Where to Drink

Best rooftop bars in Chicago

Hop aboard as we bounce from one lofty rooftop lounge to another, while Chicago conceals itself in sky high imbibing spots.

Escalate your mood and make the most of the sky lounges placed in and around Chicago’s soaring skyscrapers. The city has some magnificent aerial views from where you can admire the beautiful Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, and River North as you sip on a cocktail in the midst of gusty winds.

From 27 storey rooftop venues to warm and cozy open terraces, these bars are a true expression of the phrase, ‘the sky's the limit’.


tanta chicagorooftopbars

Tanta outdoor patio, Source: Facebook

An uptown rooftop bar surrounded by the high-rise buildings of Chicago in River North, Tanta will treat you with its line of traditional culinary dishes. We loved the La Fiesta Del Lechón, a brunch special made with DIY buns, roasted soy-glazed pork, onion criolla salad, pickled veggies, fresh herbs, and a side of two sauces: rocoto–hoisin and yogurt tartar.

While digging into the sumptuous dish, the Santa Maria cocktail made with Dobel tequila, St. Edler, Luxardo, lime, and simple syrup kept company with its smoky flavors. The happy hours start at 4 pm everyday, so we suggest you get straight to drinking.

Happy hours - 4 pm to 6 pm

Location - 118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654.

Timings - 4 pm to 9 pm (Monday to Thursday)
                4 pm to 10 pm (Friday)
                11 am to 2.15 pm, 4 pm to 10 pm (Saturday)
                11 am to 2.15 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm (Sunday)


cindy's chicagorooftopbars

Cindy’s rooftop bar, Source: Website

Enjoy the panoramic views of the Millenium Park, sparkling Lake Michigan, and The Art Institute of Chicago from Cindy’s open air terrace. Serving food and drinks sourced from local ingredients, executive chef Christian Ragano and his team will provide you family style comfort food and award-winning cocktails.

The bright, tropical, and crisp Spontaneous Publicity cocktail made with leblon cachaça, bacardi superior rum, bénédictine, lemongrass, and lemon is one worth trying from a series of different concoctions at the bar. If you have a thing for green colored drinks, the herbaceous Mama’s Garden is a great option.

Location - 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603.

Timings - Closed (Monday to Tuesday)
                11 am to 2 pm, 2.30 pm to 11 pm (Wednesday to Friday)
                10 am to 2 pm, 2.30 pm to 11 pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Vu Rooftop

vurooftop chicagorooftopbars

Vu Rooftop, Source: Website

Standing tall and elegant with breathtaking views from the 22nd floor, Vu Rooftop is how rooftop bars should be. You can either lounge or go on a drinking spree at the high ground, as this spot is known for storing some tasty and healthy dishes in their locker.

We recommend you start off with the butter lettuce salad, spicy sausage flatbread, and popcorn shrimp while imbibing. The bar offers its own twist on classic cocktails such as the Vu sidecar, Apple -tini, Mango Moj-tini, Platinum Margarita, and more.

Round off things on a sweeter note with the citrus pavlova (baked meringue, lime ganache, and lemon sorbet), a winner in our books.

Location - 133 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616.

Timings - Closed (Monday to Tuesday)
               4 pm to 12 am (Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
               4 pm to 1 am (Friday to Saturday)

Z Bar

zbar chicagorooftopbars

Z Bar at Peninsula Chicago, Source: Facebook

Located on the sixth floor of Peninsula Chicago, Z Bar seeks inspiration from culinary riches of the world. The rooftop lounge is named after the Peninsula Hotel’s first female manager, Maria Zec, who, as an industry influencer, is passionate about creating memorable experiences for the guests.

Make the most of their hospitality, as they gather small-batch bitters unavailable elsewhere and use rare spirits in crafting sumptuous cocktails. Ask the mixologist at the bar for the Dynasty cocktail made with Grey Goose Vodka, raspberry, Aperol, lime, and ginger for a refreshing taste of luxury.

Location - 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611.

Timings -  Closed (Monday to Tuesday)
                4 pm to 12 am (Wednesday to Thursday)
                2 pm to 1 am (Friday to Saturday)
                2 pm to 12 am (Sunday)

The J. Parker

thej.parker chicagorooftopbars

Retractable roof at The J. Parker, Source: Facebook

Offering unobstructed views of the lake, The J. Parker sits above Hotel Lincoln. Either occupy one of the lounges’ 140 outside seats, or 55 seats inside. And, once you are settled, order the Rain Napper cocktail made with Lunazul Tequila, coffee, raspberry, and lemon, under the bar’s retractable roof.

But, if you are in the mood for some wine, go for the sparkling Poema with smoked pork belly.

Location - 1816 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614.

Timings - 7 am to 11 am, 5 pm to 11 pm (Monday to Thursday)
                7 am to 11 am, 1 pm to 1 am (Friday)
                1 pm to 1 am (Saturday)
                1 pm to 11 pm (Sunday)

LH Rooftop

lhrooftop chicagorooftopbars

LH Rooftop on the 22nd floor, Source: Website

Take in astounding views of the city from LH Rooftop, Chicago’s only tri-level rooftop bar. As you sip on delicious cocktails like the Tropicana Club made with Casamigos Blanco, green chartreuse, mango, habanero, and chipotle powder, look onto the hustle and bustle of Chicago from a bird’s eye view. 

And while you're at it, have a bite of the crab rangoon and parmesan truffle fries. We recommend the berry tart dessert made with fresh berries, vanilla bean custard, and lemon curd if you are running low on your daily sugar intake. 

Location - 85 E Wacker Dr 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.


Rated one of the Top 3 Rooftop Bars in the World by Travel + Leisure, Roof attracts homebodies with its expressive design, entertainment, and sky line sweeping views. From parties hosted by world renowned DJs, acoustic music series, and live runway shows, Roof guarantees a bash, whatever the occasion may be.

Sip on house cocktails like the pomegranate mule, old fashioned, cosmopolitan, bee’s knees, whiskey sour, and more, 27 stories aloft in the sky. The bar also presents a bottle service in case you're planning to arrive in a group. 

Location - 201 N State St 27th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.

Timings - Closed (Monday)
                4 pm to 10.30 pm (Tuesday to Wednesday)
                4 pm to 11 pm (Thursday)
                4 pm to 1.30 am (Friday)
                2 pm to 1.30 am (Saturday)
                1 pm to 6 pm (Sunday)

Utopian Tailgate

utopiantailgate chicagorooftopbars

Utopian Tailgate, Source: Website

A playground for grown ups, Utopian Tailgate is made for those who like a bit of color in life. The spirited atmosphere at the city’s newest never-ending partyscape springs into play with a tailgate of activities like super-sized Jenga, putterball, and various drinking games at the 10,000 square foot space.

As you unleash your inner child at Utopian Tailgate, make sure to replenish with some elevated dishes and tropical drinks. Combine the black bean sandwich with The Hotbox cocktail made with mezcal, tequila, hibiscus, pineapple, and lime for a quick fix.

Location - 1608 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610.

Timings - Closed (Monday to Tuesday)
                4 pm to 11 pm (Wednesday to Thursday)
                11 am to 2 am (Friday)
                11 am to 3 am (Saturday)
                11 am to 11 pm (Sunday)


cabra chicagorooftopbars

Sitting by the pool at Cabra, Source: Facebook

Sitting on top of the Hoxton Hotel, Cabra draws inspiration from Peruvean culture experienced by chef, Stepahnie Izard. She has not only brought back some vibrant décor  
from the streets of Peru to grace her establishment, but also introduced anticuchos, marinated meat that is freshly grilled on the flames.

If you happen to arrive for brunch, we recommend the salmon ceviche with one of the brunch cocktails like the Warming up in Oaxaca made with mezcal, allspice, lime, and ancho reyes, for those looking to sniff smoky aromas in the sun.

Location - 200 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607.

Timings - Closed (Monday)
                4 pm to 10 pm (Tuesday to Friday)
                12 pm to 10 pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Upstairs at the Gwen

upstairsatthegwen chicagorooftopbars

Fire pit table at Upstairs at the Gwen, Source: Website

Snuggle up and get cozy at the art deco inspired rooftop retreat, Upstairs at the Gwen, where fire pit tables will keep you warm during chilly evenings. To top that experience, get your hands on one of Gwen’s tarot cocktails like Seven of Cups made with elation pear liqueur, apologue persimmon, orgeat, lemon juice, cinnamon, and clove foam.

We also relished The Sun cocktail, made with pepper-infused blanco tequila, chili amaro, lime, bergamont soda reduction, and wine, with the Gwen Burger (white cheddar, bacon, secret sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion). If you are a movie buff, the Movie Night Thursdays will envelope you with all the essentials, including discounted cinema cocktails.

Location - 521 N Rush St 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611.

Timings - 6.30 am to 11 pm (Monday to Thursday)
                6.30 am to 1 am (Friday)
                7 am to 1 am (Saturday)
                7 am to 11 pm (Sunday)


offshore chicagorooftopbars

Offshore rooftop bar, Source: Website

How could we leave out the largest rooftop venue in America? Offshore is a 56,000 square foot paradise situated on the third floor of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. From a separate area for entertainment and gaming to an open space capable of hosting private events, Offshore has it all. 

Although, we really enjoyed nestling next to one of the seven fire pits on a chilly night with the Hot Toddy cocktail (GlenLivet Caribbean Cask, lemon, honey, and hot water) in one hand, and a slice of meat pizza in the other.

Once you set foot on their 20,000 square foot terrace, winds breezing from the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse will remind you of the dominant sea.

Location - 1000 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611.

Timings - 5 pm to 11 pm (Monday to Thursday)
                11 am to 12 am (Friday to Saturday)
                11 am to 11 pm (Sunday)

The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel

therooftopatnobuhotel chicagorooftopbars

The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel, Source: Instagram

We suggest you make your way to The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel in the evening when Chicago cloaks itself in glimmery radiance. Snack on Nobu mini tacos or go for hot dishes like rock shrimp tempura, lamb anticucho, and eggplant miso with one of the specialty cocktails like the Smoke & Mirrors made with Plantation Pineapple Rum, La Luna Mezcal, Licor 43, lychee, lime, demerara, and angostura.

They also have sake exclusively imported from Japan, with options like the Nobu Junmai Ginjo, Nobu Daiginjo YK35, Ginjo Nigori, and more on the list.

Location - 155 N Peoria St 11th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607.

Timings - 8 am to 11 am (Monday to Tuesday)
                8 am to 11 am, 4 pm to 10 pm (Wednesday to Thursday)
                8 am to 11 am, 4 pm to 11 pm (Friday)
                8 am to 11 am, 12 pm to 11 pm (Saturday)
                8 am to 11 am, 12 pm to 10 pm (Sunday)

Header image - Z Bar, Source: Website

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