Rating Riverside Deli & Café's outdoor eating space
1656 W Cortland St (773-278-3354)
Hands down, the best time to hit up this eclectic Bucktown spot is Sunday between 9am–3pm for the endless brunch buffet ($13). Variety and volume—everything from blueberry pancakes, Polish sausage and scrambled eggs to Twinkies, hot dogs and fajitas—make up for the diner-quality food. Pull up a white wire chair in the charming, tree-lined garden for a picture-perfect urban escape (the patio opens in June). A white-washed wooden fence separates the ten or so potted-plant-adorned tables from the nearby street.
FOOD 4 Nothing ground-breaking, but you won’t leave hungry
DRINKS 5 No booze, but you can BYO for Bloody Marys ($2 corkage fee); decent coffee
CROWD 5 Lots of families
VIEW 4 An uninspiring view of Cortland, but a lovely scene within the garden’s confines
SPACE 7 Spacious, quaint, shady