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A large outdoor patio with a partially-covered section.
Take cover from dreary skies at restaurants and bars across the city.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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

Owners get creative to keep customers warm and dry

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Take cover from dreary skies at restaurants and bars across the city.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

From surprise blizzards 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 are now more vital than ever, as local restaurants attempt to balance safety, comfort, and costs during the pandemic.

Check out these establishments that shelter patrons from the elements while also allowing fresh air above. Some venues require reservations, so check for the latest updates before making plans.

As of March 2, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 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 and filled it with space heaters for imbibers.

2. 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 dec that faces out to Milwaukee Avenue. The restaurant’s juicy burgers and diverse noodle selection are a solid cure for rainy day blues.

3. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!

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2024 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 935-5000
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Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ longtime Spanish wine bar and tapas spot has tented and heated outdoor tables.

4. 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.

5. Kennedy Rooftop

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1551 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 270-6770
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Rooftop bar the Kennedy includes a swath of space under a retractable awning, along with usual rooftop accoutrements: fire pits, over-sized lounge chairs, TVs, plus food and drink. It’s on the seventh floor of Wicker Park’s newish Hyatt Place Hotel.

A rooftop bar
The Kennedy has retractable awning to keep precipitation at bay.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

6. Benchmark

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1510 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 649-9640
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Tucked away in Old Town, this popular sports bar features a second-floor roof to keep fans dry.

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. Porto

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1600 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 600-6336
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Portuguese-inspired wine bar and seafood restaurant Porto houses an atrium with sliding windows and a retractable roof.

9. 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.

10. Celeste

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111 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 828-9000
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The roof garden at trendy River North cocktail bar Celeste features open air drinking and dining amid lush greenery.

11. 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 covered area in the middle of an outdoor patio space
Stay dry under Recess’ enormous covered pergola in the middle of the patio.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

12. 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 spacious dining room with a retractable roof and walls
Gibsons Italia offers an ideal vantage point, even during bad weather.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

13. Cabra

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200 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 761-1717
Visit Website

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. ROOF on theWit

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201 N State St
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 239-9501
Visit Website

Bold and bright, this bar inside the Wit hotel touts a massive retractable roof. There’s also an open-air space that was added in a well-timed 2019 revamp. ROOF previously functioned as a nightclub but recently switched to a more social distancing-friendly theme of Neapolitan-inspired pizzas and classic cocktails.

15. 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 October 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. It’s also equipped with heaters.

A rooftop bar
Nobu’s extended roofline is an asset.
Nobu [Official Photo]

16. 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.

17. 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 last summer with glass retractable roof on Printers Row. It cost a cool $600,000 and takes about 20 seconds to retract.

A dining space with a retractable glass roof.
Roots South Loop is ready for all kinds of weather.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

18. 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.

19. 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 now sports an enormous heated tent that covers its charming backyard patio. Patrons can gobble up rotisserie duck, duck fat french fries, duck wings, and more in any kind of weather.

20. Open Outcry Brewing Company

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10934 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 629-6055
Visit Website

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.

A large brewery taproom space with retractable garage doors on the left side.
Open Outcry can offer a some shelter from the storm.
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

1. 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 and filled it with space heaters for imbibers.

2055 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618

2. 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 dec 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

3. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!

2024 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ longtime Spanish wine bar and tapas spot has tented and heated outdoor tables.

2024 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

4. 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

5. Kennedy Rooftop

1551 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
A rooftop bar
The Kennedy has retractable awning to keep precipitation at bay.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Rooftop bar the Kennedy includes a swath of space under a retractable awning, along with usual rooftop accoutrements: fire pits, over-sized lounge chairs, TVs, plus food and drink. It’s on the seventh floor of Wicker Park’s newish Hyatt Place Hotel.

1551 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. Benchmark

1510 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610

Tucked away in Old Town, this popular sports bar features a second-floor roof to keep fans dry.

1510 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610

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. Porto

1600 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Portuguese-inspired wine bar and seafood restaurant Porto houses an atrium with sliding windows and a retractable roof.

1600 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. 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

10. Celeste

111 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

The roof garden at trendy River North cocktail bar Celeste features open air drinking and dining amid lush greenery.

111 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

11. Recess

838 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60642
A huge covered area in the middle of an outdoor patio space
Stay dry under Recess’ enormous covered pergola in the middle of the patio.
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

12. Gibsons Italia

233 N Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606
A spacious dining room with a retractable roof and walls
Gibsons Italia offers an ideal vantage point, even during bad weather.
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

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. ROOF on theWit

201 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Bold and bright, this bar inside the Wit hotel touts a massive retractable roof. There’s also an open-air space that was added in a well-timed 2019 revamp. ROOF previously functioned as a nightclub but recently switched to a more social distancing-friendly theme of Neapolitan-inspired pizzas and classic cocktails.

201 N State St
Chicago, IL 60601

15. Nobu Hotel Chicago

155 N Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607
A rooftop bar
Nobu’s extended roofline is an asset.
Nobu [Official Photo]

It took seven years, but celebrity-backed sushi restaurant and hotel Nobu finally made its Chicago debut in October 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. It’s also equipped with heaters.

155 N Peoria St
Chicago, IL 60607

Related Maps

16. 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

17. Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

744 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605
A dining space with a retractable glass roof.
Roots South Loop is ready for all kinds of weather.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The fourth location from Quad Cities-style pizzeria Roots Handmade Pizza debuted last summer 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

18. 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

19. The Duck Inn

2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL 60608

Chef Kevin Hickey’s mega-hit in Bridgeport now sports an enormous heated tent that covers 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

20. Open Outcry Brewing Company

10934 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643
A large brewery taproom space with retractable garage doors on the left side.
Open Outcry can offer a some shelter from the storm.
Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

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

Related Maps