You know Navy Pier is a great place to catch a view of Lake Michigan, a ride on the Ferris wheel, or a spectacular fireworks display, but did you know that Navy Pier is also home to many fine dining establishments? That’s right; not only is the Pier one of the most renowned and historic attractions in the city of Chicago, but it’s also one of the best spots to go if you’re looking for the convenience of a variety of restaurants in one charming location! Not sure if you’re in the mood for a burger or seafood? Italian or American? Casual or sophisticated? At Navy Pier, you can take your pick from all of the above and more.
With such range and so many options, how do you narrow down your choices? We’ve highlighted some of the best bites at the Pier below to help you make an educated dining decision the next time you visit. Whether you’re coming to play at the Chicago Children’s Museum, catch a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, or admire the sights at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass, be sure to make a day of it by enjoying one of these must-have meals!
Best Dishes at Navy Pier
- Billy Goat Tavern – Any true Chicagoan is familiar with the “Cheezborger! Cheezborger!” chant, and it’s not just the popular Saturday Night Live skit that made Billy Goat Tavern’s “Cheezborger” famous. This classic American staple is done right at Billy Goat, and of course you can’t have your Cheezborger without a side of chips and a drink!
- Bubba Gump Shrimp – When a restaurant is named after a certain food, you order that food off their menu. From Popcorn to Po’ Boy, Cajun to Cocktail, Stuffed to Scampi, Bubba Gump serves up these tasty crustaceans any way you please, but the number one guest favorite is definitely Shrimper’s Heaven. Offering a shrimp smorgasbord that includes Coconut, Chilly, Fried, and Japanese-style Tempura Shrimp served alongside fries and your choice of dipping sauces, it’s a seafood lover’s dream!
- Capi’s Italian Restaurant – If you’re looking for traditional Italian, look no further than Capi’s classic pasta dishes, such as the Rigatoni with Hearty Red Sauce, a Chef Gino specialty and guest favorite. The Neapolitan Stone Oven Pizzas are also a hit, with options ranging from Chicago’s Favorite Italian Sausage & Mushroom to the gourmet Grilled Shrimp and Smoked Gouda.
- Harry Caray’s Tavern – When it comes to classic American food, Harry Caray’s has you covered, from burgers to Italian beef. However, if you’re in the mood for some home-style cookin’, we recommend the Chicken Pot Pie. It’s an old-school favorite that never fails!
- Riva Crab House – How can you go wrong with steak and seafood? If you’re looking for a fine dining experience at the Pier, Riva Crab House is your go-to destination. It can be difficult deciding among all the delectable menu options, but the Ultimate Seafood appetizer is definitely a fine choice for any seafood fanatic. This sumptuous array lets you sample the East Coast oysters, chilled jumbo shrimp, jumbo lump crab salad, and tuna tartar, so you get a little taste of everything! (The Whole Main Lobster or Alaskan Red King Crab Legs are a good bet too….)
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Bar & Grill – Cheeseburger in Paradise—enough said. Any beef buff needs to put this famous burger on their “must-try” list. Topped with American cheese, lettuce, and tomato, this is a classic American cheeseburger at its best. Just make sure you order a margarita to wash it down!
Is your stomach growling yet? With these recommendations, you should be all set to start planning your next trip to the Pier! Whether you drop by for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, the restaurants at Navy Pier have you covered for any occasion. Bon appétit!