How to Turn the Chicago Water Taxi Into a Makeshift Booze Cruise

A stop-by-stop guide to eating, drinking and riding a boat

By Michael Nolledo

How to Turn the Chicago Water Taxi Into a Makeshift Booze Cruise
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14 July 2017

For Chicagoans, the Water Taxi is a summer rite.

But here’s a little secret: it’s a rite made better with booze.

And so, we present to you a stop-by-stop guide for turning the Chicago Water Taxi into a makeshift booze cruise.

Inside, you’ll find the best places to eat and drink at each stop, from North Ave. all the way to Chinatown.

Before you climb aboard, a disclaimer: Alcohol — not allowed on the Water Taxi. That said, better make each stop count. 

The stop: North Avenue
The place: Pizzeria Bebu
The walk time: 9 minutes 
The vibe: A casual joint with big windows that let the sunlight in and tables that have a full view of the kitchen, where nothing short of pizza magic happens
The drink: A bottle of JB Adam Cremant Rose
The snack: You don’t have to kick this whole tour off with a sausage and broccoli rabe pie, but you won’t regret it if you do

The stop: Chicago Avenue
The place: Centennial Crafted Beer and Eatery
The walk Time: 10 minutes
The vibe: A wood-and-brick mecca to craft beer spread out over two floors
The drink: Off Color’s Sparkles Find (Some) Trouble or Metropolitan Brewing’s Magnatron make for some refreshing, sessionable beers
The snack: Pork Rillons, smoky, crisped pork belly bites served up in porter mustard

The stop: LaSalle (River North)
The place: River Roast
The walk Time: 10 seconds
The vibe: A patio with a prime view of the river, literally seconds away from the dock
The drink: The H&M, a concoction of blanco tequila, aperitivo, grapefuit, lime and mint
The snack: Golden Gobbets, basically the perfect cross between a chicken nugget and chicken finger

The stop: Michigan Ave.
The place: Noyane
The walk time: 7 minutes
The vibe: A comfy rooftop lounge located on the 21st floor of the Conrad Hotel dedicated to all things Japanese
The drink: Sake Sangria, a divine take that mixes sake, sparkling wine, watermelon, grapes and Eu du Vie
The snack: A round of sushi rolls for the table — don’t miss the Sasori roll

The stop: Riverwalk Clark Street
The place: City Winery
The walk time: 4 minutes
The vibe: Probably one of the best places to drink and people-watch Downtown
The drink: The Riverboat Margarita, because how can you not?
The snack: A plate of cured meats and select cheeses

The stop: Ogilvie
The place: Proxi
The walk time: 7 minutes
The vibe: A very handsome and welcoming space developed by the James Beard award-winning design firm Meyer Davis
The drink: The Don’t Chouette It, a celebratory drink with aperol, bubbles, blood orange and Champagne ice cubes
The snack: The Wagyu Sirloin over a Thai herb salad, and roasted rice powder

The stop: Chinatown
The place: Bonchon
The walk time: 8 minutes
The vibe: A no-frills South Korean fried chicken chain that’s the latest toast of Chinatown — expect wait times 30 minutes or higher. It’s worth it, trust.
The drink: At this point, water. You’re gonna need it.
The snack: Approximately all the Korean fried chicken

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