The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Dining in Chicago, IL

As a food expert and a Chicago native, I can confidently say that the Windy City has one of the best food scenes in the country. With its diverse range of cuisines and dining options, there's something for every palate. And with the beautiful summer weather, there's no better way to enjoy a meal than at a restaurant with outdoor seating. Whether you're looking for a romantic date spot or a family-friendly eatery, there are plenty of restaurants in Chicago, IL that offer outdoor seating.

The Importance of Outdoor Seating

Outdoor seating has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason.

Not only does it provide a unique dining experience, but it also allows customers to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery while they eat. In a bustling city like Chicago, outdoor seating offers a peaceful escape from the busy streets and crowded restaurants. Additionally, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor seating has become even more important as it allows for social distancing and reduces the risk of transmission. Many restaurants have expanded their outdoor seating options to accommodate more customers while adhering to safety guidelines.

The Best Restaurants for Outdoor Seating in Chicago

Now that we understand the importance of outdoor seating, let's take a look at some of the best restaurants in Chicago, IL that offer this option.

The Signature Room at the 95th

The Signature Room at the 95th is not only known for its delicious food and stunning views of the city, but also for its outdoor terrace. Located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, this restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience with breathtaking views of Chicago's skyline.

The terrace is open year-round and is heated during the colder months, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

The J. Parker

Located on the rooftop of the Hotel Lincoln, The J. Parker offers a trendy and upscale dining experience with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. The outdoor seating area is spacious and features cozy fire pits, making it the perfect spot for a summer evening or a chilly fall night.

The menu offers a variety of small plates, cocktails, and wines, making it a great spot for a casual date or a night out with friends.

Big Star

If you're in the mood for some delicious Mexican food and a lively atmosphere, then Big Star is the place to be. This popular restaurant in Wicker Park has a large outdoor patio that is always buzzing with energy. The menu features tacos, margaritas, and other Mexican favorites, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. With its casual vibe and outdoor seating, Big Star is the perfect spot for a fun night out with friends.

The Dawson

The Dawson is a neighborhood favorite in West Town, known for its delicious American cuisine and extensive drink menu.

The restaurant has a spacious outdoor patio that is perfect for enjoying a meal or drinks with friends. The patio is also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the fun. With its laid-back atmosphere and delicious food, The Dawson is a must-visit for outdoor dining in Chicago.

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Parson's Chicken & Fish is another popular spot for outdoor dining in Chicago. This restaurant in Logan Square has a large patio with picnic tables and string lights, creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

The menu features fried chicken, fish sandwiches, and other comfort food favorites, along with a variety of cocktails and beers. With its casual vibe and outdoor seating, Parson's is the perfect spot for a laid-back meal with friends.

Other Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, there are many other restaurants in Chicago, IL that offer outdoor seating. Some other notable mentions include:
  • The Publican - a popular spot for brunch and dinner with a spacious outdoor patio
  • The Hampton Social - known for its beachy vibes and delicious seafood dishes
  • The Promontory - a neighborhood favorite in Hyde Park with a large outdoor patio and live music
  • The Warbler - a cozy spot in Lincoln Square with a covered outdoor patio
  • The Dawson - a trendy spot in River West with a rooftop patio and stunning views of the city

In Conclusion

Chicago is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, and many of them offer outdoor seating options. Whether you're looking for a romantic date spot, a family-friendly eatery, or a lively atmosphere, there's something for everyone in this city.

So next time you're planning a meal out, consider one of these restaurants in Chicago, IL for an unforgettable dining experience.