Prettiest Patios on the North Shore
Embracing summer by dining al fresco on one of our glorious Chicago’s North Shore patios is not only tradition, but perhaps a birthright of Midwestern living. We might love having a variety of seasons, but nothing beats having a chilly cocktail, beer, or fountain drink with a scrumptious meal in the open air. Luckily, outdoor dining comes in all flavors with lively pizza joints, luxe cuisine, and everything in between.
See a full list of restaurants on Chicago's North Shore here.
TASTE OF ITALY
Transport yourself to a “bella notte” on an Italian piazza with an outdoor table at Tuscany (550 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling). This charming spot is covered in lush vegetation complimented by their incredible menu of Italian dishes and excellent wine list. Head to Evanston’s Main Street (at Custer and Main, Evanston) which just got a whole lot cooler having closed off an adjacent street for patrons of Trattoria DOC (706 Main St., Evanston). While there, partake in one of the many deliciously authentic pasta options on their menu. Cheery new outdoor dining awaits at Saranello’s Restaurant (601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling) with a special Patio Menu filled with their rustic Italian specialties and summertime-inspired dishes including Zuppa di Mussels and Roast Chicken Vesuvio.
FOOD WITH A SIDE OF BEER
The Village Inn Sports Bar and Grill (8050 Lincoln Ave., Skokie) is a sporty spot and the place to relax in the heart of Downtown Skokie. Pick the Meat Lovers Pizza, three kinds of Sliders on Hawaiian bread, or specialties like the Jumbo Burrito Plate. Created using bricks recycled from downtown Evanston sidewalks and featuring a cheery mural of greenery across the wall of their adjacent microbrewery, the Peckish Pig (623 Howard St., Evanston) patio boasts seasonal suds, craft cocktails, and gastropub chow (get the Bacon Fat Popcorn!). The expanded beer garden at Ten Ninety Brewing Company (1025 Waukegan Rd., Glenview) gives you plenty of space to enjoy their complex and refreshing craft beers (like their summery ale brewed with apricots) alongside artisan pizzas and ample appetizer options.
Peckish Pig, Evanston
Dotted with beautiful mosaic tabletops and bursting with flowers, the outdoor seating at Guanajuato (73 Green Bay Rd., Glencoe) is as colorful as their specialty cocktails and Mexican taste sensations. Libertad (7931 Lincoln Ave, Skokie) delivers modern, inventive Latin American small plates dished up in a cozy setting. Conjure those vacation vibes with a “Taste of Spain” at Tapas Gitana (310 N. Happ Rd., Northfield). Why settle for one Mediterranean flavor when you can queue up small plates of Patatas Alioli, Chorizo a la Plancha, Queso de Cabra al Horno (baked goat cheese), and so much more? Or enjoy jazzed up Mexican street food from La Principal (700 Main St., Evanston), where the umbrellaed picnic tables and vibrant mural by Valerie Kahan create a welcome new scene in town.
To create the sumptuous experience that infuses their American and French Brassiere menu with a worldly wink, the Aboyer (64 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka) open air “Le Patio Aboyer” changes the menu weekly for their premier course, main course, “accompaniment,” and to-die-for pastries. Premium, classic fare with exceptional service are the hallmarks of Morton’s the Steakhouse (699 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook) where you can savor the flavors of summer under the stars. Order up favorites at The Happ Inn (305 Happ Rd., Northfield) with contemporary comfort food, including hamburgers, signature salads, wood-oven pizzas and full bar all under an inviting white tent. A great date-night restaurant, House 406 (1143-1/2 Church St., Northbrook) is a farm-to-table American gem. The pretty patio with candlelight and cantilever umbrellas sets the scene for fresh fish, poultry and meat dishes accompanied by a robust wine and spirits list (fancy a whiskey flight?). The contemporary, chef-driven menu at Roka Akor (Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd., Skokie) marries a modern approach to Japanese steakhouse classics (sushi, Kobe and Wagyu beef, seafood) for an unforgettable dining experience on their patio.
With the best rooftop dining around, you can catch the sunset or enjoy a breezy happy hour above the street hubbub on the casual urban terrace at Five & Dime (1026 Davis St., Evanston). Valor (667 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe) crafts dishes from scratch daily (like Tuna Tartare or Voodoo Chicken Rigatoni) based on seasonal market offerings. The bistro has expanded outdoor tented dining for lunch and dinner in delightful downtown Glencoe. Having reimagined and elevated a former filling station, Fred’s Garage (574 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka) does the same with American classics, prepared with high-quality, fresh ingredients. The original towering silver poplars on the lovely outdoor patio of Hackney’s on Harms (1241 Harms Rd., Glenview) means summer even if you don’t order the house-made burger and mountain of Hackney’s original French Fried Onions (going strong since Prohibition!). Their Lake Street location features a dining terrace by the white columns, plus new extended seating outside in tented comfort.
Fred's Garage, Winnetka
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