With warmer weather and longer days just around the corner, it’s almost time to partake in Chicagoland’s many al fresco dining options. Be it an after-work happy hour, a fun night out with friends, or a much-needed date night— check out these outdoor dining spots in the city and plan your spring and summer imbibing accordingly.
The rooftop deck located at Navy Pier boasts over 42,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. This year-round rooftop offers a full-service bar and kitchen, along with fire pits, an entertainment and gaming area, and multiple large gathering spaces for social and corporate events, weddings, and more.
Kennedy Rooftop offers a variety of signature dishes and cocktails atop the Hyatt Place Wicker Park. Space is first come first served.
Located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, Ocean Prime offers al fresco dining on the outdoor patio. The modern American restaurant and lounge from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants offers a menu of seafood and steak, signature cocktails, and a wine list.
The restaurant serving Latin-fusion cuisine offers an outdoor terrace with libations and dishes. The West Loop spot also offers seven private and semi-private spaces for celebratory events.
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Formerly Engine Company 104 of the Chicago Fire Department, the restaurant at 1401 South Michigan Avenue features both a backyard patio and an outdoor veranda affording views of the South Loop skyline. The house steaks, chops, and seafood, are complemented by seasonal dishes.
Lakefront views and Iberian-Inspired fare are offered at Lírica, located at 900 E. Grand Ave on Navy Pier. Featuring a 150-seat patio on Lake Michigan, the waterfront restaurant combines views of Lake Michigan with rustic flavors.
Replay Lincoln Park
The Chicago arcade bar located at 2833 N. Sheffield pairs outdoor dining and imbibing with 65 free vintage arcade games available. Replay Lincoln Park features rotating pop-up events spanning 9,000 square feet of gaming areas including their outdoor patio.
City Cruises Chicago
Set sail on City Cruises’ vessels including the Odyssey Lake Michigan, Spirit of Chicago, Chicago Elite, and the Odyssey Chicago River. Guests are offered cocktails and cuisine during brunch and dinner cruises, all while taking in the views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline from the Chicago River.
Sicily meets South Loop at this Italian eatery located within Roosevelt Collection Shops at 1010 S. Delano Ct. Led by Executive Chef Michael Serratore, Pacino’s offers a range of antipasti, pizza, salads, seafood, fresh pasta, and more. Cocktails or a glass of vino are available at the full bar indoors or pull up a seat under the outdoor pergola for an outdoor dining experience.
Serving up classic American fare nestled within 88 acres of forest preserve, Water’s Edge located within Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook offers a lakeside café or al fresco on the patio overlooking a private lake. Water’s Edge offers both savory and sweet breakfast dishes and fresh salads, wraps, and sandwiches for lunch. Patrons can also opt to book lakeside private parties on the patio which cater to up to 40 guests.
Oaken Bistro + Bar
Oaken Bistro + Bar, 200 N. Field Dr., features both indoor and outdoor dining, with a lounge, bar, dining rooms, and a patio complete with fire pit seating. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch service on weekends, the restaurant incorporates natural elements in everything from design and decor to menu offerings including a cocktail program complete with floral and herbal infusions.
Fulton Market Kitchen
The restaurant offers an outdoor patio and an art-filled indoor dining spaces. Fulton Market Kitchen is currently open for dinner seven days a week and has just launched weekend brunch service on Saturday-Sunday each week.