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BiXi Beer rooftop patio
Photograph: Madi Ellis

The 19 best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

Take in stunning views of the city streets and skyline while you dine at these rooftop restaurants.

Morgan Olsen
Emma Krupp
Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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After a long, grinding winter, it's time to embrace everything wonderful about summer in Chicago—and on a balmy summer evening, there are few better places to be than on a rooftop patio. When you're looking for something a little more filling than cocktails at rooftop bars in Chicago, turn your attention to the city's top rooftop restaurants, where dinner comes with a side of amazing skyline views. We've rounded up rooftop dining options to suit every mood, including tucked-away rooftop terraces, sunny outdoor brunch spots and bar bites from one of the best restaurants in Chicago. Gloomy weather in the forecast? Several of these spots offer indoor dining options or covered patios to keep you safe from the elements while you feast. Get ready for a sky-high meal at the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago. 

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 smoky garlic hummus, pistachio-topped whipped feta 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 ribeye sliders and lobster dumplings as well as nigiri, maki and desserts. Feeling extravagant? Top off your meal with an ultra-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 hearty entrees as well as small bites like fava bean toast and charcuterie boards piled high with local selections, preserves and grilled bread.

  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • River North

The open-air sister concept to Chicago's two avec locations, bar avec channels the Iberian Peninsula with its breezy 8th floor patio and dinner menu inspired by the seaside cafes of Spain and Portugal—think tapas, crisp whole shrimp and octopus a la plancha—plus cocktails like Livin la Vinho Verde, made with Portuguese wine. And while there's no sea (or lake) in sight here, we think the patio's lush coastal decor looks just as nice set against panoramic skyline views.  

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  • 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, wok-fried lomo saltado, sweet corn empanadas and grilled whole branzino.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River West/West Town

Head upstairs to Cielo, the rooftop space at Azul Mariscos in Goose Island, and you'll be greeted by stunning views on all sides—turn your head one way to watch ducks float by on the Chicago River, then glance the other way to stare up at the skyline. Grab a seat at a high-top table to feast on Latin-inspired mains from chef Michael Hernandez or settle into a lounge-style couch for drinks and small bites (there are also wooden pergola-style cabanas available for rent, if you've got a small crowd). 

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Logan Square

While this Logan Square brewpub's atrium-style dining room gets plenty of sun, you can soak in even more vitamin D atop its bustlng rooftop patio. Order Asian-inflected dishes like mussels in green coconut curry or a togarashi burger served on a Japanese milk bread bun, and don't miss the pub's elegant beer selection (like Rules of the Rhein, a light German-style kolsch imparted with a floral touch from hand-rolled jasmine tea blossoms). 

  • 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 to chickpeas and avocado. Don't leave without a dish of horchata soft serve with cookie crumble.

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

Surrounded by a 1,000-square-foot garden, this breathtakingly beautiful rooftop dining room offers a seasonal menu menu inspired by chef Bryan Collante's Filipino heritage, travel experiences and influential dishes from over the course of his career. As you dine, take a look around at the lush, overflowing greenery and vertical hanging gardens.

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 tea-infused cocktails, it might.)

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  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

Located above the banks of the Chicago River, 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).

  • 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. 

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  • 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 marinated tuscan kale salad. The cocktails are fun, but the wine list is truly superb, with plenty of rosé for those long summer nights.

  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • West Loop

Stephanie Izard helms 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 salmon ceviche by the pool, dip grilled shishitos into a pepper-forward aioli and tuck into a plate of smoked goat empanadas.

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  • 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, braised lamb shank, duck gyro and oven-roasted octopus—plus an expert wine list.

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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