Outdoor eats: Chicago food blogger Amanda Topper’s favorite alfresco dining spots in the city
With alfresco season suddenly upon us, we asked Amanda Topper, founder of TheGhostGuest.com food blog, for her favorite spots to eat outdoors in Chicago.
St. Lou’s Assembly: Just west of downtown, you’ll find St. Lou’s Assembly, a “meat and three” spot with a large, casual patio. Enjoy comfort food like pickled brined chicken and mac & cheese while washing it all down with a house-bottled cocktail or boozy float. 664 W. Lake. 312-660-0600. StLousChicago.com
Noyane: Noyane, the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Conrad Chicago hotel, is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of Michigan Ave. The chic rooftop offers sweeping views of the Magnificent Mile and a refreshing variety of cocktails, wine and Japanese dishes, including sushi and BBQ skewers. 101 E. Erie. 312-667-6796. Noyane.com
Tanta: This Peruvian hot spot features an outdoor patio practically hidden among the streets of River North. Tanta’s specialties include a variety of ceviches and other seafood options like grilled octopus with chimichurri and crispy garlic. A trip to Tanta is not complete without trying its famous El Chingon cocktail. 118 W. Grand. 312-222-9700. TantaChicago.com
RM Champagne Salon: Situated in Chicago’s food-centric West Loop, RM Champagne Salon is a relatively hidden spot to enjoy a glass of wine and oysters. A stone-covered walkway leads you to the restaurant that features a large outdoor patio. Stop in for a bite or make a meal out of several appetizers like the fantastic steak tartare and oysters. 116 N. Green. 312-243-1199. RMChampagneSalon.com
Gene’s Sausage Shop: Head north to Lincoln Square to find a friendly neighborhood patio atop Gene’s Sausage Shop, a local grocery store specializing in housemade sausages. Its rooftop beer and wine garden offers a backyard experience where locals congregate to enjoy a pint of German beer and a housemade brat grilled right in front of you. 4750 N. Lincoln. 773-728-7243. GenesSausageShop.com
Amanda Topper is a Chicago-based restaurant industry analyst who analyzes restaurant trends and menus for a global market intelligence firm. By night, she is a food writer and social media influencer with a blog called The Ghost Guest℠ (TheGhostGuest.com). Follow her on Instagram at @amandatopper