The violent hiss of many a radiator has ceased signaling the beginning of this writer’s favorite time of year in Oak Park. It’s patio season, folks. Some top picks for outdoor dining in the area:
Lake Street Kitchen + Bar – Put on some Carla Bruni tunes and grab a beret because this patio is all the Parisian goals. I’ve only been to Europe once but could not help but be transported to the streets of Cannes. Although the food isn’t he highest quality or most original, the ambiance of their outdoor seating checks every box. A faint smell of sewer, a fluffy chow chow tied to a wicker chair, bottles of rose and animated conversations of those seated really drive it home. It’s also quite thrilling to watch the rather entertaining pedestrian and left turning confusion at the awkward intersection of Marion and Lake…
Maya del Sol – The Holy Grail for an Instagram worthy aesthetic. This patio hold a special place in my heart since it happened to be the venue for my first date with my husband! Fire pits, live music and cozy blankets are provided for once the sun goes down. The patio at Maya is fun and lively during the day, perfect for a brunch or dinner with friends but the scene at night is the perfect backdrop for a romantic and fun dinner. Try the mangaso!
Poor Phil’s – A true bellwether of summer is the power washing and scraping sound of wrought iron chairs and tables flanking the entrance of Poor Phil’s. This spot is dog friendly and provides a great locale for drinking some brews and snacking on seafood into the evening. Fellow popcorn junkies, beware – The only negative here is that staff does not allow their famously addictive table popcorn outside.
Avenue Ale House – A rare public rooftop in the area, Ale House provides a fun and sunny spot to enjoy typical bar fare and beer. Reminiscent of a college town bar with plenty of tasty food, Ale House is an inconspicuous spot for a lively summer afternoon.