Summer Isn't Over Yet: These Steakhouses Are Calling Your Name

Summer isn’t over yet. While many people swarm to patios in the onset of the season, frantic for Vitamin D after a prolonged winter and inevitably inconsistent spring, September is the best time of year to dine al fresco. Think about it: the thick-as-soup humidity has (mostly) dissipated, your wardrobe options become more flexible than just the least amount of clothing possible, and late-summer ingredients are beginning to mingle with early-fall provisions. Aka this is the best time of year to eat. All the grapes! All the tomatoes! All the pumpkin spice! Just kidding about that last one. So before you stow your sunglasses for the year, be sure and take advantage of the city’s best patios at the city’s best steakhouses. Here’s a refresher on where you should be dining at this most beautiful time of year. 


These Steakhouses Are Calling Your Name


III Forks Prime Steakhouse: Outfitted with cozy cabanas on the expansive rooftop terrace, this Lakeshore East steakhouse makes for one of the best surefire hits of the season. The spacious lounge provides panoramic vistas of the glistening nearby skyscrapers, hotels, and residences, which is a nice backdrop for enjoying New York strip steaks, flatbreads, filet skewers, cocktails, and wine. Just in case it gets chilly, the terrace is equipped with fireplaces.

Tavern on Rush: One of the most iconic patios in Chicago, the al fresco scene at Tavern on Rush is serious business, and a legit pastime for outdoor diners in the Gold Coast. The restaurant features a massive outdoor area that winds around its entire exterior. Between the steaks, the pizzas, the Manhattans, and the ambience, Tavern on Rush can’t be beat, especially during these prized warmer months.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: Across the street from Tavern on Rush, Gibsons’ patio is another one of the mightiest al fresco destinations in town. It’s the perfect spot for people watching amidst a power scene, marveling at the metropolitan luster of the Gold Coast. Although tiny compared to the interior dining rooms, the patio at Gibsons wraps around the corner of the Viagra Triangle along Rush Street, affording prime views of the downtown scenery. 

Prime & Provisions: The great thing about the Prime & Provisions patio is that the recessed ground floor restaurant is covered by the second floor. This means you get all the comforting benefits of dining outside, without having the sun glare directly into your eyes, or risk the potential of getting rained on. Located right at the corner of LaSalle and Wacker, it’s also perfectly positioned for stellar views of the historic “L” tracks, the Chicago River, and the majestic cityscape that surrounds it all. 

Chicago Cut: Just across the Chicago River, the waterside patio at Chicago Cut is a can’t-miss spot downtown. With some of the most unparalleled views in town, the sprawling outdoor area provides an incredible setting in which to drink in the last days of summer. 

Swift & Sons: A newcomer to the patio scene, Swift & Sons added outdoor seating just in time for the most glorious time of year. Located behind the Fulton Market restaurant, surrounded by the immaculate Google building, the patio features a tasteful and comfortable mix of tables with Swift & Sons-branded planters bursting with lush greenery. 

Chop Shop: A clandestine gem of a patio in Bucktown, Chop Shop’s second floor patio deck is an outdoor oasis. The artsy, funky space is low-key and refreshing, surrounded by colorful walls with just enough space to kick back and relax with a boozy slushy. 

- Matt Kirouac