It is patio season in Chicago!
Summer’s here and that means it’s time for some top-notch al-fresco dining! From riverside oasis to multi-tiered patios, there’s tons of awesome options. These 10 amazing places are all currently open for outdoor dining with new safety measures in place.
Check our map at the bottom to see which ones are closest to your area!
1. About Last Knife, Downtown
If you’re a fan of steak, then we recommend trying out About Last Knife. This Downtown restaurant, which recently its doors for indoor and patio dining, offers a delectable variety of steak bar bites and dishes perfect for any meat lovers. ALK’s menu features comfort dishes like Beef Wellington by the Slice ($26) and the loaded ALK Burger ($16) with cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeño, and dijonnaise. Pairtheir delicious dishes with their home-made cocktails like the “Gold Rush” featuring Old Grand-Dad Bourbon and honey syrup or the “Southside” with Breckenridge Gin, lime, and mint; all of which can be topped off with CBD oil for an extra $4. For dessert, why not try a slice of their delicious Cheesecake ($8) or if you’re +21, their DOMMLife CBD Gummies ($25)?
2. Beatnik on the River, The Loop
Cozy up in this bohemian oasis by the river and enjoy some top-notch views and bites. At Beatnik on the River, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of dishes and drinks that are as eclectic as its retro decoration, all the way from Peruvian Ceviche ($18), with Coconut Leche De Tigre, sweet potato, choclo, red onion and Guajillo Oil, to Spanish Watermelon Gazpacho ($14) with Feta cheese and olive oil!
3. Big Star, Wicker Park
Whether you choose to go to their Wicker Park or Wrigley location, Big Star is perfect for a laid-back evening with friends. Grab some nachos ($12) for the table, pair them with some delicious tacos–we really like their tacos al pastor ($4.40)–and some of their famous margaritas and you’ve got yourself the perfect combo for a totally cool, al-fresco evening!
4. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, Wicker Park
This lovely Wicker Park restaurant with a wrap-around patio offers a tasty array of Southern comfort foods. Tuck into some delicious Hushpuppies ($8) with pimento honey butter and follow up with some mixed fried chicken ($14) and a slice of basil key lime pie ($7.5) for a hearty and unforgettable meal. And while you’re at it, thrown in a frozen slushie ($10)!
5. Frontier, West Town
This lodge-style restaurant with a sprawling, beautiful patio offers freshly shucked oysters, ice-cold bottles of beer and a unique dining experience where they serve you and your party a whole animal. The “Whole Animal Experience” includes your choice of wild boar, goat, alligator, lamb, pig, antelope, venison, wagyu beef, shrimp or salmon with your choice of side. Talk about amping up the game!
6. Parlor Pizza Bar, West Loop
At Parlor Pizza’s sprawling West Loop patio you’ll be able to enjoy Neapolitan-inspired pizzas baked in authentic Italian ovens with a side of ice-cold beer and delicious TACOlatos (dessert tacos, $10) for dessert. The perfect plan for a laid-back night out with friends!
7. Piccolo Sogno, West Town
If you’re looking for the perfect patio to take bae to, then you need look no further, Piccolo Sogno is the place for you! This Italian oasis is the perfect backdrop for a totally romantic evening complete with ivy-covered walls, twinkling lights and delicious Italian food and wine,
9. Recess, West Loop
This 14,500-square-foot patio opened just in time for the summer and is perfect for a relaxed evening outdoors. Spread throughout Recess’ multi-tiered patio you’ll find an arrangement of bars, food stands, and cabanas housed in shipping containers. Their menu features gastropub options such as jumbo breaded chicken wings, a weekly rotating burger created by Executive Chef, Jeff Weiland, as well as starters, salads, and sandwiches. For drinks, Recess offers wine, beer and an assortment of crafted cocktails (each with the option to include CBD), as well as frosé, mixed shots, and their signature water coolers.
10. Roots Pizza, South Loop
If you’re a fan of both patios and rooftops, Root’s newest location in Printer’s Row features both a lower floor patio area and a 10,000-squared-foot rooftop with a mega-quick retractable roof (the roof opens in 20 seconds!). Known for its Quad Cities style pizza and mozzarella sticks, Roots also offers dozens of craft beers, ciders, and seltzers, as well as from a not-short list of sparkling, white, and red wine. Monday through Thursday, the restaurant also offers “Seeing Double” Sized pints as part of their happy hour from 3 – 6 pm, in which customers can order a 32 oz draft beer for the price of a pint!
11. The Darling, West Loop
At The Darling’s Rose Garden you’ll be able to dine in adorable little greenhouses that are straight out of our dreams! Spend a totally charming and socially-distanced evening while enjoying their a wide array of British-inspired libations–we suggest trying their “Secret Garden” ($15/ $85) a refreshing cocktail featuring vodka, lime juice, raspberry brandy, genepy, grapefruit soda and edible hibiscus flower–and nibbles such as their collaboration sandwich with J.P. Graziano Grocery ($15) featuring moked salmon, basil-caper cream cheese, cucumbers, red onions, arugula and truffle vinaigrette.
[featured image: @beatnikontheriver, Instagram]