Chicago's Best Beer Gardens: Wicker Park Edition

06/22/2011 05:06 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2011

Some may write off Wicker Park as a hipster haven, but there is no questioning the trendsetting tendencies of the 'hood. Whether you're catching a show at the Double Door or picking up a gorgeous gift as Asrai Garden, check out one of Wicker Park's great beer gardens and you'll feel at home in no time.

Big Star: This hip hangout takes the typical taqueria to a whole new level by adding ingredients from sustainable farms, whiskeys from boutique distilleries and music from live DJs. Big Star’s patio may be spacious, but tables are somewhat crammed in to make room for the crowds lining up at the door. Still, the outdoor area hums with the vibrancy of the neighborhood on any given night of the week, making it one of the top places to see and be seen this summer.
1531 N Damen Ave.; 777-235-4039

Nick’s Beergarden: Conveniently located right under the Blue Line L, Nick’s Beergarden is a top spot for outdoor drinking. With a 4 a.m. liquor license, you can count on Nick’s long after other Chicago beer gardens have closed. Plus, this neighborhood joint brings in live bands every Friday and Saturday night, ensuring that you can get your groove on while sipping on some of the cheapest draft beers in the area.
1516 N Milwaukee Ave.; 773-252-1155

Handlebar Bar and Grill: This bar caters to beer lovers and bike lovers alike with its connection to the Chicago cycling scene. Craft brews from the likes of Bell’s, Metropolitan and Dogfish Head are highlights on Handlebar’s impressive drink menu and the enclosed beer garden out back is perfect for a summer afternoon of sipping on cold drinks and noshing on unique vegetarian fare.
2311 W. North Ave.; 773-384-9546

Northside Bar and Grill: In addition to its sidewalk café area, Northside offers one of the best beer gardens in the area. Situated under an atrium-style rooftop, the gorgeous semi-enclosed beer garden is adorned with greenery, an outdoor bar and plenty of candlelit tables. This is a great place for dining and drinking in the open air, especially if you’re single and looking.
1635 N. Damen Ave.; 773-384-3555

The Southern: On those elusive warm days, The Southern becomes a hot spot for al fresco drinking thanks to the combination of the sizeable patio and the rooftop deck. In a nod to the restaurant’s name, the food and drinks both have a Southern twist, including the beers, cocktails, whiskies and bourbons on the menu. If you’ve got a craving for a refreshing mint julep and some prime people watching along North Avenue, this is the place to be.
1840 W. North Ave.; 773-342-1840

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