Taking it to the streets: al fresco dining

Flowers in bloom, birds chirping and the temperatures warm enough to melt the iciest of hearts means it’s al fresco brunch time. Whether you’re catching up on your tan or you gambled all your money away and need to cry about it over a stack of french toast, here are a variety of outdoor dining options to shed some sunlight on the pit of despair better known as your life.


Party of Five at Duchamp? (image courtesy of Grace PR)

Party of Five at Duchamp? (image courtesy of Grace PR)

Al fresco dining is perfect for people watching without looking blatantly creepy. And if you’re dining alone, bringing a book or daily crossword puzzle to work on definitely helps. I know from experience! That said, paint yourself this mental picture: you, a breezy backyard and a plate of grilled skirt steak with parmesan-smoked bacon quiche and roasted shallot sauce. Not a shabby way to end the weekend, is it? Brunch is served Sunday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Duchamp is located at 2118 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown. For more information, call 773.235.6434.

Farmerie 58
I’ve been warned since childhood about the dangerous effects of not wearing sunscreen and therefore use sunblock religiously to avoid looking like a shriveled up pig skin (see: here). Those with similar neurotic tendencies might want to consider lathering up and shading yourself under the maternal protection of an umbrella at Farmerie 58. This River North restaurant allows you to take your poached eggs to the patio to dine in sustainable style. The cozy, 18-seat shady sidewalk area is steps away from Mag Mile shopping and features a green-friendly, Contemporary American menu of farm-centric, sustainable products. Brunch is served Sunday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Farmerie 58 is located at 58 E. Ontario St. in River North. For more information, call 312.440.1818.

La Tache
Andersonville favorite, La Tache, recently reopened their doors — and their patio — for some serious weekend brunch business. The cozy 20-seat patio offers a quieter, more intimate al fresco dining option with a selection of traditional French fare including Croque Madame, a rosemary ham and gruyere cheese sandwich, served with two eggs and potatoes; and Gougere, a baked white cheddar puff served with scrambled eggs, leek confit and spinach, truffled asparagus puree and pistachios, served with potatoes. Brunch is served Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. La Tache is located at 1475 N. Balmoral St. in Andersonville. For more information, call 773.334.7168.

Birchwood Kitchen
Laziness was the motivating factor to finally try brunch here last weekend, but quality kept me coming back for more. Simply put: Birchwood Kitchen is kind of off the hook. Sustainable products freshly served with a genuine smile, this is quickly becoming a personal brunch favorite. And now that they’ve opened up their back deck, you can enjoy a Croque Madame or Quiche in secluded and sunny comfort. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Birchwood Kitchen is located at 2211 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park. For more information, call 773.276.2100.

Because my daddy is a pure Marlboro smokin’, Michelob drinkin’, truck drivin’ man, biscuits and gravy have become something of a hereditary necessity. You, too, can harness your inner Paula Deen with a backyard brunch at Feed. Fried green tomato benedicts, cheese grits and the undeniable pleasure of biscuits and gravy are all available at your discretion — just make sure to bring along your buddy Andrew Jackson as this restaurant is cash only. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Feed is located at 2803 W. Chicago Ave. in Humboldt Park. For more information, call 773.489.4600.

– Carly Fisher


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jess said,

    LOOL gambled all your money away. You kill me carly.

  2. 2

    Nice to see that the landscaping actually matches the tables and chairs. That happens rarely in these places that make dining areas outside.

  3. 3

    MichaellaS said,

    tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

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