8 Magical Chicago Rooftop Bars Offering Cozy Winter Hideouts

Elliot McGowan Elliot McGowan

8 Magical Chicago Rooftop Bars Offering Cozy Winter Hideouts

Take it to the rooftops!

Last year as 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 force many rooftops to retreat indoors and wait out the cold. With retreating to the coziness of the indoors out of the equation last year many rooftops have persevered to keep their spaces alive and kicking.

The igloos, ski lodges, gingerbread houses, fire pits, and many more solutions in different shapes and sizes have returned 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 has opened a tented ‘winter wonderland’ space 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.

You can find Joy District’s rooftop at 112 West Hubbard Street. 

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 its sixth year. 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 here.

You can find The Godfrey Hotel’s rooftop at 127 West Huron and Lasalle.

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 out with not igloos, not ice skating, but an outdoor curling rink high in the sky.

Curling sessions come with small bites and 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 here.

You can find The Gwen Hotel’s rooftop at 521 North Rush Street.

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 launched its first-ever ‘Rudolph’s Rooftop’ experience and it was absolutely magical. This year the whimsical décor, rentable outdoor igloos, and celebratory cocktails have returned. Heaters and blankets mean you can enjoy the fantastic panoramic views while staying warm and cozy beneath the stars!

You can find London House’s rooftop at 85 East Wacker Drive.

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 it’s the ski chalets we’ve got our eyes on.

This year, the Wicker Park rooftop has some of the cutest little ski-chalets offering a cozy hideout for friends and family. The bar’s rooftop cabana huts have been decked out with fake fireplaces and alpine decorations so you can sink a few seasonal cocktails while snuggled up with your friends like you’ve just had a day out on the slopes! More information can be found here.

You can find Whiskey Business’s rooftop at 1367 North Milwaukee Avenue.

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.

You can find Aba’s rooftop at 302 North Green Street.

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 home.More information can be found here

You can find The VU rooftop at 1551 West North Avenue.

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 and it is set to stay open through 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 can be found here.

You can find The Kennedy rooftop at 1551 West North Avenue.

See more: A Chicago Winter Bucket List: 10 Essential Wintertime Experiences In Chicago

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