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A covered patio space beside the Chicago River.
Chicagoans know that the weather can turn mid-meal.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

25 Sheltered Spots for Open-Air Dining in Chicago When It Rains

Owners get creative to keep customers warm and dry

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Chicagoans know that the weather can turn mid-meal.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

From surprise snow flurries to sudden downpours, Chicago's weather isn’t always suitable for al fresco dining and drinking. Chicagoans are crafty and know that there are ways to escape Mother Nature. Retractable roof coverings and sliding walls — which before 2020 were nice-to-have accouterment — are now vital assets for restaurants as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and more variants emerge.

Check out these establishments that shelter outdoor patrons from the elements.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. BiXi Beer

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2515 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 904-7368
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Logan Square’s ambitious Asian-inspired brewpub from chef and owner Bo Fowler (Owen & Engine) has a spacious and partially-covered roof deck that faces out to Milwaukee Avenue. The restaurant’s juicy burgers and diverse noodle selection are a solid cure for rainy day blues.

2. Pizza Lobo

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3000 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 265-1745
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This pizzeria in Logan Square houses a 4,000 square foot patio for drinking and devouring New York-style pies. It’s helmed by former Bad Hunter chef Dan Snowden and Heisler Hospitality (Sportsman’s Club), and a second location is in the works in Andersonville.

3. Open Outcry Brewing Company

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10934 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 629-6055
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This top-notch brewery and taproom in Beverly features both a partially-covered rooftop space and retractable garage doors on the main floor. The open spaces allow for airflow but still keep patrons dry as they sip their beers and eat Neapolitan-style pizzas.

4. Vybz Rooftop

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711 W Howard St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 868-8226
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Perched above Good to Go, a Jamaican restaurant on the Evanston-Chicago border at Howard Street, Vybz Rooftop isn’t covered, precisely, but it does have covered pods, complete with blankets, heaters, and furniture that would not look out of place in someone’s living room. There’s live reggae music on Fridays.

5. Village Tap

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2055 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 883-0817
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Outdoor drinking is nothing new at this Roscoe Village beer garden. Staff have enclosed the back patio to provide imbibers some relief from the elements.

6. The Piggery

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1625 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 281-7447
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Located about a mile from Wrigley Field — Cubs fans can take the complementary shuttle if they don’t feel like walking — the Piggery, true to its name, specializes in things that are porky, notably ribs and Cuban sandwiches. Its cheerful, partially-covered rooftop bar overlooks Irving Park Road, and it has plenty of TVs so no one has to choose between sports and fresh air.

7. Frontier

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1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 772-4322
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Chef Brian Jupiter’s bar and whole animal restaurant sports a welcoming covered patio with string lights and a fireplace, along with a heated and ventilated beer garden.

8. The Duck Inn

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2701 S Eleanor St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 724-8811
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Chef Kevin Hickey’s mega-hit in Bridgeport sports coverage for its charming backyard patio. Patrons can gobble up rotisserie duck, duck fat french fries, duck wings, and more in any kind of weather.

9. Azul Mariscos + Muelle

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1177 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 770-3766
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Perched along the Chicago River, this seafood spot highlights cuisine from Nayarit (a state in western Mexico) and an easy-breezy patio space that’s partially covered.

A large restaurant patio with a partially covered section.
Azul offers lovely riverside views.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

10. Pilsen Yards

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1163 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 243-2410
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The owners of Pizza Capri reinvented their Pilsen space to be pandemic proof with heated floors and enclosures for the patio. Enjoy Mexican-American food and fancy drinks (or a cheap beer, the space has a little bit for everyone) on the back patio.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

11. Marvin's Food & Fuel

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954 W Fulton Market St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 291-9255
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This restaurant at the base of Morgan’s on Fulton, one of Chicago’s most popular event venues, also offers a 6,000 square-foot rooftop space, complete with a 1,500 square-foot glass penthouse structure and retractable glass canopy. It’s available for private events with amenities like indoor and outdoor bars, private cabanas, and a grilling station.

12. Nobu Hotel Chicago

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155 N Peoria St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 779-8888
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It took seven years, but celebrity-backed sushi restaurant and hotel Nobu finally made its Chicago debut in 2020 along Randolph Restaurant Row. Splurge-happy diners can find a safe spot from precipitation under an overhang that covers most of the hotel’s 5,000-square-foot rooftop.

13. Cabra

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200 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 761-1717
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Cabra, the Peruvian-influenced restaurant from Top Chef champion and celebrity chef Stephanie Izard perched atop the Hoxton hotel, includes a trendy patio space with sweeping views of Fulton Market. It’s partially covered so diners can stay dry while devouring ceviche and goat empanadas.

14. Recess

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838 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 801-1181
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Recess’s massive outdoor patio is ideal for pandemic social distancing, and even includes a few safe spots for rainy days. A covered structure in center of the 14,500-square-foot space provides a barrier between patrons and the elements, and retractable garage doors line an indoor-outdoor area with an extended roofline.

A huge outdoor patio space with a very tall covered pergola in the middle.
Recess goes all out for patio season.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

15. Athena Greek Restaurant

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212 S Halsted St #1
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 655-0000
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Athena’s spacious outdoor terrace is already a rarity in Greektown, but the restaurant tops itself with both a retractable roof and waterfall.

16. The J. Parker

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1816 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 254-4747
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A sliding glass-enclosed rooftop at the J. Parker inside the Hotel Lincoln offers lovely views over Lincoln Park.

17. Gibsons Italia

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233 N Canal St
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 414-1100
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Riverfront destination Gibsons Italia has retractable glass roof and walls, as well as stadium-style seating to ensure beautiful skyline and river views. When it opened in 2018, it won Eater Chicago’s award for Most Beautiful Restaurant of the Year.

A chic lounge space with brown leather armchairs beside an open wall.
Gibsons Italia features open-air lounging along the Chicago River.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

18. Beatnik On The River

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180 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 526-3345
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This richly decorated boho-themed restaurant and cocktail lounge (a sibling to the original Beatnik in West Town) has no trouble luring diners to its 80-seat patio overlooking the Chicago River. Patrons can expect to lounge on daybed seating amid lush greenery, and still remain dry when the skies grow cloudy.

19. Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill

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Lincoln Park Zoo unveiled this family-friendly retreat in summer 2021 with a casual menu of sandwiches and pizza slices, booze for grownups, and a prime view of the lions.

A large, partially-covered patio dining space.
Bird’s Eye may be especially appealing to young diners.
Matt Reeves/Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill

20. bar avec

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640 N LaSalle Dr 8th floor
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 736-1740
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One Off Hospitality (the Publican) has another hit on its hands with this eighth-floor rooftop bar above Avec River North, the sister spot to Mediterranean-style original Avec in West Loop. Formerly the Laurel Room, the bar is beautifully situated for sweeping views of the neighborhood.

21. IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

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127 W Huron St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 374-1830
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Rooftop bar the IO Godfrey comes equipped with a retractable roof that features gorgeous views of downtown Chicago, along with cocktails, brunch, and more.

22. RPM Seafood

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317 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 900-9035
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A luxurious dining destination along the Chicago River, RPM Seafood balances its pristine dining room with a bustling outdoor patio ideal for those looking to see and be seen. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic opened the restaurant in early 2020.

Two floors of outdoor dining space along the Chicago River.

23. Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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744 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605
(773) 645-4909
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The fourth location from Quad Cities-style pizzeria Roots Handmade Pizza debuted in 2020 with glass retractable roof on Printers Row. It cost a cool $600,000 and takes about 20 seconds to retract.

A spacious, partially-covered rooftop patio.
This speedy rooftop opens or closes in under a minute.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

24. Reggies Chicago

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2105 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-0120
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This music venue and record store sports one of the only rooftop bars south of Madison. Known for its chicken wings, Reggie’s roof has a tent to keep patrons dry while sipping a beer or mixed drink.

25. Il Culaccino - Chicago Italian Restaurant

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2134 S Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 794-5300
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South Loop Italian spot Il Culaccino is prepared for potential wind, rain, and snow with a retractable roof and walls.

1. BiXi Beer

2515 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Logan Square’s ambitious Asian-inspired brewpub from chef and owner Bo Fowler (Owen & Engine) has a spacious and partially-covered roof deck that faces out to Milwaukee Avenue. The restaurant’s juicy burgers and diverse noodle selection are a solid cure for rainy day blues.

2515 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

2. Pizza Lobo

3000 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

This pizzeria in Logan Square houses a 4,000 square foot patio for drinking and devouring New York-style pies. It’s helmed by former Bad Hunter chef Dan Snowden and Heisler Hospitality (Sportsman’s Club), and a second location is in the works in Andersonville.

3000 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

3. Open Outcry Brewing Company

10934 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643

This top-notch brewery and taproom in Beverly features both a partially-covered rooftop space and retractable garage doors on the main floor. The open spaces allow for airflow but still keep patrons dry as they sip their beers and eat Neapolitan-style pizzas.

10934 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643

4. Vybz Rooftop

711 W Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202

Perched above Good to Go, a Jamaican restaurant on the Evanston-Chicago border at Howard Street, Vybz Rooftop isn’t covered, precisely, but it does have covered pods, complete with blankets, heaters, and furniture that would not look out of place in someone’s living room. There’s live reggae music on Fridays.

711 W Howard St
Evanston, IL 60202

5. Village Tap

2055 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

Outdoor drinking is nothing new at this Roscoe Village beer garden. Staff have enclosed the back patio to provide imbibers some relief from the elements.

2055 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618

6. The Piggery

1625 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613

Located about a mile from Wrigley Field — Cubs fans can take the complementary shuttle if they don’t feel like walking — the Piggery, true to its name, specializes in things that are porky, notably ribs and Cuban sandwiches. Its cheerful, partially-covered rooftop bar overlooks Irving Park Road, and it has plenty of TVs so no one has to choose between sports and fresh air.

1625 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613

7. Frontier

1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Chef Brian Jupiter’s bar and whole animal restaurant sports a welcoming covered patio with string lights and a fireplace, along with a heated and ventilated beer garden.

1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

8. The Duck Inn

2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL 60608

Chef Kevin Hickey’s mega-hit in Bridgeport sports coverage for its charming backyard patio. Patrons can gobble up rotisserie duck, duck fat french fries, duck wings, and more in any kind of weather.

2701 S Eleanor St
Chicago, IL 60608

9. Azul Mariscos + Muelle

1177 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
A large restaurant patio with a partially covered section.
Azul offers lovely riverside views.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Perched along the Chicago River, this seafood spot highlights cuisine from Nayarit (a state in western Mexico) and an easy-breezy patio space that’s partially covered.

1177 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Pilsen Yards

1163 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The owners of Pizza Capri reinvented their Pilsen space to be pandemic proof with heated floors and enclosures for the patio. Enjoy Mexican-American food and fancy drinks (or a cheap beer, the space has a little bit for everyone) on the back patio.

1163 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

11. Marvin's Food & Fuel

954 W Fulton Market St, Chicago, IL 60607

This restaurant at the base of Morgan’s on Fulton, one of Chicago’s most popular event venues, also offers a 6,000 square-foot rooftop space, complete with a 1,500 square-foot glass penthouse structure and retractable glass canopy. It’s available for private events with amenities like indoor and outdoor bars, private cabanas, and a grilling station.

954 W Fulton Market St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Nobu Hotel Chicago

155 N Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607

It took seven years, but celebrity-backed sushi restaurant and hotel Nobu finally made its Chicago debut in 2020 along Randolph Restaurant Row. Splurge-happy diners can find a safe spot from precipitation under an overhang that covers most of the hotel’s 5,000-square-foot rooftop.

155 N Peoria St
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Cabra

200 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Cabra, the Peruvian-influenced restaurant from Top Chef champion and celebrity chef Stephanie Izard perched atop the Hoxton hotel, includes a trendy patio space with sweeping views of Fulton Market. It’s partially covered so diners can stay dry while devouring ceviche and goat empanadas.

200 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607

14. Recess

838 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60642
A huge outdoor patio space with a very tall covered pergola in the middle.
Recess goes all out for patio season.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Recess’s massive outdoor patio is ideal for pandemic social distancing, and even includes a few safe spots for rainy days. A covered structure in center of the 14,500-square-foot space provides a barrier between patrons and the elements, and retractable garage doors line an indoor-outdoor area with an extended roofline.

838 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60642

15. Athena Greek Restaurant

212 S Halsted St #1, Chicago, IL 60661

Athena’s spacious outdoor terrace is already a rarity in Greektown, but the restaurant tops itself with both a retractable roof and waterfall.

212 S Halsted St #1
Chicago, IL 60661

Related Maps

16. The J. Parker

1816 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

A sliding glass-enclosed rooftop at the J. Parker inside the Hotel Lincoln offers lovely views over Lincoln Park.

1816 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

17. Gibsons Italia

233 N Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606
A chic lounge space with brown leather armchairs beside an open wall.
Gibsons Italia features open-air lounging along the Chicago River.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Riverfront destination Gibsons Italia has retractable glass roof and walls, as well as stadium-style seating to ensure beautiful skyline and river views. When it opened in 2018, it won Eater Chicago’s award for Most Beautiful Restaurant of the Year.

233 N Canal St
Chicago, IL 60606

18. Beatnik On The River

180 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

This richly decorated boho-themed restaurant and cocktail lounge (a sibling to the original Beatnik in West Town) has no trouble luring diners to its 80-seat patio overlooking the Chicago River. Patrons can expect to lounge on daybed seating amid lush greenery, and still remain dry when the skies grow cloudy.

180 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

19. Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill

Chicago, IL 60614
A large, partially-covered patio dining space.
Bird’s Eye may be especially appealing to young diners.
Matt Reeves/Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill

Lincoln Park Zoo unveiled this family-friendly retreat in summer 2021 with a casual menu of sandwiches and pizza slices, booze for grownups, and a prime view of the lions.

20. bar avec

640 N LaSalle Dr 8th floor, Chicago, IL 60654

One Off Hospitality (the Publican) has another hit on its hands with this eighth-floor rooftop bar above Avec River North, the sister spot to Mediterranean-style original Avec in West Loop. Formerly the Laurel Room, the bar is beautifully situated for sweeping views of the neighborhood.

640 N LaSalle Dr 8th floor
Chicago, IL 60654

21. IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

127 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654

Rooftop bar the IO Godfrey comes equipped with a retractable roof that features gorgeous views of downtown Chicago, along with cocktails, brunch, and more.

127 W Huron St
Chicago, IL 60654

22. RPM Seafood

317 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Two floors of outdoor dining space along the Chicago River.

A luxurious dining destination along the Chicago River, RPM Seafood balances its pristine dining room with a bustling outdoor patio ideal for those looking to see and be seen. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic opened the restaurant in early 2020.

317 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

23. Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

744 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605
A spacious, partially-covered rooftop patio.
This speedy rooftop opens or closes in under a minute.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The fourth location from Quad Cities-style pizzeria Roots Handmade Pizza debuted in 2020 with glass retractable roof on Printers Row. It cost a cool $600,000 and takes about 20 seconds to retract.

744 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605

24. Reggies Chicago

2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

This music venue and record store sports one of the only rooftop bars south of Madison. Known for its chicken wings, Reggie’s roof has a tent to keep patrons dry while sipping a beer or mixed drink.

2105 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

25. Il Culaccino - Chicago Italian Restaurant

2134 S Indiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

South Loop Italian spot Il Culaccino is prepared for potential wind, rain, and snow with a retractable roof and walls.

2134 S Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

Related Maps