisine.
The restaurant is located at Navy Pier, a popular attraction in Chicago that attracts millions of visitors every year.
Goddess and the Baker provides a cozy atmosphere, with its warm ambiance and comfortable seating arrangements.
The restaurant serves a vast selection of delicious and mouth-watering dishes, from breakfast through dinner.
Goddess and the Baker takes pride in using only the freshest and high-quality ingredients in their dishes.
They offer everything from savory breakfast sandwiches to colorful salads, and from classic burgers to Chicago-style pizzas.
One of the restaurant’s most popular menu items is their avocado toast, which is prepared with ripe avocado, spiced heirloom tomatoes, and pickled onions.
Another highly recommended dish is their famous “Madame Meaty” sandwich, featuring a combination of roast beef, ham, salami, provolone cheese, and Dijon mustard on a crusty baguette.
Apart from the scrumptious food, the restaurant also provides its customers with an extensive selection of bakery delights, including cupcakes, cookies, and pastries.
They also have a full-service bar that serves an array of beer, wine, and cocktails.
11. Margaritaville Chicago
One of the most exciting and vibrant dining spots located at the iconic Navy Pier, sitting right at the edge of Lake Michigan and offering locals and tourists alike the ideal location for a delightful dining experience.
The restaurant’s interiors feature vibrant colors, quirky accents, retro-inspired furnishings, and surf-inspired motifs that create a lively and welcoming ambience.
The menu at Margaritaville Chicago is nothing short of impressive, with mouth-watering dishes and refreshing cocktails that embody the essence of the island lifestyle.
Whether you fancy some cheeseburgers in paradise, seafood, or legendary margaritas, the restaurant’s extensive menu caters to all tastes and preferences, and there are always enough options for people of all ages.
Furthermore, the restaurant’s chefs use only the freshest ingredients, ensuring that each dish boasts a distinct flavor and quality that will certainly please your taste buds.
While at Margaritaville Chicago, you’ll also get to fully involve yourself in the vibrant and laidback island lifestyle through a diverse range of entertaining activities, including live music, signature cocktails, and more.
You can also enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or an evening out with friends.
Finally, your satisfaction at Margaritaville Chicago is of utmost importance to the staff, and they go above and beyond to ensure that you feel fully catered to and comfortable throughout your stay.
12. Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach
Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach, where the sun is always shining and the cocktails are always flowing.
As one of Navy Pier’s top restaurants, Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach offers a unique, island-inspired dining experience that will transport you to a tropical paradise without ever leaving the city.
From the moment you step through the doors, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant colors and laid-back atmosphere that make Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach a must-visit destination.
The decor is inspired by the surf shacks and beach bars of the Caribbean, with wooden shutters, surfboards, and colorful murals adorning the walls.
The menu at Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach is equally inspired by island life, with a selection of fresh seafood, tropical cocktails, and classic comfort food dishes with a beachy twist.
Start your meal with an order of conch fritters or coconut shrimp before moving on to a mouth-watering fish taco or a juicy cheeseburger topped with fried onion rings.
Of course, no visit to Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beach would be complete without enjoying one of their signature frozen margaritas or piña coladas.
Sip your drink in one of the restaurant’s outdoor cabanas, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan.
With its island-inspired decor, delectable menu, lively entertainment, and inviting outdoor seating, it captures the spirit of a sun-soaked escape.
- Diverse Menu: Look for restaurants that offer a wide range of dishes, catering to different tastes and dietary preferences.
- Specialties: Consider whether the restaurant is known for a specific type of cuisine, such as seafood, American classics, or international flavors.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Options: Check if the restaurant provides substantial options for those with dietary restrictions.
- Freshness: Prioritize establishments that emphasize fresh ingredients in their dishes.
- Signature Dishes: Seek out places with unique or signature dishes that set them apart.
Ambiance and Setting:
- Location: Consider whether you prefer a waterfront view, indoor seating, or outdoor options.
- Atmosphere: Look for a restaurant with an ambiance that suits your dining preferences, whether it’s casual, upscale, family-friendly, or romantic.
- Entertainment: Check if the restaurant offers live music, themed decor, or any other entertainment that enhances the dining experience.
- Seating Comfort: Prioritize places with comfortable seating arrangements, especially if you plan to spend extended time enjoying your meal.
- Outdoor Dining: If weather permits, outdoor dining options can be a major plus, offering fresh air and scenic views.
Quality of Service:
- Customer Reviews: Read online reviews to get an idea of the overall customer satisfaction with the restaurant’s service.
- Promptness: Consider how quickly you’re seated, served, and whether the staff is attentive to your needs.
- Friendly Staff: A welcoming and courteous staff can significantly enhance your dining experience.
- Menu Knowledge: Servers who are knowledgeable about the menu and can provide recommendations are a valuable asset.
- Special Requests: Check if the restaurant is accommodating to special requests, allergies, or modifications.
Pricing and Value:
- Menu Pricing: Review the menu prices to ensure they align with your budget.
- Portion Sizes: Consider whether the portion sizes are adequate for the price.
- Value: Evaluate whether the quality of the food, service, and overall experience justifies the cost.
- Happy Hour/Deals: Look for restaurants that offer happy hour specials, discounts, or promotions that enhance the value.
- Quality/Price Balance: Seek a balance between price and the perceived quality of the dining experience.
Accessibility and Convenience:
- Location: Consider the proximity of the restaurant within Navy Pier and its accessibility to other attractions.
- Reservations: Check if the restaurant accepts reservations, which can be crucial during peak times.
- Wait Times: Consider the potential wait times during busy hours and whether the restaurant has a waiting area.
- Parking: Assess the availability and cost of parking near the restaurant.
- Hours of Operation: Confirm that the restaurant’s operating hours align with your planned visit to Navy Pier.
To summarize, there are almost too many great restaurants to choose from at Navy Pier.
Whether you want something quick and casual, a romantic evening out with your special someone, or just need to grab some lunch while sightseeing, Navy Pier is full of amazing restaurants.
There are so many choices, you’ll have a hard time deciding.
Now that you know all about the best Navy Pier restaurants you’re sure to find one that suits your unique tastes.
We highly recommend trying a few different ones during your visit so you can experience a variety of cuisines.
Make sure to take note of these top picks and choose which one will be your first destination. Bon appetite!