As the weather continues to get warmer and Chicago moves into its third phase of re-opening, more and more outdoor restaurants are beginning to open their doors to the public. While this is extremely exciting, it can sometimes be overwhelming to pick a summertime lunch spot with thousands of outdoor cafes around the city. Luckily, we’ve done the research and have come up with six of the best outdoor cafes to visit this summer.
Parson’s Chicken and Fish is all about two things: their patio and fried chicken. With locations in Logan Square and Lincoln Park, Parson’s has quickly become a summertime staple for many Chicagoans looking for their chicken fix. Take on their spicy chicken sandwich or just snack on some hush puppies as you enjoy Paron’s shaded patio setting. You may be sweating once you leave here, but I can assure you it’ll be from the chicken, not the sun.
I truly believe that only two things make the world go round: beer and pizza. And let me tell you, Homeslice has plenty of both. Nestled on the streets of Lincoln Park, Homeslice offers a relaxed patio atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at a backyard barbeque. Combine that with their crazy decorations and amazing pizza, and you have yourself a perfect place to spend a long Saturday afternoon.
Located in the heart of the Gold Coast, nothing says classic diner experience quite like Tempo Cafe. Known for their burgers, omelets, and everything in between, you can always be certain to get something delicious at this 24-hour cafe. Started by Jim Kontos in 1983, Tempo Cafe continues to stay in the family and is now run by his two sons, Stellios and Stefanos. With great service and great meals, there’s a reason why this classic cafe has been around for nearly 40 years.
The Gonzalez family knows a thing or two about hard work and dedication. Arriving on a shrimp boat to Key West in 1980, they worked hard towards their dreams of sharing their food and culture with everyone. They achieved that dream in 2009 when they opened their first location of 90 Miles Cuban Cafe. Operating for over 10 years, this cafe has become a Chicago staple. Indulge in some authentic Cuban food or sip sangria while you enjoy live music every weekend.
Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits makes everyday feel like a summer vacation in the city. Welcoming picnic tables with blue-checkered umbrellas line the patios outside both their Logan Square and Ravenswood locations. While their decor may be nice, that’s not nearly the best thing about this place. Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of six pies that rotate on their menu regularly. Or if you’re craving something savory, go for a delicious biscuit sandwich with gravy.
Au Cheval is widely considered to have one of the best burgers in Chicago. So, the restaurant decided to double down on their success and open a small patio selling just that; burgers. With locations in Wicker Park and Old Town, Small Cheval makes ordering a burger stupidly simple. Order it with some fries and a cold beer and you have yourself quite the ensemble. Feel free to take it out or eat at the community patio with a relaxed and friendly vibe.
Author: Colin Jay