News & Features

Best Southside (South Loop) Outdoor Seating

June 21 2012 - 10:58 AM

With last week’s north side (Lincoln Park) outdoor seating recommendations, it was only a matter of time before we south siders followed suit. These recommendations are all for the South Loop neighborhood. We’ve got outdoor seating a plenty, but these are the ones I regularly visit.

         1.    Bodega No. 5/Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Ave. 

Tapas, sangria and other Spanish inspired bites all for under $5 an item? It’s true AND you can nab a table outside to enjoy the people watching and live music compliments of SummerDance (starting July 19.

        2.    Chicago Firehouse, 1401 S. Michigan Ave.

This old firehouse (it maintains much of its architectural integrity) boasts a tranquil respite from the city. Its 100 seat patio is open for dinner, lunch and brunch. This is a great place to bring out of town guests!

        3.    Hackney’s, 733 S. Dearborn

Hackney’s is the spot South Loopers go to soak up summer and it always seems to be packed no matter what time you’re there searching for a table. There are other patios in Printer’s Row, but this one has lovely floral boxes, a solid beer selection and some of the city’s juiciest burgers.

        4.    Zapatista, 1307 S. Wabash Ave.

I have a love hate relationship with Zapatista and much of that has to do with their bustling patio. I hate the service there. It’s never good, but the Mexican fare here is decent, the drinks are strong, and the expansive covered patio epitomizes the activity of the neighborhood (El background noise free of charge.)

        5.    Brasserie by LM, 800 S. Michigan Ave.

The Brasserie is a much welcome newcomer to the South Loop and they’ve got a nice size patio to tantalize their neighbors. They have a menu full of French favorites (though tamed down from their sister restaurant’s Lincoln Square options) and real estate to make you drool. You can also catch listen to the free concerts from the tables here (see #1)

–Robyn Traub