With warmer weather and longer days just around the corner, it’s almost time to enjoy Chicagoland’s many al fresco dining options. Be it an after-work happy hour, a fun night out with friends, or a much-needed date night— check out the hottest outdoor dining spots in the city and plan your spring and summer imbibing accordingly.
Offshore: The world’s largest rooftop deck as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records and one of Chicago’s most exciting hotspots located at Navy Pier boasts over 42,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with unmatched views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. This year-round rooftop destination offers Chicagoans and travelers alike a full-service bar and world-class kitchen, along with cozy fire pits, an entertainment and gaming area, and multiple large gathering spaces for social and corporate events, weddings, and more.
Kennedy Rooftop: In search of the perfect Golden Hour views? Known for spectacular, unobstructed views of the Chicago skyline from the John Hancock to the Willis Tower, Kennedy Rooftop offers a vibrant ambiance, a delicious menu, and a unique variety of signature cocktails for all to enjoy atop the Hyatt Place Wicker Park. Space is first come first served.
Aire Rooftop Bar: Located 24 stories above the Chicago Loop at 100 W. Monroe, the open-air venue offers unparalleled, panoramic views of Chicago, and a full bar. To kick off the summer season, AIRE has introduced a new Midwestern-inspired menu, featuring signature cocktails, slushies, and sharable plates. While taking in the 360-degree views, guests may enjoy a friendly game of Jenga, Cornhole, and Giant Connect 4 on the rooftop this summer.
Fulton Market Kitchen: Culinary excellence meets creativity at this Fulton Market hotspot known for incredible eats and art all in one vibrant, high style restaurant. Now open, diners can enjoy dinner, late night drinks or weekend brunch on their gorgeous, expansive patio and enjoy the amazing Summer weather.
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant: Formerly Engine Company 104 of the Chicago Fire Department, the landmark restaurant at 1401 South Michigan Avenue features both a lush backyard patio providing a quaint escape in the city as well as an outdoor veranda affording picturesque views of the South Loop skyline. The timeless house favorites, steaks, chops, and seafood, are complemented by distinctive, contemporary seasonal dishes for all to enjoy.
Carnivale: Chicago’s one-of-a-kind restaurant serving Latin-fusion cuisine invites guests to take advantage of patio season on the scenic outdoor terrace with refreshing libations and sensational signature dishes. The West Loop hotspot also offers seven unique private and semi-private spaces, perfect for celebratory events. For reservations and event inquiries, please visit www.carnivalechicago.com.
Lírica: Sweeping lakefront views and Iberian-Inspired fare create the perfect symphony at Lírica, located at 900 E. Grand Ave on Navy Pier. Featuring a 150-seat patio on Lake Michigan, the waterfront restaurant combines world-class views of Lake Michigan with rich and rustic flavors and a vibrant atmosphere.
Ocean Prime: Located on the iconic corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, Ocean Prime offers al fresco dining on the outdoor patio just steps away from the city’s top attractions. The modern American restaurant and lounge from award-winning Cameron Mitchell Restaurants offers an impressive menu of seafood and steak, signature cocktails, and a Wine Spectator-honored wine list coupled with truly exceptional hospitality.
Replay Lincoln Park: Chicago’s favorite arcade bar located at 2833 N. Sheffield pairs outdoor dining and imbibing with epic immersive experiences in addition to more than 65 free vintage arcade games available. Replay Lincoln Park features rotating pop-up events spanning 9,000 square feet of gaming areas including their outdoor patio. To learn more about upcoming pop-ups, please visit www.replaylincolnpark.com.
City Cruises Chicago: Set sail on City Cruises’ luxurious vessels including the Odyssey Lake Michigan, Spirit of Chicago, Chicago Elite, and the Odyssey Chicago River. Whatever the holiday or occasion, it’s better on a yacht. Guests can enjoy curated cocktails and cuisine during brunch and dinner cruises, all while taking in the unmatched views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline from the Chicago River.
Pacino’s: Sicily meets South Loop at this authentic Italian eatery located within Roosevelt Collection Shops at 1010 S. Delano Ct. Led by Executive Chef Michael Serratore, Pacino’s offers a wide range of classically-inspired antipasti, pizza, salads, seafood, fresh pasta, and more. Enjoy signature cocktails or a glass of vino at the full bar indoors or pull up a seat under the outdoor pergola for an amazing outdoor dining experience.
Water’s Edge: Serving up classic American fare nestled within 88 acres of forest preserve, Water’s Edge located within Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook invites guests to dine and unwind at the lakeside café or al fresco on the patio overlooking a private lake. Water’s Edge offers both savory and sweet breakfast dishes and fresh salads, wraps, and sandwiches for lunch. Patrons can also opt to book lakeside private parties on the serene patio which cater to up to 40 guests. For more information, please call 630.568.1234 or visit their website.
Oaken Bistro + Bar: Bringing together worldly flavors and responsible, local ingredients rooted in flavors both strong and bold, Oaken Bistro + Bar, 200 N. Field Dr., features both indoor and outdoor dining, with a sleek lounge, stunning bar, spacious dining rooms, and a patio complete with intimate fire pit seating. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch service on weekends, the restaurant incorporates natural elements in everything from design and decor to menu offerings including a standout cocktail program complete with floral and herbal infusions.