We may be fighting our way through April showers, but before long, the clouds will make way for Chicago's most wonderful time of the year: outdoor brunch season. From riverside hotspots to a rooftop oasis, here are six spots we're most looking forward to brunching—outdoors.
For a swanky brunch with open-air cityscape views, look no further than the airy rooftop at the Godfrey. The menu is broken into two primary categories: "Fresh Start" and "Recovery;" err on the healthy side with the nutrient-packed watermelon salad tossed with feta, shaved red onion, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, watercress, watermelon radish, purple basil, lemon, and mint, or undo the damage you caused the night before with stick-to-your-ribs pork belly chilaquiles, citrus brioche French toast, and BLT sliders. 127 W. Huron St., 312-374-1830
With chef Mike Sheerin now at the helm, the brunch menu at this River North mainstay features a fresh mix of classics and new additions—all of which are best enjoyed out on the restaurant's lush, plant-lined patio during the warmer months. Kick the meal off with a build-your-own Bloody Mary, and explore everything from the signature Wagyu Rockit Burger and buffalo chicken mac and cheese to the still-on-trend avocado toast with goat cheese, a soft poached egg, bacon, cured tomatoes, sprouts, sunflower seeds, and pesto, and hearty barbecue pork benedict smothered in roasted poblano hollandaise. 22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000
Take in the palpable energy of Chicago's Restaurant Row from a coveted spot on this patio that overlooks Randolph, and indulge in some seriously decadent brunch fare while you're at it. An egg-topped, breakfast sausage-studded breakfast pizza and a "BomboBurger" (yes, it's served on a bomboloni bun!) will quell even the most ravenous of appetites, while the BomboBar's lineup of coffee, filled doughnuts, and gelato prove that dessert isn't just a post-dinner thing. 832 W. Randolph St., 312-492-7775
This contemporary American tavern delivers a comfort food-driven brunch experience every bit as satisfying and bountiful as the fresh air out on its river-facing patio. No brunch here is complete without the supremely crispy country fried rabbit with a fluffy Belgian waffle and Burton's Maplewood Farm syrup—a superior twist on the seemingly ubiquitous chicken and waffles. Other highlights include namesake roasts (might we recommend the whole chicken?) carved tableside and a selection of cast iron offerings, like a Dutch baby with fruit preserves and a dusting of powdered sugar, chilaquiles, and barbecue pork hash. 315 N. LaSalle St., 312-822-0100
From power lunches to romantic date nights, this stylish steakhouse is an obvious answer for most dining occasions, and thanks to its sweeping riverside patio, brunching alfresco is no exception. Choose a seat in the sun or under the shade of an umbrella, and avail yourself to brunch classics like steak and eggs, buttermilk waffles, and applewood smoked bacon while taking in people and boat watching along the water. 300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800
Allow yourself to be whisked away to Italy by way of this Gold Coast restaurant's picturesque courtyard and cozy, Italian-inspired brunch fare. Caprese and salmon and zucchini salads shine among the lighter options, while the house Benedict with prosciutto di Parma and the gnocchi carbonara will entice those looking to treat themselves to something rich. If dessert is a must (it is!), cinnamon and sugar-encrusted bomboloni with blackberries and vanilla cream make for a perfectly sweet ending. 1154 N. Dearborn St., 312-915-5950