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Chicago's Patio Season Guide, 2016 Edition

Because you made it through another winter

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Spring in Chicago means it's finally time for one glorious thing—patio season. As the weather heats up, many of Chicago's best restaurants and bars are opening their patios and rooftops for guests to catch some rays while enjoying outdoor staples like tacos and daiquiris. Here are many top spots below, as well as some new openings for 2016, so check it out to see where you'll be lounging around the next few months.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

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2051 N California Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647
(773) 276-8888
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The only thing that makes Bang Bang’s pies even better is getting to enjoy them out in the side yard. Rows of picnic tables line the area, making it the perfect spot to relax over a savory biscuit sandwich or luscious slice of pie.

2. Bernie's Lunch & Supper

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660 N Orleans St, Chicago
IL, 60654
(312) 624-9892
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Michigan-based import Bernie’s Lunch & Supper is ready for its first full al fresco season. The seasonal rooftop deck is a nice after-work drinks spot that’s bound to see plenty of crowds stopping in for craft cocktails and a menu full of rustic Mediterranean flavors.

3. Big Star

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1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622
(773) 235-4039
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Chicago’s most popular patio is always an attractive option. Large crowds and long waits are to be expected but tough it out and you’ll be rewarded with delicious tacos and margaritas. Or order from the takeout window and saunter over to nearby Wicker Park for a lovely picnic.

Big Star

4. Chop Shop

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2033 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 537-4440
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Wicker Park’s restaurant, bar, butcher shop and event space has an upstairs patio perfect for escaping the noise of the city. Decked with strung-out lights and umbrellas, it’s tucked away from the rest of the neighborhood and opens at 11 a.m. daily, giving guests a daytime spot to lounge around while enjoying a burger or nice steak.

Chop Shop

5. Cindy's

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12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
IL, 60603
(312) 792-3502
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The Chicago Athletic Association's beach house-style rooftop is sure to be a popular destination this spring. The picturesque view of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan makes an ideal backdrop for some daytime drinking, or stop by in the evening and huddle around the fire pits outside. Either way, it’s hard to find a more awe-inspiring terrace.

Marc Much

6. Dos Urban Cantina

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2829 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-6452
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The highly-acclaimed Mexican restaurant will unveil a brand new sidewalk patio that seats over 40 guests. It’ll feature lush botanicals, creating an inviting new outdoor destination to lounge over a drink or enjoy dinner in Logan Square.

Marc Much

7. Earls Kitchen + Bar

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1538 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago
IL, 60610
(312) 929-3952
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The New City location of the Canadian restaurant chain has a modern and spacious patio area accommodating up to 100 guests, complete with lounge seating and fire pits. Enjoy globally-inspired, seasonal fare like a Sante Fe chicken salad and Strawberry Spritz cocktail.

8. Firefly Kitchen

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111 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette
IL, 60091

Up in the suburb of Wilmette, this Brooklyn-inspired bistro features a 35-seat enclosed back patio. The space includes quad tables with umbrellas, chairs, lounge furniture and heaters so guests can enjoy the restaurant’s seasonal comfort dishes outside even when it’s cool out.

Firefly Kitchen

9. Forno Rosso

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1048 Randolph Street, Chicago
IL, 60607
(312) 243-6000
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Forno Rosso’s second location in the West Loop is debuting a 60-seat patio this spring to create an “Italian outdoor café experience,” according to owner Nick Nitti. Guests can enjoy the full menu outside, which includes the rustic Neapolitan pies that have gained a cult-like following among pizza lovers.

Marc Much

10. Fountainhead

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1970 W Montrose Ave, Chicago
IL, 60613
(773) 697-8204
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Beer and whiskey aficionados love Fountainhead for its extensive drink selection. Just as impressive is the restaurant’s rooftop, which is where you’ll want to be when it opens in May. A menu of seasonal, pub-friendly fare pairs well with the booze and locals have made the spot a neighborhood favorite by packing the house nightly.

11. Fremont

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15 W Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 239-0995
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Thanks to the expansive retractable roof, Fremont provides an al fresco feel to guests throughout the restaurant during all hours of the day. The large moon roof on the upper level offers cityscape views while guests enjoy cocktails, dinner or a decadent weekend brunch buffet.

Marc Much

12. GreenRiver

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259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago
IL, 60611
(312) 337-0101
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One of last year’s biggest openings is ready for its first full patio season. The rooftop restaurant debuts its terrace again, boasting sweeping views of the cityscape. The outdoor bar area can accommodate 40-45 people standing and features Head Bartender Julia Momose’s highballs such as Yuzu Gin & Tonic, GreenRiver Vodka Soda and GreenRiver Rhum & Cola. An adjacent dining area can seat up to 50 guests for Chef Aaron Lirette’s seasonal fare.

Michelle Smith

13. Happy Village

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1059 N Wolcott Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622
(773) 486-1512
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This Ukrainian Village dive bar has been around for more than 50 years and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. The beer garden, which is open year-round, is an oasis filled with plenty of seating, a tent and even a goldfish pond. There are also ping pong tables inside, making it a great place to bring your own food and host a party.

14. Mezcaleria Las Flores

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3149 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL
(773) 278-2215
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Fans of mezcal will soon be able to enjoy more than 60 bottles of the agave spirit on a sidewalk patio. The new Logan Square bar will share the space with neighbor Johnny’s Grill so guests can relax over a smoky cocktail and a griddled burger.

15. Osteria Langhe

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2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647
(773) 661-1582
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The well-received Italian eatery offering Piemontese fare is launching a “secret garden” in early May. The reservation-only, quaint backyard features a communal table for 14 guests accompanied by a garden where Chef Cameron Grant sources fresh ingredients.

Timothy Hiatt

16. Parson's Chicken & Fish

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2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647
(773) 384-3333
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Delicious fried chicken and a spacious patio. What else could one need? In this case, a Negroni slushy is the perfect complement to warm spring day in Chicago. Parson's bucks the trend of bad frozen cocktails by making theirs in a machine with Letherbee gin, Luxardo bitter and sweet vermouth.

17. Piccolo Sogno

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464 N Halsted St, Chicago
IL, 60642
(312) 421-0077
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Date night doesn’t get more romantic than with a rustic meal on Piccolo Sogno’s lush garden patio. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with a glass of wine and some of the best Italian fare in town.

18. Queen Mary

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2125 W Division, Chicago
IL, 60622
(773) 697-3522
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Explore British maritime drinking traditions at the Ukrainian Village tavern on Division Street. The 50-seat sidewalk patio, set to open this spring, will allow guests to drink up on gin, rum and scotch-based cocktails outside while singing their favorite shanties.

Marc Much

19. Red Door

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2118 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647
(773) 697-7221
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Chef Troy Graves is dishing out globally-inspired bites at this Bucktown gastropub. That means the menu offers items ranging from Hong Kong noodles and ricotta gnocchi to Dorilocos, a Mexican street food. Best of all, you can enjoy it from the glorious wood-accented patio that seats up to 100 guests.

20. Replay Beer & Bourbon

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5358 N Clark St, Chicago
IL, 60640
(773) 654-1369
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New for the season, the arcade bar shares a 68-seat, dog-friendly patio with adjacent cocktail lounge Elixir. Guests can enjoy both menus al fresco while taking in the sights and sounds of Andersonville.

Replay and Elixir

21. River Roast

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315 N La Salle Dr
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 822-0100
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Kick back and feel the cool breeze of the lake from the patio of Chicago’s premier riverfront restaurant. To complement the gorgeous view, Chef John Hogan delivers an array of contemporary tavern fare including signature roasted meats, fish and veggies, all carved tableside.

22. Small Cheval

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1732 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 929-4580
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The Au Cheval spinoff offers near-replicas of the nationally-acclaimed burger that Chicagoans can’t get enough of, as well as ample patio seating so you don’t have to wait hours in line. The slimmed-down menu keeps things simple with just a few beverage options to go alongside the burgers and fries, but when the food is this good, you’ll find no complaints.

23. SPiN Ping Pong

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344 N State St, Chicago
IL, 60654
(773) 635-9999
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The newly opened ping pong social club features an outdoor patio directly off State Street. The space will have a STIGA ping pong table for playing, alongside a lounging area for guests to enjoy al fresco dining and custom cocktails.

Barry Brecheisen

24. St Lou's Assembly

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664 West lake Street, Chicago
IL, 60661

Hot on the heels of its surprise opening, Saint Lou’s Assembly will launch a back porch patio in mid-May. The 100-seat space will feature bleacher seating, lush planters and a bocce ball court while guests can unwind with picnic-style grab & go bites as well as boozy floats and select cocktails from Moneygun.

Blue Star Properties

25. Tanta Chicago

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118 W Grand Ave, Chicago
IL, 60654
(312) 222-9700
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Pisco sours and patio season go hand-in-hand. Luckily, Tanta makes a fantastic version of the South American cocktail for guests to enjoy on its rooftop along with summer-centric Peruvian bites. A retractable awning also keeps guests warm and dry, making it a great spot to hang out during spring showers.

Tanta

26. The Dawson

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732 W. Grand Ave., Chicago
IL, 60654
(312) 243-8955
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The huge patio—decked out with strung-up lights, lots of greenery and its own bar—makes this a hotspot during spring and summertime. The signature frozen Mai Tai is a definite crowd favorite, made with a boozy mix of Bacardi 8, Rhum Clément Agricole, housemade orgeat and cointreau.

The Dawson

27. The Duck Inn

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2701 S Eleanor St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 724-8811
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A stone's throw from U.S. Cellular Field, The Duck Inn packs in a crowd on warm-weather days and nights. It's a bi-level backyard with rustic benches and tables over a brick floor.

28. The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago

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521 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 645-1500
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The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago will open its doors to the public on May 16th and house a fifth-floor terrace for guests to relax on. Dubbed Upstairs at The Gwen, the Art Deco-infused space will focus on elevated craft cocktails paired with shareable small plates.

The Gwen

29. The Promontory

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5311 S Lake Park West, Chicago
IL, 60615
(312) 801-2100
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Hyde Park’s restaurant/music venue concept has two floors of open-air space along with patio seating. Jared Wentworth presents a menu of modern hearth cuisine so diners can feast on items like grilled gulf prawns, kalbi short ribs and wagyu strip steak.

Nick Fochtman

30. Whiskey Business

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1367 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Chicago, IL
(773) 698-7362
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There can never be enough outdoor seating in Wicker Park so this new whiskey bar is getting in on the action with its rooftop. Expect an ample amount of space (170 seats), communal tables and big-screen televisions showing all of the big games starting in May.

Marc Much

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647

The only thing that makes Bang Bang’s pies even better is getting to enjoy them out in the side yard. Rows of picnic tables line the area, making it the perfect spot to relax over a savory biscuit sandwich or luscious slice of pie.

2051 N California Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647

2. Bernie's Lunch & Supper

660 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL, 60654

Michigan-based import Bernie’s Lunch & Supper is ready for its first full al fresco season. The seasonal rooftop deck is a nice after-work drinks spot that’s bound to see plenty of crowds stopping in for craft cocktails and a menu full of rustic Mediterranean flavors.

660 N Orleans St, Chicago
IL, 60654

3. Big Star

1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622
Big Star

Chicago’s most popular patio is always an attractive option. Large crowds and long waits are to be expected but tough it out and you’ll be rewarded with delicious tacos and margaritas. Or order from the takeout window and saunter over to nearby Wicker Park for a lovely picnic.

1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622

4. Chop Shop

2033 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Chop Shop

Wicker Park’s restaurant, bar, butcher shop and event space has an upstairs patio perfect for escaping the noise of the city. Decked with strung-out lights and umbrellas, it’s tucked away from the rest of the neighborhood and opens at 11 a.m. daily, giving guests a daytime spot to lounge around while enjoying a burger or nice steak.

2033 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

5. Cindy's

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60603
Marc Much

The Chicago Athletic Association's beach house-style rooftop is sure to be a popular destination this spring. The picturesque view of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan makes an ideal backdrop for some daytime drinking, or stop by in the evening and huddle around the fire pits outside. Either way, it’s hard to find a more awe-inspiring terrace.

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
IL, 60603

6. Dos Urban Cantina

2829 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Marc Much

The highly-acclaimed Mexican restaurant will unveil a brand new sidewalk patio that seats over 40 guests. It’ll feature lush botanicals, creating an inviting new outdoor destination to lounge over a drink or enjoy dinner in Logan Square.

2829 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. Earls Kitchen + Bar

1538 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL, 60610

The New City location of the Canadian restaurant chain has a modern and spacious patio area accommodating up to 100 guests, complete with lounge seating and fire pits. Enjoy globally-inspired, seasonal fare like a Sante Fe chicken salad and Strawberry Spritz cocktail.

1538 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago
IL, 60610

8. Firefly Kitchen

111 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette, IL, 60091
Firefly Kitchen

Up in the suburb of Wilmette, this Brooklyn-inspired bistro features a 35-seat enclosed back patio. The space includes quad tables with umbrellas, chairs, lounge furniture and heaters so guests can enjoy the restaurant’s seasonal comfort dishes outside even when it’s cool out.

111 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette
IL, 60091

9. Forno Rosso

1048 Randolph Street, Chicago, IL, 60607
Marc Much

Forno Rosso’s second location in the West Loop is debuting a 60-seat patio this spring to create an “Italian outdoor café experience,” according to owner Nick Nitti. Guests can enjoy the full menu outside, which includes the rustic Neapolitan pies that have gained a cult-like following among pizza lovers.

1048 Randolph Street, Chicago
IL, 60607

10. Fountainhead

1970 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL, 60613

Beer and whiskey aficionados love Fountainhead for its extensive drink selection. Just as impressive is the restaurant’s rooftop, which is where you’ll want to be when it opens in May. A menu of seasonal, pub-friendly fare pairs well with the booze and locals have made the spot a neighborhood favorite by packing the house nightly.

1970 W Montrose Ave, Chicago
IL, 60613

11. Fremont

15 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
Marc Much

Thanks to the expansive retractable roof, Fremont provides an al fresco feel to guests throughout the restaurant during all hours of the day. The large moon roof on the upper level offers cityscape views while guests enjoy cocktails, dinner or a decadent weekend brunch buffet.

15 W Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60654

12. GreenRiver

259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago, IL, 60611
Michelle Smith

One of last year’s biggest openings is ready for its first full patio season. The rooftop restaurant debuts its terrace again, boasting sweeping views of the cityscape. The outdoor bar area can accommodate 40-45 people standing and features Head Bartender Julia Momose’s highballs such as Yuzu Gin & Tonic, GreenRiver Vodka Soda and GreenRiver Rhum & Cola. An adjacent dining area can seat up to 50 guests for Chef Aaron Lirette’s seasonal fare.

259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago
IL, 60611

13. Happy Village

1059 N Wolcott Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622

This Ukrainian Village dive bar has been around for more than 50 years and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. The beer garden, which is open year-round, is an oasis filled with plenty of seating, a tent and even a goldfish pond. There are also ping pong tables inside, making it a great place to bring your own food and host a party.

1059 N Wolcott Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622

14. Mezcaleria Las Flores

3149 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL

Fans of mezcal will soon be able to enjoy more than 60 bottles of the agave spirit on a sidewalk patio. The new Logan Square bar will share the space with neighbor Johnny’s Grill so guests can relax over a smoky cocktail and a griddled burger.

3149 W Logan Blvd
Chicago, IL

15. Osteria Langhe

2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647
Timothy Hiatt

The well-received Italian eatery offering Piemontese fare is launching a “secret garden” in early May. The reservation-only, quaint backyard features a communal table for 14 guests accompanied by a garden where Chef Cameron Grant sources fresh ingredients.

2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
IL, 60647

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