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Next time someone’s elbow is in your spleen on the L, remember that one of the perks of living among so many people is the ample people-watching. Reap the benefits of city living at these seven restaurants, where you’ll enjoy a good meal and a satisfying dose of voyeurism, too.


Cafe Robey

Take one of downtown’s high-style boutique hotels, plant it in Wicker Park and you have The Robey. The hotel’s eponymous café serves up bistro-style fare (think mussels Provençal and salade niçoise) with views onto Six Corners. No visit is complete, however, without taking in the views (and scenes) at the rooftop bars Cabana Club (sixth floor) or Up & Up (13th). 

2018 W. North Ave.; 872-315-3050 or

longman   eagle

Longman & Eagle

Longman & Eagle is just close enough to Logan Square’s nightlife to bustle with activity, yet removed enough to feel like a much-needed respite from it all. Whether on the patio or indoors, savor selections from their impressive whiskey collection and chow down on nose-to-tail dishes, like the flat iron steak with beef tallow béarnaise. There’s a reason this place racks up the Michelin stars.

2657 N. Kedzie Ave.; 773-276-7110 or

Eight Bar and Patio

One of the few places in the city to serve 40-ounce bottles of rosé is bound to have a good scene. Add the fact that it’s situated just steps from the Gold Coast’s infamous “Viagra Triangle” and you have all the makings for prime people-watching. We recommend nibbling on the roasted Slagel chicken with mustard greens while you ogle.

8 W. Maple St.; 312-944-8888 or

clever rabbit

Clever Rabbit

From shopping to dining to drinking, Division Corridor is a veritable one-stop shop for all things fun. Chicagoans flock there, which is why we’re posting up at this vegetable-forward eatery right in the heart of it all. The crudités board with raw and pickled veggies, smoked mushroom mousse and hemp seed naan? We can’t even. 

2015 W. Division St.; 773-697-8711 or

Chicken & Farm Shop at Soho House

You don’t have to be a member to know that Soho House has become an epicenter of Chicago social life. You also don’t have to be a member to enjoy the marinated rotisserie chicken at this casual but delicious restaurant that’s open to the public. We call that a win.

113-125 N. Green St.; 312-521-8000 or

John Dusek’s Board & Beer

From morning to night, Dusek’s is a key destination in Pilsen. The brunch, with its buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, has become legendary, and the nightly performers (think Jamila Woods and Sylvan Esso) at adjoining Thalia Hall draw healthy crowds. We love nothing better than to kick back at a table and observe.

1227 W. 18th St.; 312-526-3851 or

city winery chicago riverwalk

City Winery on the Chicago Riverwalk

Warm weather, boating, wine… City Winery makes all our dreams come true with its riverside outpost, serving salads, sandwiches and, of course, wine. We’re not the only ones excited: The hot spot attracts a big group, so post up and take it all in.

11 Chicago Riverwalk; 312-229-5593 or

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