Do you have a strong stomach and a head for heights? If so on your visit to Chicago you might want to try Breakfast on the Ledge. This is a once in a lifetime, unique Chicago breakfast experience located on the top floor of Willis Tower (formerly, and perhaps more familiarly known as Sears Tower).
Willis Tower is the second-tallest skyscraper in the United states. The observation deck, known as The Skydeck, was opened in 1974. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago--over one million people visit the observation deck each year. In 2009 the tower's owners renovated The Skydeck--including the installation of retractable glass balconies, which can be extended 4 feet from the facade of the 103rd floor. These glass boxes are informally known as The Ledge. You can walk out on the balconies and look through the glass floor to the street--1,353 feet below. Still hungry?
I have to admit, it took a couple minutes to get over my nervousness--but I did step out on the ledge. I had to take pictures of my son looking down on the streets of Chicago, after all.
Then let the elevators whisk you up to the top floor--in about 60 seconds. Expect your ears to pop as the pressure changes. On a clear day you will be able to enjoy views over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan over to Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin while you are dining.
Breakfast on the Ledge is the perfect opportunity to enjoy all The Skydeck has to offer--before it opens to the public, and thus before the long lines (advanced reservations are required). This is an outstanding way to start the day and watch the city come to life. The breakfast is available Monday through Friday at 7:00 or 8:00am depending on the date.
And let me tell you--if you're looking to score brownie points or want to impress someone--this is THE way to visit Willis Tower. I was told that there have been many marriage proposals on The Skydeck, and can totally see why. Having the entire floor to yourself, and I truly do mean THE ENTIRE floor, isn't an every day experience. My son was pretty astounded by the whole experience and said he felt like we were famous. Doesn't everyone deserve to feel special now and again?
The breakfast is catered by the Metropolitan Club, one of the most exclusive clubs in town located on the the 66th floor of the Willis Tower, and specializing in Modern-American cuisine. Enjoy the American Breakfast, which includes a breakfast pastry basket, fresh fruit martini, scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, sausage links and O'Brien Potatoes. Or Maybe you would prefer the French Breakfast with a croissant basket, yogurt, fruit and granola parfait and your choice of either a Quiche Lorraine, or spinach quiche, served with Lyonnaise potatoes--which are SO SO good! Breakfast at The Ledge also offers a Healthy Lifestyle Breakfast, with a fresh fruit martini, egg beater frittata with a choice of mushrooms, spinach, onion and peppers served with roasted tomato salsa, mutigrain toast, and turkey sausage.
Even on a gloomy day--the views... ah, the views.
Just remember one of the things you might experience while eating your breakfast-- the swaying of the tallest building in the Windy City on one of those windy days. So are you going out on the glass balcony before or after the fresh fruit martini?