Over the last couple of years when winter gripped hold of Chicago and the global pandemic forced restrictions on indoor dining some of the places we turned to were Chicago’s renowned rooftop bars and rooftop restaurants. Chicago’s rooftops offer thriving utopias in the summer months, but the frosty winters would often force many rooftops to retreat indoors and wait out the cold. With that out of the question, however, they were forced to adapt and consequently offered a range of different cozy outdoor hideouts.
The igloos, ski lodges, fire pits, and many more solutions in different shapes and sizes are again returning this year ensuring that a memorable night up among the Chicago skyline can still be had in the months to come.
We’ve put together a list of the most unique rooftops around Chicago that are still open through winter! From mouthwatering Mediterranean food in cute greenhouses to curling competitions with complimentary cocktails. Check out these awesome Chicago rooftop spots.
1. Joy District’s Rooftop
There are few rooftops that can compete with the astounding setup at Joy District. Sparkling lights, comfortable patterned couches, and impeccable views of Chicago’s skyline guarantee a memorable night but it’s the magic of vibrant murals and cascading greenery that truly makes Joy District’s rooftop a unique space.
This year the rooftop’s tented ‘winter wonderland’ has returned offering a covered and heated escape with cheerful Christmas decor and heaters. You’ll now find Christmas trees, snowmen, and a comfortable setup to snuggle up and sip on cocktails throughout winter.
More information can be found at www.joychicago.com/the-roof.
Joy District’s rooftop is located at 112 West Hubbard Street, Chicago.
2. The Godfrey Hotel’s Rooftop
Another terrific winter wonderland can be found over at the Godfrey Hotel. The annual winter wonderland event on the Godfrey Hotel’s indoor-outdoor rooftop has returned for another year of skyline magic. The hotel lounge’s large fourth-floor terrace has been transformed into an astounding outdoor oasis. Guests can cozy up in one of the many heated, clear-domes igloos on the rooftop terrace or rent an extra-large igloo for a special winter wonderland experience.
Outdoor firepits, patio heaters, s’mores, live DJs, s’mores, sensational views of the Chicago skyline, and of course, themed cocktails offer a truly magical way to celebrate the season.
More information can be found at www.godfreyhotelchicago.com/i-o-rooftop-lounge.
The Godfrey Hotel rooftop is located at 127 West Huron and Lasalle, Chicago.
3. The Gwen Hotel’s Rooftop
If you’re looking for something a little different, The Gwen Hotel’s rooftop has the answers. While you won’t find lavish igloos here you’ll instead be able to enjoy the hotel’s annual Curling & Cocktails experience. The hotel kits out its rooftop with not igloos, not ice skating, but an outdoor curling rink high in the sky.
Curling sessions come with a complimentary round of cocktails meaning you can sip away on your favorite tipple while battling your buddies on the state-of-the-art curling rink. Assemble your most accurate amigos and head to The Gwen Hotel rooftop for a memorable night of curling and cocktails this winter!
More information can be found at www.thegwenchicago.com/curling-cocktails.
The Gwen Hotel rooftop is located at 521 North Rush Street, Chicago.
4. London House Chicago’s Rooftop
On the 22nd floor of London House Chicago, a stunning rooftop overlooking the Chicago River and the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue can be found. Last year the hotel’s “Rudolph’s Rooftop” experience returned after a successful debut year and this year it’s coming back once more.
The whimsical décor, rentable outdoor igloos, and celebratory cocktails have all returned offering a sensational seasonal setup at one of Chicago’s most iconic rooftops. Heaters and blankets mean you can enjoy the fantastic panoramic views while staying warm and cozy beneath the stars whether you’re inside an igloo or out!
More information can be found at londonhousechicago.com/rooftop.
London House Chicago’s rooftop is located at 85 East Wacker Drive, Chicago.
5. Whiskey Business’s Rooftop
On a 3000-square-foot Wicker Park rooftop high above 1367 N Milwaukee Avenue, Whiskey Business has created a multifunctional space that will be running events throughout winter. Rooftop movie nights, weekend brunches, a curling rink, and MSU or Chicago Bears gameday packages offer something for everybody but this year the bar has also erected an enormous glowing tent on its rooftop so that guests can stay warm and cozy while enjoying a few drinks.
More information can be found at www.whiskeybusinesschicago.com/rooftop.
Whiskey Business’s rooftop is located at 1367 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago.
6. Aba’s Fulton Market Rooftop
Aba is a charming Mediterranean restaurant in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market District. The rooftop patio at Aba has been given a winter makeover and guests will now find firepits and overhead heaters at the enclosed rooftop patio. Dishes from all over the Mediterranean including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece can now be enjoyed from a toasty outdoor/indoor space.
More information can be found at www.abarestaurants.com/chicago.
Aba’s rooftop is located at 302 North Green Street, Chicago.
7. The VU Rooftop
While you won’t find domes, igloos, or anything above you at VU there are safe large, firepits situated all around the rooftop so that you can stay toasty warm while taking in unparalleled views of the lake, South Loop Chicago, Museum Campus, and often some sublime sunset spectacles.
The 13,000-square-foot South Loop space is home to three different bars and two patios in which to enjoy some top-notch cocktails and bites. Note that this ritzy rooftop VU follows a classy and fun dress code so make sure to pull out your best outfits for the occasion and leave your casual wear at home.
More information can be found at www.vurooftop.com.
The VU rooftop is located at 1551 West North Avenue, Chicago.
8. The Kennedy Rooftop
The Kennedy Rooftop is Wicker Park’s very own urban chic hideout. The interior, food, and drink options are all designed to accentuate the modern, trendy, and diverse fabric of Wicker Park. Panoramic views of Chicago’s iconic skyline and a comfortable layout make it a phenomenal rooftop option and luckily its igloos have returned for another Chicago winter.
Like The Gwen Hotel, the Kennedy Rooftop is also home to a curling lane meaning you can enjoy a classy evening on the plush rooftop with a bit of competitive fun to keep you warm.
More information is available at www.kennedyrooftop.com.
You can find The Kennedy rooftop at 1551 West North Avenue, Chicago.
9. Navy Pier’s Offshore Rooftop
Not only does the Offshore Rooftop hold the title of the largest rooftop deck in the country, but it is also consistently recognized as one of the best places to best enjoy a drink with a view. The panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline are unmatched. While most rooftops are among the skyline and thus offer views over the city, Offshore Rooftop instead allows you to gaze out at Chicago’s famous skyline.
Open year-round, the award-winning 36,000-square-foot rooftop has several cozy fire pits in addition to an entertainment and gaming area. Again, both indoor and outdoor areas mean guests can enjoy the views and world-class kitchen from behind glass or out snuggled around a fire pit.
More information can be found at www.offshorerooftop.com.
The Offshore Rooftop is located at 1000 E Grand Ave, Chicago.
10. The J. Parker Rooftop
While Chicago is home to an array of astounding rooftops, there aren’t many that offer 360-degree views of the city. Up at Hotel Lincoln’s J. Parker Rooftop, however, you will find just that in addition to front-row seats of Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park and its stunning winter spectacle.
With both indoor and outdoor seating, a glass retractable roof, and floor-to-ceiling windows there are plenty of options to sit and enjoy the scintillating views. Seasonal drinks include various different forms of hot toddies, hot mulled wines, and ciders.
More information can be found at www.jparkerchicago.com.
The J. Parker Rooftop is located at 1816 N Clark St, Chicago.
[Featured image from The Kennedy Rooftop]