Of all the mailings we’ve done over the years, I’ll say that July is one of my favorites. For the past seven years, we have suggest that you, our loyal Chicago Home Partner family, grab some friends, pack up the stroller and leash up your pups to enjoy some of the best al fresco dining that Chicago has to offer.
Al Fresco: From the Italian word al fresco meaning “in the fresh air”.
Dining: From the French word diner meaning “to have dinner”.
Al Fresco Dining: A Chicagoland tradition of eating outside during the summer.
Over the years we have tried to provide you with our favorites destinations whether Northside, Southside, Westside or The Loop. Regardless of cuisine or location, we have strived to provide you with the best of the best, year after year. That’s why this year we’ve searched through our archives and are pleased to announce…
The Chicago Home Partner Top Ten list of all time!
#10: The Terrace at Trump, 401 N. Wabash Ave., 312-588-8600. This is the first full summer for the space and you won’t find a better city view than this wide, 16th-floor perch. A perfect spot for Navy Pier fireworks Wednesdays and Saturdays.
#9: Three Aces, 1321 W. Taylor Street, 312.243.1577 The Italian countryside meets the American Farmhouse… in Keith Richard’s basement bar! Fun and edgy with food that stands up, this is the place to take your friends!
#8: Longman & Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110. Avoid the loud and cramped interior and head to the sidewalk café. The thoughtful menu is modestly priced and boasts great dishes such as meatballs over creamy polenta and pesto
#7: El Cid: 2546 North Kedzie Ave., 773.395.0505. Out “go-to” spot for Mexican food only gets better with the Summer months and the opening of the patio. Lawn chairs, tight tables and pitchers of killer margaritas provide the perfect ambiance at this Logan Square favorite.
#6: Rose Angelis: 1314 West Wrightwood Ave., 773.296.0081. Most don’t think about Italian in the summer but their garden seating and amazingly fresh menu might change your mind. If you’re feeling adventurous try the duck tortellini but make sure to save room for dessert!
#5: 90 Miles Cuban Cafe: 25340 West Armitage., 773.227.2822. Hot Chicago evenings on the patio dining on Lechon and Tostones while sipping on a Mojito. It doesn’t get much better than this and no one serves up better Cuban food in the city than 90 Miles.
#4: Kuma’s Corner: 2900 West Belmont, 773.604.8769. Ok there’s alot of hype surrounding this place. The music is loud and there’s a wait almost every hour of the day. But one bite of their specialty burgers, (many named for heavy metal bands), and you’ll understand what everyone’s talking about. Garden seating and an outstanding beer selection makes this a must for your summer dining list.
#3: Tango Sur: 3763 North Southport Ave., 773.477.5466. You’re going to wait a bit to enjoy this Lakeview gem but once bite of the steak vesuvio and you’ll be glad you did. Stuffed with spinach, garlic and mar del plata cheese this is one cut of meat that will keep you coming back.
#2: May Street Cafe: 1146 West Cermak, 312.421.4442. Prepare for a meal to remember when visiting this hidden gem of Pilsen as Chef Mario takes your tastebuds on a journey. Start with some Pear and Brie Quesadillas, enjoy a summer salad with walnuts and bleu cheese then round it out with their cinnamon/habanero chicken fajitas. End it all with homemade flan and remember this meal forever.
#1: La Creperie: 2845 North Clark Street, 773.528.9050. Really? A Crepe restaurant takes first place? Remember that this list has as much to do with outdoor dining as the wonderful food you’ll enjoy, and La Creperie takes the cake. A quiet garden with twinkling lights welcomes you and creates a wonderfully intimate atmosphere right off Clark Street. Come for dinner with a party or dessert with that special someone and order the Nutella/banana crepe with a scoop of hand made vanilla ice cream.
Where this list may be FAR from complete, you’re sure to find a new spot you haven’t tried yet that may quickly become a favorite. If YOU have a favorite, please post it in the comments below – maybe you’re favorite spot will make it on the list next year!