Outdoor alternatives to Hopleaf
When Hopleaf is packed, here’s where to eat or drink outside instead.
You want craft beer
Edgewater Lounge (5600 N Ashland Ave, 773-878-3343)
Unassuming both inside and out, this beer-geek bar has a flower-bedecked sidewalk patio with a view of its endearingly janky sign…and Ashland Avenue.
Try one of these summery beers from Edgewater’s well-edited list: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse ($6), a cloudy, biscuity, banana-flavored hefeweizen; Ommegang Hennepin ($7), a NYC-brewed, yeasty Belgian saison; or Pyramid Curve Ball ($4.50), a crisp, light Kölsch.
Boka (1729 N Halsted St, 312-337-6070)
This summer, Boka will be a beer-lovers’ hub: Each month the restaurant will feature a $65 four-course menu paired with Three Floyds (June), Dogfish Head (July) and Goose Island (August) beers, available on Tuesdays. Enjoy it on the lush back patio.
The Long Room (1612 W Irving Park Rd, 773-665-4500)
Few people are aware of the charming little patio tucked off the back of this North Center bar. Just order a Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball ($6) and be quiet.
You want Andersonville
Marty’s (1511 W Balmoral Ave, 773-561-6425)
The bi-level side patio—royal-blue umbrellas, red tables and chairs, overflowing with flowers—nearly doubles the size of this sultry sliver of a martini bar, where gay men and their straight lady friends ignore the “petite” martinis ($9) and head straight for the kiddie pool–size “grande” ($13).
La Cocina de Frida (5403 N Clark St, 773-271-1907)
Beeline through the small dining room straight to the big back patio and grab a seat among the hanging and potted plants, a pleasant place to sip a margarita ($8).
You want mussels
Bistro Campagne (4518 N Lincoln Ave, 773-271-6100)
The French do mussels right: Swimming in Belgian ale, these Prince Edward Island bivalves ($12) are a great start to dinner on the tree-shaded side patio.
Leopold (1450 W Chicago Ave, 312-348-1028)
Of course this gastropub has mussels (in white wine or a feisty beer-and-onion broth, both with frites, $13)—it’s Belgian! And of course it has sidewalk seating—it’s in West Town!
You want bearded men
Lillie’s Q (1856 W North Ave, 773-772-5500)
Barbecue enthusiasts, brewmasters, recumbent bike owners: almost always bearded men, right? But at Wicker Park’s Lillie’s Q, you’ll also see lots of ladies on the sidewalk seating, wolfing down the smoky tri-tip ($17/lb) like proper Neanderthals.
Jackhammer (6406 N Clark St, 773-743-5772)
On this Rogers Park bear bar’s back deck, which serves mainly as a smoking area, you’ll find hirsute men with big bellies straining their fetish gear…and the twinks who love them.