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Cabra
Cabra [Official Photo]

The 15 Hottest Rooftop Bars and Terraces in Chicago Right Now

Where to take in Chicago’s all-too-brief warmth on an elevated outdoor space

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Cabra
| Cabra [Official Photo]

Chicago is in the midst of a rooftop renaissance. Case in point: All 15 rooftops and terraces on this map first opened in spring 2018 at the earliest, which is the cutoff for inclusion. Because who doesn't want picturesque skyline or neighborhood views while taking in Chicago's all-too-brief summertime warmth over a drink and a meal?

The past year or two have seen rooftop and terrace bars expand well outside the Loop and River North. Fulton Market and the West Loop has seen the most new spots, but they’ve also come to the near South Side, Beverly, Bucktown, Logan Square, Wrigleyville, and even Navy Pier. So for the 2019 edition, notable additions include Cabra, Etta, Lonesome Rose, Offshore, Open Outcry Brewing, and more.

So take a look at the map below and head upstairs at one of these 15 hotspots. Or plan a crawl to all of them — no one's judging.

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Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way

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Chicagoans have long been able to drink and watch Cubs games on rooftops across from Wrigley Field, but these days they can at actual public bars and restaurants. New spots at the Hotel Zachary and the Gallagher Way park adjacent to the Cubs’ stadium are flush with elevated outdoor areas with food, drink, and views of Wrigley, with 2019 seeing the opening of Mordecai’s second floor terrace Hush Money and Maddon’s Post’s terrace at the Gallagher Way park. Other spots at the hotel such as Big Star Wrigleyville and Smoke Daddy have outdoor spaces with sights and sounds of the games too.

Fancy cocktails are on offer at Hush Money across from Wrigley Field
Hush Money [Official Photo]

BiXi Beer

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Chicago’s first Asian-inspired brewpub offers unique house-brewed beer, creative bar food such as Chicago beef bao, and a sunny rooftop terrace — a first for Logan Square.

A rooftop patio dining space with a black-and-white checkerboard floor Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lonesome Rose

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This Logan Square Tex-Mex hotspot from Land & Sea Dept. (Parsons Chicken & Fish, Longman & Eagle) offers an array of tacos, queso fundido, cocktails and other favorites — as well as a second-floor rooftop patio. The elevated space debuted in late summer 2018, after the main restaurant and basement bar had already opened, offering 40 seats surrounded by lush greenery.

Land & Sea Dept. [Official Photo]

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

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Chicago’s first shuffleboard club and bar in Bucktown not only houses multiple bars, shuffleboard courts, and food trucks — it also has a rooftop bar. Named the Lido Deck, the sun-drenched second-floor space offers another bar, another court, and multiple seating options to soak in the summer whether playing shuffleboard or not.

The Maple & Ash team give Bucktown/Wicker Park another popular elevated outdoor space with their second-floor terrace on North Avenue. Etta’s full Italian-tinged food menu is available here, as well as plenty of wine, rose, drinks, and views.

Bounce Sporting Club

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This sports bar clubstaurant in River North offers games on multiple TVs, bottle service, DJs, unique bar food, and a rooftop bar with boozy popsicles and more.

Bounce Sporting Club Chicago [Official Photo]

This swanky terrace bar at the Peninsula Chicago offers downtown tourists and locals unique cocktails such as in disco balls and with gold flakes, and sterling skyline views from the hotel’s sixth floor.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

OffShore Chicago

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Navy Pier now has what’s advertised as the nation’s largest rooftop bar. Offshore gives the tourist attraction an 36,000-square-foot all-weather adult playground, with a 60-seat bar under a retractable roof, a large exclusively outdoor terrace, two pool tables, and plenty of adult beverages and small plates.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lettuce Entertain You’s first foray into rooftops was the hottest spot of summer 2018, and crowds continue to flock in 2019. The Mediterranean restaurant is a mob scene in Fulton Market for multiple bars with acclaimed cocktails and wine, chef C.J. Jacobson’s creative Mediterranean/Californian dishes, and an elevated rooftop terrace space on multiple sides with fire pits that fills up immediately after opening at 4 p.m. daily.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gibsons Italia

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Chicago’s top steakhouse group has also delved into the rooftop game with the immensely popular Gibsons Italia just over the Chicago River to the west of the Loop. The multi-floor Italian steakhouse offers some of the best views in town from inside the restaurant as well as its jamming fourth-floor rooftop.

Cabra, Stephanie Izard’s rooftop Peruvian haven at the Hoxton hotel in Fulton Market — is the hottest new restaurant of 2019. It’s also a rooftop with warm breezes in the warmer months and terrific views.

Cabra [Official Photo]

Ballast Point Brewing Chicago

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Uber-popular SoCal brewery Ballast Point has come to Chicago with this sparkling new brewpub in Fulton Market. In addition to a massive list of house-brewed beers and decent pub food, it also features a rooftop bar with 150 seats, 50 draft lines, its full food menu, and terrific views.

Marcin Cymmer

SX Sky Bar

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The team behind perhaps the city’s most popular rooftop bar — Londonhouse — debuted this swanky nightlife-driven terrace on the fifth and sixth floors of Essex on the Park in the South Loop. Fancy expensive cocktails, snapper sashimi, a dance floor, and views of downtown landmarks are on offer.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

VU Rooftop Bar

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The South Side got its first rooftop bar when this year-round spot opened in fall 2018 near McCormick Place. VU Rooftop Bar has terrific views from the 22nd floor, three bars, a karaoke room, firepits, and retractable windows for the colder months.

The rooftop space features fire pits and couches. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Open Outcry Brewing Company

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The far South Side got into the rooftop action when popular brewery Open Outcry opened its second-floor spot this spring. Fresh beer is on offer, as well as comfortable couches, events, and food.

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way

Chicagoans have long been able to drink and watch Cubs games on rooftops across from Wrigley Field, but these days they can at actual public bars and restaurants. New spots at the Hotel Zachary and the Gallagher Way park adjacent to the Cubs’ stadium are flush with elevated outdoor areas with food, drink, and views of Wrigley, with 2019 seeing the opening of Mordecai’s second floor terrace Hush Money and Maddon’s Post’s terrace at the Gallagher Way park. Other spots at the hotel such as Big Star Wrigleyville and Smoke Daddy have outdoor spaces with sights and sounds of the games too.

Fancy cocktails are on offer at Hush Money across from Wrigley Field
Hush Money [Official Photo]

BiXi Beer

Chicago’s first Asian-inspired brewpub offers unique house-brewed beer, creative bar food such as Chicago beef bao, and a sunny rooftop terrace — a first for Logan Square.

A rooftop patio dining space with a black-and-white checkerboard floor Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lonesome Rose

This Logan Square Tex-Mex hotspot from Land & Sea Dept. (Parsons Chicken & Fish, Longman & Eagle) offers an array of tacos, queso fundido, cocktails and other favorites — as well as a second-floor rooftop patio. The elevated space debuted in late summer 2018, after the main restaurant and basement bar had already opened, offering 40 seats surrounded by lush greenery.

Land & Sea Dept. [Official Photo]

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Chicago’s first shuffleboard club and bar in Bucktown not only houses multiple bars, shuffleboard courts, and food trucks — it also has a rooftop bar. Named the Lido Deck, the sun-drenched second-floor space offers another bar, another court, and multiple seating options to soak in the summer whether playing shuffleboard or not.

etta

The Maple & Ash team give Bucktown/Wicker Park another popular elevated outdoor space with their second-floor terrace on North Avenue. Etta’s full Italian-tinged food menu is available here, as well as plenty of wine, rose, drinks, and views.

Bounce Sporting Club

This sports bar clubstaurant in River North offers games on multiple TVs, bottle service, DJs, unique bar food, and a rooftop bar with boozy popsicles and more.

Bounce Sporting Club Chicago [Official Photo]

Z Bar

This swanky terrace bar at the Peninsula Chicago offers downtown tourists and locals unique cocktails such as in disco balls and with gold flakes, and sterling skyline views from the hotel’s sixth floor.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

OffShore Chicago

Navy Pier now has what’s advertised as the nation’s largest rooftop bar. Offshore gives the tourist attraction an 36,000-square-foot all-weather adult playground, with a 60-seat bar under a retractable roof, a large exclusively outdoor terrace, two pool tables, and plenty of adult beverages and small plates.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Aba

Lettuce Entertain You’s first foray into rooftops was the hottest spot of summer 2018, and crowds continue to flock in 2019. The Mediterranean restaurant is a mob scene in Fulton Market for multiple bars with acclaimed cocktails and wine, chef C.J. Jacobson’s creative Mediterranean/Californian dishes, and an elevated rooftop terrace space on multiple sides with fire pits that fills up immediately after opening at 4 p.m. daily.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Gibsons Italia

Chicago’s top steakhouse group has also delved into the rooftop game with the immensely popular Gibsons Italia just over the Chicago River to the west of the Loop. The multi-floor Italian steakhouse offers some of the best views in town from inside the restaurant as well as its jamming fourth-floor rooftop.

Cabra

Cabra, Stephanie Izard’s rooftop Peruvian haven at the Hoxton hotel in Fulton Market — is the hottest new restaurant of 2019. It’s also a rooftop with warm breezes in the warmer months and terrific views.

Cabra [Official Photo]

Ballast Point Brewing Chicago

Uber-popular SoCal brewery Ballast Point has come to Chicago with this sparkling new brewpub in Fulton Market. In addition to a massive list of house-brewed beers and decent pub food, it also features a rooftop bar with 150 seats, 50 draft lines, its full food menu, and terrific views.

Marcin Cymmer

SX Sky Bar

The team behind perhaps the city’s most popular rooftop bar — Londonhouse — debuted this swanky nightlife-driven terrace on the fifth and sixth floors of Essex on the Park in the South Loop. Fancy expensive cocktails, snapper sashimi, a dance floor, and views of downtown landmarks are on offer.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

VU Rooftop Bar

The South Side got its first rooftop bar when this year-round spot opened in fall 2018 near McCormick Place. VU Rooftop Bar has terrific views from the 22nd floor, three bars, a karaoke room, firepits, and retractable windows for the colder months.

The rooftop space features fire pits and couches. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Open Outcry Brewing Company

The far South Side got into the rooftop action when popular brewery Open Outcry opened its second-floor spot this spring. Fresh beer is on offer, as well as comfortable couches, events, and food.

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