Summer is upon us here in northern Illinois and it couldn't come soon enough. Considering the number of restaurants and bars that were forced into outdoor dining accommodations during the pandemic, you may have already dined outside at one of these beloved locations in the past year.

The outdoor settings vary as you will see in this list. Whatever your preference is will likely be covered more than once. And, if you're a frequent out-of-the-house eater, variety is good. In fact, variety may very well be a necessity for you. You won't be disappointed with this list.

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Want to dine by water? You're in luck. Do you want to be in a "downtown" setting, that's on the list. Do you enjoy little courtyard-like settings? There are a few spots for that ass well. Trust me, this big list of options should cover everyone's preferences when it comes to outdoor dining.

Whether you are eating lunch, dinner, enjoying a cocktail, or doing it all and making a day of it, these spots are premiere patios you can enjoy on the regular or share with out-of-town guests. All the options on the list are either in Rockford or a short drive away. And, as an honorable mention, a Beloit option made the list because of the great view from their patio area.

20 Outdoor Dining Options in Northern Illinois

20 great patios to enjoy lunch, dinner, and a cocktail.

Are you craving a delicious margarita? You've hit the jackpot, here are some of the best you will find in the Rockford area.

(You can thank me later.)

Top 5 Thirst-Quenching Margaritas in Rockford, According to Yelp

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