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When eating at restaurants during the winter in Chicagoland, outdoor dining doesn’t first come to mind. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that when Chicagoland restaurants had to get creative to provide outdoor dining options.
Now the family can have fun dining outdoors during the winter with igloos, huts and more. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite winter outdoor spots in Chicago and the suburbs. Just make sure to bundle up and BYOB (bring your own blankets) to stay warm and cozy with your crew!
This cozy heated patio with fire pits in Andersonville is tucked just out of sight of the nearby Metra train tracks. Adults will love browsing the menu that’s packed with smokehouse specialties, like house smoked ribs, pork chops, country fried chicken, ribeyes, smoked gouda mac ‘n’ cheese and more. Kids will have their pick of yummy meals, too, with a kids menu that includes brunch, lunch and dinner options.
This Logan Square vintage sports and club eatery is open year-round. Find fire pits, patio heaters, a heated yurt and tents to stay warm. Kids will also stay warm with their mac and cheese bowl. Bring your own blankets or purchase them on-site. The rugby room will be enclosed and heated during the winter.
The year-round patio at Pilsen Yards is a fun outdoor dining experience regardless of the season. During the winter, the patio is about 80 percent enclosed and heated from the ceiling and the floors. They may not have a kids menu, but the whole family will love eating the tacos, nachos or sweet corn tamales.
Located next to the Empty Bottle, this Sicilian pizza joint is great for grabbing a slice after a show, but its quaint alley patio is also ideal for enjoying a meal with the family. Kids will love getting to choose their own specialty slice, and the menu also offers larger portions and other delicious entrees for adults.
- Address: 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove
- Good to know: Feel free to bring in or order food. Check their website for the schedule of food trucks that drop by on the weekends.
Located in Historic Long Grove, the authentic German brewery transforms into a winter-themed oasis with its Alpine Biergarten. In addition to the outdoor games and homemade non-alcoholic sodas that kids will love, the Alpine Biergarten features multiple fire pits, table heat lamps, mood lighting, blankets, throws and scarves for purchase, all set against the picturesque pine forest. Make sure to dress warm and bring extra blankets to stay extra cozy!
- Address: 20505 Rand Road, Kildeer
- Good to know: Call to reserve. Outdoor dining fee is $20 with igloos seating up to eight people.
The Igloo Village at Gianni’s Cafe is sure to be a fun experience. Dine in one of the igloos that are lighted and heated, and enjoy your choice of the many great options from the Italian restaurant, too!
- Address: 2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview
- Good to know: Reservations needed and igloo prices ranges from $25-$100 depending on time and day. Choose from a dining igloo or a lounge igloo.
Not only will you have fantastic views overlooking the golf club, but you can stay warm and cozy with a heater, listen to tunes with a Bluetooth speaker and indulge in fun dessert options like chocolate fondue and s’mores kit. A fun time with the family for sure!
- Address: 316 Canal St., Lemont
- Good to know: Must reserve igloos with $100 deposit, which will go toward your food and beverages. Seats up to six people.
Stop in Downtown Lemont to experience igloo dining at Digs on Canal. They offer six igloos with heaters and lights. Kids favorites include Gelsosomo’s Personal Pizza for and the Mud Cup with chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies and gummy worms.
Rock out with the family at Freedom Brothers where brick oven pizza is the star here, and stay cozy in the LED-lit igloo. Adults will love the different craft beers on tap as well as an extensive wine and whiskey list. Bring extra blankets.
- Address: 410 W. State St., Geneva
- Reservations are encouraged. Outdoor pods seat up to 8 people and have a 1 hour and 45 minute time limit.
This suburban Mexican restaurant offers personal outdoor dining pods with lights, music and heaters. The whole family will enjoy traditional guacamole, elote dip, various taco options and churro bites.
If the igloos and great Italian food isn’t enough to visit this suburban spot, you’ll love the kids menu with so many options for picky eaters, from calzones and meatballs to mac and cheese and cheese pizza.
- Address: 2301 York Road, Oak Brook
- Good to know: Reservations are encouraged. Seats four to ten guests. There is a $300 minimum spend on weekends.
The Drake’s outdoor igloos couldn’t be any cuter with eight different themes! It even has a special igloo menu with lunch and dinner options.
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