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hoxton, cabra
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

The 15 best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

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

By Morgan Olsen and Emma Krupp
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As temperatures creep up and Chicagoans begin to emerge from wintertime hibernation, the city's best rooftop restaurants offer premium spots to enjoy a meal in the newfound sunshine—or, in the event of a chilly late spring evening, beneath the warmth of a massive heat lamp. We've found sky-high 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. Like all Chicago restaurants, the locations on this list are still subject to capacity limits, so it's best to call ahead or make a reservation before visiting. And as always, we'll continue to update as more restaurants open their doors for the summer season.

RECOMMENDED: 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 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.

nobu rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Nobu

2. Rooftop at Nobu Hotel

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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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 fava bean toast and charcuterie boards, piled high with local selections, preserves and grilled bread.

tanta rooftop
Photograph: MADN Agency

4. 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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lonesome rose rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Land and Sea Dept.

5. 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 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.

Homestead on the Roof
Photograph: Roeth Carpenter

6. 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 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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7. Shanghai Terrace

Restaurants Chinese Streeterville

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.)

Gibsons Italia
Photograph: Courtesy Gibsons Italia

8. 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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Reggie's Rock Club
Photo: Erica Gannett

9. Reggies Rooftop Deck

Music Rock and indie Near South Side

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. 

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

10. 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, 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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hoxton, cabra
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

11. Cabra

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.

Taxim
Photograph: Martha Williams

12. 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.

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Bernie's Lunch & Supper
Photograph: Joshua Macwan

13. 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 miso-glazed salmon.

twistedSpoke.venue3.jpg
Photograph: Martha Williams

14. 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 burgers are thick, juicy and perfectly tender and served with fantastic fries.

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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

15. 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 potato gnocchi in brown butter sauce, 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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