2022’s Best Chicago Outdoor Dining

by Amanda on August 2, 2022

PIzza Portofino: River North

Dear friend,
One of our favorite warm weather activity has always been al fresco dining in Chicago. It’s the perfect time to grab some friends, pack up the stroller, leash up the pups and enjoy some of the best our city 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 tradition of eating outside during the summer.
Over the years, we have provided our favorite 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, and this year’s list is packed full of new places to try.
The CHP Al Fresco Dining Guide below is complete with links to Yelp review pages to help you get the most out of your visit.  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.
Remember that these warmer days will be gone before we know it so get on out there and share your favorites on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ChicagoHomePartner.


River West/West Town – Contemporary American, BBQ

Frontier is famous for it’s Whole Smoked Animal Feasts – Whole Pigs, Goats, Lambs, Alligators, and Boar all served with any of Chef’s famous sides: 5 Cheese Mac, Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons, Seasonal Vegetables, Buttered Rolls, Herb Butter, and Alabama BBQ & Texas BBQ sauces

The Duck Inn

Bridgeport – American Fare

Come eat a gourmet Chicago-style duck fat dog on a lush, hidden patio in Bridgeport, and find the true meaning of being a Chicago foodie. During the warmer months, the Duck Inn’s tree-lined garden transforms into an intimate destination for brunch and dinner. Visit on Wednesdays for a backyard pizza night featuring Neapolitan-style pies baked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven


Logan Square – American Fare/Pasta

Insiders know that tucked behind this Logan Square restaurant is a serene patio that offers a picturesque backdrop for leisurely summer evenings. Best of all, Chef-owner Joe Frillman produces a seasonal menu and homemade pasta dishes that rotate regularly. Don’t skip the addictive onion dip with handmade potato chips.

Ina Mae Tavern & Package Goods

Wicker Park – American Fare

Tucked just off the beaten path in Wicker Park, Ina Mae Tavern is a tasty tribute to Southern comfort food and New Orleans. Chef Jupiter was born and raised in New Orleans and brings family recipes to Chicago. The wraparound sidewalk patio is the perfect place to smash a rum punch cocktail before tucking into an order of hush puppies with pimento honey butter and a fried shrimp po’ boy.

Rooftop at Nobu Hotel

West Loop – Japanese

Take in picture-perfect views of the Chicago skyline on the 11th floor of the Nobu Hotel, which offers a lounge-like atmosphere with plush chairs, couches and low, long tables. DJs add to the vibe from 4-10pm Friday and Saturday, and you can always enjoy nigiri, sushi and small plates along with sake or a cocktail like a lychee and elderflower martini.

Saint Lou’s Assembly

West Loop – American

The enclosed patio at Saint Lou’s Assembly proved so popular that owners transformed the concept to Lou’s Backyard for seasonal dining. Grab a spot at one of the umbrella-shaded picnic tables or on the bleacher seating around the perimeter and snack on black truffle arancini and loaded waffle fries – or if you’re feeling competitive, you can also try out their bocce ball court.

Pilsen Yards

Pilsen – Mexican

Named after a bygone lumberyard, this music-fueled venue specializes in tacos and other Mexican eats plus a long list of cocktails and beer. There’s a pair of outdoor spaces for guests to enjoy—a covered section with wooden beams overhead and another open-air patio that’s festooned with glowing lights. There are heaters over nearly every table and pergolas in the open-air section so you can have a warm seat year-round.


Hyde Park – Soul Food

The interior dining room at Virtue is a special place, thanks in no small part to the art chef-owner Erick Williams has curated for the space. But come summertime, the sidewalk patio offers diners some fresh air while they feast on chicken- and sausage-studded gumbo, blackened catfish atop Carolina gold rice, and banana pudding with Nilla wafers and cool whip.

Beatnik On The River

Loop – World Cuisine

This breathtaking riverfront oasis is an offshoot of the popular West Town dining destination by the same name, Beatnik on the River. Drawing inspiration from the bohemian freethinkers of the ’50s and ’60s, Beatnik offers dishes and drinks from around the globe. The best tables in the house are on the terrace, which sits along the Chicago River and is outfitted with colorful tile, Indonesian daybeds and fringe-lined umbrellas.

The Warbler

Lincoln Square – American Fare

This American joint in Ravenswood boasts a sprawling patio surrounded with plenty of lush greenery—the perfect backdrop for the bar’s colorful, bird-themed cocktails. Seating at its bar and high-top tables can’t be guaranteed with a reservation, so show up early to secure your spot to hang out while sharing a plate of pork belly nachos or a roasted mushroom flatbread. 

Duke of Perth

Lakeview – Scottish

This unassuming Lakeview spot has been quietly serving happy patrons looking for some of the best fried fish, craft beer and scotch in Chicago. The food menu is limited but there’s definitely something for everyone. Even less known is the amazing garden spot out back – filled with trees, potted plants and glowing rope lights for late night outings with friends.

PRO TIP – finish your night off with a dessert crepe at Le’ Creperie just down the street which boasts an equally amazing garden area!

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