When the sun comes out and the temperatures are relatively warm, you’ll find Chicagoans with drinks in hand. And better than sipping a drink on a patio only to order a detour at a rooftop bar. Chicago bars and restaurants with terraces and patios overlooking the streets are still welcoming guests, including Carbide along Michigan Avenue and the brand new Chateau Carbide atop the Carbon Building. 10 best rooftop bars in Chicago.
Not all of our favorite rooftop bars are reopening in Chicago, but we’ve rounded up some great spots to sip rosé, frozen cocktails, and craft beer while admiring the skyline views. Whether you prefer a great Chicago restaurant or a small patio atop a sprawling rooftop that shares real estate with a Chicago hotel, the city’s best terraces come in all shapes and sizes. Scope out the best rooftop bars in Chicago and plan your late-summer imbibing.
10 best rooftop bars in Chicago
- Rooftop at Nobu Hotel
The crown jewel of this luxury hotel in the West Loop is the rooftop at Nobu, a sprawling outdoor terrace located 11 stories above the street. Complemented by east-facing skyline views, the terrace design is streamlined and simple, with modern Japanese touches that are equally stylish and intimate. The menu includes a selection of shochu, or small snacks, such as nori tacos, black cod lettuce wraps, and lamb and chicken kushiyaki.
Guests will also be able to order the hotel’s signature Yellowtail and Black Cod at the hotel. On the wine front, expect a menu of wines by the glass and bottle, specialty cocktails, and a wide range of sake.
- Little Wild
The 7th-floor rooftop bar above the always trendy Ace Hotel Chicago has rebranded into Little Wild from its previous concept (a reserved, reservation-free hangout called Waydown), centered around an expansive dance floor and a regular lineup of DJ nights, Takeover parties, album drops, and more. Guests can soak up skyline views on the open-air patio or inside an indoor banquette and dance floor where you can enjoy a menu of cocktails, wines, beers, and snacks when you’re not ready for the beats.
The rooftop bar on the third floor of a Renaissance hotel? It doesn’t sound too exciting, but you shouldn’t underestimate Raised, a stunning oasis atop Wacker Drive in the Loop – an area that has been torn apart by giant robots and monsters in various blockbusters. The garden-themed bar offers unparalleled views of the Chicago River and surrounding skyline, with clear views of the Wrigley Building, Marina City, and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Even when it’s a little chilly, this beautiful rooftop bar at the Kimpton Gray Hotel feels like a tropical paradise. You’ll find comfortable sofas and small tables under a huge retractable glass roof that lets in some fresh air when the weather’s nice. The menu here highlights South American flavors in drinks such as In the morning, I’ll Be Better, an addictive blend of plantain-infused Scotch, black walnut bitters, tiki bitters, and smokes. Pair it with an order of fan-favorite empanadas, which are filled with chicken, aji panca, and aji Amarillo salsa.
- Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen
In the summer, Jean’s opens its spectacular terrace and serves ice-cold beer, grilled sausage, potato pancakes, and pretzels. Isn’t it worth loving? The only problem you’ll face is finding a table for all your friends after you’ve told them where you’re spending your afternoon. The rooftop is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays this year—and only as long as the warm-ish weather lasts—so plan your rooftop feast accordingly.
When friends ask us where to take cocktail-loving out-of-towners, one spot always leads the pack: Cindy. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar offer unparalleled city views with expansive views of Millennium Park and the lake. But the real draw is the roster of excellent cocktails and clever spirit-free elixirs.
- Reggies Rooftop Deck
You’ve probably been to reggae to see a rock concert or catch a shuttle to a White Sox game, but this South Loop club also has a rooftop bar with tables and umbrellas. Take a seat, enjoy the views of State Street and dig into the usual menu of wings, burgers, quesadillas, and other pub grub while sipping cold drinks in the sun.
With 36,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to hang out with a cocktail in your hand, Navy Pier Offshore is the largest rooftop bar in the world. (Really.) The all-weather venue includes a glass-enclosed bar where you can order a cocktail and some oysters, as well as an expansive outdoor terrace overlooking the fire pits and a stage for live performances.
Unlike other poolside bars at trendy Chicago hotels, Devereaux is open to the public. That means you don’t need a room key to sip a glass of Chenin Blanc while dipping your toes in the water on this 18th floor. Toss in an order of herbed french fries with aioli and stick around until the sun begins to set over the horizon.
- Chateau Carbide
Perched atop the Carbide and Carbon Building, this formerly private 24th-floor space is finally open to the public as part of the Pendry Chicago Hotel. Chateau Carbide is a combination of indoor and outdoor space that takes inspiration from the French Riviera, serving a menu of rosé, cocktails, and sushi set high above the city streets. In the evening, DJs spinning French house music get behind the decks, providing a soundtrack fit for stunning architectural views of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.
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