Where to dine outside in Chicago this summer

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

sleeping village patio
Photograph: Victoria Sanders

Remember when your parents told you to go outside and play? We're giving you the same advice this summer—and Chicago is filled with sidewalk patios, rooftop bars, beer gardens and waterfront restaurants that beckon every time the sun is shining. When the weather warms up, some of the best restaurants in Chicago take tables and chairs outside (the city is shutting down streets again this summer to allow more room for this). We did the tough work for you by scoping out the best options for every occasion—from a leisurely brunch in the sun to a dinner set above the streets. Many of these spots even double as the best bars in Chicago, if you're craving a cold beverage. Here's where to go when you're in the mood for outdoor drinking and dining in Chicago.

The best rooftops and patios in Chicago

The best rooftop bars in Chicago
Bars

The best rooftop bars in Chicago

We've tracked down the best spots to drink high above the streets.

The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago
Restaurants

The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago

On a sunny day, there's nothing like enjoying a meal in the open air.

The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago
Restaurants

The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

Enjoy an excellent meal and some amazing views.

The best beer gardens in Chicago
Bars

The best beer gardens in Chicago

Find breweries and bars where you can sip suds under the sun.

Chicago Alfresco's neighborhood programming guide
Things to do

Chicago Alfresco's neighborhood programming guide

Eat and have fun on streets throughout the city, thanks to a new outdoor initiative.

The best dog-friendly patios in Chicago
Restaurants

The best dog-friendly patios in Chicago

Perfect for pet owners and dog lovers alike.

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.