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Chicago Rooftop Bars & Patios That Locals Love

Jul 26, 2018 Eat & Drink

Patrons drinking beers and playing table tennis in the outdoors

Discover the Chicago rooftop bars and patios beloved by the locals.

Eating and drinking outdoors is one of Chicagoans' favorite summer pastimes. Luckily, the city has no shortage of options for those looking to quaff a great cocktail out of doors. Here’s a look at some of the best Chicago rooftop bars and patios that the locals swear by.

Moody's Pub


Located in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood on the North Side, Moody's is an old-time local favorite known for simple and delicious burgers and a massive fenced-in beer garden (with plenty of trees offering cool respite from the heat). The two-tiered space has scores of tables and benches, many of which can be easily moved together to accommodate groups of friends or families. No matter if you’re looking to share a pitcher of their red sangria or sip on a gimlet, this favorite is one of Chicago’s best-kept secret patios.

Two people clinking glasses at a small table at Cabra, a rooftop bar



Peruse views over Peruvian cuisine at this hotspot atop The Hoxton Hotel. Cabra's menu is an impressive collection of bright and bold shareable plates, with empanadas, anticucho, and no fewer than five types of ceviche the order of the day. From the gorgeous patio to the open, airy restaurant with its panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, every inch of Cabra screams sunshine, warmth, and good times.

A crowd of people beneath the glass atrium of Cindy's rooftop bar



Cindy’s blends old-world charm with modern sophistication in a 13th-floor spot atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Enjoy sweeping views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan from its glass-enclosed dining area and expansive terrace, while enjoying a drink from the equally expansive beverage menu. Here, the roaring ‘20s truly have returned.

Parson's Chicken & Fish


Delicious frozen cocktails, hush puppies, fried chicken, and ping pong? That’s a winning, and fun, combination, which is why many locals simply can’t get enough of Parson’s Chicken & Fish. These neighborhood favorites boast sprawling patios reminiscent of attending a backyard BBQ. Laid back and casual, grab a spot at one of the communal picnic tables and do yourself a favor by ordering one of their negroni slushies. Paired with some buttermilk fried chicken and crunchy cool sides, you’ve got a can’t-beat-it outdoor dining and drinking experience.



Visit Aba, and you’ll find yourself transported to a Mediterranean summer oasis, without ever leaving Fulton Market. The decor here is truly breathtaking. Lush greenery and warm, earthy accents under soft lighting make for a cozy and cosmopolitan vibe. The menu, full of color and life, is equally gorgeous. For a truly special experience, browse the ancient civilization wine list, full of drinks with Phoenician flair.

The Duck Inn


This local haunt has a cozy patio with a real neighborhood feel. The Duck Inn serves up creative duck dishes—as the name would imply—in addition to American eats ranging from cheese curds with hoppy mayo and their delectable duck fat dog (Chicago style, of course) to heartier fare like the braised pork shank with spaetzle, pickled kale, and lingonberries. Coupled with their inventive cocktail program (read the descriptions, they don’t disappoint) and comfortable atmosphere, you’ll soon come to see why this neighborhood gem has grown into a true destination restaurant.

Upstairs at The Gwen


Transport yourself to the golden age of art deco at Upstairs at The Gwen. This chic escape above The Gwen Hotel mixes modern accents with classic style, as well as 360-degree views of the city and seasonal touches such as fire pits and a curling rink. It’s the perfect place for a glamorous night out in the heart of downtown Chicago.

People gathered at a rooftop bar amid the tops of skyscrapers
LH Rooftop

LH Rooftop at LondonHouse Chicago


LH Rooftop at LondonHouse Chicago elevates the rooftop experience, by stretching it across two levels, plus a third for special events. The indoor lounge on the 21st floor sets the mood for elegant conversations with beautiful lighting and decor. The 22nd floor main terrace ramps up the energy with stunning views of the Chicago River and skyline. It's a wonderful place to enjoy a signature cocktail or meet up for weekend brunch with friends.

Z Bar


This rooftop venue at The Peninsula Chicago has a lot in common with its cocktails: impeccably crafted, worldly, and full of good taste. Z Bar, located six storeys above Michigan Avenue, is the perfect place to enjoy both classic and creative cocktails. Its elegant, richly-designed atmosphere with international influences is carried through its menu, with signature flavors truly reflective of Chicago’s cosmopolitan vibe. This blend of elegant ambiance and spectacular views is not to be missed.

Outdoor dining at Genes Rooftop
Genes Rooftop

Gene's Sausage Shop


You know what pairs well with rooftops? Specialty sausages. If you’re looking for a low key night out, look no further than Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen in Lincoln Square. The rooftop beer garden here feels like your own back deck and is essentially summer on a roof. So head north, soak up some sun, and enjoy a few sausages and an authentic brew or two.

Nobu Rooftop Chicago


This exclusive rooftop bar and restaurant has everything you’d expect from Nobu, and more. Dramatic skyline views contrast with low, minimalist furniture and greenery, creating a serene and relaxing sanctuary to sip innovative cocktails and sample from the menu of signature small plates.

A crowded outdoor dining area at dusk, with tables amongst trees
Piccolo Sogno

Piccolo Sogno


Just a short cab ride from the West Loop’s popular Randolph Street restaurant corridor is the charming Piccolo Sogno. While the elegant interior is an ideal setting for an intimate dinner, it’s the lush patio out back that is the real draw. This neighborhood gem transports you from the bustle of the city, and just happens to serve up some of the best rustic Italian cuisine in town.

I|O Godfrey

I|O Godfrey


Chicago’s largest outdoor lounge, I|O Godfrey, is a see-and-be-seen River North destination, with a retractable roof and 360-degree, open-air design. It’s known for must-attend annual events such as the Kentucky Derby Viewing Party, Garden Party, and Easter Brunch, but is also a go-to for cocktails (or cocktail flights) with friends. Celebration is in the air any time of year.

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