In summer, Chicagoans spill into sidewalk cafés, soaking up the sun and their lakeside city’s good vibes. Its world-class dining spills out of doors as a multitude of restaurants open their convivial front patios, hidden back gardens and breezy rooftop bars. Many of these spots offer stellar views of the city and sparkling Lake Michigan. This alfresco cuisine array includes better burgers and hot dogs, Mediterranean and contemporary American cuisine. As well, from June through September, you can join the masses at food festivals all over the city that offer international eats, food-truck fare and street parties that celebrate all things barbecue.

Top spots for outdoor dining: 

Taste of Chicago

Warm weather brings food events such as Taste of Chicago, a five-day extravaganza starting July 5 in Grant Park. Kiosks along the Lakefront serve up popular local dishes such as deep-dish pizza, hot dogs and tamales.

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

In a city of skyscrapers, go high for your supper to enjoy skyline and lakefront views. Cindy’s atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel overlooks Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Dine on sharing platters of contemporary American dishes such as house-made cured salami.