Nothing says summer in Chicago like enjoying a meal on an open-air patio or rooftop. Get your fill of fresh air along with good eats at these picks amid three of the best restaurant districts in Chicago: Randolph Street (aka Restaurant Row), The Magnificent Mile and Chicago Cultural Mile.
In the West Loop neighborhood, Randolph Street is a vibrant stretch that boasts countless top-notch dining spots. The Green Line 'L' train at Morgan will put you in the heart of the action, otherwise just direct yourself to the section from Halsted Street to Ogden Avenue.
Bar Siena's buzzy atmosphere carries over to the street-facing patio, where you can nosh on casual Italian cuisine. side from being a Viking-inspired beer and sausage hall, Kaiser Tiger offers its massive 200-seat beer garden as a place to play — complete with bocce ball courts. Across the way, hot spot bellyQ has a cozy and inviting outdoor space, perfect for enjoying amped-up Asian barbecue dishes. At Bar Takito, sample tacos, ceviche and other shared plates on the umbrella-dotted patio along Morgan Street.
The Magnificent Mile
One of the ultimate Chicago destinations, North Michigan Avenue is known for its retail, hospitality and dining establishments. Perched on the seventh-floor rooftop of the Park Hyatt hotel, NoMI Garden is an urban retreat fit for weekend brunch, evening cocktails and everything in between.
With 300 seats, its own outdoor bar, an impressive draft beer list, communal fire-pit tables and a location that's prime for people-watching, what more could you ask of the patio at Howells & Hood? On the other hand, choose The Terrace at Trump if you're looking to take in dramatic 16th-floor views of the surrounding cityscape and the Chicago River, while indulging in seafood platters, wagyu sliders and other decadent dishes.
Chicago Cultural Mile
Follow Michigan Avenue south across the river and you'll find yourself in the Loop, the city's central business district. Cindy's is a rooftop restaurant and open-air terrace atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, which debuted in the spring of 2016. The vibe draws on a Great Lakes beach house, and the panoramic views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and beyond are breathtaking.
Stick to ground level at another downtown favorite nestled right within the park. Relish sunny views (complete with "The Bean" as background!), year-round entertainment and elevated American fare at Park Grill.