March 7, 2021


For Everyone Else

Chicago’s Best Drive-Thrus, Walk-up Windows, and Limited Contact Restaurants for Good Food

Nearly a year into the pandemic, Chicago restaurant operators and patrons have all learned that dining during COVID-19 is a balancing act: everyone involved plays a role in limiting exposure among workers and customers, and many locals have turned to delivery as a means to mitigate risk. Others, however, fear the growing dominance of third-party delivery companies for the harm they can cause to restaurants and the industry at large.

In a vast and vibrant food scene like Chicago’s, there are plenty of options that allow for varying degrees of distance. Check out the options below for a diverse assortment of drive-ins, drive-thrus, and walk-up windows that allow for limited interaction and also let customers to directly support restaurants.

As of January 23, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 25 percent maximum capacity per room. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.