If typical small talk is a conversation about then weather, then Chicago has been all about the small talk this month, myself included! I close emails with, “enjoy this beautiful weather!” I talk myself into going out for lunch because “I must get out and enjoy this beautiful weather!” I even dusted off my JCrew rain-flats because “they are just so much more appropriate for this beautiful weather!” Luckily, some of Chicago’s bars and restaurants have been quick-to-adapt and set up their patios and the rest will be opening before we know it. In likely the earliest ever patio roundup, here are my recommendations for the best outdoor seating in the city! Market – West Loop Since our office re-located to the booming West Loop, it seems every other day we’re hearing about an amazing new place coming to the neighborhood. One of the staples is Market – with a sidewalk café, beer garden AND roof top with skyline views, you can have a new experience each and every visit.

Pops – River North The drinks are refreshing, the scene is exciting and who doesn’t feel fancy sipping bubbly in downtown Chicago? Insider info: It’s their 30th anniversary and during the month of April, a glass of Pol Roger is available for just $9 – normally $23. But it’s not on the menu, so tell them we sent you!

ROOF on theWit – Loop If we’re taking outdoor seating to a new level, then why not the 27th floor? The views are amazing, especially on the overhang. Plus, the DJ’s have been known to set the tone for a fun night on the town.

Justin’s – Southport Corridor There isn’t much worse that heading to a patio and realizing there is a 5 hour wait. Which is exactly why I love Justin’s – I can scope out the scene from the comfort of my living room. The neighborhood spot is easy, low key, and perfect for a week night drink.

The Anthem – Wicker Park They had me at veggie burger, then they went and added a patio. It’s their first spring season open, so I expect it to be a hot spot. Not to mention that the energy on Division street makes you never want to leave. With all of the open air windows, the patio feels like an extension of the uber-retro sports bar.

These are just a few of my personal favorites and I hope to visit many more this summer. Given the additional time, I should have no problem making my rounds. For a list of spots broken down by hood, check out Chi Bar Project. But hurry, before the April snow!

Mary Senior Publicist