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Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

17 restaurants with breathtaking views of Chicago

Feast your eyes upon the best views that Chicago restaurants have to offer

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Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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Looking for dinner with a view? You've come to the right city. Between our world-class restaurant scene, waterfront vistas and incredible architecture, anyone can easily grab dinner reservations for an unforgettable dining (and viewing) experience. Soak up skyline views from up high at one of the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago or admire the river from a trendy hotel lounge. From these restaurants and bars, you'll be able to spot world-class Chicago attractions, like the Willis Tower, the Wrigley Building and Marina City. The only thing that will bring you attention back to the table is the menu. Get an eyeful of the city at these amazing restaurants with breathtaking views of Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago

Restaurants with amazing views of Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Loop

Glance toward the horizon on LondonHouse Chicago's downtown rooftop restaurant and bar and you'll instantly be met with sweeping views of the Chicago River and all of the iconic architecture that lines it. For best results, we recommend venturing up at night to soak in the city's twinkling skyline.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Streeterville

The self-professed largest rooftop in Chicago is situated at the tail end of Navy Pier, which means the capacious patio features largely unobstructed views of Lake Michigan in all its turquoise glory. If you do a 180, you'll catch a glimpse of the skyline, too. The pair of vistas can be enjoyed from the outdoor terrace or the glass-enclosed bar.

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  • Bars
  • Near South Side

True to its name, the views at VU are epic from 22 stories above street level. Once you've secured a seat, order from a selection of classic cocktails (like the gin-based Last Word or the refreshing cherry mule) before ordering a few bites for the table. With three bars and two patios spread across 13,000 square feet, there's plenty of room to spread out and relax in the sun.

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

A rooftop bar on the third floor of a Renaissance hotel? It doesn't sound very exciting, but you shouldn't underestimate this stunning oasis perched above Wacker Drive in the Loop. The garden-themed bar offers unique views of the Chicago River and the surrounding skyline, with clear shots of the Wrigley Building, Marina City and the Michigan Avenue Bridge. If you can, grab a seat at the curved railing along the perimeter of the building for a primo perspective.

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • River North

Located above the Avec River North location, Bar Avec channels the Iberian Peninsula with a breezy, open-air patio on the 8th floor and a menu inspired by the seaside cafes of Spain and Portugal. There's no sea (or lake) in sight here, but the skyline looks especially nice against the restaurant's summer-ready coastal decor, from lush greenery to blue-and-white tiling and low-slung Adico chairs.

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

You'll get a bird's-eye view of the city from 26 floors above the ground at Virgin Hotels Chicago's sleek rooftop space, where you can grab classic American bites for dinner—think burgers, fried chicken and grilled octopus—along with an extra-summery cocktail. Pro tip: Stay awhile after your meal to catch weekend DJ sets.

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  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

Fancy housemade pasta is always a treat, but it's even nicer when enjoyed with waterfront views—and you'll find those in spades at the riverfront digs of Gibsons Italia, which features three levels of dining areas with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the water.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North

If you're going to ball out on a seafood tower, why not take things a step further and pick a place with an extra-lovely view? The multi-level dining room at RPM Seafood offers both, plus a selection of other ritzy seafood dishes and cocktails. Make reservations on the patio to maximize viewing potential, and spend some time watching passersby across the water on the Chicago Riverwalk.

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

Munch on truffle fries and Brussels sprouts while taking in the nearly panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the downtown skyline from this 13th-floor terrace that's perched atop Hotel Lincoln. On the booze front, guests can choose from summer-friendly frozen cocktails, locally crafted brews or wines by the glass.

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • River North

The picturesque rooftop at The Godfrey Hotel in River North is one of the city's biggest and features year-round city outlooks, thanks to a retractable roof and indoor seating. Show up on the weekend for brunch bites, pitchers of yuzu ginger mojitos and unobstructed skyline views.

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  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4

The Peninsula's stunning rooftop lounge has it all: posh surrounds, quality craft cocktails and a roster of delicious shareable snacks. But it's the unique views that will keep you coming back again and again. Because it's situated just six floors up, Z Bar offers guests an up-close-and-personal perspective of the architecture that lines Michigan Avenue, including a postcard-worthy shot of the John Hancock Center.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 3 of 4

You're going to want to snag a window table at this Michelin-starred restaurant, which sits pondside inside of Lincoln Park's (yes, the actual park) verdant expanses. Peek outside for views that combine the natural beauty of the park with glimpses of the skyline beyond.

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  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • West Loop

The trendy Hoxton hotel has a bevy of food and drink options, but come summertime, in-the-know foodies flock to Stephanie Izard's rooftop restaurant, Cabra. The dining room's floor-to-ceiling windows offer an eyeful of the city skyline, and the vistas only get better if you step out onto the outdoor terrace.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • West Loop

The crown jewel of this luxury hotel in the West Loop is the Rooftop at Nobu, a sprawling outdoor terrace located 11 stories above the street. Complemented by east-facing skyline views (hello, Willis Tower!), the rooftop's design is streamlined and minimalistic, with modern Japanese touches that are equally stylish and intimate.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Streeterville

No matter the season, the views from this 18th-floor restaurant are enchanting. Located in Streeterville, the building is surrounded by other towering skyscrapers, with a clear shot to the east of Lake Michigan. As an added bonus, the wrap-around outdoor terrace offers ample space for dining and skyline-gazing.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • River North
  • price 4 of 4

The posh Langham Hotel sits on the north bank of the Chicago River, affording many overnight guests spectacular views of the water and the downtown corridor that runs along Wacker Drive. Diners at in-house restaurant Travelle enjoy the same luxury—no suitcase required.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Streeterville
  • price 1 of 4

It doesn't get much more summery than the lakefront venue at Caffè Oliva, located on Ohio Street Beach. Cabana seating and light, seafood-heavy bites—think fish tacos and calamari—make for an almost resort-like feel (and views of the sandy lakeshore certainly don't hurt, either).

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