2 Chicago-area restaurants named among America’s best outdoor restaurants in new ranking – NBC Chicago

With summer in Chicago in full swing, outdoor dining options are among the most sought after, and two Chicago-area restaurants have been named among the best in the United States for outdoor dining.

OpenTable released its list of the 100 best restaurants for al fresco dining on Monday, based on reviews from 13.6 million diners. The ranking looked at reviews of views, cuisine and “an amazing outdoor dining experience”.

Chicago’s Piccolo Sogno and Aurora’s Hardware restaurant made the cut.

Hardware, located in North Aurora, is a “sustainable gastropub and brewery, complete with a greenhouse and organic hop farm,” according to OpenTable.

Meanwhile, Piccolo Sogno, which translates to “little dream”, offers “regional Italian cuisine with a combination of local and Italian ingredients”.

“The restaurant aligns with our personal goal of getting to the heart of Italian wine and cuisine,” executive chef Tony Priolo said in a statement. “You go to Italy for simple food, handcrafted with local ingredients and served with local wines. That’s why people love to eat in Italy, and we wanted to bring that experience to Chicago.

OpenTable said its ranking included restaurants from a total of 25 states.

“The list identifies restaurants from coast to coast with great views, delicious cuisine and above all, an incredible outdoor dining experience,” the company said.

Chicago is among the cities that saw the biggest rush in outdoor dining reservations between May and June, according to the reservations app, with requests up 49%. That compares to Boston’s 37%, Portland’s 31%, and even New York’s 15%. The only city to see an even bigger spike was Pittsburgh, at 53%. OpenTable noted that cities with cooler climates saw the greatest increase in searches during this time.

“Alfresco dining has played a major role in driving the restaurant industry in recent years, and restaurants have taken notice, whether adding, expanding or expanding. ‘enhance their offerings,’ Susan Lee, OpenTable’s chief growth officer, said in a statement. “Offering alfresco dining is now a key part of the restaurant business, and we’re happy to see diners continue to embrace it.”

In Chicago, the woes of the pandemic have triggered street closures to allow restaurants to add outdoor dining space. Outdoor seating-focused festivals and expanded outdoor dining tents flooded the city streets at the time, a scene that continues in many places today.

In addition to outdoor terraces, the city also offers a number of rooftop dining options. For a guide to some of Chicago’s many rooftop restaurants, click here.


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Sandy A. Greer