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35 restaurants, bars in Chicago

Summer is coming and as temperatures rise, restaurants and bars around the city are taking down their winterized patio structures and letting the cool breezes blow through.

Chicagoans know they can enjoy all periods of warm, sunny weather. Parks and beaches are a natural draw, but so are restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, where we can laugh with a drink in one hand and a fork in the other amid peaceful vistas or vibrant cityscapes.

But where can you find a coveted seat? To help you, the Tribune food team’s outdoor patio guide includes places to read or get some work done, places with after-work happy hours to treat your team, plus patios that are suitable for date night.

Alfresco your future afternoons away with our list below:

Browse the map to see where to find the best patios in Chicago. Click on a marker to see more information about that location.

A roof terrace: Raised in the Loop

Take in the skyscrapers and views of the Chicago River at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel’s Raised, where a three-story patio above street level makes it worth fending off the business crowd and tourists. While downtown bars sometimes skimp on taste and service for million-dollar views, neither was sacrificed during my recent weekday visit. Choose from cushioned sofas or high-top tables to dine on shared snacks from Chef Oliver Melgar’s new California-inspired summer menu, such as Crispy Savory Ahi Tuna Tacos with Wonton Taco Shells and Avocado Mousse, or Crispy Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce . Drinks like a jammy bourbon and red wine concoction or a creamsicle-style mocktail with orange juice and vanilla syrup are the perfect accompaniment to a night out in a city with such breathtaking views. – Lauryn Azu

1 W. Upper Wacker Drive, 312-795-3308, elevatedbarchicago.com

Other rooftops: Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen on Lincoln Square, Tavern on the Point in Edison Park, Twisted Spoke in West Town, Open Outcry Brewing Co. in Morgan Park

A newly opened patio: Goose Island Salt Shed Pub in West Town

People eat and drink indoors and outdoors at the Goose Island Salt Shed Pub, 1221 W. Blackhawk St., on its first day of business, May 3, 2024, in Chicago.  (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
People eat and drink outside and inside the Goose Island Salt Shed Pub on West Blackhawk Street in Chicago on its first day of business, May 3, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

Goose Island Salt Shed Pub began serving drinks on May 3. Founded by John Hall in 1988 on Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park, the Chicago brewery closed that original location in December and moved to its new home right next to the Salt Shed. The new pub’s patio overlooks the river and downtown skyline and has tables with umbrellas and couches for lounging. Treat yourself to snacks such as pretzels with beer cheese and mustard or enjoy larger meals such as a smashburger with fries. And yes, you can visit the pub to see a show without a ticket. – Kayla Samoje

1221 W. Blackhawk St., 312-915-0071, gooseisland.com

Other new patios: 101 Club in Streeterville, Casa Chi in Streeterville, Maxwell’s Trading in the West Loop, Kindling in the Loop

A patio to drink coffee and send emails: Beatrix Fulton Market in the West Loop

I usually write in my cafe, cramped in a dimly lit corner, turning like a sunflower toward the nearest open window. Beatrix is ​​​​a wonderful alternative. There is flexibility, plenty of space and a motivating amount of beautiful green plants in the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, bakery and café. You can start your morning on the comfortable terrace sofas with a cup of coffee, head to the shaded indoor/outdoor area with a pastry when the heat rises and then have brunch with colleagues under umbrellas on the restaurant side. The main attraction (besides the free WiFi) is the cafe and bakery with a beautiful display of visually sumptuous pastries. Beatrix’s pastry shop also opens from 7 a.m. and the restaurant closes at 9 p.m. at the earliest. — Ahmed Ali Akbar

834 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-0370, beatrixrestaurants.com/beatrix/fulton-market

Other patios to drink coffee and send emails: Build Coffee in Woodlawn, Dark Matter Osmium in Lakeview, Afro Joe’s Coffee and Tea in Beverly, Cafe 53 in Hyde Park

A terrace with a happy hour after work: Nicky’s of Beverly in Beverly

People dine on the patio of Nicky's of Beverly in Chicago on May 18, 2024.  (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)
People dine on the patio of Nicky’s of Beverly in Chicago on May 18, 2024. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)

Soak up the sun after work under blues-themed murals on stacked shipping containers at this newly redesigned South Side restaurant, which has been serving Chicago classics like pizza puffs for two decades. A three-hour happy hour Monday through Friday includes deals on beer, wine and craft cocktails, including a delicious watermelon-basil vodka smash from mixologist Lizzy Benner. Located on a bustling stretch of Western Avenue, Nicky’s family-friendly patio is perfect for casual gatherings and people-watching, and the cozy fire pits will keep you warm after the sun goes down. –LA

10500 S. Western Ave., 773-233-3072, nickysofbeverly.com

Other patios with happy hours: Franklin Tap in the Loop (all day, rotating specials), Diego in West Town (Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight), Pilsen Yards in Pilsen (Wednesday to and Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.). :30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.), Bixi Beer on Logan Square (Sunday and Wednesday through Friday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

A dog-friendly patio with Chicago-style flavor: Justice of the Pies in Avalon Park

If your dog needs a little more space for that big piece while you dine out and enjoy some favorite Chicago-style flavors, my dog ​​Kōl extends his big paws to the patio at Justice of the Pies. Chef and owner Maya-Camille Broussard – and her chocolate goldendoodle Milo – clearly had comfort and style in mind when designing the bakery she opened last year, which is accessible inside and out. You can easily move the lightweight metal chairs to make room for your pup. Then get some sweet and savory treats, including the seasonal Pie La Mode, a cup filled with warm peaches, a salted caramel sauce, vanilla soft serve, and a whole slice of her salted caramel peach pie. The pie is one of Broussard’s signature flavors dating back to her earliest days at the Daley Plaza farmers market. – Louisa Chu

8655 S. Blackstone Ave., justiceofthepies.com

Other dog-friendly patios with Chicago-style flavor: The Wiener’s Circle in Lincoln Park (char dog), Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park (sausage and beef combo), Bungalow by Middle Brow in Logan Square (Tavern Tuesday veg supreme), Sweet Rabbit Bakery in Roscoe Village (seasonal fruit Danish)

A patio for a date night: Volo Restaurant Wine Bar in Roscoe Village

Jon Young, center, managing partner at Volo Restaurant Wine Bar, 2008 W. Roscoe St., pours wines for diners at a table on the patio, May 16, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
Jon Young, center, managing partner at Volo Restaurant Wine Bar, 2008 W. Roscoe St., pours wines for diners at a table on the back patio on May 16, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

Impress your date with an intimate night out dining on flatbreads and charcuterie boards in cozy outdoor cabanas at Volo Restaurant Wine Bar, all under twinkling lights once the sun sets. An extensive wine list offers rose flights and selections from New Zealand, France and Spain on Wednesdays. Pair your bubbly with chef Stephen Dunne’s spring menu, including croque monsieur with ham, gruyere and tender vegetables, and end the meal romantically with a decadent chocolate mousse. Summer weather also calls for spritzes, and Volo’s six prosecco-based spritzes cost $7 during happy hour. –LA.

2008 W. Roscoe St., 773-348-4600, volorestaurant.com

Other patios suitable for date night: Gemini in Lincoln Park, The Hi-Low in Humboldt Park, Kubo in Lake View, Chez Joël in Little Italy

A terrace with activities to keep you entertained: Central Park Bar in Avondale

If you fancy some friendly competition while relaxing with a drink, Central Park Bar in the Avondale neighborhood is one of my favorite spots thanks to its large pool table. Not nearly as productive of a bar offering as the standard pool table, but bumper pool tables are smaller with built-in obstacles that change the game. From June to August there’s bingo on Mondays, trivia on Tuesdays and craft events on Wednesdays, so there’s plenty to do. The bar offers a few pre-packaged snacks from Beautiful Rind Chicago, but you can take food to go, so grab a poke bowl from Poke Okie down the street. – KS

2924 N. Central Park Ave., 773-698-6063, centralparkbarchicago.com

Other patios with activities: Park and Field in Logan Square (bocce ball), Kaiser Tiger in West Loop (bocce ball and bags), Parson’s in Logan Square (ping pong), District Brew Yards in West Town (board games)

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