Summer is finally upon us here in Chicago. This city comes alive this time a year as everyone it seems is outside doing something. Dining al fresco is a must when our temperatures soar into the 80’s. One of my favorite places to hang out during the summer is at the Oak Street Beach Food+Drink restaurant. One of the best kept secrets in Chicago, this place reminds me of Miami Beach! It is situated just steps to the family-friendly Oak Street Beach; arguably one the most beautiful beaches in the country.
The Chicago Park District controls this land and leases it out every year. Some of you may remember the Beachstro which was at this location for twelve years and who originally created the “Miami Beach-like” feeing by importing palm trees to the site every year. They built the restaurant every season and disassembled it in the fall. They lost the contract with the Chicago Park District to Levy Restaurants last year.
The Levy family has spent thirty years in the business with the two brothers, their mother and a deli as their first endeavor. Levy is no stranger to creating exciting themed restaurants, including Café Spaggia, Fulton’s Crab House, Jake Melnick’s, Bar Toma and the Googie burger. The Oak Street Beach Food + Drink doesn’t disappoint.
It offers some of the best fish tacos and ahi tuna in the city. The grilled hamburgers are also delicious. The menu is limited, yet offers something for everyone. Watermelon and lemon Italian ice is served by the pint, enough for four people, so bring your friends! It is also dog-friendly, so bring your favorite pet. They are open seven days a week, weather permitting from 11am-10pm, Monday- Friday and 10am-11pm on the weekends.
Do you seek a place in the sun that is away from the sand and protected from the crowds? Try spending some time on here under a cabana or on lounge chairs, overlooking Oak Street beach. Get there early to reserve your chair. A disk jockey and live music is often available on the weekends. It’s the perfect place to work on your tan and sip on a margarita! It’s also a good place to meet people.