8 Best Casual Outdoor Dining Spots in Chicago

by Michael Stern

Some of Chicago’s best Roadfood is eaten standing up at a counter or at outdoor tables. Here are eight of our favorite only-in-Chicago places where eating outside is the right thing to do on a beautiful spring day.


Mustard’s Last Stand

Mustard's Last Stand in Evanston serves all-beef, Vienna-brand red hots steamed to plumpness, dressed to the nines & cushioned inside soft poppy-seed rolls.


Wiener’s Circle

The Wiener's Circle serves Chicago-style all-beef hot dogs topped with flawless condiments. Have French fries on the side; they are some of the city's best.


Bang Bang Pie Shop

Bang Bang bakies 3 flavors of pie daily. They are among Chicago's best, exquisitely produced with fresh ingredients plus a helping of value-added love.



Is this the best Chicago sandwich ever? Johnnie's Italian beef packs mighty garlic kick; add vibrant giardiniera and you'll hear angels sing.


Freddy’s Pizzeria

A small corner grocery with an immense menu of sandwiches, hot dishes & superb gelato, Freddie's is a treasured destination for Italian food in Chicagoland.


Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop

A restaurant in the front room of a genuine corned beef factory, this little gem makes great cured-meat sandwiches, plus Italian beef & Chicago hot dogs.


Tempo Café

Tempo is a 24/7 Chicago cafe with a full menu. It is best known for mighty omelets served in silver skillets on wooden trivets.


Calumet Fisheries

Calumet is a tiny Chicago South Side seafood shack with a great smokehouse: catfish, chubs, eel, trout, salmon, shrimp, sturgeon, trout, whitefish and more.