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Top 5 Chicago outdoor spots for ‘patio season’ cocktails


Summer is in full bloom, and folks in the northern cities are soaking up every bit of sun that they can get during these precious warm months.

There’s no place like Chicago in the summer, where ‘patio season’ is a reason to celebrate every day: residents have waited through the long winter for the chance to sit outside, eat good food and sip (or sometimes chug) some frosty drinks. Feel that breeze coming in from Lake Michigan? It’s pretty nice.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants and bars in Chicago that have outdoor spaces—from posh rooftop lounges atop skyscrapers along The Miracle Mile of Michigan Ave., to patios tucked away in a back alley—and they all offer their own charms, with city views or just a nice to enjoy the weather.

Here are some of our favorite spots for dining and drinking Chicago-style al fresco:


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Sidetrack is a part of history in Chicago’s Boystown, and part of the draw is their great outdoor space that is perfect for mixing and mingling in the sun. Check out Dog Day Afternoon, the first Saturday of every month, when pets are welcome to join in the fun (photos top, and above).

Big Chicks

How did a bar called Big Chicks (two photos, above) become one of the most popular bars for men in Chicago? There’s obviously a story there. Big Chicks is a cornerstone of Andersonville, and their outdoor patio is a lovely spot to have a beer or four. Fun fact: Big Chick’s also has a great restaurant, Tweet, and the vegetarian dishes are just as delicious as the burgers. 

Beatnik On The River

This touristy restaurant is a big hit with the social influencer crowd, who loves to pose amongst the vibrant decor of this restaurant/lounge. And where the influencers go, there’s usually a reason! Beatnik On The River is a beautiful place, a colorful oasis tucked into the concrete jungle of downtown, spread out along the Chicago River. Come hang out, have a drink, and of course pose for a selfie. The outdoor lighting is excellent.

LondonHouse Chicago


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There are lots of ways to enjoy the stunning Chicago skyline. Our recommendation: skip the touristy lines at the skydecks, and go have a drink at LondonHouse Chicago. Their rooftop bar offers a jaw-dropping view, and on summer days the outdoor patio is divine both day and night. And the view! We can’t say enough about the view.

The Robey Chicago

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Speaking of views, The Robey Chicago rises above the super-hip Wicker Park neighborhood, with a rooftop bar, The Up Room, that offers amazing views of the city skyline and equally impressive drinks. The cute little pool is perfect for an afternoon dip, and the chic and sleek decor sets a stylish mood, perfect for striking a pose.

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Related: These sexy beach photos will make you hop the next flight to Chicago

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