4 Great Places to Dine Al Fresco in Chicago

I’ve mentioned before in a recent post that dining al fresco is one of the best parts about living in the gorgeous city of Chicago. You see the city in a different light when you’re on top of a rooftop or on a patio amongst all the passersby. Some of the best meals and conversations are had while dining al fresco in the summer. While sweating outside in the heat may not be my all-time favorite activity,  it is rather fun as long as I have some great company, a delicious meal and a drink in my hand. Today, I’ve rounded up four amazing places to eat and drink outside in Chicago. Check them out below!

Bernie’s Lunch & Supper | River North ($$$)

I’ve heard so much about Bernies, especially for brunch, so I was ecstatic when Austin and I finally had the chance to go a week or so ago. In my opinion, the interior of the restaurant and its rooftop are equally gorgeous. It was busy, but not too busy on a Sunday, which ultimately made for a great atmosphere. Austin was a huge fan of the ham and cheese soft egg scramble, while I adored the avocado toast and breakfast sausage. Next time, I’m going to try the brioche French toast. Yum. While you’re there, don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the adorable wall with a black and white pattern. See it here. P.S. Get the frozen cocktail while you’re there too. I can’t remember the name but trust me on this one!

The J.Parker | Lincoln Park ($$)

Eric Kleinberg

If you’re at all familiar with Lincoln Park and its “scene,” then you most likely know of the J.Parker, the gorgeous rooftop which sits upon Hotel Lincoln. Not only can you see the city from the 140-seat open atrium, but there’s also a stunning view of Lincoln Park itself. They have inventive cocktails, along with small plates from Hotel Lincoln’s upcoming restaurant, the Kennison. One of my favorite cocktails? The Monkey Business, which is inspired by one of my favorite countries, Thailand. Complete with Thai chili infused vodka,’ toasted coconut, lemongrass, lime, it’ll practically transport you there. It’s the kind of place that feels just a bit more comfortable since it sits a bit further north than other rooftops, which place you in the middle of the city.

Bar Takito | West Loop ($$)

This honestly may be my new favorite spot! Austin and I had the chance to go last week and were blown away by the food and most of all, the hospitality. The owner is incredible and so were the food and drinks. I loved the margarita flight, but my favorite had to be the tropical one. It’s the kind of drink I want to take with me to go drink somewhere near the beach! As for food, get the avocado and pine nut puree with chips. To die for, I swear. Quite unlike your normal guacamole dish, this one is creamy and extremely flavorful. Other highlights were the esquites (which I’m still craving again) and coffee braised beef barbacoa tacos. Truly though, all of the dishes were delicious and unique yet approachable, which makes this place one of the best.

Noyane | The Loop ($$$)

Nick Fochtman

If you’re looking for a new and trendy rooftop with an unbeatable view, Noyane is for you. Situated right in the middle of Chicago’s skyscrapers and other large buildings inside The Conrad hotel, the view is like no other. It’s a Richard Sandoval restaurant (so you know it’s going to be good) but without his typical Latin American influences. Instead, this gem focuses solely on Japanese food and let me tell you, the sushi is not to be missed, especially the spicy tuna roll (always my favorite anywhere!). For drinks, try out the Sake Sangria if you’re into that kind of thing or the El Diablo, essentially a Moscow Mule but with a kick of jalapeno.

What are your favorite places to dine al fresco in Chicago? Let me know in the comments below! Have a fantastic week, everyone!

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