Let’s Eat! Where We Have Been Eating Out in Chicago During the Pandemic

I’ll be honest, it felt weird/strange not to eat out for three straight months. In fact, I missed eating out. It’s one of the reasons why I love living in the city. You can always find a restaurant to dine in/out at in Chicago.

We’ve had our fair share of take out and deliveries during the pandemic. It was great to order from restaurants that are normally not kid-friendly to enjoy at home. But sometimes you just want to get out of the house and eat in another environment. So when Chicago finally approved restaurants to open under Phase 4, you know that I was slightly excited.

We waited a few weeks before actually going out to eat. And we didn’t bring the boys with us because I just didn’t feel comfortable yet. So our first two eating out experiences were our date nights. Our nanny watched the boys for 2 hours. We picked restaurants with outdoor patios or rooftops so we can eat outside. I’m still not that comfortable eating indoors. Besides, the weather this summer has been perfect! Too bad it’s during a pandemic.


We picked Tanta because of the rooftop and the great food – Peruvian. We ate at Tanta as part of our Choose Chicago partnership. The cocktails are great is so is the lomo saltado! The restaurant staff checks your temperature when you enter, tables are six feet apart, and you only have 90 minutes to dine, which of us is plenty of time.


We were invited to Mercadito, a fun Mexican restaurant in River North with an outdoor patio. Again, Charlie and I went on a quick date night here. We loved the shrimp tacos and their cocktails were all so good!

The Diver

The Diver is a new restaurant in River North that I wanted to try because the interior is so cute and Instagrammable.. The restaurant recently opened with a small outdoor patio serving food inspired by Tulum, Mexico .I’m not sure if you see a pattern, but I love Latin food I met a friend here for an early dinner so we could sit outside and take pictures of the space. I loved the lobster tacos and all the cocktails.

The Lunchroom at Space 519

We were recently invited to dine at the Lunchroom at Space 519 in Streeterville, just steps away from Michigan Avenue. It’s a concept store with a restaurant and a 24-seat sidewalk cafe. We had a family lunch here, the first time we took the boys out to eat, because of the sidewalk cafe. And we made sure to have an early lunch so there were not many people around. The black and white striped umbrellas made it feel like we were somewhere in Europe.

The Lunchroom also has The Lunchbox, a grab and go menu if you don’t have time to sit and eat or just want to take food home to eat.


I’ve always wanted to check out Marchesa since it’s a French restaurant and Chicago needs more French restaurants! Marchesa is located in River North. I met up with a friend a few weeks ago. Again we had an early dinner so we could sit out on the patio with less people around. I love that the waiter is French and has a cute French accent. The food was very good and authentically French.

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