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Sheffield's Named A Top US Beer Garden By Food & Wine

By Lorna Juett in Food on Oct 5, 2012 9:40PM

Via Food & Wine

Food & Wine Magazine named Sheffield’s one of America’s top beer gardens earlier this week. While we certainly agree that enjoying a finely crafted brew under their shade trees at Sheffield’s is one of Chicago’s great pleasures, we also think you’ve got to be picky about when you go there, depending on your idea of a good time. Certain folks may want to avoid it during a Cub’s home game, and it’s nearly impossible to relax there on St. Patrick’s Day, but perhaps that’s true of many north-side bars.

This national attention got us thinking. As the last warmish days of fall pass into the ether, what other seemingly under-the-radar places are there in Chicago to enjoy a well-crafted beer in the open air? Here’s a few of our choices.

Pizzeria da Nella
1443 W. Fullerton Ave
If the handcrafted, perfectly baked Neapolitan-style pizzas aren’t enough to lure you into this Lincoln Park spot, the carefully selected Italian beer list and incredibly welcoming patio should. Featuring many obscure Italian microbrews, this beer list challenges what Americans think of Italian beer, letting patrons know there’s so much more to it than Peroni.

Gene’s Sausage Shop

4750 N Lincoln Ave
This Lincoln Square rooftop hideaway isn’t the place to go to see and be seen, but their fine selection of european imported beer and tasty sausages and charcuterie are enough to lure in crowds. Neighborhood folks and travelers pack the communal seating on sunny days, so be sure to get here early. Not only is it bound to fill up, the patio only stays open until 8p.m. most days, and 4p.m. on Sundays.

Small Bar- The Original
2956 N. Albany Ave.
There are places in Chicago where you barely remember the first time you were there, due to prior beer consumption, but they still manage to leave an indelible impression. Small Bar - The Original is one of those places. Nestled deep in the Avondale neighborhood, this bar has a gritty yet welcoming outdoor space, and a great beer menu to boot. This is the original, less sanitized version of it’s brother on Division. Both bars have their place in the heart of Chicago beer drinkers, but there’s always something special about an original.

Did your favorite spot not make this short list? Or would you rather keep it to yourself? Let us know!