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