Food & Drink

The 11 best patios for working remotely in Chicago

Published On 07/16/2014 Published On 07/16/2014
Christine Smith
The Winchester 
Facebook/Sportsman’s Club
Flickr/emilee rader
Sean Cooley
Facebook/J.P. Graziano
Museum of Contemporary Art
Facebook/Little Goat
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1. Caffe Streets 1750 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Armed with a DJ booth and a modern industrial vibe (streetlight-esque fixtures, a...modern industrial Synesso espresso machine), CS is focusing on beans from specialty roasters (including a house blend made specially for them by Intelligentsia), and ditch

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2. J. P. Graziano Grocery Co. 901 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

An old-school Italian grocery and importer, distributing all over the city since 1937, made the evolution to sandwich shop and gave the fourth-generation store a new life. People line up outside the door for a bite. It’s a busy scene among shelves of canned and pickled provisions: a meat slicer on overdrive, plastic-gloved counter workers slopping macaroni salad into little plastic cups, stuffed hoagies (made from D’Amato bread) being rolled to-go in paper. The classic Italian is a mainstay, but go for the Mr. G: hot sorpresata, prosciutto, genoa salami, sharp provolone, fresh basil, grilled and marinated artichokes, vinegar-oregano tossed lettuce and (here it comes) truffle-mustard-balsamic vinaigrette.

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3. Bang Bang Pie Shop 2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Logan Square's Bang Bang Pie Shop is a reminder of a simpler time, when everyone's favorite neighbor Ethel would let her pies cool on the windowsill. The pies at this bright and buzzy corner bake shop are handmade daily using the freshest seasonal ingredients, and their comforting scent alone will have you floating through the entrance. There are classics like key lime and apple, plus unique recipes like butterscotch meringue and maple bourbon pecan. You won't want to miss the small-batch sour cream biscuits either, which are served with ginger-sage sausage, gravy, a poached egg, and a side of seasonal jam.

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4. Uncommon Ground 1401 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

Known as one of the "greenest restaurants in America," Uncommon Ground rocks delicious dishes like strawberry-rhubarb pancakes, and blackened catfish with dill sauce. Comforting fare like chorizo-loaded chilaquiles and breakfast sliders are made wholesome thanks to locally sourced and family farmed ingredients, and there are several vegetarian/vegan-friendly options, too.

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5. Little Goat 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Right across the street from its upscale sister Girl & The Goat, Stephanie Izard's Little Goat is an all-day upscale diner that serves insanely creative takes on classic American comfort food. Split between a sit-down restaurant and a bakery, Little Goat is the place to go for over-the-top breakfast (breakfast spaghetti, banana peanut butter waffles), exceptional burgers (you can choose between a beef, goat, and veggie patty), and crazy desserts (smoked pork & toffee crunch milkshakes, Cheez-It sundaes). If you can't sit and stay -- or handle the long weekend waits -- then hit the "Grab and Goat" take-away area.

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6. The Winchester 1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Winchester features a rotating seasonal menu with market-fresh ingredients. Local ingredients always make for a more satisfying and delicious meal.

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7. Chicago Cultural Center 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

The beautiful Chicago Cultural Center draws people from all over to come to it's public events. Bonus: it's also a great spot for outdoor WiFi.

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8. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

This is one of the best contemporary art museums in the US. People from all over can witness great art from living artists.

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9. Jupiter Outpost 1139 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

This independently owned cafe has a cool vibe, free wifi, delicious snacks, quality coffee, and a sweet patio -- everything you need to enjoy a relaxing afternoon of work.

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10. Harold Washington Library 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

The Harold Washington Library’s got a badass exterior (Gothic gargoyles! Imposing red brick!), but you can also find a cozy corner to get to work. Check out the ninth floor, home of the Winter Garden -- a little mini-oasis in the middle of the Loop.

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11. Sportsman's Club 948 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Sportman's Club is dedicated to highlighting the best of lesser-known spirits, and to do that, it offers four different cocktails each day, whose ingredients are decided upon by whichever bartenders are manning the bar that night. What you drink one night probably won't be available the next, but that's what makes drinking here such a unique experience. Aside from cocktails, there's a well-curated selection of wine and beer, the latter of which includes Polish varieties that pay homage to the bar that formerly occupied the Ukrainian Village space.