Dine Waterside on The New Patio at Cafe Brauer for the Best View in Chicago.

Dine Waterside on The New Patio at Cafe Brauer for the Best View in Chicago.
Photo credit: Nancy McDaniel.

Chicago, Monday, August 8, 2011. Off the beaten path but centrally located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, the recently renovated outdoor Patio at Café Brauer is rapidly becoming a favorite watering-hole for those in the know.   This seasonal dining oasis features upscale food at affordable prices and a view that is priceless–overlooking the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk with the city as a backdrop.  I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful spot with it’s boardwalks, magnificent nature areas and completely restored lagoon.

Savor a taste of summer with a Green City Market organic salad with baby greens, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries with candied pecans, goat cheese and a champagne vinaigrette; or try their grilled ribeye steak sandwich,  small plate choices and more.  The Patio’s appetizer menu tempts with baby blue crab cakes; roasted hummus with spiced pita chips; a mini pork bratwurst on a pretzel roll; or the wonderfully flavored rosemary Parmesan fries with garlic aioli.

Whet your whistle with something cool from the Patio’s extensive and reasonably priced drink menu.  Craft beers start at $4.50 or order a bottle of the domestic brew for $3.95.  One of the best bargains in town is the Patio’s California red and white house wines available for $3.95 a glass and very drinkable.  Other wine choices range to a high of $11 per glass. A full bar is available plus specialty drinks such as a White Cosmopolitan, Skyline Martini, Margaritas and Mojitos. On the wagon, or in it–you’re on a roll with non-alcoholic choices covering the gamut from soft drinks and bottled water to Tazo Tea and frozen specialties.

On Sundays, there is a special brunch menu with a choice of omelets, pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, paninis and more along with juice, coffee, mimosas, Bellini and Bloodies.

Although the crowd tends to be more mature than you will find in Wrigleyville or hotspots like The Roof, The Patio is a good fit for  all ages–couples, families, friends and canines.   For a meal or just drinks and appetizers the Patio won’t disappoint.

SMC Rating:

Price: Moderate
Atmosphere: On a beautiful day/night in Chicago…The Best.
Service: Friendly.
Noise level:  At night you can hear the crickets.

Midweek specials through Labor Day include half-off chicken wings on Tuesdays, half-off draft beers on Wednesday, and half-off baby blue crab cakes on Thursday nights. The Cafe is also dog-friendly and welcomes many dog-owners who traverse the adjacent Lincoln Park Zoo grounds, with a bowl of fresh water for Fido and a glass of wine or a beer for the master.

Go tonight (Monday, August 8, 2011) and enjoy a free performances by Shattered Globe Theater from 7 – 9 p.m.  The performance will start at the Patio and move to the Peoples Gas Pavilion and Michael’s Landing at Nature Boardwalk.

Through Labor Day:
Mondays–Fridays 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sundays 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
AFTER Labor Day  through October 2, the hours of operation will be:
11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. plus Sunday breakfast (9-11:30 a.m.)

2021 N. Stockton Drive (at Dickens Avenue).

Parking boxes are located along Stockton Drive and Clark Street or you can park in the Lincoln Park Zoo parking lot one block west of Lake Shore Drive on Fullerton Ave. (entrance on the north side of Fullerton).

Public Transportation:
CTA bus routes 151 or 156 both serve LP Zoo which is adjacent to the Patio at Cafe Brauer; for schedules, contact the RTA/CTA at 312-836-7000.

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  • I love this place. It truly is a beautiful spot for a drink(s) and an appetizer and just people and nature-watching. (The parmesan fries are YUMMY) Before or after, be sure to take a stroll around the beautiful Nature Boardwalk. Tip to members of Lincoln Park Zoo - if you park in the zoo lot a bit south of the Ape House, just walk over the Lester Fisher Bridge and you'll find yourself at The Patio at Cafe Brauer! It's also a nice, if crowded, spot for lunch!

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