Get Out of the House You’ve Been Burrowing in All Winter And Enjoy Some Outdoor Dining Chicago Style
Spring is just around the corner! Before you know it, you will be able to enjoy some fine outdoor dining in Chicago. There’s nothing better than enjoying a savory meal outside during a warm, sunny day. Luckily, Chicago is home to a variety of outdoor patio bars and restaurants. Need help deciding where to start? Check out these popular outdoor dining spots in Chicago.
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225 N Michigan Ave. The Loop
This vibrant Modern American restaurant offers full views of Chicago from its indoor seating area and outdoor patio. Complementing the menu is a craft beer list, cocktail menu, and an upbeat atmosphere. Sweetwater Tavern is just north of Millennium Park and steps from the Theater district, making it the perfect lunch or dinner stop during a day trip in ‘The Loop.’
During the warmer months, the Sweetwater outdoor patio opens. The patio is one of the largest and most popular of its kind in Downtown Chicago. Up to 186 guests can be seated here at a time. Regulars and tourists alike have eagerly flocked to the outdoor patio since its opening in 2009.
“The food was very tasty and seasoned so well. My philly was one of the best I've had at a restaurant in a while. The fish tacos were so crispy yet light and the perfect portion. Great selection of beer. I love cider beer and usually places will just have one cider but there were several to choose from.” - Yelp Review
1301 S Wabash Ave. Near Southside
Savor mouthwatering food inspired by the Classic American Road Trip at this popular Chicago outdoor dining spot. In the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich? Try one of the restaurant’s signature footlong grilled cheese. The Triple Cheese, Wolff, Short Rib Grilled Cheese, and Seasonal Grilled Cheese sandwiches are going to fill you up for the rest of the day. Want something lighter? The Scout also has a comprehensive salad, shared plates, and sides menu.
Make sure you grab a seat on the restaurant’s outdoor patio once it is nice out. The Scout is perfect for Sunday Brunches on warm days. The special brunch menu contains its own signature grilled cheese sandwiches, brunch specials, salads, and burgers. Locked and Loaded Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are also served.
“The grilled cheese here is phenomenal. I don't drink nor did anyone in my lunch group, but we specially came for the foot long grilled cheese, and it did not disappoint. The tomato bisque on the side is the perfect complement to the sandwich.” - Yelp Review
660 N Orleans St. River North, Near North Side
Bernie’s Chicago is a chef-owned and operated restaurant located in Chicago’s historic River North neighborhood. Their belief that food is king is reflected in their appetizing menu. The seasonal and progressive menu focuses on locally-sourced ingredients that draw on flavors from Spain, Italy, Provence, and beyond. Customers can enjoy craft cocktails, micro-brewed beers, and thought-fully procured wine along with their meals. When the weather is nice, guests can head up to the seasonal rooftop.
Bernie’s offers a Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner menu along with their drink menus. Our favorite meals include the Fried Egge Sandwich and the Burrata Flatbread.
“Bernie's is a gem in Chicago. Everything is DELIGHTFUL. The ricotta donuts are the perfect way to start a meal. They also offer bottomless bellinis on Saturdays. My favorite thing to order is the build your own skillet. It always comes out perfect and oh so yummy!” - Yelp Review
1924 W Chicago Ave. Ukrainian Village, West Town
Homestead On The Roof is a cozy rooftop restaurant nestled above Roots Handmade Pizza in the heart of West Town. The 85-seat outdoor rooftop patio offers a full view of the 3,000 square foot organic rooftop garden, vertical hanging gardens, and planter boxes full of fruits and vegetables.
The restaurant is known for its farm-fresh seasonal fairs. Every winter, the team creates a planting schedule for their lush, rooftop garden space. Their menus are based around the schedule to allow the chef to take complete freedom in allowing the season’s bounty to dictate the direction they go. Homestead made the “Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in America” list by OpenTable as well as the “10 Best New American Restaurants in Chicago” by the same company.
“My favorite dishes of the night were definitely the main courses, the Halibut and Pork Chop and Pie. I don't remember how many times I said "this is the best fish I've ever tasted". The fish was cooked perfectly and the creamed kale was amazing.” - Yelp Review
3509 Fullerton, between St. Louis Ave. and Drake Ave.,
Logan Square | parkandfieldchicago.com
Considered to be a sophisticated vintage sports club, Park and Field offers a sprawling patio filled with fire pits, bocce courts, and a vintage camper bar. Its unique interior is equal parts rustic and refined, making it a place you have to see in person. The menu is filled with gourmet, farm-to-fork pub fare with locally-sourced ingredients. Citrus Salmon, Roast Lamb Shoulder, and Farmer’s Hash are a few of their most popular plates. Brunch is also offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Let me start by saying this was some of the best food I've had at a bar so far in Chicago. The boneless buffalo tenders are so good and the Mac and cheese is actually unbelievably good (it comes in a camping mug). The steak sandwich sliders are also MASSIVE!!” - Yelp Review
2952 W Armitage, Logan Square
Parson’s Chicken & Fish is dedicated to serving affordable food made from locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients. Along with a full menu filled with delicious chicken and fish meals, Parson’s also offers a beer and cocktail menu. Share a pound of Peel-and-Eat Shrimp as you sip on a Coca-Cola. Dine on the Chicken and Waffle dish with a glass of wine. The options are endless and inexpensive.
“Best fried chicken I've had in a long time!! It's not fast food style, it's legit, seasoned, spicy, crunchy, and whether you get the fried chicken on a plate or a sandwich or on a waffle, you won't be sorry!” - Yelp Review
1840 W North Ave. Wicker Park,
West Town | ettarestaurant.com
Etta is a classic neighborhood hotspot that serves wood-fired meals in a laid-back environment. The Classic Pizza is a staple here. All of the pizzas are served alongside a pizza box filled with freshly-grated parmesan, house-made spicy giardiniera, and pizza powder. Wine and cocktails are also offered to guests.
Customers also have the option to bring Etta home through the family meal option. The shared menu, which changes daily, offers three different size options. For families larger than two people, the restaurant recommends adding multiple meals to your order.
“The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the Biscuits and Gravy. This came with fried chicken and I can honestly say this was the best biscuits and gravy meal I have ever had! The chicken was boneless and fried and had a nice little spicy zing. The buttermilk biscuit was delicious and the combination of everything together with the gravy was just perfect.” - Yelp Review
There are few things more satisfying in life than enjoying a meal outside after a brutal winter. It’s time to call up your friends and catch up over dinner. What are your favorite Chicago outdoor dining spots? Let us know in the comments!