Best places to eat, drink outside in Boystown

Thu. July 3, 2014 1:02 PM by Andy Ambrosius


The Fourth of July weekend is officially upon us, and the weather in Boystown is looking hot.

With every Chicagoan still suffering from a debilitating case of spring fever, news that Fourth of July weekend is expected to be sunny and gorgeous is like a choir of angels.

That means it's officially time to unpack your short-shorts, pull your tank tops and head to Boystown to dine – and drink – al fresco. This is a list of the bars and restaurants with the best outdoor seating on North Halsted.

Editor's Note: Check the restaurant name for hours of operation, map, specials and more.

Yoshi's Cafe3257 N. Halsted, (773) 248-6160

Serving up what Zagat calls "consistently delicious" cuisine with "A+ service," Yoshi's Cafe has been a Boystown staple for more than 30 years. And luckily for those hungry on Halsted, this corner restaurant has outdoor seating for about 30. The scene is set with moody lighting, the perfect corner to commence people watching and a black awning in case it starts drizzling in the gayborhood.

Nookies Tree, 3334 N. Halsted St, (773) 248-9888

Although Nookies Tree is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, the outdoor sidewalk patio is undoubtedly one of Boystown's best places to kick off a Saturday-or Sunday-Funday with a boozy brunch. Its BYOB policy makes it easy to enjoy a do-it-yourself mimosa. And combined with breakfast options like brioche French toast and The Hangover Helper skillet, Nookie's outdoor patio is solid location to start the day's debauchery.

mEAT3339 N. Halsted, (773) 871-2682

mEAT's outdoor patio is a series of tables lined by swing sets. Must we say much more? The restaurant's clearly unique take on a sidewalk patio down Halsted is one ballsy way to ring in the restaurant's first summer in Boystown. The swing set holds up to 23 people for the bar's signature cocktails and skewers.

Roscoe's Tavern3356 N. Halsted, (773) 281-3355

While some may be flabbergasted to learn that Roscoe's Tavern is more than a late night dancefloor, others will be blown away when they hear about the bar, nightclub and restaurant's outdoor patio. The al fresco space opened on May 21 and is open to those looking to drink and munch on the historic bar's food and cocktail menu, and it's open till 10 p.m. every night of the week.

Whiskey Trust3206 N. Halsted St, (773) 857-0493

Whiskey Trust is just two weeks old, but its 100-seat garden hidden away out back deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. The rustic-themed bar and restaurant serves up craft beer and its own brand of whiskey, as well as number of creative dishes. Those looking to pound a few Coors Lights, however, won't find them here.

Sidetrack/Chicago/id/6107209">Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, (773) 477-9189

Sidetrack's rooftop bar is unlike any other outdoor space on the Halsted strip. With capacity to hold upwards of 350 people, the roof is obviously one of the biggest outdoor spaces in Boystown. Combined with the outdoor courtyard near the entrance and the lethally delicious Kettle One Crushes, Sidetrack is a force to be reckoned with.

D.S. Tequila3352 N. Halsted, (773) 697-9127

Rain or shine, sipping a cocktail in the open breeze is one of the best features at D.S. Tequila. The two level patio, which seats up to 100 people, has a retractable rooftop that can open and close in seconds. It's the best spot in town to order south-of-the-border cuisine, which includes its deadly margaritas.

Replay Beer & Bourbon, 3439 N. Halsted, (773) 975-9244

The vintage arcade bar is known for its consistently packed patio as much as its old-school arcade games. The newly renovated garden houses high-top tables, fire-heating elements and a dedicated bar. That's combined with more than 20 craft brews on tap, and free burgers and brats from 3-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Halsted's Bar and Grill, 3441 N. Halsted, (773) 348-9696

Hiding not-so-secretly behind Halsted's Bar and Grill lies the largest beer garden in Boystown. The space has plenty of seating, including places for dining and areas to relax with drinks. Speakers surround the garden, flooding the outdoor patio with music mirrored from the restaurant's interior. Plus, Halsted's menu is expansive and diverse.

Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club3700 N. Halsted, (773) 525-1111

Many many know Kit Kat Lounge for its martini and cocktail list of more than 200 offerings, upscale contemporary cuisine, entertainment by the Kit Kat Divas and sleek "South Beach meets Hollywood" decor, but its outdoor space is one of the best on Halsted. The garden features huge umbrellas, outdoor heating, twilight-lit trees and seating for 80.

Wood Chicago3335 N. Halsted, (773) 935-9663

Winner of the 2013 and 2014 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, Wood has earned its spot as one of Boystown and Chicago's hottest restaurants. But during the warmer months, dinner -- and on Sundays, brunch -- can be served on the restaurant's patio lining the corner of Halsted and Buckingham.

Taverna 750750 W. Cornelia Ave., (773) 348-5172

The fourth version of the Taverna sidewalk cafe -- affectionately known as Helen -- is officially up and running. Every year the restaurant brings back plans from the previous year so Helen lives on. Adorned with closely cared for greenery, Taverna's garden/patio is the perfect space to drink and dine just off Halsted, steps from the corner of Cornelia and the Halsted strip. In the summer, this is one popular patio.

Las Mananitas3523 N. Halsted, (773) 525-2109

Serving up margaritas most Yelpers say will knock you on your ass, Las Mananitas is in the perfect location to cool off on a warm day while people-watching. The Mexican restaurant has mix-and-match food platters, but margaritas Boystown regulars will call out-of-this-world.

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