Summer is here, which means picnic season is upon us, and in my book, picnics mean chicken. Whether fried, barbecued, or roasted, and served warm, hot, or cold, it’s what I crave when I’m sitting on a blanket on Ravinia’s Great Lawn, or at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Happily, we are living in the golden age of Chicago chicken, with our pick of Southern fried or Korean barbecued, Greek rotisseried or Latin broasted. It’s an embarrassment of riches, truly. So stop by one of these palaces of poultry and load up — after thoughtfully ordering ahead, of course — because your picnic basket is waiting for you to make the first move.

Lettuce wanted to get in on the take-out chicken action, so they opened this fried chicken joint on Navy Pier. Get an eight-piece, spicy, with the Buttermilk Ranch and the Sriracha Mayo on the side, and don’t forget the Green Chili Cheese Fries with pickled jalapeños. Take it outside and watch the fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday nights during the summer.

Big City Chicken
900 E. Grand Ave., Chicago IL