The Best of Chicago’s Outdoor Dining Scene

Bocce ball, rosé carts and a tri-level rooftop. Get some.

May 25, 2016 9:00 am

There is one downside to eating al fresco in a city like ours.

Too many choices, not enough summer.

Which is why we distilled your hunt to five brand new outdoor dining experiences you should add to your calendar right now for immediate and repeatable warm-weather enjoyment.

Photo: Saint Lou’s Assembly
The Drinker-Spectator’s Backyard: Saint Lou’s Assembly
The summer forecast says many a merry night will begin at Saint Lou’s Assembly, the cafeteria-style meat-and-three-sides joint we didn’t know we needed. The backyard patio seats 100 and features a bocce ball court with stadium seating, so you can watch all the action on and off the court. In addition to the full menu and picnic-style meals, an expanded bev program offers large-format cocktails and a mix-and-match six-pack craft can cooler.
664 W. Lake St. (map)

Photo: Corridor Brewery & Provisions
The Beerlicious Sidewalk Patio: Corridor Brewery & Provisions
Because summer thirst is best quenched with a cold farmhouse ale. Cubs pre-game go to? This is it. Otherwise, this sibling to DryHop Brewery is the ideal spot to people watch on the Southport Corridor while sipping inventive brews and noshing elevated pub grub. Grab a flight and a mushroom leek pie and stay awhile.
3446 N. Southport (map)

The Fancy Pants Foodie Patio: The Blanchard
Tucked away in a quiet Lincoln Park cul-de-sac is an eatery we once deemed the least trendy restaurant of 2015. You must come here at least once this summer, if not for the everyday French fare, then for eating said everyday French fare en plein air. Think of it as a secluded sidewalk cafe. Don’t forget Sunday brunch. And whatever you do, bring a date.
1935 N. Lincoln Park West (map)

The Grandiose Rooftop Bar You’ll Want Reservations For: LH Rooftop
Just how grandiose? How about the city’s first tri-level perch smack dab in the middle of Downtown? Goes like this: first level you’ll find an indoor bar. Then there’s a second-level outdoor bar with views on views. And finally, the third level is an exclusive open-air space opening mid-summer that can be booked for private events. Reservations can be made through Tock.
85 E. Wacker Dr. (map)

The Logan Square Patio That’s Not Parson’s: Dos Urban Cantina
The Tribune has called this Logan Square eatery the “most important Mexican restaurant since Topolobampo,” and we agree. Whether for brunch or dinner, Dos Urban Cantina’s festive new 40-seat sidewalk patio will feature large-format cocktails for the table and a roving rosé wine cart, as well as a brand new botanas menu (small plates) from chef Brian Enyart. Make it your first stop the next time you’re in Logan Square.
2829 W. Armitage Ave. (map)

This is but only one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September


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