Best Outdoor Bars and Restaurants In Chicago

24 May J Parker
III Forks Rooftop

III Forks Rooftop

The time to enjoy rooftops, sidewalk cafes, patios, beer gardens and any chair you can find outdoors is here. In A-Z order, here are a few to check out this summer. Neighborhood and the type of outdoor space is noted in parenthesis.


III Forks (Lake Shore East / Rooftop)
180 N. Field Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 938.4303


10 Urban Roofscape (River North / Godfrey Hotel Rooftop, Retractable Roop)
127 W. Huron
Chicago, IL


Big Star (Bucktown / Patio)
1531 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL


Cactus Bar & Grill (Loop / Sidewalk Patio)
404 South Wells
Chicago, IL 60607


Cantina Loredo

Cantina Loredo

Cantina Laredo (River North / Sidewalk Patio, Rooftop)
508 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60654


City Winery (West Loop / Patio)
1200 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 733-9463


Del Frisco’s (Gold Coast / Patio)
58 E. Oak Street
Chicago, IL


Drumbar (Gold Coast / Raffaello Hotel Rooftop)
201 E. Delaware Pl
Chicago, IL
(312) 933-4805




Dryhop Brewers (Lakeview / Patio)
3155 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL


Frontier (West Town-Wicker Park / 3 Season Patio)
1072 North Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 772.4322


High Noon Saloon (Wicker Park / Sidewalk Patio)
1560 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-9339


Homestead On The Roof (Ukrainian Village / Rooftop)
1924 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL


Howells & Hood

Howells & Hood

Howell’s & Hood (Streeterville / Patio)
435 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 262-5310


Joe’s Bar Trackside (Clybourn Corridor / Rooftop)
940 W. Weed Street
Chicago IL 60642-2540
(312) 787-9600


Hopleaf (Andersonville / Patio)
5148 N. Clark Steet
Chicago, IL


Kit Kat (Lakeview / Patio)
3700 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60657


La Madia (River North / Sidewalk Patio)
59 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60654


Little Goat Diner (West Loop / Patio)
820 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607


Logman & Eagle (Logan Square / Patio)
2657 N. Kedzie
Chicago, IL


Mott Street (Wicker Park / Patio)
1401 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622


RM Champagne

RM Champagne

Moody’s Pub (Edgewater / Patio)
5910 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL


Nacional 27 (River North / Sidewalk Patio)
325 West Huron
Chicago, IL 60610


RM Champagne (West Loop / Patio)
116 N. Green Street
Chicago, IL


Rock Bottom (River North / Rooftop)
1 W. Grand
Chicago, IL


ROOF on theWit (Loop / Rooftop)
201 N. State
Chicago, IL


Twisted Spoke (West Town / Rooftop)
501 N. Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL


Sheffield’s (Lakeview / Patio)
3258 N. Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL


J Parker

J Parker

Small Bar (Logan Square / Patio)
2956 N. Albany
Chicago, IL


The Dawson (River West, Patio)
730 W. Grand
Chicago, IL


The J Parker (Lincoln Park / Hotel Lincoln Rooftop)
1816 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL


The Southern (Bucktown / Patio)
1840 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL


Timothy O’Toole’s Pub Chicago (Streeterville / Sidewalk Cafe)
622 North Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611


The Dec

The Dec

The Dec (Gold Coast / Ritz Hotel Rooftop)
160 E Pearson
Chicago, IL


Park Grill / The Plaza at Park Grill (Loop/ Sidewalk Cafe)
11 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60602


West Town Cafe (Ukrainian Village / Sidewalk Patio)
1916 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622


ZED451 (River North / Rooftop)
739 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60611


ZOCALO Restaurant and Tequila Bar (River North / Patio)
358 West Ontario
Chicago, IL 60610


How-To: Melted Crayon Pumpkin

7 Oct Melted crayon pumpkin (C) Robin Wulf Poor Girl's Guide Chicago
Crayon Melted Pumpkin

Crayon Melted Pumpkin (credit: Robin Wulf – Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago)

What you need:

– large white pumpkin (real or faux)

– Tacky Glue

– 16-20 crayons

– Hair dryer

– Surface cover or trash bags

Prep: Remove all the labels from your crayons.  Break them in half.

Set up your work area with newspaper or trash bags. If possible to do outside. it’s recommended.

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How-To (Hair Dryer):

Crayon Melted Pumpkin

Crayon Melted Pumpkin (credit: Robin Wulf – Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago)

1. Glue your crayons in place with the tacky glue or glue gun. Glue is needed to grab the curved surface. Use wherever needed to hold the crayon in place.

2. Place your crayons around the pumpkin. You can either choose to do this all at the same time, then wait to heat or heat as you go. This depends on if you want to see the look as you go, or you know the desired outcome of colors and combinations.

3. Apply heat on high using a hair dryer. The wax tends to splatter, the higher the temperature. If you’re getting too much splatter, lower the heat.  It takes a little under a minute for each of the crayons to melt and drip.

How-To (Candle) – Credit Robin Wulf:

1.  Unwrap wrappers of crayons
2.  Place newspaper under pumpkin
3.  Light a small to medium size candle (for these I used long skinny tapers from IKEA)
4. Tilt your lit candle to the side in one hand and end of crayon directly to the flame in the other over top of pumpkin. (for a more kid friendly version use a hair dryer method above instead of candle)
5.  Rotate crayon all around pumpkin as you watch it mix with the candle and crayon wax over top onto the sides of pumpkin, keep moving pumpkin around to drip crayon wax to all the area you want covered
6. Repeat with each color can keep reusing each color to add more color to pumpkin.

Have fun trying different color combinations, plastic spiders, goggly eyes, glitter and more!

PHOTOS: Halloween Ideas & Inspiration

7 Oct ft_04halloween14_xl

Continue reading

Halloween How To Do It Cheap And Right

7 Oct halloween-cocktails-main-1009-530x240


Pumpkin Decorating

Consider decorating a fake pumpkin so your hard work can be displayed year after year. Use special sharpies, fake diamonds, glitter, and ribbon to create a flashier decoration. If you feel like carving, opt use the grocery instead of a pumpkin patch where prices are typically cheaper. Also, avoid placing the pumpkins outside. It will just lead to your hard work getting smashed by someone or rotting by your front door which no one finds entertaining.

Dry Ice

A friend went to an ice company and for less than ten dollars picked up a huge box of dry ice. Although it’s not the easiest to find, she put it in her sink, random cups filled with water or drinks, and it was the perfect icing to the cake. It’s cheap and definitely gives off an eerie feeling. You can place it throughout your house, or if you are running around town, add it to your goblet for the full effect.

Candles & Wine Bottles

No Halloween is complete without candles – what will the witches use when casting their spells? The best way to present candles is using tapered candle sticks and placing them in an empty wine bottle. Be sure to take the labels off the bottles and avoid the drip-less candles (cheap ones work the best). Once you stick it in a light the candle, it will drip down looking creepy but still good.

Chalk Boards

Maybe it’s the fact that they are old school or maybe it is because of the black and white look, but you can use chalk boards to decorate your apartment for Halloween and if you are having a party, relay info about what’s going on. Start off at a dollar store, where you can typically find a cheap chalk board and chalk, then find cute ribbon to hang it up or use a side table. If you need inspiration for what to say on it, Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration on what to say on it, and you can even find templates for the words.

Halloween Night


I’m not much for creating my own costume – the idea of cardboard and glitter glue hung on my body does not sound like the greatest idea, however creating my own outfit sounds great. If nothing works to for your idea, head to Boystown. Hollywood Mirror, Ragstock, and my favorite for costume pieces, Beatnix is a great place to find costume pieces really cheap. My preference is to search Pinterest and blogs for easy and original ideas and use my closet to create my look. Cheap and I always look cute.


Cocktails are always easy to make, however consider making your own spiked cider. It’s easy, tastes better, and will make your apartment smell delicious. Or you can opt for something simple, such as pumpkin flavored beer or simply spike your drink with flavored color syrup. Don’t forget to accessorize your concoctions – use skull glasses and fake worms to make it look as beautiful as it tastes. Find out more Halloween-themed drink ideas on the blog called The Bar.


Even if cooking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to dress up your food and make it look great. Go beyond your typical candy corn and gummy worms. The Food Network features a ton of Halloween-themed food, from a pumpkin cheese ball to new spins on carmel apples. And for those who need it laid out simple, the Cooking Channel labels everything by how easy it is along with total time to make it.

Party Time

There’s always something to do for Halloween that takes you beyond just stopping by the bar down the street. Northalsted Street has their annual Halloween Parade at 8 pm and there are multiple pub crawls going on. River North features A Nightmare on Hubbard Street and other pub crawls, featured on, from Navy Pier to Wrigleyville. If you are in a movie mood, Music Box Theater will be offering midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also, take a look a look around your favorite bars. Many of them will feature costume contests and feature drink deals. If none of this seems fitting, join your friends for a Halloween house party.






Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website,

Fall Fest – Craft Beer Festival and Pre-Marathon Pasta Dinner 10.9

15 Sep plazaatmp-1

Park Grill at Millennium Park
11 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60602
(312) 521-7275

Friday, October 9: Harvest HopDown
Saturday, October 10: Pre-Marathon Pasta Dinner

Park Grill and The Plaza at Millennium Park will hold a two day “Fall Fest” this October. On Friday, October 9, the restaurant will celebrate the season with their third annual midwestern brewers’ Harvest HopDown. On Saturday, October 10, Fall Fest will commence with a Chicago Marathon Pasta Dinner. The details for each event are below.

Harvest HopDown: Friday, October 9
The third annual Harvest HopDown will take place at The Plaza at Millennium Park on Friday, October 9 from 5-8 p.m. Midwestern brewers will compete for the title of Harvest HopDown “Favorite,” as selected by participating guests. Competing brewers include: Goose Island Beer Company (Chicago, IL); Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI); Local Option (Chicago, IL); Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN); Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (St. Louis, MO); Milwaukee Brewing Company (Milwaukee, WI); Summit Brewing Company (St. Paul, MN); Central Waters Brewing Company (Amherst, WI); Tallgrass Brewing Company (Manhattan, KS); Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI); Virtue Cider (Fennville, MI); Church Street Brewing Co. (Itasca, IL); Schlafly Beer (St. Louis, MO); Ale Syndicate Brewers (Chicago, IL); among others. Park Grill will feature a special HopDown dining menu, available for purchase. The fee to attend Harvest HopDown is $40 and includes a commemorative glass. The event is 21 and over. Tickets are available at

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Pasta Dinner: Saturday, October 10
Carb up before the big race! On Saturday, October 10, reserve your seats at Park Grill’s annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon pasta dinner on The Plaza at Millennium Park. The evening will include a pasta buffet with four selections, a build-your-own pasta station, three salads, dessert and choice of Goose Island beer or The Naked Grape wine. Seatings will be offered at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the fee is $40 per guest. The pre-race buffet menu will feature: butter lettuce salad; caesar salad; caprese salad; roasted garlic mozzarella bread; grilled vegetables; baked mac and cheese cavatappi; rigatoni bolognese grana padano; an array of pasta with various sauces, proteins and vegetables; assorted miniature desserts; and much more. Tickets to this event are available at

Randolph Street Market 9.26-9.27

15 Sep Sept2015RSM-lg


Don’t miss the last indoor/outdoor Randolph Street Market of 2015 featuring the 5th annual Editor’s and Designer’s Choice for Charity event featuring top picks by renowned Designers, Editors, Bloggers, Stylists and Event Planners. Ever wondered what Chicago’s elite tastemakers have on their wish list? We ask Chicago’s TOP tastemakers to walk the Market before it opens to the public and choose their favorite items from 300+ vendors.

Look out for items adorned with blue ribbons for best booth, red ribbons for best booth runners-up, and yellow ribbons for top Tastemaker picks and purchase one of these sought after treasures all for a good cause! Last year’s event drew a star studded line up including Graham Kostic of Glossed & Found, celebrated writer and stylist, Barri Leiner Grant, Chicago Interior Designer of Year winner, Tracy Hickman of Hickman Interiors, acclaimed interior designer Michael Del Piero of Michael Del Piero Good Design, and many more. Randolph Street Market donated more than $25,000 to charities in 2014 and this annual charity event is a favorite for shoppers.

Soak up warm temps by shopping 300+ dealers adorned with ribbons while enjoying live music outdoors and sampling from delicious food trucks and market bars, beer gardens and pubs while savoring our last days of summer in the City!


September 26-27th, 10am to 5pm with Early Buy Saturday at 8am.

Beaux Arts Plumber’s Hall, 1340 W. Washington Street, Chicago

PRICE: Discounted $8 tickets are available in advance (click here); general admission $10, students with ID $3 or $5 at the gate. Children 12 and under free. Square is the official market payment of choice!

Arrive between 11am-2pm on June 27+28
Ticket Includes:
– 1 Market Bar Drink each (4 total, receive a check off card at the gate and bring to market bar for beverage)
-1 photo op at the Randolph Market Photobooth (group photo, open noon-3 saturday & sunday)
– 1 discounted admission each (one voucher good for four (4) girlfriends, present paypal receipt in print or on smartphone at the entry gate)

Student ID is required during check in.


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