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Spring Dining: Al fresco patios open for season

By Kasia Fejklowicz
On April 6, 2012

Spring is the best season in Chicago. This is a time where people finally stop hibernating and actually start leaving their apartments. And what better way is there to celebrate the change of seasons than with a nice and cheap meal outside?

"I like to get some sun on my face and enjoy the warmth. The food is much more pleasurable that way, and I also love people watching," said Joel Wolschleger.

Natalia Hernandez, a student at DePaul, said that Piece Pizza in Wicker Park is one of her favorite places to hang out at when the weather is nice.

"They have good beer, great people, fresh food, and the weather's accommodating to all three," she said.

Even chains, such as Chipotle and Panera Bread, offer outdoor seating. Check out Diversey and Clark.

What students don't realize sometimes is that they don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy an affordable meal outside. Here are some money-saving options.

QUARTINO

626 N. State St.

Located right off the Grand stop, Quartino is a great spot to eat with your friends or that special someone. The majority of the entrees are under $12, and a glass of wine is $10.

The pastas and pizzas they offer are delicious. Small appetizers are also their specialty. Don't forget to order their cheese plate.

RENALDI'S

2827 N. Clark St.

Pizza lovers, make sure to stop by Renaldi's. This Italian restaurant will make you want to come back for more. It is a little bit more expensive than Quartino, but that is because the pizzas are much larger. There is also plenty of outdoor seating.

At night, lights illuminate the restaurant, adding to the already romantic setting.

TAVERN ON RUSH

1031 N. Rush St.

You don't need a wallet filled with a cash to enjoy one of the restaurants on Rush Street. To save some money, try going out for brunch or lunch at this restaurant because dinner menus tend to be a bit pricey.

Tavern on Rush is a little bit more hidden than the rest of the restaurants since Rush is a smaller street. This way it is easier to enjoy company without having to yell across the table.

DUNLAYS ON CLARK

2600 N. Clark St.

Dunlays is a friendly neighborhood restaurant that has an outdoor patio and a bar. Their patio is on Wrightwood, which gives their customers some privacy from the hustle of Clark Street. Most entrees are around $11. Brunch, lunch and dinner menus are available.

THE WIENER CIRCLE

2622 N. Clark St.

This classic hotdog joint offers outdoor seating, as well as famous Chicago-style hotdogs and chardogs.

Wiener Circle is famous for its rude atmosphere where the service staff and the customers yell mean things to one another. If you are looking for a place to eat late at night, come see what is going on here. It never gets boring.

Also, tune in to TruTV because this establishment is the host of a new reality television show.


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