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A covered patio featuring long white couches, firepits and greenery at Aba
Photograph: Samantha Brauer

The 14 best winter rooftop bars in Chicago to get cozy

Rooftop season lasts all year long thanks to these heated patios, igloos and yurts.

Written by Samantha Nelson for Time Out, in association with Bacardi
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Rooftop bars are perpetually packed during the summer as drinkers look to take advantage of the nice weather to soak up the sun along with the beautiful views. While many of the city’s rooftops are seasonal, some find creative ways to extend their operations year round. Heated domes and retractable roofs provide protection from the elements while fire pits, hot drinks and blankets allow the bold to get cozy. These spots are especially busy around the holiday season when they go all out with decorations and themed cocktails. Summer may be over, but you can still appreciate the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from one of these 15 winterized rooftops.

The best rooftop bars open during winter in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • West Loop

Stay toasty on the partially covered rooftop patio by sitting around one of the fire pits or under a heater while sipping a glass of fortified wine or cocktails like the Triple Barrel Old Fashioned. If you’re still feeling chilly, you can ask for a blanket and get really cozy between bites of smoky garlic hummus and grilled cauliflower kebabs.

  • Restaurants
  • Loop

The annual Rudolph’s Rooftop experience on the 22nd floor of LondonHouse Chicago features holiday-themed cocktails and over-the-top decor like Santa’s sled, giant ribbons and plenty of lights. Book an igloo or just cozy up under a blanket at a table near one of the space’s heaters.

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • River North

The Godfrey’s rooftop becomes a winter wonderland when the temperatures plunge, featuring clear heated igloos decorated with festive lights that can be booked for groups of up to 10 people indulging in bottle service. Even if you’re not going all out, you can hang out at a booth under the retractable roof or gather around an outdoor fire pit for s’mores and a hot cocktail.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Streeterville

The massive rooftop at Navy Pier offers seven fire pits so visitors can enjoy its panoramic Lake Michigan views year round. Come for brunch to enjoy bottomless mimosas or relax in the evening by sipping a playful cocktail that can be spiked with CBD for an extra buzz.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4

Heaters and fire pits keep the rooftop cozy, particularly when you can cuddle under a blanket on one of the couches while sipping a hot cocktail. For more protection from the elements, book one of their winter greenhouses and share a bottle of bubbly and a cheese and charcuterie board.

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 3 of 4

The 55 seats inside the atrium atop the Hotel Lincoln become more in demand when the weather cools, though you can still sit outside around one of the fire tables. Take in the beautiful Lake Michigan views while warming up from the inside with a cocktail like The Lost Weekend, which blends peppercorn vodka, oat cream liqueur, Kahlua and chai. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Loop
  • price 3 of 4

Look out over Lake Michigan and Millennium Park from the glass atrium on top of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The outdoor terrace is also accessible year round and features fire pits to keep you toasty while you sip an old fashioned or enjoy the buzz of a CBD cocktail.

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Loop
  • price 3 of 4

Take in the skyline views from 27 stories up through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the enclosed bar at theWit Hotel. You’ll find a party atmosphere with DJs spinning during brunch and in the evenings, though you can also enjoy a more laid back vibe if you stop in before catching a show in the Theater District for sushi and classic cocktails.

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  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Loop

Enjoy tropical vibes beneath a retractable glass roof on the 15th floor of the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Boleo serves Peruvian-inspired street food such as empanadas and ceviche along with punch bowls and seasonal pisco cocktails. Come for happy hour from 5-6pm Wednesday through Saturday to take advantage of $4 yucca fries and discounted beer and wine.

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