If there is one relationship that’s flourished during quarantine, it’s the one with your dog. And now that we can all finally leave the house, you can’t imagine hanging out without them. Thankfully, most of Chicago’s reopened outdoor restaurants allow you to bring dogs - but some work better than others. Here are the best places where you’ll have lots of room to eat and drink with your real best friend.
The Wicker Park location of Big Star has a perfect patio for people - it’s large and you can sit out there for hours eating tacos and drinking margaritas. But this place is ideal for dogs too, which is why you’re bound to see a lot of them here. Just be aware that if your pup is skittish, the nearby train tracks might trigger some Cruella de Vil flashbacks.
This pizza spot in Wicker Park has a covered outdoor area that’s decorated like a retro trailer park (yes, really - with pink flamingos and swingsets). This means you can enjoy the crowd-pleasing pizzas and cocktails with your dog by your side, and it doesn’t even need to be nice out.
Some places need the addition of good company to be enjoyable. Mott St. doesn’t - it’s a great spot with fantastic food all on its own. But you’ll probably like it even better when you eat on the large fenced-in patio with your dog. It’s quiet and serene, so it’s an ideal place for shy dogs who don’t really like noise and loud traffic. Plus, the Asian fusion food is delicious - try the kimchi empanadas or the catfish claypot.
Saint Lou’s serves upscale cafeteria-style food (like meatloaf and sides), but there’s nothing institutional about the back patio. It’s an awesome space with picnic tables, round tables under umbrellas, and a back bar so you never have to go all the way inside.
There are two locations of Antique Taco - one in Wicker Park and one in Bridgeport. Both have dog-friendly patios and a menu full of tasty tacos on handmade tortillas, but the Bridgeport location’s outdoor space is much larger. So if the untrained puppy you adopted during quarantine still runs around like an unchecked id with sharp little teeth, this is where you want to be.
Park + Field in Logan Square is less of an outdoor patio and more of an outdoor empire. The space is gigantic with tables, Adirondack chairs, multiple firepits (where you can make s’mores), and a camper-turned-bar. If you want an outdoor place to hang with your dog for hours, this spot has you covered.
Recess is another huge patio spot that’s practically an empire. So if your dog is the canine equivalent of a tiger and needs at least 1300 square miles of land to roam by itself, this is an excellent option.
This West Loop spot recently expanded its outdoor patio, and is now dog friendly. They still have their giant mural, and your dog looks even cuter taking pictures with it than you do.