Where to dine outside in Chicago this summer

Scope out the best places to dine and drink outdoors in Chicago this summer

elske patio
Photograph: Carolina Mariana Rodríguez

Things are changing fast. We'll do our best to keep these lists updated, but please call ahead for reservations and check bar and restaurant websites for updates and safety guidelines.

Take it outside! We mean it: Chicago is dotted with sidewalk patios, rooftop bars, beer gardens and waterfront restaurants that beckon every time the sun is shining. Come summertime, some of the best restaurants in Chicago expand their footprint with verdant outdoor spaces. We did the tough work for you by scoping out the best options for every occasion—from a leisurely brunch in the sun and happy-hour tipples to splashing out on dinner. Lucky for you, some of these spots even double as the best bars in Chicago. Check out our exhaustive guide to the best outdoor dining and drinking spots in Chicago—and don't forget your sunscreen or your mask!

RECOMMENDED: Explore more ways to still have an amazing summer in Chicago

The best rooftops and patios in Chicago

Hidden patios, rooftops and gardens for outdoor dining in Chicago
Restaurants

Hidden patios, rooftops and gardens for outdoor dining in Chicago

These tucked-away oases transport diners from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The best rooftop bars in Chicago
Bars

The best rooftop bars in Chicago

If there's one thing Chicagoans love more than drinking in the sun, it's drinking in the sun high above the city streets.

The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago
Restaurants

The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago

This summer, patios have taken on new importance.

These Chicago streets are open for outdoor dining
Restaurants

These Chicago streets are open for outdoor dining

Take it outside tonight.

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The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago
Restaurants

The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago offer a two-for-one special: Excellent food and breathtaking views.

The best dog-friendly patios in Chicago
Restaurants

The best dog-friendly patios in Chicago

Perfect for pet owners and dog lovers alike.

The best beer gardens in Chicago
Bars

The best beer gardens in Chicago

Sip some suds in the sun at these stellar beer gardens.

Dine and drink in a private greenhouse at this West Loop restaurant
News

Dine and drink in a private greenhouse at this West Loop restaurant

This socially distanced dining solution is taking over Randolph Street.

There’s a new floating rooftop bar on the Chicago River
News

There’s a new floating rooftop bar on the Chicago River

Take in skyline and riverside views from a table on Chicago's First Lady Floating Rooftop.

Take a look around the Rooftop at Nobu, open now in the West Loop
News

Take a look around the Rooftop at Nobu, open now in the West Loop

The sprawling terrace serves nigiri, sashimi, sake and cocktails from 11 stories in the sky.