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  1. Hopleaf

  2. Photograph: Martha Williams
    Photograph: Martha Williams

    Three Floyds beer pairing menu at Boka.

  3. Lillie's Q

  4. Photograph: Max Herman
    Photograph: Max Herman

    Edgewater Lounge

  5. Jackhammer

  6. Photograph: Max Herman
    Photograph: Max Herman

    La Cocina de Frida

  7. Bistro Campagne

Outdoor alternatives to Hopleaf

When Hopleaf is packed, here’s where to eat or drink outside instead.


You want craft beer
Edgewater Lounge
(5600 N Ashland Ave, 773-878-3343)
Unassuming both inside and out, this beer-geek bar has a flower-bedecked sidewalk patio with a view of its endearingly janky sign…and Ashland Avenue.
Try one of these summery beers from Edgewater’s well-edited list: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse ($6), a cloudy, biscuity, banana-flavored hefeweizen; Ommegang Hennepin ($7), a NYC-brewed, yeasty Belgian saison; or Pyramid Curve Ball ($4.50), a crisp, light Kölsch.

Boka (1729 N Halsted St, 312-337-6070)
This summer, Boka will be a beer-lovers’ hub: Each month the restaurant will feature a $65 four-course menu paired with Three Floyds (June), Dogfish Head (July) and Goose Island (August) beers, available on Tuesdays. Enjoy it on the lush back patio.

The Long Room (1612 W Irving Park Rd, 773-665-4500)
Few people are aware of the charming little patio tucked off the back of this North Center bar. Just order a Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball ($6) and be quiet.

You want Andersonville
(1511 W Balmoral Ave, 773-561-6425)
The bi-level side patio—royal-blue umbrellas, red tables and chairs, overflowing with flowers—nearly doubles the size of this sultry sliver of a martini bar, where gay men and their straight lady friends ignore the “petite” martinis ($9) and head straight for the kiddie pool–size “grande” ($13).

La Cocina de Frida (5403 N Clark St, 773-271-1907)
Beeline through the small dining room straight to the big back patio and grab a seat among the hanging and potted plants, a pleasant place to sip a margarita ($8).

You want mussels
Bistro Campagne
(4518 N Lincoln Ave, 773-271-6100)
The French do mussels right: Swimming in Belgian ale, these Prince Edward Island bivalves ($12) are a great start to dinner on the tree-shaded side patio.

Leopold (1450 W Chicago Ave, 312-348-1028)
Of course this gastropub has mussels (in white wine or a feisty beer-and-onion broth, both with frites, $13)—it’s Belgian! And of course it has sidewalk seating—it’s in West Town!

You want bearded men
Lillie’s Q
(1856 W North Ave, 773-772-5500)
Barbecue enthusiasts, brewmasters, recumbent bike owners: almost always bearded men, right? But at Wicker Park’s Lillie’s Q, you’ll also see lots of ladies on the sidewalk seating, wolfing down the smoky tri-tip ($17/lb) like proper Neanderthals.

Jackhammer (6406 N Clark St, 773-743-5772)
On this Rogers Park bear bar’s back deck, which serves mainly as a smoking area, you’ll find hirsute men with big bellies straining their fetish gear…and the twinks who love them.

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