The Best Bar And Restaurant Patios In Chicago
By Chicagoist_Guest in Food on Jun 20, 2016 4:50PM
For a precious few months of the year, Chicagoans soak up—make that stockpile—vitamin D. Frankly, the city not only looks different during the summer, it feels different too. For a change, no one is rushing to get indoors; rather, there’s leisurely banter upon ivy-fringed patios and at backyard bars, all over seasonal fare, ice-cold beers and glasses of rosé. So, join us at some of our favorite sun and star-kissed spots while the weather is warm and the eats and drinks are outdoor-appropriate. (This is a list of our favorites—so please let us know if we missed one of yours!)
The Patio at The Dawson. Photo via Facebook
Twinkly string lights, lush greenery and an outdoor bar make casual, bi-level The Dawson a go-to among al fresco enthusiasts, the wisest of whom snag shotcicles and frozen mai tais to accompany their burgers and chicken-fried lobster.
The Dawson is at 730 W. Grand Ave.
There’s no denying the charm of longstanding Ukie Village dive bar Happy Village, which has an idyllic, year-round beer garden, complete with goldfish pond and a tent. A drinking establishment to the core, its no-frills potables are meant to be paired with your own food. So, do like the regulars and order in.
Happy Village is at 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.
The Patio at Parsons. Photo via Facebook
There’s plenty of room to roam on the popular patio at Parson’s Chicken & Fish. A gathering spot for fresh-shucked oysters, pimento toast and fried fish and Amish chicken, it’s also a must for sublime negroni slushies, pickle backs and beer cocktails, like the mighty michelada.
Parson’s Chicken & Fish is at 2952 W. Armitage Ave.
Piccolo Sogno’s tree-shaded garden is an ideal place to savor top-tier Italian fare, some of which comes from a wood-burning oven within. Peruse the thoughtful wine list, while settling on pizza topped with Mascarpone, sausage, mozzarella and herbs or string-cut black spaghetti with mussels, shrimp, calamari, clams and crushed red pepper-flecked San Marzano tomatoes.
Piccolo Sogno is at 464 N. Halsted St.
The Patio at River Roast. Photo via Facebook
Tony Mantuano’s pleasing, people-packed New American River Roast features live blues and primo seating along the Chicago River — not to mention John Hogan’s menu of Scotch eggs, bivalves and tableside-carved fish, roast beef and wood-smoked chicken. Playful cocktails and an edited-but-curated selection of beer and wine help to seal the deal.
River Roast is at 315 N. LaSalle St.
Bridgeport gastro-pub The Duck Inn features everything you need for a great summertime meal — a Chicago-style duck-fat dog, fried cheese curds with bloody mary ketchup, a burger with Dijonnaise and Brun-Uusto cheese on rye, for starters. Just be sure to sit on the tree-dotted patio for ultimate enjoyment — it’s exactly the place for updated classics, not to mention cocktails like The Duck Out, duck fat-washed Park VS Cognac with Giffard Crème de Mure, Lustao Manzanilla Sherry and a hint of of Chinese five-spice syrup.
The Duck Inn is at 2701 S. Eleanor St.
(Photos by Clayton Hauck courtesy of The Promontory)
You’re sure to get in the summer spirit at Hyde Park’s The Promontory, a music venue-meets-restaurant with regular live music, a modern interior and plenty of sleek patio seating. While you enjoy the surrounds, nosh on comfort-driven, hearth-roasted fare, like grilled maitake with braised beef cheek, roasted carrot purée, buttered turnips and pearl onions or ginger-soy-glazed kalbi short ribs with fried garlic, cashews, scallions and pickled shishito peppers. Wash it all down with a Pisco punch, sazerac or refreshing Paloma.
The Promontory is at 5311 S. Lake Park Ave.
Unwind at one of the wood tables on Red Door’s patio, while imbibing on one of prettiest, tree-frocked dining spaces in the city. Then, order gems off the equally enticing menu — bacon-wrapped artichokes with blue cheese and romesco, avocado toasts or elk Bolognese rigatoni, perhaps.
Red Door is at 2118 N. Damen Ave.
Featuring what’s arguably the coolest outdoor seating in town, Ada St. is outfitted with an Astroturf lawn, grill and ping pong table. It’s where you’ll want to plunk polenta fries into chipotle ketchup and dive and steak tartare. Of course, the hip cocktails alone may be enough to sway you.
Ada St. is at 1664 N. Ada St.
The Patio at Bistro Campagne. Photo via Facebook
A longtime neighborhood favorite, Bistro Campagne’s French classics — French onion soup, steak frites, charcutière — taste all the better when had on the spacious, verdant patio filled with trees and modern, comfy furniture. Since you’re already sitting pretty, go all out with some pain perdu or gâteau au chocolat at meal’s end.
Bistro Campagne is at 4518 N. Lincoln Ave.
The rustic Italian fare at Anteprima will draw you in, but it’s the romantic, flower-laden patio that’ll have you savoring bottle(s) of wine. Pair yours with antipasti like cannellini beans, pickled spicy peppers, soppressata and red onion; salumi; or crostini, followed by pappardelle sauced with prosciutto ragu and Parmigiano.
Anteprima is at 5316 N. Clark St.
Featuring a front and beautiful, leafy back patio, El Cid all-but-promotes margarita-spiked summer evenings. While you soak up the tequila — we mean environs — snack on creamy guac, followed by fajitas, chile rellenos or flautas.
El Cid is 2645 N. Kedzie Ave.
Romance is in the air at Enoteca Roma, especially when you’re perched — glass of wine in hand — at a wrought iron table on the light-strung patio. An array of bruschettas, pizzas, antipasti and handmade gnocchi — in addition to daily specials — only strengthen its case.
Enoteca Roma is at 2146 W. Division St.