Best Outdoor Dining Spots in Chicago

Don't stay inside! Enjoy the weather at these great patios across the city.

Sheffield's beer garden is a favorite place in the city to take advantage of the summer weather.

With temperatures finally on the rise, Chicagoans are more than ready to come out of hibernation. The Windy City really comes alive in the summer time, and we look forward to nothing more than seeing chairs put back out on patios. Here are the top restaurants where you can take advantage of every glorious moment of summer weather in Chicago.

Big Star
Easily one of the most popular patios in the city, be prepared for a wait if you want to hit up this Wicker Park hot spot. It’s not hyped for nothing, though: their tacos are perfect summer eats, whether you’re just looking for dinner or just a quick bite with a cheeky day drink. Their killer margaritas will definitely brighten your day.

Howells & Hood
Howells & Hood is just celebrating their first year anniversary, but location, delicious food, and an extensive beer selection have made this a popular River North restaurant. Their patio is particularly in demand; situated next to Tribune Tower, it offers an amazing view of the Wrigley Building, the Chicago River, and the Loop.

Little Goat Diner
This diner from Top Chef Stephanie Izard has quickly become a favorite in the West Loop. When its rooftop opens in summertime, however, its real charms come out. With a great view of the skyline and under the benevolent eye of their adorable goat mascot, the all-day breakfast and quirky cocktails never tasted better.

Parson’s Chicken and Fish
Leave your worries behind when you come to this Logan Square patio. Striped umbrellas shade picnic tables, giving the restaurant a relaxed, picnic-y feel. It’s perfect for diving into a helping of their fried chicken or cooling down with their signature Negroni slushie.

Looking for a beer garden to spend a lazy summer afternoon? Head to Sheffield’s, a long beloved spot in Lakeview. Their outdoor space is large and shady and sometimes hosts live music as you throw back a few with friends.

In Ravenswood the rooftop garden at Fountainhead is the place to be when the weather is warm. With an incredibly extensive beer menu, you’re sure to find just the right brew to accompany their ever-changing food menu. Quirky touches like street lamps embedded in tables finish the unique atmosphere.

Going to the beach at Lake Michigan is a must in the Chicago summer. At North Avenue Beach, Castaways is impossible to miss. This ship-shaped building can feel like you’re reliving Spring Break, so why not give in and catch some rays with a daiquiri and some nachos?

Fireside Lounge
This Ravenswood bar and restaurant provides ample opportunity to take advantage of outdoor dining. Tables line the front sidewalk, providing a perfect place for customers with canine companions. Their patio allows you to enjoy eating al fresco no matter the weather: a large canopy covers the space when it rains, and space heaters warm it up if the capricious Chicago weather gets too chilly.

Twisted Spoke
When the sun’s out, seats at this West Town restaurant are definitely in demand. The rooftop is a popular place to grab a beer and some satisfying bar food. Don’t mind the skeleton riding the motorcycle; he’s great company.


El Cid
This Mexican restaurant in Logan Square offers a couple options for eating outside. Get cozy on the back patio under strings of lights, or be a part of the lively summer nights out on the front porch. Either choice is a good one for enjoying El Cid’s excellent menu.