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Homestead is one of the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago.
Photo: Jason Little Homestead is one of the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago.

The 12 best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

When a view is just as important as the food and drinks, head to the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

By Morgan Olsen
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The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago offer a two-for-one special: Excellent food and breathtaking views. Come summertime, these sky-high kitchens fling open their doors to Chicagoans emerging from hibernation—and this year is no exception, though things look quite different. We'll keep this list updated as more Chicago restaurants reopen to the public, but it's always best to call ahead to make a reservation if you need one. Plus, restaurant websites and social media channels often offer updates on new safety practices you might not be used to seeing.

There's a rooftop restaurant in Chicago for just about every occasion, whether you want to dig into a pile of pancakes at the best brunch in Chicago or explore some of the finest Chicago hotels. Soak up the sun and enjoy some of the city's finest cooking at the top rooftop restaurants in Chicago. Don't see your favorite spot here? Check out our list of the best rooftop bars in Chicago.

Best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

Aba, rooftop, patio, outdoor dining, outdoor, restaurant
Photograph: Jeff Marini

1. Aba

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 hamachi 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.

tanta rooftop
Photograph: MADN Agency

2. Tanta

Restaurants Peruvian River North

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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Cindy's
Photograph: Thomas Hart Shelby

3. Cindy’s

Restaurants Contemporary American Loop

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 spiced pepitas and cheese and charcuterie boards, piled high with local selections, preserves and grilled bread.

lonesome rose rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Land and Sea Dept.

4. Lonesome Rose

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 the fix. Start with an order of spicy margaritas and guacamole before tucking into tortillas stuffed with everything from beer-battered tilapia and carne asada to picadillo beef and tender pork. Don't leave without a dish of vanilla malt soft-serve with chocolate cookie crumble.

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homestead on the roof
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

5. Homestead on the Roof

Restaurants Contemporary American East Village

Surrounded by a 1,000-square-foot garden, this breathtakingly beautiful rooftop dining room offers something new this year with Latin American comfort food from chef Ivan Valdez as well as a pop-up cocktail program from the Berkshire Room. As you eat, take a look around at the fresh herbs and produce growing all around you.

Gibsons Italia
Photograph: Courtesy Gibsons Italia

6. Gibson’s Italia

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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etta, jaclyn rivas, wicker park, food, restaurant
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

7. etta

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, chilled waloo crudo and roasted asparagus from Klug Farms. The cocktails are fun, but the wine list is truly superb, with plenty of rosé for those long summer nights.

hoxton, cabra
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

8. Cabra

Restaurants Peruvian West Loop

Expanding her culinary empire, chef Stephanie Izard debuts this 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 shrimp ceviche by the pool, dip yuca fritas in olive-infused mayo and tuck into a plate of smoked goat empanadas. We have a feeling that Izard's beautiful restaurant will be a hot-ticket reservation this summer.

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Taxim
Photograph: Martha Williams

9. Taxim

Restaurants Greek Wicker Park

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.

Bernie's Lunch & Supper
Photograph: Joshua Macwan

10. Bernie’s

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 sweet potato falafel.

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twistedSpoke.venue3.jpg
Photograph: Martha Williams

11. Twisted Spoke

Bars Pubs River West/West Town

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 “fatboy” burgers are thick, juicy and perfectly tender and served with fantastic fries.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

12. The Chop Shop

Restaurants American Wicker Park

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 short rib pappardelle, a half-pound burger or the serrano-studded elotes.

Find more of the best rooftops in Chicago

Photograph: Courtesy Cerise

The best rooftop bars 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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