Brunch is the best meal of the week. Summer is the best season of the year. Brunch outside during the summer? There’s not much better than that.
Combine the best of both worlds, brunch and beautiful weather, at one of these excellent restaurants to eat outside. And get some eggs and pancakes on your table, because things are better when they’re together too.
Update June 10th 2020: After months of being closed, Chicago restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Check out the list of Chicago Restaurants Reopened For Outdoor Dining for up-to-date info.
We should all spend more time in Hyde Park this summer, and The Promontory is a good way to start. Brunch is the best meal of the day to eat here - especially on their back patio. Make a trip before or after a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, because experiencing work in a coal mine will build quite the appetite.
Bang Bang is a small restaurant, but it’s triple in size when you add all the picnic benches in their backyard. It’s ideal to stroll into any day for a cup of coffee, breakfast sandwich on scratch biscuits, and a piece of pie. The only way to have a better brunch? Get a second or third slice of pie.
Calumet doesn’t have a patio in the traditional sense, and they don’t technically serve brunch. But make no mistake, heading here for brunch on any day is one of the smartest things you can ever do. The tiny fish shack that sits on a bridge over the Calumet River is an institution, and their smoked salmon is life changing. Eat at one of the handful of outdoor tables or eat on top of the hood of your car. Just eat here.
Chicago in general does a poor job taking advantage of the Riverwalk. Luckily, River Roast is there to pounce on the scenery that all of us want to enjoy. It’s smack dab on the river right at the LaSalle bridge, and afternoon brunch with the views here makes for an excellent Saturday.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba has been around for thirty years, but just like The Stones or your mom after 1.5 margaritas, it’s still here to party. And there’s plenty of space to do so in their large open-air room when it’s nice outside. Brunch is always fun, especially when you can try a lot of different tapas like waffle-battered chicken sticks or shrimp and grits. That experience is what makes Ba-Ba-Reeba great. And a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.
Gather serves modern American food in Lincoln Square. It’s family-friendly, but it’s also the kind of place you could bring a date. And while it’s acceptable to eat at Gather for any meal, we suggest brunch for two major reasons. One, the back patio is covered, which makes taking your time on a nice day in Lincoln Square extra enjoyable. And two - the sticky buns.
Lula has been a Logan Square favorite for over 15 years and still continues to push the creative envelope. But let’s talk about their patio: it’s a great place to relax and people watch, which is a great combination - and the reason why we love Lula for brunch in the summer.
Longman & Eagle is a classic Logan Square spot at this point, which is a testament to the food, beer, and serious whisky list. It’s a “nose-to-tail” spot, meaning they serve items like bone marrow and foie gras. But it’s not all pig parts - and they have a particularly strong brunch that also includes a seasonal veggie quiche or chicken and waffles. Since their no reservations policy makes waits common at night, we prefer to hit this spot during the day to enjoy brunch on their patio.
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