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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.
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BiXi Beer

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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.

Pizza Lobo

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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.

Open Outcry Brewing Company

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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.

Vybz Rooftop

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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.

Village Tap

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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.

The Piggery

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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.

Frontier

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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.

The Duck Inn

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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.

Azul Mariscos + Muelle

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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

Pilsen Yards

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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

Marvin's Food & Fuel

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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.

Nobu Hotel Chicago

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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.

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.

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

Athena Greek Restaurant

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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.

The J. Parker

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

Gibsons Italia

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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

Beatnik On The River

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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.

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

bar avec

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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.

IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

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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.

RPM Seafood

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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.

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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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

Reggies Chicago

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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.

Il Culaccino - Chicago Italian Restaurant

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

BiXi Beer

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.

Pizza Lobo

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.

Open Outcry Brewing Company

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.

Vybz Rooftop

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.

Village Tap

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.

The Piggery

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.

Frontier

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.

The Duck Inn

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.

Azul Mariscos + Muelle

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.

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

Pilsen Yards

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.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Marvin's Food & Fuel

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.

Nobu Hotel Chicago

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.

Cabra

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.

Recess

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.

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

Athena Greek Restaurant

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

Related Maps

The J. Parker

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

Gibsons Italia

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.

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

Beatnik On The River

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.

Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill

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.

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

bar avec

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.

IO Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

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

RPM Seafood

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.

Two floors of outdoor dining space along the Chicago River.

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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.

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

Reggies Chicago

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.