The Best Rooftop Bars in Chicago

Where to enjoy scenic views, open-air vibes and plenty of inventive drinks and bites

May 7, 2024 6:29 am
people on rooftop on sunny day, umbrella, chairs and tables, buildings
LH Summer Rooftop
Nick Ulivieri

Any Chicagoan knows our warm weather days are numbered, which means you have to take advantage of the city’s best spots for soaking up the sun and the scenery. Many of the Chicago’s top hotels feature rooftop terraces with a front row seat to the skyline and the best people watching in town. Plus, there are plenty of neighborhood hangs with casual outdoor lounges to relax and savor a pre-dinner dram. Whether it’s a glimpse of the Loop, River North or the Chicago River you’re after, here are 11 places to enjoy your next brew with a view.

tables, chairs on a terrace, overlooking ferris wheel and boardwalk and ocean
Miru Terrace
Miru Terrace


Lakeshore East

On the 11th floor of the sparkling new St. Regis Chicago, you’ll find this Japanese gem serving a long list of sushi, Wagyu, and sizzling rice and noodle dishes. A wraparound patio affords views of the Chicago River and Navy Pier, acting as the perfect backdrop for a business dinner or an elevated date night. Come nightfall, the city sparkles around you — and if you get too chilly, complimentary blankets ensure you’ll be imbibing in wine, sake or cocktails in comfort.

401 E. Wacker Dr.

a rooftop bar in front of a swimming pool
Cabra Pool Deck
Boka Restaurant Group


West Loop

This colorful West Loop hangout, helmed by Top Chef’s Stephanie Izard, is situated atop The Hoxton hotel. Here you’ll find a menu of Peruvian dishes and flavorful cocktails with views of the Loop to the east. Grab a crew to split a variety of plates, from ceviche and goat empanadas to steak saltado and chicken thigh skewers. Cocktails are just as colorful as the ambience. Sip on Pisco Sours or a glass of South American wine while people watching around the rooftop pool deck.

200 N. Green St.

gray couches, gray stools. black chairs, wooden stools, window looking out at city
Up Room
Tara White / The Robey

Up Room

Wicker Park

If it’s more of a neighborhood vibe you’re after, head to the 13th floor of The Robey hotel at Wicker Park’s six corners. You’ll find an intimate indoor/outdoor space here with wraparound views of the Chicago skyline. Enjoy golden hour with a cleverly named cocktail or two, like the Oaxacan on Broken Glass with mezcal, chile, lime and bitters. Post-drinks, head to the first floor for a meal at Cafe Robey, which offers a consistently delicious seasonal menu with dishes like panko-crusted salmon with leek risotto.

2018 W. North Ave.

a rooftop bar with umbrellas and a cow statue
Gene’s Sausage Shop
Gene’s Sausage Shop

Gene’s Sausage Shop

Lincoln Square

This casual, family-friendly spot above Gene’s sausage emporium is small but mighty. Swing by in spring and summer for German beers and fare like grilled-to-order housemade sausages, potato pancakes and soft pretzels. Spread out on umbrella-covered picnic tables where you’re bound to make a new friend or two. Peruse Gene’s store below and take home butcher cuts at the large meat counter, German specialities like spaetzle and chicken schnitzel, and other European grocery staples.

4750 N. Lincoln Ave.

Z Bar

Gold Coast

The Peninsula Chicago’s rooftop bar is a luxe lounge hidden away from the busy north side streets below. The stunning interiors and oval-shaped bar make for a lovely backdrop for an anytime cocktail, but the outdoor terrace with views of Michigan Ave. and the Hancock building give you the true Chicago experience. Relax with a perfected classic cocktail like an Aperol Spritz or Espresso Martini, or opt for a modern beverage like the Bangkok Jam with tequila, makrut lime, lemongrass and Thai chili. A globally-inspired menu of shared plates, from adobo glazed chicken wings to cajun crab and shrimp, makes for the perfect drink accompaniment.

108 E. Superior St.

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a rooftop bar with striped banquettes and views of lake michigan



The least hidden gem of the spots on this list, Cindy’s, the rooftop bar and restaurant at Chicago Athletic Association, has been a standby for tourists and locals alike. The bright and airy indoor dining room will make you feel like you’re outside if you’re not lucky enough to grab a spot at the outdoor balcony with views overlooking Millennium Park. Sip on Chicago beers, an extensive list of spirits and unique cocktails, including a short list of reserve selections featuring premium spirits. Both bar bites and larger entrees satisfy all appetites, like a Korean fried chicken sandwich with a kimchi-marinated chicken thigh.

12 S. Michigan Ave.


West Loop

This swanky rooftop sits on top of the Chicago location of the luxurious Nobu Hotel. Grab a couch to take in views of the Chicago skyline, along with a pour of Japanese whisky or sake. A streamlined list of globally-sourced wines by the glass is also available, as is a specialty cocktail menu that leans heavily into flavors like lychee and lime. Many of Nobu’s menu staples can be enjoyed on the roof, such as the miso black cod and yellowtail jalapeño, plus signature maki and nigiri.

854 W. Randolph St.

LH Rooftop


Situated on the 22nd floor of the LondonHouse Chicago hotel, this multi-level rooftop is known for its stunning views of the Chicago River. The rooftop’s food menu is expansive — think international bites like Jamaican beef empanadas and Spanish braised octopus, plus large salads and burgers. A weekend brunch offering draws a crowd with decadent plates like lobster biscuits and gravy and country fried Wagyu. Signature cocktails like the guava Margarita, plus a wide variety of wines and beers, round out LH Rooftop’s offerings.

85 E. Wacker Dr.

rooftop bar, red umbrellas, fairy lights. glass table, buildings in background
Tanta Rooftop Bar
Paul Strabbing


River North

This River North mainstay’s rooftop is out of sight from street level and combines indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a prime post-work spot for dinner and drinks with friends, and its cocktails are just as enticing as its menu of colorful Peruvian dishes, from ceviches and grilled skewers to large format fish and meat platters. El Chingon, one of Tanta’s signature drinks with tequila, mezcal and a spicy pepper-infused ice orb, is a must-try. Swing by for happy hour (5 to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday) when you can snag it for $10, along with a handful of discounted bites like empanadas, chicken skewers and shrimp and octopus ceviche.

118 W. Grand Ave.

bar, glass window tent, long wooden table and brown chairs, servers in white uniforms, couple at the bar
Gibson’s Italia

Gibson’s Italia

River West

This chic offshoot of the classic Gibson’s Steakhouse brand offers views of the Chicago River in nearly all directions. The multi-level Italian steakhouse has an all-weather retractable rooftop, which is an ideal space for enjoying antipasti and a glass of wine. Sample the Wagyu beef tartare or cacio e pepe arancini, plus plentiful seafood platters filled with oysters, shrimp, lobster and more. Peruse the long list of cocktails, spritzes and beers to wash it all down.

233 N. Canal St.

a rooftop bar with stools and hanging round lanterns
Bar Avec
Kelly Sandos

Bar Avec

River North

The second location of one of Chicago’s longstanding restaurants includes an eighth floor rooftop lounge, complete with a casual menu of Mediterranean fare. Here you’ll catch open-air views of River North and the Loop while dining on Avec’s signature bacon wrapped dates, a bread board with seasonal dips and spreads, or shawarma fried chicken thighs served with falafel seasoned fries, fermented chili sauce and garlic toum. The beverage menu leans heavily into wines from France, Italy and Spain, plus a short list of curated cocktails with an Avec twist. Take the Jazzhatan, with jasmine-infused rye, bitters, mango, vermouth and lemon, or the Ibisco d’Amorita with hibiscus-infused tequila, melon tea, urfa pepper and lime. 

640 N. LaSalle Dr.


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