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Ina Mae Tavern brunch
Photograph: Meghan Leigh Photography

Where to eat brunch outside in Chicago

Sip mimosas under the sunshine at the best outdoor brunch spots the city has to offer.

Written by
Erica Garber
&
Morgan Olsen
Contributor
Allison Yates
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Tell a Chicagoan it’s above 40 degrees and they’ll tell you at least three patios and a rooftop bar where you should spend such a balmy day. With so much of our year spent indoors, we’re a city that relishes open-air spaces to soak up the sunshine (or stars)–maybe even more than we love feasting on the best brunch in Chicago. Combine the two and you’ve got the perfect excuse to catch up with friends and spend time outdoors before sightseeing or enjoying a summer street festival. These brunch spots feature irresistible globally-inspired dishes from Mexico, Greece and beyond, and their outdoor seating—whether it’s a lush patio, breezy rooftop or sidewalk tables—is the cherry on top of your chicken and waffles. Say cheers to warm weather at the best restaurants for outdoor brunch in Chicago. 

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to brunch in Chicago

Outdoor brunch in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Wicker Park

It’s no surprise that the go-to boozy drink at this New Orleans-inspired spot is the Hurricane, a mix of rum, orange, passionfruit and pomegranate. Savor Ina Mae’s rendition of the popular cocktail as you soak up the sun at sidewalk tables just a few steps from Wicker Park’s bustling Milwaukee Avenue corridor. When you’re ready for food, try Chef Jup’s famous chicken and waffles or the Grand Slam Breakfast, a hearty favorite with eggs, gator sausage and your choice of lagniappe: biscuit, fruit or grits.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Albany Park

This trendy vegan spot in Albany Park has boozy cocktails, Instagram-worthy decor (including a neon sign that reads, “Kale me all night”), and a spacious, plant-lined outdoor patio for fun-filled summer mornings. The extensive menu includes brunch classics made from plant-based ingredients, like tofu scramble chilaquiles, jackfruit lox and cauliflower wings with waffles.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Loop
  • price 3 of 4

The rooftop restaurant and bar at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel offers some of the best views of the city, with an expansive look at Millennium Park and the Lake. The brunch menu is just as impressive, with shareable plates like lox and bagels, buttermilk pancakes and a seasonal fruit platter. 

  • Restaurants
  • River North

Clink wine glasses and down plates of house-cured king salmon, avocado toast and Spanish tortilla on this intimate 36-seat patio in River North.

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The Duck Inn
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bridgeport
  • price 2 of 4

Grab breakfast in Bridgeport and get some sun while you're at it. The Duck Inn's bi-level backyard patio is surrounded by a working vegetable garden, making it a lush retreat when Sunday rolls around. Select from hearty brunch fare like the Egg McDuckInn, with American cheese, two sausage patties, caramelized onions and a fried egg.

  • Restaurants
  • Latin American
  • Rogers Park

This family-run Mexican-Peruvian fusion restaurant in Rogers Park is a tribute to co-owner Jose Roque’s mother and her small town origins in Central Mexico. Sit on the plant-lined patio and enjoy the small-but- mighty brunch menu, featuring classics with Latin American-inspired touches like the Bistec a lo Pobre, which serves steak and eggs with french fries and plantains, or the Huevos con Chorizo, combining scrambled eggs with chorizo and refried beans. Go boozy with mimosas or get cozy with Abuelita’s hot chocolate. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

On Saturday and Sunday, Bang Bang's Logan Square location opens at 9am with brunch favorites like candied bacon, cheddar grits, sausage-topped biscuits and pie (yes, pie is part of a complete breakfast). Take your order outside to the sunny, spacious patio, where pups are welcome to join. 

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

Shuffle through the dimly-lit bar and make your way to a lush, 50-person shaded outdoor patio at this Wicker Park comfort food eatery. Brunch is served until 3pm daily and the mostly-vegetarian and vegan menu features dishes like country fried portabella mushrooms, a vegan chimichanga, breakfast burritos and omelets. You can also sip Bloody Marys, Micheladas and the hibiscus cooler, a vodka and hibiscus mint iced tea concoction mixed  with fresh orange juice. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Rush & Division
  • price 3 of 4

Tucked away in the Gold Coast, Blue Door's lush, romantic patio is a hidden escape surrounded by fresh flowers and a chef's garden. The menu matches with flower-forward cocktails and delightful brunch dishes, like the classic benedict, biscuits and gravy or beignets.

  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

Offering outdoor seating at all four of its Chicago locations, Parson’s Chicken & Fish is a go-to spot for long, boozy brunches under the sun. You can catch up with groups of friends and even play a round of ping-pong at the Logan Square location. Many brunch items incorporate the fried chicken that Parson’s is famous for, including the Parson’s Breakfast Sandwich, which  puts fried chicken, an egg, hashbrowns and cheese in an English muffin.

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  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • River North

With four locations in the Chicagoland area, lounging on River North’s patio or Avli on the Park’s stunning rooftop feels like you've been transported to a Greek island. Munch on savory Greek-inspired brunch food like Tsoureki french toast made with Greek brioche bread or the Koulouri sandwich, a house-made Greek-style bagel with feta mousse, avocado, bacon, tomato and a hard-boiled egg. Pair your meal with bottomless mimosas or a pitcher of watermelon margarita for a refreshing way to start your morning (or afternoon).

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • River West/West Town
  • price 2 of 4

It's all too easy to spend the afternoon sipping frozen cocktails on this sprawling, sun-drenched patio. But first: Coat your belly with brunch favorites like the Bacon Steak Eggy with bacon, umami jam, cheese and egg on a brioche bun. Sweet seekers will love the stuffed French toast with cream cheese, brioche, winter spice royale, pomegranate and maple syrup.

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Nana
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Bridgeport
  • price 2 of 4

Switch up your brunch routine at this Bridgeport darling. Nana specializes in organic cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal produce, so expect a rotating menu with options like a garden omelet, strawberry-rhubarb French toast, avocado fries and a tofu scramble. All the better if you can snag a seat on the sunny patio out front.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • River North

Bernie's small rooftop oasis is a hidden gem in busy River North, and it's worth seeking out for delicious Mediterranean-inspired brunch bites like avocado toast with salmon lox, lamb hashwi and a key lime french toast. Order a plate of house-made doughnuts while you wait for your entrees. 

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MAD Social
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Loop

If you're searching for a dog-friendly brunch spot in the West Loop, Mad Social has you covered with a 32-seat patio and hearty, hangover-curing brunch options like white cheddar mac and cheese, pancakes with salted caramel and chicken and churro waffles.

Scofflaw
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

For an especially boozy brunch, head to Logan Square to sip bellinis, drafts and Malört (yes, Malört). When hunger strikes, toss in crispy fried French toast, hash browns or cheddar grits.

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  • Restaurants
  • Loop

If you're seeking brunch with an epic view, look no further than the LH Rooftop at LondonHouse. Perfect for visiting parents or out-of-town guests, the gorgeous space offers upgraded brunch favorites like a lobster biscuits and gravy, banana split parfait, and a dish called Loco Moto “Hawaiian Grinds,” including an angus beef patty, SPAM fried rice, whiskey shoyu and bone marrow demi-glace.

  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • Lake View
  • price 2 of 4

Of all the neighborhood bars trying to make rambling Ashland Avenue feel more homey, this gem is among the homiest. If you find yourself here before noon, get familiar with the Biscuit Man, offering fresh house-made biscuits, sandwiches and salads.

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