Jul 232009
 
The patio at Cafe Selmarie is next to a public square on a one-way street.  It's a good situation!

The patio at Cafe Selmarie is next to a public square on a one-way street. It's a good situation!

The weather in Chicago has finally started to catch up to the calendar, and people are moving out of the dining room and onto the city’s sidewalks. Of course, not all outdoor dining situations are created equal. We feel you should look for a few things before sitting down to eat:

  • Does the restaurant have a dedicated outdoor dining space or will you be sitting in the middle of the sidewalk? Foot traffic can kill a dining experience.
  • How busy is the street? Are there delivery trucks and buses running by every few minutes? Do you really want a side of exhaust with your meal?
  • What’s the light situation? Will you be squinting through your meal? Will the sun be setting on your dinner?
  • Does the restaurant extend their interior dining experience well, or do they start substituting plastic forks for tableware and limit their regular menu? Does the door slam every time a waiter goes in and out?
  • Can service keep up with another location? Does dining outside mean huge delays in ordering, getting food and then settling up the bill?

What do you look for when dining outdoors? Leave a comment or catch up with us on twitter!

Sandwiches, like this veggie stack, are good for outdoor dining.

Sandwiches, like this veggie stack, are good for outdoor dining.

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