12 Best Chicago Riverwalk Restaurants To Eat At In 2024 (+ What To Order)

The Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile stretch beloved by locals and tourists, isn’t just for boat tours and kayaking; it’s a haven for food lovers too.

With a variety of restaurants and cafés, you’ll find everything from Italian to Japanese cuisine, perfect for any meal.

For a quick recommendation, try the upscale seafood at RPM Seafood or the hand-stretched pizzas at Gibsons Italia.

Let’s discover the best culinary gems along this picturesque waterfront path!

1. Gibsons Italia

(4.7) Based on 2,834 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: Italian, American, Steakhouse
Price: $$$
Photo credits: lizzie.blank

Gibsons Italia offers stunning riverfront and skyline views alongside house-made pasta and high-quality Italian dishes. With three levels, including spacious patios on the 2nd and 3rd floors, you’ll always enjoy a fantastic river view. 

Get the 22oz Chicago Cut—a beautifully cooked, juicy steak with a perfect char. Alternatively, the rich and creamy Spicy Rigatoni with tomato vodka sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano is game-changing. 

Oh, and don’t forget to save room for their Banana Gelato!What to order: 22oz Chicago Cut, Spicy Rigatoni, Banana Gelato

Address: 233 N Canal Street Chicago, IL 60606

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2. RPM Seafood

(4.5) Based on 1,222 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: Seafood, Bar
Price: $$$$
Photo credits: myles_sauce

Overlooking the Chicago River, RPM Seafood serves upscale seafood dining with a two-story layout. 

Spoil yourself with their renowned Seafood Tower with prawns, Maine lobster, Alaska king crab legs, and oysters. Or try the Miso Black Cod from their globally inspired menu—a silky, buttery delight with a hint of sweetness. 

Finish off with their Banana Cream Napoleon, a dessert dream with crunchy pastry, sweet cream, and warm salted caramel.

What to order: Seafood Tower, Miso Black Cod, Banana Cream Napoleon

Address: 317 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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3. Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp

(4.3) Based on 5,830 Reviews

Area: Chinatown
Cuisine: Seafood, Dessert
Price: $$
Photo credits: Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp

Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp is a beloved fried seafood spot by the Chicago River that operates 24/7. Boaters can conveniently dock behind the building for a quick bite during their river trip.

Get their Large Fried Shrimp for a crispy, perfectly cooked treat. Feeling adventurous? Try their Frog Legs paired with their popular Hot Sauce which taste just like chicken wings.

If you’re craving something sweet, the Shrimp Coconut is your best bet—a combination of juicy shrimp and thick coconut crust.

What to order: Large Fried Shrimp, Lightly Breaded Shrimp, Frog Legs, Fried Oysters, Catfish Strips

Address: 2120 S Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60616

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4. Smith & Wollensky

(4.4) Based on 2,438 Reviews

Area: River North, Chicago
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Seafood, Wine, Lunch, Dessert
Price: $$$
Photo credits: Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky, a top-tier steakhouse serves a range of classic to modern steak dishes. Enjoy river views on the covered patio or have an intimate dinner inside their elegant dining room. 

Impress your date with the Angry Shrimp appetizer or savor their Gorgonzola Crusted Filet for a tasty steak adventure. 

Finish your meal with the French Onion and Oxtail soup. The tender braised oxtail is luxuriously served beneath a cheesy, toasted topping that may leave you drooling.

What to order: Angry Shrimp, Gorgonzola Crusted Filet, French Onion and Oxtail soup

Address: 318 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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5. Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi

(4.2) Based on 143 Reviews

Area: New Eastside
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse, Seafood, Sushi
Price: $$$
Photo credits: Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi

Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi is a modern steakhouse that  locally sourced beef, seafood and sushi. 

The Prime Ribeye with Chimichurri is a standout, its flavor beautifully enhanced by the chimichurri sauce. Similarly, the Prime Filet paired with Mushroom Gravy offers is plain earthy mushroom goodness. 

For sushi enthusiasts, the Sunset Roll boasts spicy crab meat and flame-torched salmon, while the Surf & Turf provides a more substantial option.

What to order: Prime Ribeye with Chimichurri, Prime Filet with Mushroom Gravy, Sunset Roll, Surf & Turf Roll

Address: 151 E Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601

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6. Chicago Brewhouse Riverwalk

(4.2) Based on 1,083 Reviews

Area: Riverwalk
Cuisine: Bar
Price: $$
Photo credits: minnie.bites

Chicago Brewhouse Riverwalk is a waterfront spot highlighting local brews, cocktails, and more. With a lively and spacious waterfront patio, it’s the perfect hangout!

Dive into the menu and don’t miss the Chinatown Crab Wonton—crispy fried wontons filled with creamy crab and cream cheese. Pair it with the Dovetail Hefeweizen and thank me later. 

For a hearty option, try the Back of the Yards Meat Lover Sandwich. Don’t forget to wrap everything up with the smooth Old Irving Oktoberfest!

What to order: Chinatown Crab Wonton, Dovetail Hefeweizen, Back of the Yards Meat Lover Sandwich, Old Irving Oktoberfest

Address: 33 E Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601

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7. Porter Kitchen & Deck

(4.5) Based on 485 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: American, Lunch, Dinner, Wine
Price: $$
Chicken Sandwich | Photo credits: Porter Kitchen and Deck

In a 54-story riverside skyscraper, Porter Kitchen & Deck offers modern American cuisine for lunch and dinner, alongside classic cocktails, wines, and craft beers. 

Enjoy the meaty Lobster Roll with tangy sauce, or devour their famous Steak Frites, juicy and herb-infused. 

Want something garlicky? Their Crispy Brick Chicken got your back. Sip away with a bold Pomegranate Margarita for a grand finale!

What to order: Lobster Roll, Crispy Brick Chicken, Steak Frites, Pomegranate Margarita

Address: 150 N Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606

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8. Pizzeria Portofino

(4.4) Based on 1,494 Reviews

Area: River North, Chicago
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Seafood, Wine
Price: $$
Charred Pepperoni Pizza | Photo credits: Pizzeria Portofino

Pizzeria Portofino provides riverfront dining with hand-stretched pizza, pasta, and seafood on a spacious terrace. 

Try the Charred Pepperoni Pizza for a smoky twist on a classic favorite, or treat yourself to the umami richness of the Black Truffle & Three Cheese pizza. These gems alone are worth repeat visits! 

Don’t overlook the specialty cocktails, like the River North With A View, featuring raspberry aromas that will blow your mind away.

What to order: Charred Pepperoni, Black Truffle & Three Cheese, River North With A View

Address: 317 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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9. Beatnik on the River

(4.2) Based on 1,904 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Brunch, Wine
Price: $$$
Roasted Lamb | Photo credits: wegotthasauce

Beatnik on the River in West Town proudly serves global-inspired cuisine from South America, Mexico, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. With its stunning riverfront view and boho-chic ambiance, you’ll want to stay for a while. 

Start with the creamy and smoky Baba Ganoush, then move on to their Lamb Shoulder Feast for a more satisfying meal.

Remember to pair it with their cocktails like the Cantarito or Saturn, or opt for a Mango Margarita to round off the evening!

What to order: Baba Ghanoush, Lamb Shoulder Feast, Cantarito, Saturn, Mango Margarita

Address: 180 N Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606

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10. River Roast

(4.4) Based on 2,056 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: New American, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Price: $$
Photo credits: River Roast

In the Chicago Mercantile Exchange lobby, River Roast serves up delicious roasted dishes. With a big patio, you can see the river and the city. 

They carve up your food at your table, making it fun to watch. Everyone loves the Whole Roast Chicken—it’s crispy and juicy! 

They also do Roast Beef with a tasty sauce that suits any palate. Wash it all down with Son Of Juice or Honker’s Ale.

What to order: Roast Chicken, Roast Beef, Son Of Juice, Honker’s Ale

Address: 315 N LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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11. Catch 35

(4.5) Based on 1,581 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: Seafood, Gluten Free, Dessert, Bar
Price: $$
Crispy Calamari | Photo credits: Catch 35

Catch 35 is downtown Chicago’s premier seafood restaurant just steps from the Riverwalk and the Theater Districts! The place is widely loved for its high-quality and comfort dishes served in a charming ambiance. 

Their Spicy Spanish Octopus stands out, boasting exotic flavors complemented by a caramelized chili sauce. 

For the main course, get their Seafood Pasta enveloped in a rich tomato-and-wine sauce teeming with scallops, shrimp, and mussels. The mere thought of it is mouthwatering!

What to order: Spicy Spanish Octopus, Catch’s Seafood Pasta

Address: 35 W Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601

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12. The Kitchen American Bistro

(4.3) Based on 1,179 Reviews

Area: River North
Cuisine: Brunch, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dinner
Price: $$
Photo credits: The Kitchen American Bistro

Located in the historic Reid Murdoch Building in River North, The Kitchen American Bistro is your next go-to place to enjoy global-inspired brunch, lunch, and dinner with style! 

For lunch, get their Crab Fried Rice cooked in Thai style. Pair it with the Gem Lettuce salad with sweet pears, crunchy walnuts and blue cheese—a perfect choice to freshen up your palate. 

Be sure to wrap up your meal with the sweet Vanilla Warfare cocktail or the fruity Pom Royale!

What to order: Gem Lettuce, Crab Fried Rice, Vanilla Warfare, Pom Royale

Address: 316 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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On top of these outstanding eateries along Chicago’s Riverwalk, the city’s River North also has some stellar food establishments. Check out our post on the best River North restaurants to learn more.

How We Create Our “Best” Lists

All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.

Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.