The Patio at Cafe Brauer

3.9
50 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The Patio at Cafe Brauer will be closed during winter and will reopen in Spring 2019

Dine and drink waterside at Chicago’s most scenic al fresco restaurant and bar: the Patio at Café Brauer.

The Patio is located just south of the main zoo grounds beside Café Brauer (2021 North Stockton), an historic Prairie School-style landmark. Overlooking the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Patio offers unparalleled views of this restored prairie ecosystem and the Chicago skyline. We are pet friendly!

Blue by you burger, Cuban Panini, fresh salads, brunch favorites-sourdough French toast, Chilaquiles and specialty burgers-The Impossible burger . Sip cocktails, craft-brewed beer (including Goose Island Brewery’s Boardwalk Blue, a blueberry-infused golden ale exclusive to the Patio and Goose Island Brewpub), wine and soft drinks. Drop by for a relaxing weekend brunch. Experience the Patio at Café Brauer: a slice of paradise in the heart of the city.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Through Labor Day
•Mon–Friday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
•Saturday & Sunday ◦Brunch: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
◦Lunch & Dinner: 2:30–8 p.m.

September 6—October 28
•Friday: 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
•Saturday and Sunday ◦Brunch: 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
◦Dinner: 2:30–6:00 p.m.

October 3—30
•Monday–Friday: 11:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
•Saturday–Sunday: 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. ◦Brunch: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
◦Dinner: 2–6:30 p.m.
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Phone number
(312) 507-9053
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Daniel Kelly
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Parallel to Clark Avenue
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Public transit
CTA 151 and 156 buses various stops on Stockton Avenue.
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Entertainment
Music Nights Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays
Live Music starting at 5:30-7:30pm-featuring local and regional talent.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 50 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.5
food
3.9
service
4.6
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MS
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I was under the impression that this place was packed and I needed to reserve a table. The earliest slot available was 2:00 pm and brunch ended at 2:30. Upon arrival we found they had plenty of tables and we could have arrived much earlier without a reservation and maybe then they would have given us a brunch menu instead of the lunch and diner menu. We left and went to Hutch were they let us order brunch even though we got there 20 mins before they shut down brunch service.

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KY
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The food is okay. You go for the view and to take a break from trekking through the zoo.
Being in Open Table is very helpful. They are always busy so just make a reservation to save yourself the wait.

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L
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely view of urban prairie, people watching on boardwalk and the Chicago skyline. Live music was nice. Limited menu but food is good. Going to try The Impossible burger next time.

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F
Chicago
47 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The Patio is one of my summer "must go to's" for its comfort food, gracious excellent service, and spectacular setting.

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Food was good. Our server made great recommendations for our entrees... both of which were quite tasty. My only concern is the server staff either blatantly ignoring patrons after they’ve served their meals... or just disappearing. I saw my waitress once after she served us and I honestly think she might have gone home. I paid 4 dollars for a glass of iced tea and never got a refill... not that it matters to me really, but more so the principle of it.

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AC
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

There were several issues but we have been several times and spent a lot of money. Manager basically went to every table to greet diners and was quite obvious she was going around us. Wait staff disappeared for a very long time and everyone around us were quite frustrated as well. We won’t be back. Very disappointing

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SG
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

Very disappointing experience. Took 5+ min to get anyone to work the host stand; took another 10 min to be sat even though there were open tables. Brunch menu stopped being served while we waited, which was disappointing since that wasn't stated anywhere. Ordered food and drinks at the same time; drinks showed up before food. Both sandwiches we ordered were dry and missing ingredients (turkey BLT with no lettuce or mayo). No apologies or offers to make it right. Two drinks and two sandwiches was nearly $60. Worst dining experience I've had in Chicago in a long time. The view did not compensate for the terrible experience.

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e
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The food was just fine, not sophisticated enough for five stars. Just nice, casual bar food and salads. The live music is very enjoyable and just the right volume. Call ahead or check the website to confirm, mostly Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The staff tries very hard, although coordination is sometimes lacking. For the price, there is no better view in Chicago. Dog Friendly!

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DA
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great setting!

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B
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Quick bit to eat prior to daughters rowing even in the lagoon. Would go again.

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DB
Chicago
71 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Great pkace for breakfast, but the menu is far too limited to be a decent pkace for dinner. Strength is open-air proximity to nature. If you judt want to sit outside without a hint of cars, busses or trucks ... THIS is perfect!

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JL
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 5

Gorgeous view, nice staff (though there were some organizational issues, maybe they were training today?), and the food met our expectations, but after a day at the zoo/public park, you don’t expect the most disgusting bathroom you see all day to be at the restaurant.

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KB
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

I love Cafe Brauer for the outstanding view of the nature boardwalk and Chicago skyline -- it can't be beat. The food used to be very good as well. However, the service is always terrible and the food this time was mediocre. I still will come for the unbeatable location but I was pretty disappointed.

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CB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good food and drink, service was just ok.

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BJ
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dog friendly, beautiful patio experience right on the south pond of Lincoln Park, just outside the zoo. It is really a neighborhood gem & since it is tucked away, it is easy to get in. Definitely a great dinner choice after all the zoo visiting families clear out.

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SN
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Multiple service issues
First was we were being seated and another customer came over to argue that the table was for them
Had to ask for water being refilled
Requested mayo for the dry veggie burger and that was not received
Was not offered dessert
Received the bill for another table

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JJ
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Long day at Lincoln Park Zoo with iur daughters was broken up nicely by lunch at the Patio. We all enjoyed our dishes and the scenery and people watching were unbeatable. Will be back whenever we visit the Zoo.

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M
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

This is one of the loveliest outside cafes in Chicago, along the Nature Boardwalk adjacent to Lincoln Park Zoo. The food is generally good in my opinion - not gourmet, but good. The only issue is the service can be very erratic, particularly during peak times (brunch, lunch). I have complained to the Zoo's customer service about the poor service in the past, and it does seem to have gotten a bit better this last visit. But ... still room for improvement.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Bees are flying in your food constantly. Service is horrible and slow. They give you attitude and don't remove food or plates from the table. Never got checked up on and they were more than staffed. Slowest service. Will not eat there again.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

The waitress was horrible. Asked for something and she never came back. Had to ask someone else get it for us. She also gave us our check right after she gave us the food. Didn't have time to enjoy. Won't be going back to this place.

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NC
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Friends in town, great view from the patio but food was overpriced.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

What you’d expect for a prime spot in the park. Prices a little over what you get, but a great spot for breakfast or lunch.

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DS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Average bar food at best. Will not be going back, too many other options in the area.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2017
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

View is amazing, food was decent, but the service was terrible. Waitress was nice but incredibly slow and inattentive.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

We went there for my birthday. I had spent a lot of time at the Lincoln Park Zoo as a child, and had many family members work there... I wanted to see Cafe Brauer and eat where my great grandmother was one of the chefs there... The food was just OK, nothing that I would make the trek out there again for... the service was VERY slow... NOT worth the drive or the money. I would have much rather ate something from one of the carts in the zoo!

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D
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

For a place inside the zoo with kids all around they only had two food options for the kids, eggs and bacon or nuggets and fries, we ordered the nuggets which were inedible and we had to return them. They also had a cookie included in the order which turned out to be a bag of zoo animal crackers, both kids were not pleased. Also the service was slow, it took our server 15 minutes to get to our table, which isn't fun with two hungry kids, and then it took a long time for our order to come.

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OT
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2017
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

This place needs better management. We made a reservation for the Patio and arrived about 15-20 minutes early. Although there were empty tables set and waiting we were told our table would not be ready until the exact reservation time. The hostess was very unfriendly and acted like we were bothering her. We finally sat down at our reservation time and proceeded to wait at least 10 minutes before anyone approached us, not a bus boy, nor a waiter and our table was right in front by the hostess station. Finally when the waitress did approach she was very apologetic and the rest of the experience went fine but the management in this place is lacking. Food is good, reasonably priced and the view is great.

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e
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Wine list is certainly reasonable with solid options for beers as well. We have enjoyed the live music Wednesdays. Good casual fare, a popular burger and a very nice chicken sandwich. Ask you server for the appetizer special

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely cafe with a view, great food and service, friendly and skilled staff.

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LD
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice find on a lovely day. Ate on the
patio...atmosphere more memorable than the food, which was still above average.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I loved how they were available during one of the busiest weekends in the area, the Air & Water show. Got there earlier than my reservation (almost an hour) and they were happy to seat us. The service was good and friendly especially for the time of day (11:30 am), didn't have to wait for our drinks from the bar and they were good quality. The manager was around helping the staff and personally welcoming the customers as they sat. I could have sat there all afternoon but didn't want to hog up a table. I see myself returning in the future.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Changed up the food sources and it was terrible. Had a difficult time getting silverware.

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J
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Lovely sitting out looking at the water. Good service, friendly waiter, & food was okay. Will come back for the live entertainment.

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MH
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Dont waste your time. Literally go anywhere else.

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TO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2017
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

I love Cafe Brauer's location! Fantastic view of the Lincoln Park pond, nature walk, and dowtown. Love the Wednesday evening live music in summer. Great casual, comfortable, beautiful get-together with friends. I do wish they had a better selection of salads and light food. Outdoor seating says salads, wraps, and grilled chicken/fish to me -- healthy, low-cal but good stuff. I don't feel the food is necessarily the draw to this place; the setting and view is the reason to go.

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Beautiful place to go to have a drink and dinner On a beautiful Chicago summer evening. Listened to wonderful music

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OT
Washington DC
63 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We went to the zoo on a beautiful day. I didn't feel like tackling the cafeteria so we splurged on Cafe Brauer. There is no more beautiful place to sit and have lunch in or near the zoo. The servers were swamped given the weather and the fact they had some staff absences but they did a great job. And why would you be in hurry while visiting the zoo in a beautiful day? The food was really good. Hot and fresh. Again, a nice difference from cafeteria food. It made our day even more memorable.

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MT
Chicago
89 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Met a friend for a meeting at The Patio - all we had was iced tea but it was wonderful, as always.

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DB
Chicago
71 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Simply delightful! We came for lunch on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, and were very relieved to note there was a HUGE awning with shades on all sides that could be pulled down in case of rain. But it did not rain, and our meals were great, as was the service! Who could ask for more scenic views ... beside the zoo, overlooking the Lincoln Park Pond, with gorgeous birds flying around. It was GREAT!

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JD
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful time! Great view! Great service!

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