Chicago: Top 10 Places to Nosh Outdoors

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imageBecause we sometimes need a reasonable excuse to wear sunglasses while we eat.

Bistro Campagne (Lincoln Square) – Allow the gated side patio — with its fountain, trees, and lush flowers — to transport you to France in this predominantly German neighborhood. ● ZED 451 (River North) – Share apps as you mingle across this rooftop deck’s various lounge areas — from the bar and swank lounge furniture to the honest-to-God patch of grass — and gaze up at the shimmering condo towers of River North if you need a break from your chatty crew. ● Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! (Lincoln Park) – The back patio is not only a reprieve from the claustrophobic effect brought on by the constant crowd, but the stunning artwork and flowers make the small plates somehow bigger.

BOKA (Lincoln Park) – Dining at the outdoor tables on Halsted is certainly enjoyable, but you’d be wise to request a spot at the calming back terrace that’s half covered and half open-aired, complete with its own bar. ● Vertigo Sky Lounge (Near North Side) – Dana Hotel’s year-round balcony on the 26th floor features abstract-shaped benches, a large gas-powered fire pit filled with sparkling crystals, and cityscape view so incredible that you just might forget you have a spicy prawn sandwich on the way. ● Tavern on Rush (North Side) – Yes, it’s a sidewalk space, but the people watching under the red awning is almost unparalleled as pro athletes and beautiful people stroll in, out, and by. ● Lula Café (Logan Sqr/Humboldt Prk) – It’s a simple setup out front at Lula, but the mere fact that they’re offering up more seats during the warmer months at Logan Square’s hottest spot is enough to get them on this list. ● Southport Grocery (Wrigleyville) – Nothing is more satisfying than getting one the most coveted outdoor seats in all of Chicago in front of Southport Grocery, unless, that is, you’re feasting on some of the bread pudding pancakes or breakfast hash. ● NoMI (North Side) – Sticking out of the seventh floor of Park Hyatt Chicago, this contemporary space serves finely crafted small plates and presents excellent views of Michigan Avenue and the lake beyond. Take a break from shopping already. ● Perennial (Lincoln Park) – Located where Clark kisses Lincoln, Perennial sits on a revamped corner in Lincoln Park that not only offers a chic outdoor eating area for some delectable summer dining, but it also gives you a good look down two of Chicago’s most serious streets.