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EATER: 26 New Outdoor Dining Options to Try in Chicago

This year, Chicagoans can eat in the middle of the street

by Naomi Waxman and Ashok Selvam Updated Aug 26, 2020, 12:27pm CDT

Outdoor dining has long been a popular pastime (weather allowing) in Chicago. The pandemic has made the practice more important than ever for Chicago’s bars and restaurants. This summer’s patio season looks a lot different from those prior. Especially with open roads, where the city closes streets to allow restaurants to set up tables and seats. The city has compiled a list of the closed streets where weekend outdoor dining is planned.

Many spots are getting creative with outdoor options so patrons can support their favorite establishments in relative safety. As with all things COVID-19 related, hours and seating options are subject to change so it’s a good idea to check in online or by phone before making plans.

A number of Chicago restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

New Logan Square Italian restaurant Testaccio, inspired by its eponymous Roman neighborhood, serves a blend of cuisines from Greek, Malta, Turkey, and Morocco, and makes good use of the wood-burning oven left behind by former tenant Quiote. The restaurant is from Aldo Zaninotto of Osteria Langhe, and its opening menu features street food, along with more than 60 outdoor spots on the patio and sidewalk.