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With Memorial Day behind us, it is officially the start of summer and the start of drinking and eating on the patio season. If you live in the city, every rooftop is booked out weeks in advance and there’s not a lot of space to go down your block and be away from the hustle and bustle.
But if you live in the suburbs, you know how expansive patios can get during patio season. Especially with the last year of COVID and only outdoor dining being acceptable for a period of time, the patios at restaurants are freshly built and ready to accommodate all your events and parties. Here’s a list of some of our favorite spots with patios in the western suburbs:
Ballydole sits on the fox river in downtown Aurora with an incredible patio and top-notch food to accompany a fan favorite of anyone from the area. This joint is worth traveling out in the far western suburbs because of the traditional Irish food and live music that usually accompanies it. If you find yourself giving them a visit, make sure to try their bangers and mash, you’ll feel like you just stepped off the plane in Ireland and sat down in the nearest pub. For families and date nights alike, Ballydoyle‘s is a place everyone will love.
If you’re a craft beer fan, Alter Brewery might become your favorite new spot. Located in St. Charles, they have not only a massive patio but a massive warehouse looking inside that facilitates the beer they make right in the restaurant. With an awesome bar menu and the capability to try beers that aren’t imported and are made 30 feet away from you, this place has become quite popular in the last year. Check their menu and hours out here
A staple of two western suburbs, Red Arrow, is a new kind of dining experience. While they have great food, people don’t come here for it. They come because Red Arrow is a pour it yourself; try whatever you’d like style dining experience. You get a card that you can put money on, and you go around and can try various sizes of wines and beers. They specialize in wine but there are draft beers and drinks for everyone. People love not having to choose just one or two drinks, at Red Arrow, you can try them all.
One of the more popular spots in Geneva, Bien Trucha, is a legendary Mexican spot with authentic food and specialty margaritas. Their patio features giant colorful umbrellas and comfy seats that set the stage for their incredible food. You will not look at Mexican food the same way after eating at Bien Trucha. But make sure you come with a full phone battery – their wait is usually pretty long on the weekends!
Another place known for its incredible wine selection, Fire and Wine, is a new restaurant that boasts that their food is “inspired by the vibrant cuisines of Italy, drawing from family recipes, new ideas, and a global perspective.”
Fire and Wine prepare food fresh daily, and Fire and Wine have become an absolute staple of Glen Ellyn dining. They take liberties and put a twist on Italian classics, calling themselves “Italian inspired”. Their menu is full of great dishes and with their patio open for the season, this spot is perfect for those looking to drink good wine and eat good pasta. Check out their menu here.
If you’re looking to step out for the night and experience a fine dining environment with classic French food, look no further than Mon Ami Gabi. Raved as one of the most traditional French Restaurants around, you get the full experience at Mon Ami.
From Pate to Snails, this will scratch your fine dining itch and bring you straight to a Parisian restaurant, where these are things you find at most places. Checking out their website is a must if only to see the incredible photographs of their food; that alone will have you making a reservation as soon as you’re done reading! Check out their menu and photographs here.
One of the best places to get a burger in Illinois (and people say that all the time but here it’s actually true), Empire in Naperville, provides one of the best outdoor seating areas that overlooks the riverwalk and the tons of other restaurants in Downtown Naperville. After you chow on your delicious burger and craft beer, you can take a walk and shop your heart out. This restaurant is in a fantastic location, with a fun dining environment and a full bar with specialty cocktails and incredible food. Empire is a 10/10, can’t miss.
.When you’re in the mood for pizza but also an excellent dining experience, Woodgrain is your perfect choice. Located in Bolingbrook and Glen Ellyn, this pizza place is known for creating your own pizzas cooked in a wood fire oven. The crusts somehow come out soft yet crunchy, and everyone loves the taste the wood oven brings. Even if you go with the plain cheese pizza, you are bound to be impressed by Woodgrain. With their patio now open, this is the kind of place the whole family will enjoy because who doesn’t love pizza!