Let’s face it – we Chicagoans like to get our drink on outside. That’s why we’ve decided to find the very best places for outdoor drinking all over Chicago, neighborhood by neighborhood. We’re kicking it off with Edgewater on the far north side, which has plenty of wonderful beer gardens and sidewalk patios to keep you occupied. In addition to these finds, don’t forget about the new Edgewater outpost of Nookie’s, which is expected to open in the coming weeks complete with a spacious patio.
Moody’s Pub: The multi-level beer garden at Moody’s is a favorite among residents on the far north side. Packed with plenty of simple plastic four-tops and picnic tables, this place is packed with lively locals on any given summer night. At night, tea candles and moonlight give the space a romantic feel. Like their menu, the beer options are limited: choose from Bud Light, 312, Beck’s or Berghoff Dark. Our suggestion? Share a pitcher of their tasty sangria adorned with fresh fruit.
5910 N. Broadway St.; 773-275-2696
Broadway Cellars: If beer isn’t your thing, head to Broadway Cellars, a cozy little corner bistro with a pleasant sidewalk patio. Sip any of their more than 70 varieties of reds, whites and sparkling wines at one of the small tables on the patio, which is conveniently situated on a quiet, neighborhood street and beautifully decorated with tiny while lights. For a great deal, stop by on Tuesdays when all bottles of wine are half-price.
5900 N. Broadway St.; 773-944-1208
Bananas Foster Café: With all the hustle and bustle on the corner of Granville and Broadway, you wouldn’t think of it as a great place to kick back with drink in hand. But Bananas Foster Café has managed to create a fenced-in and covered sidewalk patio area on Broadway that makes diners feel secluded and relaxed. The best time to drink at this cheery café? Try half-price wine on Thursdays or stop in for brunch on Sundays when the mimosas and Bloody Marys are refreshingly delicious.
1147 W. Granville Ave.; 773-262-9855
The Pumping Company: Unlike Moody’s, The Pumping Company (affectionately called P. Co.) tends to be more of a college hangout, complete with the late-night partying on weekends. Weeknights are more laid-back, however, and even during busy times their back patio area provides relief from the crowds. This is the perfect place for casual, cheap drinks with your pals, specifically plenty of inexpensive domestic bottles.
6157 N. Broadway St.; 773-465-9500
The Waterfront Café: The ultimate in outdoor drinking, The Waterfront Café is situated right on the beach, with practically all of its seating located outdoors. In addition to cheap eats, the café also serves up beer, wine and the customary fruity beach drinks. You’ll feel more Caribbean than Chicago as you sip your frozen pina colada next to the bright blue waters of the lake.
6219 N. Sheridan Rd.; 773-761-3294
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