Step outside to experience true summertime dining in the city.

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This is your summer al fresco dining guide for Chicago! Step outside to experience true summertime dining in the city. Here are five different ways to do outdoor dining in Chicago and how to make the most of your meal.


1. Rooftop Restaurants

Why it rocks: It's uniquely urban, making you feel as if you're in the midst of a metropolitan jungle.

Insider tip: Plan an evening meal to get a glimpse of the city's skyline and seemingly endless shimmer of lights.

Where to go: ZED451; Sixteen


2. Riverwalk Dining

Why it rocks: You can watch the boats and jet skis cruise along the Chicago River as rays reflect off the gentle waters.

Insider tip: Don't be surprised to see locals dock their boats right at the restaurant and hop out for a quick bite.

Where to go: Fulton's on the River; The Kitchen


3. Beer Garden

Why it rocks: With its jovial patrons and friendly ambiance, it feels like you’re attending a big backyard barbecue.

Insider tip: Drink like a local and order a Chicago brew like Goose Island, Half Acre or 5 Rabbit.

Where to go: Miller Lite Beer Garden on Navy Pier; Casey Moran's


4. Sidewalk Seats

Why it rocks: Warm weather draws out the crowds, making a sidewalk seat perfect for people-watching and feeling a part of the city's summertime energy.

Insider tip: Popular neighborhoods like River North and The Magnificent Mile/Streeterville have tons of foot-traffic.

Where to go: Tavern on Rush; Quartino


5. Patio Places

Why it rocks: You get all the benefits of a full-service restaurant while sitting at an intimate sun-soaked table among lush greenery.

Insider tip: If you're looking for a quiet meal, pick a patio a few miles away from the game-day crowds when the baseball teams are in town.

Where to go: Piccolo Sogno; Park Grill


Discover more Chicago restaurants with al fresco dining and sign up for the monthly Choose Chicago newsletter for more Chicago travel tips.


Photo: ZED451 

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