When the lakefront begins to flood with pedestrians, and the Chicago harbors are replenished with sailboats, it’s a signal to emerge from our hibernation and embrace the outdoors, specifically—if you don’t have acrophobia—the higher outdoors. From sumptuous hotel terraces to adult playground lounges, these are the best breathtaking rooftop bars in Chicago for boozing and bantering with friends.
1. Aire Rooftop Bar, Loop
This summer oasis rooftop bar is located in the Hyatt Centric, and the chic ambiance is painted across the bar with lively decor. So grab a drink of your choice and enjoy panoramic views of the city. A few times during the year, you can listen to a cover of your favorite musician while gazing at the stars.
Address: 100 W Monroe St Floor 24, Chicago, IL 60603
2. LondonHouse Rooftop, Loop
When the weather forecast predicts a high of 80, is anything more radiant than lounging 22 stories above ground with a glass of prosecco in hand? Just steps from the Chicago River, the LH rooftop bar is the only tri-level rooftop in the city offering sweeping skyline views along the water.
Address: 85 E Wacker Dr 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
3. Texan Taco Bar, West Loop
Randolph Street is saturated with vibrant and bustling bars, but this might be the only taqueria rooftop from which you can slurp pitchers of fresh-squeezed margaritas and Texas tea. The bar’s speakeasy-esque entrance is a fully-stocked fridge that swings open, leading to a spacious hangout upstairs that leaves plenty of room for socializing.
Address: 942 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
4. The J. Parker, Lincoln Park
Make a beeline to this dreamy bar that sits squarely atop Hotel Lincoln. The J. Parker—named after Linclon’s bodyguard (yikes)—is an ostensibly refreshing spot if you’re trying to impress your friends with unobstructed views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. However, this is one of the rooftop bars in Chicago that is a first-come-first-serve bar, so depending on your party count, make your preparations ahead.
Address: 1816 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
5. Cindy’s, Loop
This rooftop is perched at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. It has storybook views of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, and the Cloud Gate, which makes it the quintessential spot in the loop if you’re searching for quasi-ocean scenery. The open-air terrace makes this the place to plan a brunch and guzzle a DIY mimosa or bloody mary to start your morning.
Address: 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
6. Utopian Tailgate, Old Town
This rooftop partyscape resonates with the hours you spend with your friends before a college football kickoff. With rambunctious decor and vibrant colors, you’ll walk away feeling nostalgic after group games like cornhole and foosball, all while sipping beer from their tailgate pack.
Address: 1608 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614
7. The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel Chicago, West Loop
You probably have recognized the renowned hotel and restaurant establishment as the backsplash of the Kardashian clan leaving dinner—however, this opulent spot isn’t just for celebrities. Helming from the prominent team of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper, Nobu opened up during the pandemic and remains one of our favorite rooftop bars in Chicago to grab a drink and gaze out into the night.
Address: 155 N Peoria St 11th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607
8. Celeste, River North
This three-story hangout has a garden lounge rooftop with bottle service and variations of indie dance and house music curated by a rotating selection of DJs. This is the perfect rooftop bar in Chicago when midnight strikes, but you’re not ready to go home yet.
Address: 111 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
9. Boleo, Loop
Ride up the elevator to the top of the Kimpton Gray Hotel, and you’ll be transported to an industrial-chic Peruvian rooftop for the night with smooth, sultry beats. The South American inspired-cocktail menu has an array of drinks, with ones made for slow sips, like the La Presidenta, and one’s you can quickly inhale, like the Tincho.
Address: 122 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603
10. NoMI Garden, Magnificent Mile
Chicagoans can never escape the perennial traffic, blaring horns, and roaring sirens. What lies on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt is a sophisticated terrace embellished as a garden escape. It’s a vibrant spot if you want to order a bottle of wine and escape city life’s hastiness.
Address: Seventh Floor, 800 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
11. Devereaux, Gold Coast
When you wander to the 18th floor of the Viceroy Hotel, you’re met with a dimly lit bar that leads to lounge chairs, Parisian-inspired tables for side-sitting, and an elongated rooftop pool. The Deveraux is one of the few Chicago bar rooftops offering a poolside view of the city lights.
Address: 1112 N State St 18th Floor, Chicago, IL 60610
12. VU Rooftop Bar, Motor Row District
Get cozy at this upscale yet accessible bar located next to McCormick Place. Spanning 13,000 square feet, the VU Rooftop has an outdoor patio with plenty of couches and fireplaces to snuggle or perspire, depending on the weather’s fickle mood. What adds to the spectacularness is the top-notch views of the Willis Tower and Lake Michigan.
Address: 133 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616
13. Z Bar, Magnificent Mile
If you want to cosplay Eloises’ lavish life at the Plaza, head to the Peninsula’s rooftop—the Z Bar. The rooftop bar is ideal for those who don’t want to spend a month’s rent on a hotel room but would like to experience a posh-on-a-budget lifestyle. The rooftop peers out to the magnificent mile for gazing at shoppers below as the sun sets from behind.
Address: 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611
14. Offshore Rooftop, Streeterville
The largest rooftop bar in Chicago, and one of the largest in the world, Offshore Rooftop spans over 50,000 square feet at the far end of Navy Pier. The menu features requisite cocktails and an extensive wine list for when you need to rejuvenate. And if you’re going on Wednesday or Saturday, you’ll get front-row seats to their firework show.
Address: 1000 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
15. Raised, Loop
Regarding Chicago, sweeping views along the river are as good as it gets. Open year-round, Raised, Urban Rooftop Bar offers versatile space and vibrant energy that spices any night out. With a seasonal menu and a crisp interior setting, this is the place to cozy up as the green leaves melt into bursts of orange and yellow.
Address: 1 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
16. Cabana Club, Wicker Park
Perched above the Robey Hotel, this bar displays stunning views. The Cabana Club has 180-degree views of the Chicago skyline, and you’ll even catch a glimpse of the John Hancock and other notable neighborhood attractions. With a menu filled with frozen cocktails, beer, and wine, this rooftop bar in Chicago is the ultimate weekend spot.
Address: 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
17. Selva, West Loop
Sip into the sunset at Selva—it just rolls off the tongue. A secluded sanctuary on top of the Emily Hotel, this Chicago rooftop bar has a trail of drink options. From a Margarita and Paloma to a selection of bubbles and beer—it will satiate any parched mouth. Adding to a selection of bites, including, ezquites, jicama, mini falutas, and more.
Address: 311 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607
18. Châtaue Carbide, Loop
This French Riviera-inspired spot is located above the Pendry Hotel in Chicago. The al fresco rooftop bar evokes an airy, leisurely destination. You’ll feel pulled to the countryside with its Parisian bucolic interior and a sun-frenched garden. The menu boasts signature small plates and inventive cocktails that make planning a night here worth it.
Address: 230 N Michigan Avenue, 24th Floor Chicago, IL 60601
19. I|O Godfrey Rooftop Lounge, River North
This posh Chicago rooftop bar elicits an elegance that’s filled with American fare, drinks, and an upscale small-bite menu. With a retractable roof, it doesn’t matter the season, the outdoor space melts into a unique inside ambiance, and it’s definitely one of the rooftop bars in Chicago you need to check out.
Address: 127 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654
20. Joy District, River North
Joy District is more than a rooftop bar in Chicago—it’s one of Chicago’s bustling nightclubs. The rooftop terrace with green herbage lining along the walls is the quintessential place to head with a group for an electric night out, bottle service, and an enigmatic DJ.
Address: 112 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
With the fall season slowly approaching, there are a ton of rooftop bars in Chicago that are cozy for a mild, windy night with a date or somewhere to head to with a group of friends.