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Cerise at Virgin Hotel
Photograph: Neil Burger

17 restaurants with breathtaking views of Chicago

Let the city be a dreamy backdrop to your meal when you dine at these restaurants with amazing city outlooks

By Morgan Olsen and Emma Krupp
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In a city like Chicago, it's not hard to find dinner with a view. The metropolis is teeming with both stellar restaurants and remarkable architecture, and when the two collide, diners are in for an unforgettable experience. Get a bird's-eye view of the city from 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 that offer breathtaking views of Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago

Restaurants with amazing views of Chicago

LH Rooftop
LH Rooftop
Photograph: James Nicholas Photography

1. LH Rooftop

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.

offshore, rooftop
offshore, rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Offshore

2. Offshore

Bars Cocktail bars Streeterville

The self-professed largest rooftop in Chicago is situated at the tail end of Navy Pier, which means the patio's capacious grounds feature 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 two-for-one special can be enjoyed from the outdoor terrace or the glass-enclosed bar.

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Photograph: Heidi Harris – Our Labor of Love

3. VU Rooftop Bar

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.

Raised
Raised
Photograph: Courtesy Raised

4. Raised

Bars Cocktail bars Loop

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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Cerise at Virgin Hotel
Cerise at Virgin Hotel
Photograph: Neil Burger

5. Cerise Rooftop

Bars Hotel bars Loop

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, which has been transformed into a pop-up dining experience this summer. Executive chef Moosah Reaume offers dishes like heirloom tomato gazpacho and a double-patty burger to complement the cocktail menu.

Gibsons Italia
Gibsons Italia
Photograph: Kailley Lindman

6. Gibsons Italia

Restaurants West Loop

Fancy housemade pasta is always a treat, but it's even nicer when enjoyed with a vista—and you'll find views in spades at the riverfront digs at Gibsons Italia, which features three levels of dining areas with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the water. Plus, you can book a table for Friday or Saturday night for seats on the rooftop, a space formerly reserved for private events.

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J Parker at Hotel Lincoln
J Parker at Hotel Lincoln
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Lincoln

7. The J. Parker

Bars Lounges Lincoln Park

Munch on truffle fries and crispy elote hush puppies 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.

I|O Godfrey rooftop
I|O Godfrey rooftop
Photograph: Kailley Lindman

8. I|O Godfrey

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 mojitos and unobstructed skyline views.

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Everest
Everest
Photograph: Courtesy Lettuce Entertain You

9. Everest

Restaurants French Loop

With a name like that, diners can expect stellar views. Everest is perched 40 stories above the city streets, atop the Chicago Stock Exchange. A dinner reservation around 7pm allows you to catch the sun setting over the city, before the urban expanse below comes back to life with twinkling lights. Chef Jean Joho’s fine dining menu is the only thing that will draw your attention back to the table.

Z Bar at the Peninsula Hotel
Z Bar at the Peninsula Hotel
Photograph: Neil Burger

10. Z Bar

Bars Hotel bars Streeterville

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.

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North Pond
North Pond
Photograph: Martha Williams

11. North Pond

Restaurants Contemporary American Lincoln Park

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. Peep outside for views that combine the natural beauty of the park with glimpses of the skyline beyond.

hoxton, cabra
hoxton, cabra
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

12. Cabra

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.

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Nobu Rooftop
Nobu Rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Nobu

13. Rooftop at Nobu Hotel

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.

Spiaggia
Spiaggia
Photograph: Galdones Photography

14. Spiaggia

Restaurants Italian Streeterville

Nestled on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Oak Street, this Michelin-starred Italian restaurant is best known for its impeccable wine list and next-level dishes. But no one's complaining about the dining room's epic views either. Before the sun sets, sunlight streams into the space through towering windows, and after dusk, diners get an eyeful of Michigan Avenue and the lake. Bellissimo!

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WoodWind rooftoop
WoodWind rooftoop
Photograph: Kailley Lindman

15. WoodWind

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.

Travelle at the Langham
Travelle at the Langham
Photograph: Courtesy Travelle at the Langham

16. Travelle

Restaurants Mediterranean River North

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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CaffeOliva.venue.jpg
CaffeOliva.venue.jpg
Photograph: Max Herman

17. Caffè Oliva

Restaurants Mediterranean Streeterville

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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