By Lauren Wulf LaRoche
If the sand isn’t your scene, there are a few bars and restaurants catering especially to Air & Water Show spectators this weekend. With special menus and prime locations along Lake Michigan at Navy Pier and North Avenue Beach, you’ll have a spectacular view for the show. Also included are a couple of restaurants near the show, featuring specialty themed menus for the occasion and a short walk to North Avenue Beach (one with a rooftop view!).
1603 N. Lake Shore Drive
North Avenue Beach
Chicago, IL 60614
Call for reservations
Locals and tourists alike can enjoy a premium view of the Air & Water Show from Castaways on North Avenue Beach. Tickets are $175 per person and are available for Sunday from 9 a.m. until the end of the show. The price of admission includes a breakfast and lunch buffet, and open bar. Practice day tickets are also available for Friday and are $120 per person, which includes s breakfast and lunch buffet and an open bar from 9 a.m. until the end of the show.
Navy Pier: The Landshark Beer Garden
700 E. Grand
Chicago, IL 60611
Located at the East End of Navy Pier, the beer garden is an air show viewing hotspot on both Saturday and Sunday. Headlined by its signature LandShark Lager, the new beverage menu features imports, microbrews and domestic beers as well as trendy cocktails and frozen drinks. For guests craving a quick bite, the quick-service walk-up window offers summer favorites including homemade pizza, brats soaked in lager, burgers and more.
Navy Pier: RIVA Cafe
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
This more casual version of Riva Crab House is a great place to catch all the action in the air during the Chicago Air & Water Show. Riva Café accommodates guests with a superb seafood menu, gourmet sandwiches, soups, and salads. The café’s outdoor seating area provides a beautiful view overlooking Lake Michigan as well as access to all of Navy Pier’s fun and excitement. The patio capacity is 150 – 175 people so get there early to grab a good seat.
Guests can also enjoy a new brunch menu available every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu, created by Executive Chef Luigi Garcia, includes items like Steak and Eggs, Stuffed French Toast, a Pork Belly Benny and a Bloody Mary Bar that ranges in price from $8 to $10 based on the choice of vodka.
Near The Show – Special Themed Menus or Lake Views
The J Parker Rooftop
1816 N. Clark Street
Less than a mile from North Avenue Beach, the roof at The J Parker provides a birds eye view of Lake Michigan and the Air & Water Show action. As with any weekend, and especially during the show, the lakeside hot spot will fill up fast. Grab a table early and hunker down! If you are venturing to the show, The J Parker is roughly .7 miles a way and an easy walk straight to the lake.
1552 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610
$12 French Toast Flight
Just a short walk from North Avenue Beach, Kanela Old Town will offer a special Air & Water Show French Toast Flight. Pre-game before the show with a french toast flight featuring poppy seed, red velvet, banana nut and orange bread. Guests can pair the flight with one of Kanela’s many summer cocktails for $8 each including the Pineapple Mojito Sangria (Fresh pineapple juice, simple syrup, moscato, white rum, muddled mint leaves, lime, topped with a pineapple wedge) and Strawberry Basil Lemonade (Fresh squeezed lemonade, simple syrup, moscato, muddled strawberries, lemon and basil).
Lauren Wulf LaRoche, CBS Chicago