The 7 Best Patios for Drinking Outside in Chicago
Every woman needs a drink with a view
It’s almost summertime, and we want to shout it from the rooftops. So, don’t mind if we do. With balmy weather finally upon us, it’s time to pour a stiff cocktail and cheers to one of Chicago’s greatest warm-weather traditions: drinking outside. Here are the hottest patios and rooftop spaces in seven neighborhoods.
Streeterville: Green River
There’s hardly a more civilized terrace in the city. Green River’s patio is divided into twosections: one for dining, the other for drinking. Sip a yuzu gin and tonic by the bar; then head to the dining section for a chaser of saffron spaghetti.
Logan Square: Parson's Chicken & Fish
This cheerful patio ticks all the boxes for a Sunday fun day with the fam...or girlfriends. Tables are decked with red-and-white-striped umbrellas, kids and dogs are welcome, and there’s always a game of Ping-Pong going. Plus, this is the spot that spawned Chicago’s Negroni slushy craze. (Definitely one of our more sensible moments.)
Wicker Park: Big Star
Picture it: You’re double-fisting tacos and tequila cocktails. String lights are hanging overhead; country tunes are spilling out of the jukebox. Sound familiar? Like last summer, perhaps? Big Star’s patio is back in business for the season. And there’s no reason not to head there for a Two Step Tussle cocktail--and two tacos--immediately.
West Loop: RM Champagne Salon
The famously charming terrace is getting a refresh this year, and will reopen the first week of May with an even more romantic, bohemian look. (Yes, it’s possible.) There will be gorgeous greenery and colorful lanterns hanging overhead. Our suggestion? Save this spot for a balmy night when you’re in the market for Champagne and dainty desserts. Who could pass on lemon meringue with violet sugar?
113 N. Green St.; 312-243-1199 or rmchampagnesalon.com
Lincoln Park: J. Parker
This rooftop space gazes out onto Lincoln Park and the ocean--we mean lake. The seasonal small plates are delicious--say yes to the house-smoked salmon cakes if they’re available but save room for cocktails. The Moonage Daydream has summery flavors of coconut and orange-flower water.
N. Clark St., 13th fl.; 312-254-3737 or jparkerchicago.com
The Loop: Cerise
Oh, you were planning to head home after work to do laundry? Oops. If it’s nice out, that’s just not an option. Instead, hightail it to the Virgin Hotel’s rooftop space. The live music strikes up at 4 every afternoon, and the craft cocktails--and skyline views--are on point.
203 N. Wabash; 312-940-4774 or virginhotels.com
Mag Mile: The Patio (by David Burke's Primehouse)
Normally, we shy away from street-side patios. (Car exhaust? Sweet.) But this patio is special. The lush greenery and overhead lights create a backyard-bash vibe. Order a few small plates from David Burke’s and--this is the important part--an ice-cream cocktail. The patio will open Memorial Day weekend.
616 N. Rush St.; 312-660-6000 or davidburkesprimehouse.com