There is a lot going on inside Spoke & Bird (205 E. 18th St., 805-703-4081) but while the array of sandwiches, pies, and lattes are all tasty diversions, you can and should focus your attentions on one thing: Their large and lovely beer garden, which, with its wide open spaces and wrought-iron seating, feels like it could have been imported from a far more outdoorsy city.

It's an ideal place to set up shop for an afternoon (or evening–though the spot technically closes around dinnertime, when the weather's nice on the weekends, they'll stay open as long as people want to hang out) and sip on something local–the draft list prioritizes places such as the South Loop Brewing Company and Pollyanna Brewing Company. Even better, it's cyclist-friendly: Co-owners Scott Golas and Alicia Bird are both on Chicago's XXX-Athletico Racing Team, and there's bike-related paraphernalia scattered throughout the spot.

Here's what we saw when we stopped in.