Summertime in Chicago means three things: boat rides, Cubs games (or Sox games, if you happen to be a South-sider) and sipping fruity cocktails atop one the city’s best rooftop bars. When it comes to the latter, you certainly have your pick of sky-high spots, with each one offering something truly unique (and we’re not just talking about which view of the city you’ll be taking in). So, where do you start? Here, 24 of the best rooftop bars in Chicago that are not to be missed this season—or next.

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Best rooftop bars Chicago Chateau Carbide
Photo via Jake Rosenberg

1. Château Carbide

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Château Carbide, the Cote d’Azur-inspired garden space on the 24th floor of the Pendry, has quickly become *the* hottest rooftop space in the city. While the outdoor seating is limited and rather spaced out (read: reservations are your friend), its intimate setup is a huge part of what makes it so appealing. Unlike the packed-out rooftop deck, of say, Vines on Clark after a Cubs game, Château Carbide is a chill, cozy space where you can truly kick back and enjoy yourself. The service is on-point, the lounge-style seating is conducive to conversation and the light-yet-yummy Japanese sashimi, hand rolls and caviar are just enough to fill you up without making you uncomfortably full. (Bonus points for the live music weekend offerings.) A fair warning, however: The Island Joy cocktails (Belvedere blackberry vodka, plum and prosecco) will really sneak up on ya!

312-777-9000, 230 N. Michigan Ave., 24th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60601, pendry.com

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Rooftop Bars Chicago LondonHouse
Photo via Amy Ulivieri

2. LondonHouse Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 5 stars
If the bright lights of the city’s skyline alone are no longer enough to dazzle you, it might be time to try something new. Enter: LondonHouse’s illuminated rooftop experience, aptly dubbed Luminescence. Featuring rainbow-colored floral LED lights strewn about the intimate space (which, BTdubs, overlooks the Chicago River from 22 floors on high), it will give you a whole new appreciation for the Windy City’s nighttime charms. While Luminescence is expected to end come fall, it’s just the latest in a string innovative happenings for the bar (you might recall the winter wonderland the hotel dreamed up in the chillier months), and the espresso martinis taste just as good in any season.

312-357-1200, 85 E. Wacker Dr., 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL, 60601; londonhousechicago.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago Nobu
Nobu

3. Nobu Chicago Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: Fulton Market
  • Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars
A passion project between Robert DeNiro (yes, that Robert DeNiro) and chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the Rooftop at Nobu is a relative newcomer to the scene, opening to guests in July 2020, that offers up a whole lot more than views of the city’s skyline. For starters, this sexy spot on the 11th floor will give visitors a chance to taste the James Beard award-winner’s mouthwatering Japanese and Peruvian bites that DeNiro first fell in love with back in 1988 (think Brussels sprout yuzu miso, shishito pepper, avocado crispy rice and yellowtail jalapeño). Hey, if it’s good enough for Jack Byrnes, it’s good enough for us!

312-779-8800, 155 N. Peoria St., 11th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60607; noburestaurants.com

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Best rooftop bars in Chicago Cindy s
Nick Gerber

4. Cindy’s Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
A self-described “glass atrium overlooking Millennium Park,” Cindy’s at the Hyatt's Chicago Athletic Association has some of *the* best view of the city, according to the patrons who love it—especially if you happen to be seated on the outdoor terrace. While lines are fairly common here without a reservation, once you’re in, you’ll be treated to relaxing concoctions, like the Citrus Party CBD soda, and refreshing bites, à la oysters on the half shell. You can also indulge your inner big kid post-dinner with Executive Chef Christian Ragano’s Grasshopper ice cream sandwich of chocolate mint ice cream and chocolate.

312-792-3502, 12 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 60603; cindysrooftop.com

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5. I|O Godfrey Rooftop Lounge

  • Neighborhood: River North
  • Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars
Between the fresh tuna, the Pineapple Lemongrass Mojitos and the cabana-like tents, I|O Godfrey is like a tropical oasis in the sky, which is probably why it’s not only been called one of the best rooftop bars in the city, but in the entire U.S. And while its breezy, island vibes make it a natural summer go-to, this is one hot spot you can visit year-round. There’s a retractable roof for rainstorms, patio heaters for chilly fall nights and warming igloos come wintertime, so you’ll be nice and comfy, no matter the weather. There is a dress code at night (casual/elegant) however, so leave the tank tops and short-shorts at the beach.

312-649-2000, 127 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL, 60654; igodfrey.com

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Rooftop bars Chicago Cabra
Cabra

6. Cabra

  • Neighborhood: West Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Any restaurant Stephanie Izard of Top Chef fame touches seems to turn to gold in Chicago, and Cabra, the celebrity chef’s Peruvian venture in Fulton Market, is no exception. Opened in early 2022, the focus here is on Izard’s shareable plates of goat empanadas, crab causa, salmon and shrimp ceviche, but the panoramic background showcasing the city skyline is nothing to sniff at, either. If you’re lucky, you might even catch Izard herself taking in the breeze from the garage-door windows at the ceviche bar, where walk-ins are always welcome.

312-761-1717, 200 N. Green St., Chicago, IL, 60607, cabrachicago.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago ROOF at the Wit
Roof on theWit

7. Roof on theWit

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 3 stars
During the day, Roof on theWit is a gorgeously lit space 27 feet up where you can gaze over the Chicago River, take in the Bean and enjoy some pizza or sushi with your bubbles. It really comes alive at night, however, when the space is taken over by local and nationally renowned DJs for a sexy club-like experience with fellow rooftop-goers. A word of advice? Make a reservation—something that’s highly recommended by the restaurant—and come “dressed to impress.” If you’re looking for something slightly more low-key, you can also check out Roof’s newly launched brunch party TOAST, which features live music and brioche French toast from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

312-239-9502, 201 N. State St., Chicago, 60601; roofonthewit.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago Mordecai
Mordecai

8. Mordecai

  • Neighborhood: Wrigleyville
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
For sports lovers, there’s no better rooftop to sip a whiskey on or take in the big game from than Wrigleyville’s Mordecai. From the bar’s rich history (it’s named after famed Cubs player Mordecai Brown, who helped lead the team to its second consecutive World Series championship in 1908) to the glimpses it offers of Wrigley Field itself, Mordecai really separates itself from the rest of the Clark Street pack with its elevated fare. Lobster and shrimp dip, oysters, Wagyu beef tartare and compressed melon salad give diners a chance to go beyond the typical burger-and-fries (though they have that, too), all while keeping track of the current score courtesy of the space’s various flat screens. Talk about a winning combo.

773-269-5410, 3632 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL, 60613; mordecaichicago.com

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Best rooftop in Chicago Devereaux
Devereaux

9. Devereaux

  • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Know what’s even better than a rooftop bar 18 floors up that lets you take in all the splendor of Lake Michigan? A rooftop bar 18 floors up that lets you do all of that and jump in the pool (or even just dip your feet) when you’re hot. Also splash-worthy here are the cocktails, which feature lots of coconut, frozen treats (frosé, anyone?), spritzes and CBD add-ons, and the small plates of warm crab and artichoke dip and Maine lobster sliders aren’t so bad, either.

312-586-2160, 1112 N. State St., 18th Floor, Chicago, IL 60610; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago Kennedy
Hyatt

10. Kennedy Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: Wicker Park
  • Yelp Rating: 4-stars
More than one Yelp reviewer referred to this Wicker Park haunt on the roof of the new Hyatt Place as a “hidden gem.” Launched in 2020, it’s one of the more modern-looking spaces on our list (we’ve got our sights set on that circular seating with the neon-lit sign for our next selfie), though it has its roots in history—a section of the cocktails menu is even presidentially themed. (We’ll take The Jackie O—rhubarb gin, champagne and lemon, natch.) It’s also multi-seasonal: Come wintertime, you can still enjoy its splendors, since the roof will be open with igloo seating and curling for all.

773-270-6770, 1551 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL, 60622; kennedyrooftop.com

Best rooftop bars Chicago Joy District
Joy District

11. Joy District

  • Neighborhood: River North
  • Yelp Rating: 3 stars
Bloggers, this one’s for you. This cotton candy-colored oasis on high is basically a playground for adults where you can lounge, eat and drink to your heart’s content as you take in the sights. And with its live plants, colorful decor and disco ball centerpieces, there are plenty of sights to take in. Tropical drinks, like frozen melon margaritas (yum!) abound, and when you need to nosh, there’s hummus, corn dogs and meat and cheese trays to snack on. Hey, they don’t call it the Joy District for nothin’!

312-651-3979, 112 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL, 60654; joychicago.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago AIRE.jjpg
AIRE Rooftop

12. AIRE Rooftop Bar

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 3 stars
Despite its upscale look, AIRE has a laid-back atmosphere where you can just as easily perch on one of the cushy sofas to share some Mediterranean bites as you can bust into a friendly competition with one of the bar’s games. (Jenga, a giant Connect 4 and cornhole, to name a few.) You can also simply take in the art: A giant blacklight mural 24 stories high by Chicago-based artist Onur covers the east-, west- and south-facing walls. Its purpose? To immerse rooftop-goers into a “dreamlike vignette… amongst the clouds.”

312-236-1234, 100 W. Monroe St., 24th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60603; airechicago.com

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Best Chicago rooftop bars Raised
Raised at the Renaissance Chicago

13. Raised an Urban Rooftop Bar

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 5 stars
You’ll want to come to this one early—no reservations are required, which means first come, first serve. Even with a wait, though, it will be worth it if Chicago practically runs through your veins: There’s a heavy focus on local menu ingredients here, with everything—from the beer to the cheese—coming from within a 300-mile radius. As for the space, it’s not super high in case you’ve got a fear of heights, but still overlooks the river, with plenty of room to step inside should thunderclouds start to roll in.

312-795-3444, 1 W. Upper Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL, 60601; raisedbarchicago.com

Best rooftop bars Chicago Soho House
Soho House

14. Cecconi's Rooftop Bar at Soho House

  • Neighborhood: West Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 5 stars
While you’ll need to apply for a membership or a Soho Friends membership just to get in the door here, those who have one are in for a treat. A wood-burning oven fires up house-made pizzas while the cabana-style loungers beckon guests to laze in the sun. Of course, there’s also the impressive steel-rimmed pool, which is considered to be some of the best swimming in Chicago. It’s definitely a “see-and-be-seen” kinda’ place, so if you’re lucky enough to make your way there, come dressed to impress.

312-521-8000, 113-125 N. Green St., Chicago, IL, 60607 sohohouse.com

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15. Shanghai Terrace

  • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Anytime the Peninsula’s involved, you know it’s going to be good. The hotel’s luxurious fourth floor hideaway, Shanghai Terrace, is designed to look like a 1930s supper club where you’ll be privy to all the same elegance you’ve come to expect from the property (the terrace itself has earned itself multiple AAA Four Diamond awards). Better yet, it features what just may be the best Cantonese food in the city. Steamed pork dumplings, traditional beef chow and kung pao chicken are all on the menu, along with inventive cocktails, such as the Rising Dragon (sparkling wine, orange blossom, crème de peche and ginger shrub) and Lost in Shanghai (Grey Goose, lychee, grapefruit and cassis).

312-573-6744, 108 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL, 60611; peninsula.com

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Celeste Feb2017 1529 HDR
Kohl Murdock

16. Celeste

  • Neighborhood: River North
  • Yelp Rating: 5 stars
With lush greenery lining nearly every corner of the brick walls and tropical-printed furniture, this indoor/outdoor rooftop escape is one of the most beautiful (and Instagrammable!) spots in the city to leisurely sip on a Cucumber Collins (a house-made blend of vodka, cucumber, elderflower, lime, basil and soda), a Peach Punch or even just a good old fashioned gimlet. It also has the advantage of a retractable roof, which means your night out won’t be ruined in the event of a summer shower.

312-828-9000, 111 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL, 60654; celestechicago.com

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Rooftop Bars Chicago Tanta
Tanta

17. Tanta

  • Neighborhood: River North
  • Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Cabra’s not the only rooftop retreat to get your Peruvian fix. River North’s Tanta, which is equipped with everything from a retractable awning for extra shade or inclement weather to an island-themed skylight bar, has been establishing its place in the culinary scene since its opening way back in 2013. Here, tantalizing skewered meats straight from the streets of Lima are paired with the country’s national cocktail of a Pisco Sour for a real authentic Peruvian flair—all under the twinkling glow of the string lights and stars overhead.

312-222-9700, 118 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL, 60654; tantachicago.com

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Best rooftop bars Chicago Robey
The Robey

18. The Robey Cabana Club

  • Neighborhood: Wicker Park
  • Yelp Rating:5 stars
Much like Soho House, The Robey’s Cabana Club is a gorgeous outdoor deck space with a spectacular pool to enjoy alongside your frozen cocktails (there’s more than 20 to choose from) and chopped salads. Unlike the Soho House, however, this umbrella-shaded sanctuary is open to the public. Equipped with two bars (one inside and one outside), you won’t have to wait too long for a drink. And even if you do, your ultra-scenic surroundings will keep you plenty occupied in the meantime.

872-315-3083, 2018 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL; 60647, therobey.com

19. Offshore Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: Streeterville
  • Yelp Rating: 3 stars
Chicago is known for breaking architectural records (the Sears tower, as any self-respecting Chicagoan still calls it, counts itself among the world’s tallest buildings to this day), so it’s fitting that it’s also home to the world’s largest rooftop bar. Offshore was bestowed the titled by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2019, and for good reason: It’s huge (like, 20,000-square-foot of outdoor terrace space, huge). It can be a little loud as a result, but if you can weather the crowds, the absolutely stunning panoramic views of Lake Michigan will be well worth the effort.

312-535-6660, 1000 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL, 60611; navypier.org

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20. Upstairs at the Gwen

  • Neighborhood: River North
  • Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars
As if the Art-Deco vibes of this open-air terrace on the fifth floor of the Gwen weren’t enough to entice you up for one of the hotel’s dinner entrees (the Campanelle pasta is enough to make our mouths water, what with its spinach basil pesto, cured cherry tomatoes, buratta and toasted pine nuts), there are always unique goings-on in this space. Case in point? There’s the current Movies on the Terrace program, which allows guests to take in classic films with their meals on the second Tuesday of each month (through September), and, come wintertime, the seasonal curling rink will likely return to the space.

312-645-1500, 521 N Rush St., 5th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60611; thegwenchicago.com

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21. Selva

  • Neighborhood: West Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 3 stars
Situated in the space formerly known as the Ace Hotel, the Emily Hotel’s Selva is a Mexican-inspired feast for the senses. Take in art from local artist Raspy Rivera, nosh on tuna tostada, lamb and duck tacos or shrimp ceviche and revel in the Ste. Marie Studio-designed space. And, when you’ve had your fill of cocktails, you can head one floor down to the Rooftop Cinema Club, where family-friendly films play all summer long.

312-764-1934, 311 N. Morgan St., 7th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60607; selvachicago.com

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vu rooftop bar chicago
VU Rooftop

22. VU Rooftop

  • Neighborhood: South Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 5 stars
If it’s views you’re after (pun intended), VU’s your spot. The 13,000-square-foot bar boasts 22nd-floor views that span the lake, the picturesque museum campus and flickering flames of the fire pits in front of you. While a hearty selection of food is served here, this one’s known more for the atmosphere than the service—especially in light of recent staffing issues. Still, it’s a great place to savor a pre-dinner cocktail (particularly on a Wednesday for the bar’s Summer Jazz series) or indulge in a nightcap before heading home for the evening.

312-528-0191, 133 E. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL, 60616; vurooftop.com

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23. Boleo

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Channeling the vibrant energy of South America, Boleo has all the usual rooftop charms: enticing Latin food, a retractable roof that allows for dining under the stars on a nice night, sultry DJ beats…yet, it also has something many rooftop bars lack—great service. The Yelp reviews for the staff at this place are absolutely glowing. Atmosphere and hospitality with a side of shareable ceviche? Yes, please!

312-750-9007, 122 W. Monroe St., Chicago, IL, 60603; boleochicago.com

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24. Streeterville Social

While it no longer lives up to its claims of being “Chicago’s largest rooftop” (that honor now belongs to Offshore, which is higher up on this list), Streeterville Social still has plenty of space to sprawl out—7,500-square-feet of it, in fact. That makes it a great spot to host your next private event, though it’s also fun just to visit with your S.O. or bestie. Not only does it have one of the better brunch menus we’ve seen, boasting everything from Mexican skillets to oat banana smoothies, but the fruit-heavy drink menu features a startling line-up of bananas, melons and peaches that’s sure to have you salivating.

312-840-6617, 455 N Park Dr., Chicago, IL, 60611; loweshotels.com

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