Chicago’s restaurant scene is bustling with life. You’ll find quaint restaurants with dimly lit rooms or vast spaces painted a gaudy lime green—whatever your taste is, one thing they have in common is the crowd that usually comes with them. Sometimes, we could use a break from the tight space, preferring a place with breezy, fresh openness. So next time you want dinner with more scenery and less claustrophobia, you should head to these best rooftop restaurants in Chicago.
First on our list is the bright, airy, and all-around whimsical Cabra. Located on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel, this Chicago rooftop restaurant reverberates a spirited Peruvian atmosphere, and the fresh openness of the Cabra makes it the quintessential weekday or weekend place to dine outside with its luscious verdant walls and panoramic city views. Whether you’re in the mood for a “girl dinner” or a regular dinner, the menu has a vast selection of ceviche, tataki, and other delectable items.
Address: 200 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Cabra here
Next, we have Etta. This sophisticated yet rustic restaurant is centered around a wood-fired hearth at its two locations in the city. However, the Etta in Bucktown is the only one with a rooftop. The place has a spacious downstairs when you walk into Etta, but the vocal point is revealed when you make your way up the stairs. The rooftop reflects what you would find in a rural town outside the city, which is why it has such a hearty warmth. Of course, the menu is filled with delicious items, such as housemade pasta and farm salads—but the wood-fired pizza stands out the most.
Address: 1840 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Etta here
3. Bar Avec
Bar Avec’s open-air rooftop takes the charm and ethereal of a Spanish or Portuguese town and transports it directly to the heart of Chicago. Inspired by the leisurely style of dining and imbibing found at a casual seaside diner in the Iberian Peninsula, Bar Avec solidifies itself as one of the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago. This casual sport has a remarkable menu of Mediterranean dishes, such as scallop crudo, a tuna burger, and more.
Address: 640 N La Salle Dr 8th floor, Chicago, IL 60654
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Bar Avec here
4. Streeterville Social
This stylish rooftop restaurant in Chicago is a secluded gathering spot and offers a delightful reprieve from bustling city life. Streeterville Social is located on the third floor of the Loews Chicago Hotel, and boats as a sun-drenched escape during the day are complemented with dimming string lights as the evening winds down. Grab a seat and be prepared to be dazzled by their selection of elevated American food, which includes beef Coulotte and a lemongrass chicken skewer.
Address: 455 N Park Dr, Chicago, IL 60611
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Streeterville Social here
5. Shanghai Terrance
This pulchritudinous rooftop restaurant in Chicago is situated in the Peninsula Hotel, a majestic Shanghai eatery-inspired restaurant. The Shanghai Terrace offers contemporary interpretations of Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Sichuanese traditional dishes; the rooftop terrace of the restaurant is inspired by the seductive nature of Shanghai in the 1930s, with tones of ebony, fold, and scarlet echoing throughout.
Address: 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Shanghai Terrace here
Taxim is a lively and comfortable Greek rooftop restaurant in Wicker Park that provides an energetic and intimate setting. This quaint, airy Chicago rooftop restaurant has a selection of small family-style plates or large individual entrees; our favorites include Kounoupídi Tiganitó, Kolokithokeftédes, and the Païdákia Me Pligoúri.
Address: 1558 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Taxim here
7. Tanta Chicago
When the heat is kicking up in Chicago, and the humidity is frizzing your hair, it’s time to cosplay a Peruvian escape. Tanta Chicago is a Peruvian-inspired space where the menu is filled with inventive South American delectables, including empanadas and cebiche, which will only take a few seconds to devour.
Address: 118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Tanta here
8. Homestead on the Roof
A secret rooftop in Chicago, Homestead on the Roof is tucked above Roots Handmade Pizza in West Town. This 85-seat outdoor rooftop patio sprawls 1000 square feet. It’s overflowing with beautiful flowers, two massive vertical hanging gardens, and a decorative outdoor fireplace. This charming and rustic restaurant has a seasonal menu, and 2023 features a Portuguese-influenced menu from Chef Christopher Teixeira.
Address: 1924 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Homestead on the Roof here
9. Lonesome Rose
This rooftop restaurant in Chicago is known for its wooden beams, verdant plants, and light-filled open design. Lonesome Rose is an all-day bar and restaurant specializing in a Tex-Mex-inspired menu. The menu takes the beloved basics and creates a beautiful aperitive item: essential breakfast tacos, margaritas, and a cheesy, beefy quersorito.
Address: 2101 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Lonesome Rose here
10. Gibson’s Italia
This three-story steakhouse in the West Loop offers scintillating views of the Chicago River. When you open the menu, you’ll find mouthwatering dishes made of homemade pasta dishes, premium steak cuts, and other Italian delicacies. From Italian Meatballs to an incredible Ravioli Carbonara, you can be sure you’ll be heading home more than satisfied.
Address: 233 N Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Gibson’s Italia here
11. Azul Mariscos
Along the Chicago River, Azul is an upscale Mariscos restaurant serving an expansive menu of Latin-inspired fare. Besides the sophisticated yet lively menu, the crown jewel of Azul is its rooftop named Cielo. This rooftop is a relaxed atmosphere where diners can drink and consume during the day. However, once the sun sets, the rooftop becomes a sultry lounge that is undoubtedly one of the sexiest rooftop restaurants in Chicago.
Address: 1177 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Azul Mariscos here
Last on our best rooftop restaurants in Chicago list is a place that feels more like a retreat. You’re greeted with a lush greenery oasis when you walk into Aba. An assemblage of pothos lines along the bar, spiraling up to the ceiling, inviting you to grab a seat and stay a minute. The menu sprawls with Mediterranean-inspired bites and drinks. Specials like the summer negroni and the ancient oak espresso martini, or you can sip a classic martini, which you can get during their happy hour.
Address: 302 N Green St, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60607
📲 Reservation: Secure a spot at Aba here