Chicago, Chi-town, Windy City, White City, Second City – whatever you call it, Chicago is an American institution when it comes to great food, drinks and culture. With its diverse neighbourhoods, vibrant art scene and creative bartenders galore, it’s no wonder that the city is home some pretty incredible bars. Thanks to the gorgeous skyline and river, there are also more than a few rooftop bars to go around. Here are the best rooftop bars in Chicago perfect for patio season.
7 Best Rooftop Bars in Chicago
*As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, please double-check with restaurants’ current guidelines for dining.
If stunning views of Chi-town, killer drinks and a warm, friendly atmosphere are what you’re after, London House Rooftop is for you. Located on the 22nd floor of the iconic London House hotel, the rooftop area offers unbeatable views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile. You’ll also find they whip up some of the best cocktails from classic old fashioned to creative in house concoctions.
Just off Erie and Orleans in the heart of Chicago’s historic River North neighbourhood you’ll find one of the cities prime spots for rooftop cocktails. Bernie’s has been whipping up some of the best drinks and bites in Chicago since 2015 and is famous for their attention to detail and friendly atmosphere. Whether you fancy a few drinks after work or are looking for a prime date night location, Bernie’s is the place to be.
As the name suggests, this rooftop pick is located atop the historical Gwen Hotel on Michigan Avenue. Located downtown and extremely accessible, Upstairs at the Gwen strives to provide their guests with the very best in ‘artfully crafted cocktails, small bites and big views.’ They keep it fun with a big board for curling if that’s your thing, too. Be sure to stop by for happy hour and try their innovative cocktails like the smoked rosemary g&t or Chicago sour.
When it comes to an eclectic and industrial atmosphere alongside unforgettably good American fare and a wide range of beverages to wet the whistle, Raised raises the bar. (pun intended!) Set in the heart of the Chicago River’s main stem, the surrounding views of the river are hard to beat. In addition to a great view high above the river, the food, service and drinks are simply unmatched. Load up on their American bites such as slow stewed winter pork chilli or some classic smoked wings and don’t forget a few beers on the side.
Who doesn’t love a swanky rooftop lounge every now and again? Located at the top of the Godfrey Hotel in River North, IO Godfrey is known as being of the most sleek, modern and stylish hangout spots in Chi-Town. Whether you go for a few bites and cocktails or plan to party all night, IO Godfrey fits the bill. Be sure to treat yourself to a few of their handcrafted cocktails like the ‘bourbon-berry lemonade’ or ‘Godfrey toddy.’
This seasonal rooftop lounge and bar is the place to be for all things stout drinks and good times. Located on the 6th floor of The Robey, you’ll be met with an amazing 180-degree panorama of the skyline. Highlights include the John Hancock building as well as several of the local churches. Open May-September, it is the absolute perfect spot for a summer hangout with friends. Be sure to try their ‘burn baby burn’ cocktail. It’s made with mezcal, ancho reyes, lime and hellfire bitters for a real kick.
Cerise is the it-girl of hip and funky rooftop bars in Chi-town. From the never-ending events, killer views, world-class drinks and nonstop tunes that blare; it’s easy to see why Cerise is one of the best rooftop bars in Chicago. Functioning as part event venue part rooftop lounge, when Cerise is open through the summer, there’s always something on for you and your friends to enjoy. Whether you go for an afternoon bite with a few glasses of wine or plan to party until the sun comes up; Cerise is the place to be.