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Drinks and a View: Take the Red Line to a Lakefront Restaurant
by crandell | 06/26/2010
Chicago's dedication to preserving the lakefront as a public park has created miles of great waterfront park space to hang out at. An unfortunate side effect though is that it limits opportunities for waterfront businesses, such as restaurants. There's no reason we shouldn't be able to have both. Maybe this is just my Chesapeake Bay roots speaking. Where I grew up, waterfront goes hand in hand with seafood restaurants -- picking crabs and drinking beer. For such a vibrant city on the Lake with so many great beaches, Chicago has disappointingly few lakefront restaurants. Those few spots are easy to access by bike or on foot via the lakefront path, but I can think of only one with convenient access by train. The Waterfront Cafe is also a great example of the Chicago Park District leasing a public space to a business to offer Chicagoans a unique experience on the lakefront. I personally wish they would do more of this.
The Waterfront Cafe is easy to reach from the Granville Red Line stop. From the station, walk two blocks east on Granville, where you'll run into Lake Michigan at Berger Park. Lake Shore Drive doesn't go this far north, so it's a great walk and no highway noise on the lakefront! The Waterfront Cafe is in Berger Park on the water. The outside seating offers an incredible view. It's a very casual restaurant -- you order your food inside at the counter and they bring it to you. The food is nothing special, but certainly not bad. I had the Fiesta baked eggs for brunch, and the freshly made tortilla chips were a nice touch. I would recommend going for the view, not the food. They also serve beer, wine and sangria. It's the kind of place you'll want to linger at after a meal, talking with friends over a couple drinks.