There’s something about sitting outside that just makes beer taste better. At least, that’s what we’ve found at Chicago’s best outdoor bars. And since Chicago is one of the top beer city’s in the country, we have plenty of spots to test out our hypothesis. Here’s a roundup of just a few of the best beer gardens and patios at bars and breweries in Chicago.

ERIS Brewery and Cider House

Drinking beer on the ERIS patio
ERIS ©Adam Alexander Photography 2019

Come for the cider, stay for the vibes at ERIS Brewery and Cider House. This women-owned cidery is housed in a stunning 107-year-old space. The historic building (a former Korean Presbyterian church, and a Masonic Temple before that) has been converted into an industrial-cool bar and dining room, where you can order cider flights and dishes from the modern American menu. Just outside, you’ll find ample patio space where you can enjoy your freshly made cider in the sun.


Recess Chicago

In the dynamic West Loop neighborhood, Recess boasts one of the city’s largest outdoor bars. Composed largely of shipping containers, the spot hosts tons of events and themed pop-ups throughout the year. The menu includes brunch, late night, and happy hour options, with tons of craft cocktails to choose from no matter the time of day. Bring a group and order one of the punch-bowl drinks, best enjoyed in the sunshine.

Explore more: Dive into the West Loop dining scene with our guide to bars and restaurants.

The Northman Beer and Cider Garden

The Northman Beer & Cider Garden
The Northman Beer & Cider Garden

It’s hard to think of a more scenic spot for a beer garden then alongside the Chicago River, surrounded by the stunning city skyline. Located on the always-bustling Chicago Riverwalk, The Northman Beer and Cider Garden brings the vibes of a traditional European beer garden to the downtown waterfront, with a full menu of draft beer, housemade ciders, and bar snacks. Plus, catch free live music everyday during the summer.

Explore more: Discover more bars and restaurants on the Chicago Riverwalk.

Double Clutch Brewing

Double Clutch Brewing in Millennium Park
Double Clutch Brewing in Millennium Park

In the heart of Millennium Park, Double Clutch Brewing features a spacious beer garden situated at the base of “The Bean”. The award-winning craft brewery follows the Bavarian brewing tradition, with award-winning lager, hefeweizen, and kolsch options. The food menu includes red and white pizzas, sandwiches, sushi, and bar-inspired appetizers. It’s the perfect spot to kick back with a cold one after a day of exploring the downtown Loop.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

One of the only Guinness brewpubs in the country, Guinness Open Gate Brewery is a massive new addition to Chicago’s brewing scene. The West Loop taproom, housed in a former rail depot, features a bakery, cafe, store, brewery, restaurant — and a large 130-seat seasonal patio.

Pilot Project Brewing

This innovative incubator allows up-and-coming brewers to try out new recipes and experimental brews. Come sample their creative creations via a beer flight while enjoying the large patio, set on a busy stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. Pilot Project also offers kombucha, non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, and a from-scratch food menu.

Explore more: Check out top local taprooms around Chicago.

Half Acre Brewery

Home to the popular Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Half Acre is considered one of Chicago’s pioneering craft breweries. Their Balmoral tap room is home to one of the city’s best beer gardens, welcoming families, dogs, and beer lovers. Sample Half Acre’s year-round draft options, plus seasonal brews, special collaborations, and barrel-aged options.

District Brew Yards

In the West Loop’s Chicago Brewing District, District Brew Yards is a beer lover’s dream. The industrial-chic spot features wall-to-wall taps where patrons are invited to pour their own drinks and sample options from a variety of small local brewers like Casa Humilde Cervecería and Twisted Hippo. The large patio is the perfect spot to enjoy your DIY beer tasting.

The Moonlighter
The Moonlighter

At first glance, The Moonlighter seems like your typical neighborhood bar. But there are a few unexpected twists. First, there’s the world-class cocktail program designed by the team behind Scofflaw (the acclaimed cocktail bar just across the street). Then there’s the entire vegetarian-friendly menu that includes everything from vegan renditions of wings, tacos, and burgers. But the thing that keeps locals coming back? The spacious, dog-friendly patio where you can enjoy cold pints of more than 20 craft beers on taps.

Kaiser Tiger

kaiser tiger

Kaiser Tiger has one of the largest (and most popular) patios on Randolph Street, also known as “Restaurant Row” in the trendy West Loop. The outdoor space is outfitted with bocce ball courts in the summer and curling in the winter. But you can enjoy their extensive beer list (filled with options from local breweries) and meat-centric menu (think bacon-covered everything) all year-round.


Frontier Beer Garden
Courtesy of Frontier

If you’re coming to Frontier, you’ll want to bring a group (and your appetite). That’s because the West Town spot is known for their whole animal experiences, where you can order entire goats, alligators, antelopes, wild boar, and more, for a large-format dinner with your choice of sides. But even non-carnivores will love the outdoor beer garden, where a large fireplace and string lights create a cozy vibe.

Beer Garden at Navy Pier

Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier

Enjoy live music on the lake, from reggae to blues to DJs, at the bustling Beer Garden. Located on Navy Pier, the seasonal spot serves bar favorites like chicken tenders and loaded nachos, along with a long list of beers, cocktails, and frozen drinks. Plus, you’ll have a front-row seat for the fireworks displays every Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer.

Tiny Tapp
Kayaks at the Cove

If you’re looking for a waterfront beer garden, this is the place to be. Tiny Tapp is located on the scenic Chicago Riverwalk, which means you can enjoy a cold drink and sweeping river views at the same time. Plus — beer, wine, and cocktails on tap! There’s also a full menu of munchies that pair perfectly with a cold beer, like street corn nachos and Chicago style hot dogs.