Chicago’s Independence Day fireworks are breathtaking, to be sure, but so is the crushing crowd of revelers around Millennium Park and Navy Pier, where the colorful explosives will be lit in 2015. Get your independent self ensconced in a restaurant featuring a cool air respite from the summer heat, a seat for your view of the electric display, and, if you’re up to it, a cocktail to celebrate another perfect summer in the city.
(Photo Credit: Riva on Navy Pier's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Riva on Navy Pier’s Facebook)

Riva Crab House
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-7482

Both Riva Crab House and Riva Cafe, the outdoor dining area, offer prime viewing spots of the fireworks. If you’re thinking, “Whoa, a seafood place on the tourist haven of Navy Pier must be super spendy and sub par,” you could not be more wrong. Riva serves some of the freshest, tastiest seafood in the city at really reasonable prices considering the high quality. Toss in a view that’s a Yankee Doodle Dandy and you’ve arrived at perhaps the best eatery for the Fourth.

Vertigo Sky Lounge
2 W. Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 202-6060

A posh place for pretty people with a view that does not quit, Vertigo in the Dana Hotel pours pricey, sturdy drinks on its 26th floor patio and has a DJ working every night of the week. The food is very good: cool, tasty maki rolls perfect for a summer night; bites like hummus, chips, guacamole, sliders, panini and shrimp; plus a handful of desserts. Food, attitude and liquor are all second to the view, which is why you’re coming on the Fourth, right?

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

The Signature Room
875 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-9596

Located at what Chicagoans call “the top of the cock” (John Hancock Tower), The Signature Room’s 360 degree views of the skyline will make you sing “America the Beautiful” aloud with abandon.  You’ll have an ideal view of Navy Pier’s fireworks extravaganza over the shimmering lake whether sipping a cocktail and nibbling bites in the lounge or celebrating with a lovely, seated contemporary American dinner at the 95th restaurant. You can’t get more thematic than supping in a building named after one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The Terrace At Trump
Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago
401 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60611
(312) 588-8000

Terrace at Trump, the Forbe’s Five-Star hotel’s outdoor restaurant, is located on the 16th floor and has space for around 250 lucky people who ogle the clear views of Chicago breathtaking architecture, the river and its picturesque bridges and fireworks launching from Navy Pier. The view is so good it seems unreal, so no doubt, it will be a hot ticket on the night of the Fourth considering tourists are continually sneaking in for a peek from the Terrace. Independence Day is a perfect time to try a cocktail that utilizes the venue’s new raw sugar cane press – order a Caipirinha, Pisco Sour or Mojito with fresh cane syrup as one of the lively ingredients.

ROOF On theWit Chicago
201 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 239-9502

Capping theWit Hotel on the 27th floor, ROOF is a hot summer scene and the Fourth of July should not disappoint. The space boasts a patio with incomparable city views, a small plates menu of bites, flatbreads, dip and spreads, sushi rolls, bracingly fresh oysters and treats like churros and ice cream sandwiches. Order bottle service, craft cocktails or a punch bowl for a festive night of freedom.

Related: Ask A Chicago Bartender: Your Best Tequila Cocktail

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at