Chicago's Best Hidden Patios

Marly Schuman

June 20 2016 - 10:09 PM

In case you didn’t get the glaringly bring memo…summer is HERE! Patio weather is my absolute favorite. I have issues eating inside when I know I need to take advantage of the three months out of the year the Chicago breeze isn’t chilling me to the core.

Big Star is great and all if you want to wait 3 hours for your table. Since most places don’t take patio reservations, we’ve rounded up some of the best patio spots all around the city where you might actually be able to nab a spot.

1. Anteprima

Andersonville is full of gems off the beaten path, and Anteprima is one of the standouts. Last year on the 4th of July, I ventured away from the Navy Pier crowds and headed North to this delicious patio. While the patio isn’t great for a large group, it’s beautiful for a date night or intimate dinner. Every dish is fresh and flavorful, and tastes even better with a cold glass of wine.

2. RM Champagne

While this restaurant isn’t exactly a secret, the patio itself is literally hidden from the hustle of Restaurant Row. RM is a solid spot for a night out with girlfriends and some strong drinks. Order up a cheese platter and arm yourself with a Life is a Beach – vodka, cucumber, lemon, sage & cava.

3. El Nuevo Mexicano

I may be biased having lived just down the street from this place, but I can’t deny they make some solid Mexican food. They offer up tons of healthy options and vegetarian-friendly choices as well. The sizable patio is perfect for a group looking to enjoy a margarita and some enchiladas. The menu can be overwhelming but you honestly can’t go wrong.

4. m. Henry

Edgewater has no shortage of awesome brunch spots. In my opinion, m. Henry is more than a neighborhood spot; it’s a destination. It’s worth going to even if you can’t get a spot on the wonderful shaded patio. If you can, all the better to enjoy your blackberry bliss cakes or roasted veggie and goat cheese quiche. If you can’t stand the wait, grab a bakery item to-go.

5. Handlebar

This vegetarian mainstay is more than just that. They have plenty of menu items for any time of day. During brunch you won’t find a crowd, so it’s easy to enjoy the spacious back patio. Order up a breakfast  burrito an some tacos and you won’t be disappointed.

What are your favorite patio bars and restaurants?