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Photograph: Jeff Marini

The 16 best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

Dinner comes with a side of incredible views at the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

Morgan Olsen
Emma Krupp
Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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During summer in Chicago, there's no better place to be than soaking up sunshine and gorgeous views on a rooftop. And while you'll find plenty of Chicago rooftop bars for imbibing up high, sometimes it's nice to grab a meal alongside your drink. Luckily, some of the best Chicago restaurants are situated on rooftops for dinner with a view. We've found rooftop dining options to suit every dining mood, whether you're looking to feast on a towering plate of French toast at the best brunch in Chicago, grab some classic pub grub or spring for a night out at one of the fanciest Chicago hotels. Rain in the forecast? Several of these spots offer indoor dining options or covered patio to keep you safe from the elements while you feast. Snag a reservation at one of the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago and prepare for a sky-high meal. 

RECOMMENDED: The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago

Best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • West Loop

If you're hoping to get a table at this always-booked West Loop rooftop, stop what you're doing now and make a reservation. Chef CJ Jacobson delights diners with fresh Mediterranean-inspired bites such as striped bass crudo, house-made stracciatella and slow-braised leg of lamb wrapped in eggplant. Lead mixologist Liz Pearce keeps the good times flowing with rooftop-friendly cocktails like the Aloe? It's Me, with mezcal, aloe, green juice, lime and jalapeño.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Loop

Nobu Hotel's rooftop terrace offers a sleek, Japanese-inspired oasis 11 floors above the streets of the West Loop, complete with sweeping views of the city skyline. On the menu you'll find a tightly focused taste of the hotel's signature first floor restaurant, including a 16-oz tarragon- and truffle butter-topped NY strip steak as well as nigiri, sashimi and maki. Feeling extravagant? Top off your meal with a premium bottle of Japanese sake.

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

Boasting some of the most exquisite views of the city, Cindy's sits atop the stunning Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in the Loop. Though the cocktails are the main draw of this beautiful rooftop terrace, guests can nosh on small bites like fava bean toast and charcuterie boards, piled high with local selections, preserves and grilled bread.

  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Though it's located in the heart of River North, Tanta invites guests on a sensory journey through Peru through thoughtful cocktails, dressed-up ceviches, empanadas and large-format entrées. Order the El Chingon cocktail—with tequila, mezcal, lime and a chingon pepper-infused ice cube—followed by the cebiche clásico, grilled octopus, sweet corn empanadas and alfajores.

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  • Restaurants
  • Logan Square

Looking for somewhere to sip margs and devour tacos in the sun this summer? This laid-back rooftop deck in Logan Square has you covered. Start with an order of spicy margaritas and guacamole before tucking into tortillas stuffed with everything from beer-battered tilapia and picadillo beef to chickpeas and gochujang-marinated chicken. Don't leave without a dish of horchata soft serve with cookie crumble.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Surrounded by a 1,000-square-foot garden, this breathtakingly beautiful rooftop dining room offers something new this year with a menu inspired by chef Bryan Collante's Filipino heritage, life travels and dishes that have influenced him over the course of his career. As you eat, take a look around at the lush, overflowing greenery and vertical hanging gardens.

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Shanghai Terrace
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4

Highlighting Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine, the menu at Shanghai Terrace is rife with dumplings and buns, traditional peking duck, fried rice and crispy tofu. Thanks to piped-in world music, loads of greenery and just the right amount of breeze, it might even fool you into believing you’ve made a tropical escape from the city. (Well, after a few lychee-vodka martinis or Lucky Buddhas, it might.)

  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

One of Chicago's newest and shiniest waterfront restaurants, Gibsons Italia presents diners with three levels of breathtaking views. Grab lunch or dinner on east-facing patios on the second and third floors, where you can marvel at the skyline and river while twirling house-made pastas. The lesser-seen fourth floor has a retractable roof, but the space is currently only used for private events (should you be so lucky to get an invitation).

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  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • Near South Side
  • price 1 of 4

Though it might be better known for hosting rock concerts, this South Loop restaurant and venue features a sizeable rooftop terrace. Grab a seat at one of its umbrella-topped wooden tables, order a beer and choose from a variety of pub food favorites, from massive platters of wings to fried pickles. 

  • Restaurants
  • Wicker Park

From the street, you may not realize that etta has a sizable second-floor rooftop deck that spans the length of the restaurant. Head upstairs to enjoy dinner al fresco, with summer-ready menu options like roasted oysters with smoked tomato butter, wood-fired chicken and a market greens salad with veggies sourced from local farms. The cocktails are fun, but the wine list is truly superb, with plenty of rosé for those long summer nights.

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  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • West Loop

Expanding her culinary empire, chef Stephanie Izard latest West Loop outpost is a shiny rooftop restaurant inside the Hoxton, a hotel located in the heart of the West Loop. Here she specializes in light, bright Peruvian fare that's ideal for the sunny space. Dig into an order of salmon ceviche by the pool, dip grilled shishitos into a pepper-forward aioli and tuck into a plate of smoked goat empanadas.

  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • Wicker Park
  • price 2 of 4

If you're itching to dine alfresco in Wicker Park, look no further than Taxim's tucked-away rooftoop deck. The no-frills space is home to some impressive Greek eats—think seafood soup, grape leaf-wrapped shrimp, duck gyro and octopus—plus an expert wine list.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • River North

Seasonal fare and impeccable service are on deck at this River North spot that serves brunch, lunch and dinner. If the weather permits, ask for a seat on the huge rooftop patio, which is also equipped with a bar. A few of our favorite summer-approved treats include Thai curry mussels, burrata flatbread with almond pesto and miso-glazed salmon.

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • River West/West Town
  • price 1 of 4

When you begin brunch by showing your ID at the door, you know you’re in the right place for a Bloody Mary. Spicy and sweet, garnished with salami and completed with a beer back, it’s practically a meal in itself. Don’t let that distract you from the food, however. Breakfast tacos are a good way to spice up your egg intake. And the Spoke’s signature burgers are thick, juicy and perfectly tender and served with fantastic fries.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Wicker Park
  • price 2 of 4

Even though it's located near one of Chicago's busiest intersections, Chop Shop's shielded rooftop deck is a serene place to grab a bite before heading out in Wicker Park. Go casual with a smattering of starters (don't skip the prosciutto-wrapped burrata) or fill up on house specials, like potato gnocchi in brown butter sauce, a half-pound burger or the serrano-studded elotes.

Find more of the best rooftops in Chicago

  • Bars

Chicago has no shortage of awesome things to do in the summer—by which we mean drinking on rooftops with a great view of the city. But even if all you can see is surrounding buildings, these spots are worth a visit. From a cocktail bar to beer bars, here are our picks for the best rooftop bars in Chicago.

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