We know the first official day of summer isn’t until tomorrow, but if you are like us, you have been trying to get outside as much as possible and enjoy the al fresco dining experiences the 815 has to offer. We originally published this post about a year ago, but we decided to update it with two new patios and remove one (Bamboo) that has turned into a food truck. We believe these patios are worthy of your time this summer. The updates to our original post are italicized.
My fellow Rockfordians, now is the time. Time to let your limbs breath, shade those eyes, lather on the sunscreen (if you are like me) and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. That is right…it is patio time. As we midwesterners know, there are only so many warm, blue sky days throughout the year, so why waste that time eating and drinking inside? Would you love to enjoy the fresh air, but do not know where to start? Well, I have put together a list of ten (now 11) places to dine and enjoy a drink (or two) al fresco in the Rock. Bon Appetit!
Source: Owly Oop
Let me let you in on a little secret…the patio at Owly Oop has one of the THE. BEST. VIEWS in Rockford. If you are lucky enough to get a spot outside, you will most likely want to stick around for awhile. Cheese Curds and a West Coast IPA please…
Source: Josef Barbados
Who would have thought that a restaurant off of Spring Creek & Perryville, would have such a beautiful outdoor space? Not me! But, when Liz and I went to a champagne tasting at Josef’s a couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to step outside and were pleasantly surprised at the gorgeous setting, with beautiful tables, comfortable seating, and the perfect amount of sun and shade.
Source: Prairie Street Brewing Company
Prairie Street Brewing Company
Enjoy the Dockside Tap Room on the lower level of PSB and take advantage of dining on their beautiful riverside dock seven days a week. In addition, every Thursday (starting tonight!) be sure to check out Dinner on the Dock at PSB for great food and live music. If you are one of the lucky people in the world to own a boat, cruise on over to the marina and enjoy the music from the water.
Source: The Olympic Tavern
The Olympic Tavern
The Olympic Tavern has a large patio with seating for parties of all sizes, great lighting, occasionally an outdoor bar, and even events for your four-legged friends on Monday nights. That’s right, every Monday evening (during the warmer months) check out Pints for Pups, and enjoy drink specials for humans and treats by The Canine Crunchery for the K-9s.
Fresco at the Gardens
I professed my love for Fresco even before I had the opportunity to sit outside on the gorgeous patio overlooking Anderson Gardens. When sitting on this deck, you almost forget you are in Northern Illinois. Give me one of Fresco’s delicious cocktails and I’m set.
Source: Lucha Cantina
The patio at Lucha Cantina offers large round tables (my favorites) with umbrellas (clutch!) and delicious food. The photo above is making me want to run over there right now and grab a homemade margarita and their taco of the month–pork belly al pastor with piña poblano slaw. Yum.
Abreo has one of the most well-established patios in town, and that is evident when you are sitting in their beautiful setting among all the vines and greenery. The folks at Abreo certainly don’t overlook any details when it comes to their culinary delights (amazing food!) and that’s the case for their outdoor space as well.
Source: Garrett’s Restaurant and Bar
Whether or not you love golf, Garrett’s has a spacious patio overlooking The Golf Shack driving range. Grab a bucket of golf balls and enjoy a lovely evening (or lunch break) taking some practice swings and feasting on food and drink specials.
Source: Kuma’s Asian Bistro
Kuma’s Asian Bistro
Kuma’s is another well-established al fresco outdoor dining venue in the the heart of the city. In fact, Kuma’s was one of the first restaurants downtown to offer outdoor dining options. Sitting on State St. with a friend or loved one is a great way to spend an evening.
Source: Octane Interlounge
Octane is vibing with us on some patio love right now. Octane’s patio is ideal because of its great downtown location and people watching. Hawaii 5-0 burrito and a glass of seasonal sangria, please!
Source: Der Rathskeller
The biergarten at Der Rathskeller has become a favorite dining destination in Rockford, especially for the nearby residents. While sitting in the biergarten, it is hard to believe you are at the corner of a major intersection – North Main and Auburn streets. With hearty lunch specials and delicious German beers, head over to Der Rathskeller and spend the afternoon.