Rivers

4.5
1942 reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

Rivers, located on the lobby level of The CME Building, is one of the Chicago Loop's most popular restaurants. Rivers offers creative, seasonally changing contemporary American cuisine with influences from around the globe. Rivers is an all occasion venue featuring a relaxed yet upscale dining room & a large outdoor deck for alfresco dining during warm weather months.
Rivers is the perfect place for a business lunch, or for meeting friends after work for happy hour drinks or dinner. It's next-door proximity to the Civic Opera House, as well as all downtown theaters makes Rivers an excellent pre-theatre choice before the show begins. The United Center is also close by & Rivers is an ideal "first stop" for meeting friends for a Bulls or Hawks game. Please note: Rivers Restaurant does not take reservations online for parties larger than 14. Reservations are for Dining Room only. Patio seating is on a first come basis.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, European
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Hours of operation
Reservations taken for Dining Room only. Patio seating is not reserved.
Breakfast Monday-Friday 7am to 10 am. Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Sundays 5-8 on Lyric Opera performance days only.
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Phone number
(312) 559-1515
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Ivan Fonseca
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Private party facilities
Rivers, located on the lobby level of The CME Center, is one of the Chicago Loop's most popular restaurants. Rivers offers creative, seasonally changing, contemporary American cuisine with influences from around the globe. The adjoining wine bar, Rittergut, accommodates small private parties.
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Private party contact
Dan Letcher: (855) 614-4647
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Madison and S. Wacker drive
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Parking details
2 hour parking validation after 5:00pm.
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Public transit
Wells Brown Line / Metra
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1942 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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l
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rivers is the perfect place for a dinner before the opera. I love this place and dine here often, the food always excellent and the menu changes with the season.

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MJ
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thanks for the special birthday celebration! So sorry Rivers is not using Open Table going forward. I found Open table very convenient and helpful.

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F
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a very nice dinner at Rivers prior to the opera. Good service, good food, a bit pricey for the portions but otherwise a good choice for pre- or post-theater/opera/etc.

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AS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We just had 3 salads (med size with the smallest pieces of chicken ever) & iced tea. Bill w/tip was 100. Very expensive for what we got.

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k
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a reservation but were then told we'd have to be seated in a different area. Could not locate the hostess. Server was rude and bartender was incredibly snobby. The happy hour drinks were overpriced, slammed on the bar in front of people, and not made well.

We decided to leave shortly after arriving, and we won't be back.

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OT
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was served quick and fresh. The salad and soups were delicious. We sat outside which is nicely shaded and vivacious. Recommend for a summer business lunch.

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R
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good convenient location.
Quick service. Great soup and salad

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CR
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere! Restaurant has windows that look out on the Chicago River but also interior of restaurant very nice. Delicious lunch options. Server was great and they let us sit there way after our meal was finished. Loved it!

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DB
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic. We had a group of nine and the service was great.

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B
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great place with plenty of outdoor seating

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CB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Good food; nice menu.
Food took too long at lunch period.
Not cheap. Loud interior noise. Outdoor patio on the river is quieter.

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k
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Was there for weekday lunch. Food and service were excellent. It was a little noisier than I would like. When a few bigger groups left it was better on the noise level.

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MN
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Have had lunch there quite a few times over the years. Generally have the salad with strips of rare tuna. It is excellent every time. Inside is very nice with some interesting art that mimics famous painters. The restaurant is quiet enough to have a business lunch. The outdoor seating is expansive and is wonderful on a nice day, generally in the shade and overlooking the river - it is not a few tables added on the sidewalk just outside of the restaurant where everyone walking by is just a couple of feet away from you.

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AP
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Drinks were weak. No alcohol in my Moscow Mule didn’t put a straw in the drink, had to stir it with a fork. The gin and tonic was made with soda not tonic- had to send it back. Restaurant wasn’t crowded for dinner yet it took 1 hour to get our dinner. We were never asked if we wanted drink refills.

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MA
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service! This place is a Chicago staple. We always enjoy dining here.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and setting on the river.

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R
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great and the food was delicious, our beverages were never less than half full

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Took way too long for meals to arrive for a business lunch.

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KW
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

This was a business lunch and it was pretty tight and loud outside with poor service. The atmosphere was fun and lively so I could see going for a drink at end of the day. But the food was quite expensive for the quantity - 2 salads and 1 ice tea for $50! the salads even with protein choice were pretty minimal in size, with no bread or crackers or anything to go with it. We were both hungry a couple hours later.

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RB
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, great service, awesome staff, little pricey, but worth it. had a great meal!!

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MS
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cleanliness, food and hospitality were exceptional!

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KM
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

My reservation I made on Open Table never made it into the Rivers reservations list. My reservation was not in their system. Caused a huge delay as people had to catch trains out of the city. Given the delay, we only had enough time for appetizers. However; our server was outstanding!! I would request her again in a heart beat.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Worst business lunch experience I’ve ever had at Rivers. Our waitress took our orders and left us unattended for an hour. Two of us ordered soup as a first course which was delivered to the table, but it took over an hour to finally deliver our entrees (after one of us walked to the patio host stand to ask for an update).

The waitress was not apologetic but rude, and clearly agitated. She threw our plates on the table and mumbled expletives under her breath. After asking for a drink refill she again mumbled something under her breath which made our entire table very uncomfortable.

The lack of professionalism was appalling. I can also note, that one of the entree orders was incorrect (client ordered a burger but was given a club sandwich) and when we told the waitress she aggressively picked up the plate, so much so, that the cup of side soup nearly flew off the plate and onto our client!

Our bill was not modified or comped which I think would have been appropriate given how abysmal our service was that day.

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XA
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

Just below average, all the way around. Really slow service, way too loud, messy dirty environment and the food was pretty blah.

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PM
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pleasant summer outdoor dining! Took my family here for lunch on a perfect summer day. It was a little warm out, but the shaded patio was perfect. Great view of Chicago River and convenient location made it great for lunch. The value was probably on par with a high quality restaurant at this area.

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B
Detroit
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The noise level was OK. We sat outside however far enough from the bar. Service and food were great

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p
Chicago
205 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our shrimp bruschetta appetizer was excellent as was my husband’s scallops. Unfortunately my salmon salad was over cooked and drowned in dressing. After I was finished a second salad was presented, but too late. The restaurant very nicely comped the salmon. There were a lot of small business groups occupying the deck.

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RO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding Food and Great choices of Fish. Will be back soon with other friends.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The chopped salad was super disappointing. My colleagues’ salads also looked mediocre at best. Service a bit slow during lunch time

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S
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Just had a business lunch at Rivers. The food was wonderful and the server very attentive. Will definitely go back. Like the great views of the river, and see the outside dining area is open now. Good place!

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t
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

A repeat lunch visit. As always the food was outstanding and reasonably priced. But the noise level at lunch makes conversation impossible. AND, if you're in a section where your server has large tables ... large tables get all the attention while you get totally ignored. Almost didn't leave a tip but did anyway because I think this is a management, not a server, failure

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LL
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Server took order, then said kitchen “lost orders” so had to re-take them. Then, no 2% or skim milk?

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B
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everyone was very friendly and courteous, the charred steak salad is always excellent.

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TJ
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We have dined here many times over the years. Food is always good. Service is usually good as well, however, this time our waiter was not as attentive and it took a long time to get our order. I was meeting a friend for lunch (and using my lunch hour). It took way too long for the waiter to take our order and for the food to arrive. My friend requested fruit in place of fries with his order and he never got it and the waiter never checked back once the food had been delivered. It was difficult to get his attention though it was not a busy period considering the hour of the day.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great business lunch place

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ER
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food---our guests were very pleased! Thank you for the experience

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IB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a great location for a business lunch, with good service and food.

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E
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great service.No view.Good food and nice atmosphere.Will try again after next visit to Lyric opera.

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KS
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful lunch before Lyric event. We had the scallops and risotto which were fantastic. Our server was phenomenal and meal pacing was spot on.

This is a really busy lunch spot due to location, reservation is a must. When they are full it gets really loud, if sitting across from dining companion be prepared to yell.

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JA
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was excellent. Had a show to get to and they moved everything right along without ever making us feel hurried. Food was well prepared and presented. Everyone like what they had. Walk along river was under some kind of construction but i could see where this would be pleasant for outdoor, water front eating.

Directly across the street from Lyric which was great for us.

One of those places which is on the noisy side but is set up acoustically so you can have a conversation at your table without strain or raised voices.

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