Where to Dine Outdoors This Winter

Dine outdoors with the family at these winter-approved spots.

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!

Note: We’re updating our website as quickly as we can, but changes may occur due to COVID-19. Please double check before heading out for the most updated information on safety precautions, vaccine requirements and any last-minute cancellations.

Chicago

JoJo’s Shake Bar

Over-the-top milkshakes and fun boozy adult drinks? Yes, please! We already know JoJo’s Shake Bar is a family fave but the addition of its outdoor Candy Land with a decked-out heated tent will make you want to add this to your winter bucket list. Go all out and enjoy your sweet treats inside one of two of the igloos available inside the tent.

Osteria Via Stato

This Italian restaurant in Downtown Chicago felt inspired by the Italian Alps for its outdoor dining experience. Dine in a personal heated outdoor greenhouse. And for the kids, you can’t go wrong with the classic cheese pizza and gelato. 

Park & Field

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, a four seasons room, will be enclosed during the winter and heated.

Pilsen Yards

Pilsen Yards is prepared to provide a safe, outdoor dining experience with the entire east wall of their patio open to the outdoors. And even if it doesn’t have a kids menu, the whole family will love to eat the tacos, nachos or sweet corn tamales.

North/Northwest Suburbs

The Assembly

  • Address: 2570 Hassell Road, Hoffman Estates
  • Good to know: Dining huts seat four to six people. No fee to rent but make sure to call (847-843-3993) to make reservations.

You’ve seen igloos and tents, but how about a dining hut? Similar to a shed, the huts have a sliding window for food and drinks so servers never need to enter. They’re currently working on adding insulation to the huts so you can stay toasty in the future. Huts are sanitized and disinfected between parties. Don’t miss trying the Bionic Burger, coined after wrestler Hulk Hogan tried it and called it “bionic.”

Buffalo Creek Brewing

  • Address: 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove
  • Good to know: Feel free to bring in or order food. Check their website for 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, holiday decor all set against the picturesque pine forest. Make sure to dress warm and bring extra blankets to stay extra cozy!

Gianni’s Cafe

  • Address: 20505 Rand Road, Kildeer
  • Good to know: Call to reserve. Outdoor dining fee is $20 with igloos seating up to eight people and greenhouses seating up to four people.

The Igloo Village at Gianni’s Cafe is sure to be a fun experience. Dine in one of the lighted igloos that are heated and have an air purifier in place. You have some many great options from the Italian restaurant, too!

The Glen Club

  • 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! Rest assured that each igloo is sanitized between reservations.

South Suburbs

Digs on Canal

  • 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 eight people.

Stop in Downtown Lemont to experience igloo dining at Digs on Canal. They offer six igloos with heaters and lights. Customer favorites include Gelsosomo’s Personal Pizza for kids and Mud Cup with chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies and gummy worms.

Freedom Brothers

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.

The Forge: Lemont Quarries

  • Address: 1001 Main St., Lemont
  • Good to know: Reservations needed. $50/person includes a rotating winter dinner menu, dessert, and drink; globes seat two to four people.

For 90 minutes, you and the family can enjoy a candle lit meal in a climate-controlled igloo. While you’re noshing on food and sipping on a beverage, you can take in the views of the lights lining the picturesque Forge Quarry with the Eight Towers Adventure in the distance.

Western Suburbs

Bien Trucha

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. 

Gia Mia

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 from calzones and meatballs to mac and cheese and cheese pizza for our picky eaters.

The Drake

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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