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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Tag - Al Fresco Dining Chicago

Once the summer sun arrives in Chicago, every restaurant, eatery and bar in the city pulls out the sidewalk dining paraphernalia. You can barely walk down the street, there are so many summer cafés filled with excited diners lining the streets. Yes, alfresco dining is popular in Chi-town, but don't be fooled into thinking that all the outdoor offerings are easy to spot. Some are hidden by cul-de-sacs, side streets and bike paths.

Soak in the last weeks of the season as you check out these three slightly hidden locations for excellent al fresco dining.

When it comes to our family dog, Gizmo, sometimes we wonder who rescued whom. Saved from an unhealthy living situation by a local dog rescue organization, he arrived at our doorstep five years ago. Timid and sad at first, he fast became a beloved member of our family. He's our No. 1 squirrel protector and our best walking buddy, and he's always there to offer a warm cuddle and unconditional love. So naturally our family has been delighted to discover two amazing Chicago brunch venues—and even a luxe hotel—that welcome humans and their animal friends with open arms! 

No one embraces summer like a Chicagoan: sunny days call for as much outdoor time as possible, and picnics are the way to dine. Here are four picnic + park recommendations that promise to make for a memorable summer afternoon in Chicago.

Summer in Chicago calls for patio dining . . . often, and in every corner of the city. But not every patio is kid-friendly, making for frustrated parents, bored kids and kid-less patrons who just want to sip their mojitos in peace. Here are five patios where kids are welcome to join in on the joy of dining in the great (urban!) outdoors.

Spend a Summer Evening on The 606

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 12:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

Chicago's latest and greatest park and trail system is The 606, a 2.7 mile trail that connects four ground level parks and four amazing Chicago neighborhoods. Running along Bloomingdale Avenue from Ashland Avenue on the east to Ridgeway Avenue on the west, the 606 provides a glorious stretch of green space and trails for runners, walkers, bikers and nature lovers. Here's our guide to a fabulous summer evening date on The 606.

Al fresco dining is a big deal here in Chicago, but not all patios are equally destination-worthy. While rooftop bars, lavish terraces and consistent hot spots like Big Star and Piccolo Sogno draw hordes, Chicago is filled with wonderful outdoor nooks worthy of your attention. From a tranquil sushi oasis to a tree-lined bistro, these are Chicago's most underrated patio gems.

What if I told you it was possible to have perfectly prepared blueberry pancakes, creatively prepared chilaquiles and much more while taking in stellar views of Millennium Park and beyond? And oh yes: there’s downtempo soul music carefully curated as well. It’s all possible and it happens every Sunday from 10am-3pm at Cindy’s on the 13th floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in the Loop.

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