Al Fresco Dining: Don’t Let Winter Stop You


Don’t let winter stop you from dining outside. Chicago has many creative outdoor dining options worth exploring rain, snow, or shine.. 

IO Godfrey – River North

During the winter, IO Godfrey’s year-round rooftop bar and restaurant transforms into a wonderland with igloos that can accommodate up to 6 people each. Enjoy some of their tasty shareables, flatbreads, and appetizers in the twinkle of their beautifully lit trees, floor lamps, and firepits for a magical night out. 

City Winery – West Loop

It’s the most wonderful site for dining and drinks. If you missed the previous river dome set up by City Winery at Riverwalk, you can’t miss the dome and tented patio at their West Loop location this year! City Winery is not only a must for wine lovers, their food is up to par as well. We highly recommend the Duck Tostadas, Impossible Burger, and Rosé Milkshake.

VU Rooftop – South Loop

If you’re looking for a luxurious, high-end (and high-rise) experience this winter, VU rooftop should definitely top your list of options. With over 13,000 square feet, VU rooftop features glass walls for guests to enjoy an unparalleled skyline view. Their upscale rooftop venue also offers cozy couches and fire pits to create a warm environment when it’s cold out. Gather around the fire, have a VU burger, and order a glass of VU SIDECAR for the perfect night out.

Fiya – Andersonville

Located in Chicago’s Swedish neighborhood, Fiya’s elegant wooden back patio has heated bubbles for winter dining. For $50 on weeknights and $100 Friday through Sunday, you’ll get 90 minutes in a bubble — plenty of time to work your way through their selection of unique cocktails, natural wines, and craft beers.

Kennedy Rooftop – Wicker Park

Kennedy’s year-round winter wonderland offers boozy igloos and curling on the rooftop. There are three bottle packages in the igloo: standard, premium, and platinum each with its own characteristics). If you don’t want to be cooped up in the igloo the whole time, you can try a bit of Kennedy curling for a great way to warm up with friends and take in a beautiful skyline view.

Le Sud – Lakeview/Roscoe Village

Le Sud, the Mediterranean restaurant in Roscoe Village, has two new options for winter dining areas. The sidewalk cafe will be transformed with large windows to completely enclose the area for a cozy and heated dining space that can hold up to 40 guests. With that, the heated and enclosed rooftop patio will also be open with 30 seats. Both winter outdoor dining areas make Le Sud well worth the visit.

Maple & Ash – Gold Coast

Maple & Ash will continue to open its tented courtyard patio space this winter. The patio dining experience serves a collection of Maple & Ash classics, light salads, sushi, and cocktails. The patio’s menu offers diverse options, with a one-stop shop for steak, seafood and sushi. You can’t go wrong with steak, but we also recommend the shrimp cocktail and spanish octopus.

Taxim – Wicker Park

Taxim provides heat lamps on its rooftop garden during the wintertime. You can enjoy Greek wines, spirits, and history-inspired drinks on a beautiful rooftop at this famous Greek-style restaurant. The all-Greek wine list is affordable and interesting. The menu has a wide range of food options using seasonal ingredients to create fresh and wonderful village cuisine. Check out their impressive selection of fresh-shelled favas with yogurt and lamb confit.

Barcocina – Lakeview

Barcocina is a trendy Mexican restaurant known for its unique cuisine. It combines Latin flavors with traditional Mexican dishes. Here you can  sip on craft cocktails, snack on tacos at brunch, or order a bowl of their Classic Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner. Don’t forget to order a Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll for dessert served with Mexican Coffee ice cream. Barcocina offers fire pits on the rooftop and you can also book your own igloo.It’s the perfect place to catch up with friends old and new.      

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