It’s finally warm out, which for the food scene means only one thing: patio dining season! There are so many great outdoor dining spaces in Chicago it can be hard to choose — and a whole bunch of new ones have opened recently, making it even harder! Here are a few I’m most excited about for 2024.

Maxwells Trading’s Patio
This new restaurant has been getting positive reviews and just opened their new patio last week. Here’s a tip — if you’re looking to get into a hard-to-get-into restaurant, the patio seating is all first come, first served. There are also some new items on the menu for the season; I’m most excited about the salt and pepper asparagus served with jalapeño and green goddess dressing. 1516 W. Carroll Ave. West Town

Machine’s Tropical Garden
Machine is on everyone’s list of the prettiest restaurants in Chicago, and for good reason — it’s lush and filled with greenery, making even the inside feel like you’re eating outside. If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeousness, check out their new Tropical Garden tiki-themed patio. Book a covered corner couch and take a mini-vacation from the city. 1846 W. Division St., West Town

BLVD’s Atrium
This space isn’t quite new, but the menu is. BLVD has one of the greatest patios in town, taking up a huge space adjacent to the restaurant. Called the Atrium, the space is possibly the ideal place to rosé all day in the entire city (take that, Hampton Social). But it’s not just about pink wine; earlier this year, the space launched its own brunch menu, which is a great combination of refreshing dishes for outdoors along with some steakhouse classics. Munch on tuna crudo, avocado tartare, king crab benedict or, if you’re in the mood to go big, a whole seafood tower complete with caviar add-ons. 817 W. Lake St., Fulton Market

Laurel at The Talbott
Laurel isn’t just a new patio, but a whole new restaurant — located in the Talbott Hotel in the Gold Coast, Laurel opened last month and has a sophisticated dining room and a menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes. There’s a 100-seat patio complete with sparkling lights, plenty of plants, and a cozy atmosphere. The menu is also perfect for post-work snacks; share the meze plate and some barrel-aged feta with a charred tomato vinaigrette and pretend you’re sitting on a beach. 20 E. Delaware Pl., Gold Coast