“After months spent huddling around fireplaces and shivering from inevitable bar-room drafts, you deserve a drink. Outside. With the sun beaming down, margarita in hand. Chicago is happy to oblige with droves of excellent alfresco watering holes. Whether you’re looking for a boozy slushy, an ice-cold beer or a glass of rosé, we have just the spot for you. Our guide to the best outdoor bars—from hidden gardens to sidewalk seats—will give you lots of ideas for things to do in the summer, the very best season in Chicago.
Boystown’s megabar is famous for its showtunes night, booze-laced slushies and, of course, its gigantic rooftop deck, which packs them in on sunny weekends and summer nights. Plenty of greenery and a multilevel layout provide an intimate feel despite the massive capacity.
This huge beer garden turns into a laid-back college reunion on weekend nights, where you’ll be a bit strapped to find a table. But once you’ve secured your spot, head to the different bars for regular tappings of interesting beers. It’s more low-key during the week, perfect for dropping in on your way home for a sunny post-work drink.”