Falls’s here, which means it’s time to put on your coziest sweater and padded jacket for top-notch al-fresco dining! Chicago doesn’t play around when it comes to patio season. Come rain or shine, the best patios in Chicago are found all over the Windy City, and Chicagoans are guaranteed to be clinking glasses at them.
Our city has so many amazing options, from kicking back on a riverside oasis in the center to taking in views of the Chicago skyline from a multi-tiered patio on the outskirts. We’ve rounded up our favorite spots all over the city to give you the ultimate patio list, so scroll through and check our map at the bottom to see the best patios in Chicago!
1. Beatnik, Various Locations
First on our list is a beautifully decorated spot. There are few restaurant patios in Chicago as stylish as what’s offered at Beatnik. Inspired by writers and artists of the 1950s and 60s Beat Generation, Beatnik’s two equally elegant locations are defined by dazzling international decor with bright tiles, hundreds of plants, and a lively bohemian vibe.
You can kick back on their riverside location, known as Beatnik on the River, where colorful cushions, fringe-lined umbrellas, and leafy decorations offer an oasis with breathtaking riverfront views.
Alternatively, the West Town location boasts an open-air courtyard with a fully retractable roof, usually swamped in natural light. This exotic escape is also defined by its opulent old-world design. Prismatic patterned tiles and an abundance of botanical ornamentation give it a unique feel you won’t find anywhere else in Chicago. At the same time, an eclectic menu offers drinks and dishes from around the globe.
Address: 180 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
Address: 1604 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
2. Recess, West Loop
You simply can’t round up the best patios in Chicago and not mention Recess. Nestled within 30 mural-covered shipping containers on a West Loop corner, Recess is home to a cozy amalgamation of bars, food stands, and cabana houses within a 14,500-square-foot space that holds the title of the largest and best patio in Chicago.
The multi-level outdoor escape is a grown-up playground with plenty of seating options all over the sprawling patio. The stacked shipping containers give it an awesome, reclaimed industrial vibe, while the fusion of plant life and vibrant murals offer a unique and trendy summer hideout.
They have a variety of fun garden games like giant Jenga and Connect 4, a wide-ranging menu complete with elevated gastropub options, and craft cocktails from Alec Pignotti’s beverage program.
Address: 838 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60642
3. Pilsen Yards, Pilsen
Pilsen Yard’s bright, big, of course, one of the best patios in Chicago has quickly garnered a wealth of loyal customers, having only opened at the start of last year.
Radiant-heated cement floors, overhead heaters, and fire pits make it a fantastic patio all year round. Still, the clear roof, exposed wooden beams, low glowing lights, and lines of leafy plants make it such a brilliant summer hideout. Add the top-notch Latin street food courtesy of Armando Gonzalez and a sensational bar program by renowned mixologist Lance Bowman. You’ve got a recipe for the perfect patio experience.
Address: 1163 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
4. Parlor Pizza Bar, Various Locations
Parlor Pizza has three locations, including its River North spot, but it’s in West Loop and Wicker Park, where you’ll find two expansive and dog-friendly patios.
Both of these serve Neapolitan-inspired wood-fired pizzas baked in authentic Italian ovens as well TACOlatos for dessert if you don’t fancy diving into the notorious Parlor Pizza Dessert Dealer counter. You’ll also find a unique and original J.C. Rivera “Bear Champ” mural on each patio, providing the perfect place to snap some summer memories whilst you’re there.
Address: 1824 W. Division St, Chicago, IL, 60622
Address: 108 N. Green St. Chicago, Illinois 60607
5. Pizzeria Portofino, River North
Regarding incredible pizza, Pizzeria Portofino’s riverfront terrace is another one of the coolest places to eat a pizza in the Windy City.
The plush all-season terrace looks out onto the Chicago River, offering breathtaking views of the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s Riverwalk.
With hand-stretched pizzas, artisanal pasta, grilled seafood, and coastal wines combined with a breezy European decor, the sun-drenched casual restaurant will instantly transport you to the paradise of the Italian Riviera.
With retractable sidewalls and a paneled roof, it’s a fantastic spot, rain or shine.
Address: 317 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
6. The Dandy Crown, River West
River West’s cocktail-focused hideout, The Dandy Crown, is another fairly young but impressively popular Chicago open-air patio. Opened at the end of 2019 by partners Julia Shell and Jamie Hale, the two-story neighborhood bar & restaurant is home to two patios. On a second floor designed for overflow and private parties, guests will find a quaint rooftop patio deck, but the adjacent year-round courtyard patio makes it on this list.
Complete with firepits and heaters for the more hostile months, the patio is equipped for all shenanigans. During summer, the sun peaks through the patio’s several trees and shines on the scattering of tables and shares below, while floral paintings add a chic yet laid-back feel to the courtyard’s exposed brick walls.
Address: 694 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
7. Diver at the Park, Wrigleyville
A stone’s throw from Wrigley Field Diver at the Park offers Cubs fans an idyllic beach-like escape with tropical décor and a menu of tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas. For those wanting to experience the charm of Mexico’s historic port city, Tulum, in one of Chicago’s liveliest neighborhoods, there is simply no place better.
As one of the best patios in Chicago, when you step out into this huge 200-person dog-friendly patio, you’ll be greeted with rustic limestone walls, bamboo furniture, and an abundance of leafy décor. Woven hanging chairs, planters, macramé decorations, and olive trees channel that tranquil beachy vibe. A central tree sculpture and murals from JC Rivera give the ethereal bar a unique and trendy identity.
Address: 3475 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
8. Las Fuentes, Lincoln Park
Another Mexican-themed escape can be found in Lincoln Park at the colorful Las Fuentes restaurant. Known for its reliable Mexican food and margaritas, the restaurant’s secret weapon is an enchanting outdoor oasis.
Vibrant murals and luscious greenery surround a cascading fountain transporting you from the artificial fabric of Chicago to a blissful patio of Mexico. It’s another exotic hangout that attracts anything from dates to family dinners.
Address: 2558 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
9. Big Star, Wicker Park
While some of the aforementioned patios date back only a few years, longtime Chicagoans will be more than familiar with Wicker Park’s Big Star. The reliable taqueria has since opened a newer spot in Wrigleyville. It will soon be opening a third restaurant in West Town dedicated to seafood, but it will always be the Wicker Park patio that holds a place in our hearts.
Brimming with personality, it’s another great spot to enjoy authentic Mexican street food and fantastic margaritas from a comfortable and laid-back patio.
Address: 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
10. Beatrix Fulton Market, West Loop
It wouldn’t be a guide to the best patios in Chicago without Beatrix. Since opening in 2013, they have had a small collection of well-located coffeehouses and restaurants in River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market, and Oak Brook. It’s the Fulton Market patio that we’re interested in, however. The perfect spot for a laid-back catch-up, the patio is simple, comfortable, and well-situated.
For anybody meeting friends wanting a place that does a mix of things but guarantees a good spot for a vegan, Beatrix offers incredible breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with exceptional coffee and an extensive variety of vegan options.
Address: 834 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
11. Tzuco, Gold Coast
Address: 720 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
12. The Warbler, Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square’s The Warbler is another trendy and vibrant spot that fuses sprawling foliage and artsy murals to give us a solid patio option with 125 seats and an outdoor bar.
According to The Warbler website, it is named after the Midwestern-migrating bird known for congregating in large groups to chatter and socialize, a pertinent reference to the “sun-filled gathering place for both locals and visitors” that the Warbler is.
This veggie-heavy joint serves all manner of seasonal American fare from Korean-style boneless chicken wings to butternut squash falafel with braised kale courtesy of Chef Ken Carter’s skill with elevated comfort food.
Address: 4535 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
13. Homestead on the Roof, West Town
You’ll find Homestead on the Roof a little further away from the center. Despite its name, it isn’t anything like the luxurious riverfront rooftops that Chicago is known for. Rather it’s a humble 85-seat raised patio that hugs a 1,000-square-foot garden, and this feature makes it one of our favorite hideouts. You can observe the huge garden that produces herbs and flora used in chef Bryan Collante’s rotating seasonal menu.
Homestead on the Roof is one of those hidden gems you could easily go years living in Chicago and never know about. You must go through Roots Handmade Pizza in West Town to reach Homestead on the above Roof.
It feels so far removed from the usual Windy City outdoor dining experiences entering the quiet rooftop garden overflowing with beautiful flowers. It is such a wonderful breath of fresh air. Right now, there is a spine-chilling ‘Black Lagoon Halloween pop-up’ at Homestead On The Roof! Have a ghoulishly good time at this experience, which has popped up in 17 cities nationwide from October 1st to the 31st.
Address: 1924 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
14. The Dawson, River West
Often identified as one of Chicago’s largest and most popular patios, you’ll frequently hear of The Dawson’s River West patio while investigating the best patios in Chicago.
Here, there is sprawling ivy and an abundance of botanical life blended with brick, wood, and glass to create a stylish but verdant outdoor retreat.
With dedicated brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus, you can feast any time of the week while happy hour is from 4 to 6 from Tuesday to Friday and an “Endless Summer” events schedule provides even more temptation to head down to The Dawson.
Address: 730 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
15. The Duck Inn, Bridgeport
Bridgeport’s Duck Inn is another staple that has earned itself a respectable position among Chicago’s best patios and outdoor spaces. Somewhat of a hidden gem, it’s not as expansive as Chicago’s other all-star patios. However, the intimate tree-lined garden is the perfect secluded spot for open-air relaxation.
From its beloved Backyard Pizza Night Wednesdays to the sublime Sunday Lunches, there is a reason to head down to the Duck Inn’s secluded backyard every day of the week, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the Chicago-style Duck Inn dog, their signature Rotisserie Duck or their extraordinary grilled octopus.
Address: 2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL 60608
16. Piccolo Sogno, River West
One of the classiest patios in the city, and the perfect place to take a date, has to be River West’s Piccolo Sogno. This Italian oasis is the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening, with ivy-covered walls, twinkling lights, and delicious Italian food and wine.
From seafood options like mussels, shrimp, clams, and calamari to incredible pizzas with the finest prosciutto di Parma pizza, the options are masterfully made classics for an extravagant yet effortless experience. The all-Italian wine list also features 400+ wine selections at affordable prices so you can enjoy this Italian escape without breaking the bank.
Address: 464 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642
17. River Roast, River North
This gorgeous riverside enclave is perfect for cozying up while enjoying some soul-warming bites. As the name suggests, River Roast offers a New American take on British classics with its wide variety of meat, fish, and veggies that are roasted and carved tableside.
Perfect post-work patio string lights line the veranda adding to the city’s glow while boats bob blissfully past, making it one of the best patios in Chicago. If you choose to go for brunch on the weekends, you’ll also be able to catch a live show by some of Chicago’s finest Blues musicians!
Address: 315 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60654
18. Virtue, Hyde Park
Another place you’ll find some exquisite Southern American flavors is Virtue Restaurant. One of Hyde Park’s most popular spots, the cozy sidewalk patio offers the perfect open-air space to enjoy an incredible menu courtesy of chef-owner and James Beard Great Lakes 2022 winner Erick Williams.
Address: 1462 E 53rd St., Chicago, IL 60615
19. The Perch, Wicker Park
Wicker Park’s The Perch is a fantastic place to enjoy bites and brews in the open air. The full-service restaurant and bar also has an onsite brewery that cooks up a superb selection of beers.
The iconic industrial building opens onto a charming exposed brick patio. Statues and string lights give it the feel of an elegant garden in spring and summer, while greenhouse-type covering and heaters provide warmth when the nights get chilly.
Address: 1932 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
20. Ranalli’s, Lincoln Park
A stone’s throw from Lincoln Park Zoo lies Ranalli’s and its lively sidewalk patio. If the sun is shining, you can bet it’ll be abuzz with people. Burrata, bruschetta, and some wonderful thin-crust pizzas; if those kinds of Italian classics tickle your taste buds, Ranalli’s is a great patio choice for you.
Address: 56 E Pershing Rd, Chicago, IL 60653
21. Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Various Locations
Last on our list is a staple. If you’ve lived through a few patio seasons in Chicago, you know Parson’s Chicken & Fish. Now boasting four locations in Logan Square, Lincoln Park, West Town, and now Andersonville too, their dog-friendly patios in each and every spot are always reliable.
For many, the red-striped umbrellas of Parson’s are synonymous with summer days spent sipping Negroni slushies and tucking into a chicken sandwich or two. However, there are more than enough options for anybody not enticed by those two mainstays. The original huge patio in Logan Square would be our top choice. Looking at the greenery of N Humboldt Boulevard, it offers a slightly better summer experience.
Address: 2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Address: 2435 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Address: 2109 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622