A lively crowd is the perfect backdrop for dinner on an outdoor
patio or drinks up high in a rooftop bar. We’ve got suggestions for 10 top Chicago patios and rooftop bars that are local favorites and great places to do some summer in the city people
PLACE: ROOF on
THE VIBE: Young professionals cutting loose after a long
week of work in the Loop crowd this lively rooftop lounge on the 27th
floor of theWit hotel. With its modern design, glittering city views and
nightclub atmosphere, it’s no wonder Travel
+ Leisure named it one of the top three rooftop bars in the world.
MUST TRY: Go for finger foods like the sushi rolls or French
onion flatbread, followed by a Lululemon Lemon Drop shot (vodka, fresh citrus
THE VIBE: Inspired by a Great Lakes beach house with its
glowing string lights and picnic table seating, this rooftop restaurant perched
atop The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel draws downtown execs with its
jaw-dropping views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.
MUST TRY: Share the shellfish platter and pair it with a
Howl at the Jun (an elixir of gin, Kombucha, grapefruit and sparkling rosé).
PLACE: Dusek’s Board
THE VIBE: Hipsters flock to this Pilsen hot spot for the all-in-one
entertainment under one historic roof: Dusek’s beer-centric restaurant, indie
bands at the upstairs Thalia Hall, spiked punch at the lounge-like Punch House,
and craft cocktails with live piano music in the Tack Room.
MUST TRY: Sample the paprika-glazed suckling pig with purple
carrots at Dusek’s, then grab a seat on the Tack Room’s cozy patio and order a
Mint Julep (tequila, sugar and mint).
Chicken & Fish
THE VIBE: Hipsters abound in this Logan Square hot spot that
features a leafy outdoor patio outfitted with cheery picnic tables topped with
red-and-white-striped umbrellas, string lights and ping-pong tables, just for
MUST TRY: The fried Amish chicken goes surprisingly well
with the signature Original Negroni Slushy (gin, bitters and sweet vermouth).
PLACE: The Dawson
THE VIBE: In trendy West Town, local young professionals and
couples can be found on the welcoming rustic outdoor patio with its own bar and
French doors that lead into the beautiful restaurant housed in a historic
former fireplace mantle factory.
MUST TRY: Pair the wood-grilled Spanish octopus swimming in
black garlic vinaigrette with the popular frozen Mai Tai.
PLACE: The Promontory
THE VIBE: Stylish Hyde Parkers and University of Chicago
students populate this combination restaurant and music venue that boasts two
levels of open-air patio seating in an industrial-chic space.
MUST TRY: Go for the grilled Gulf prawns with black pepper
barbecue and cheese grits, then toast the evening with an herb-infused Booze
& Botany (vodka, dry vermouth and celery bitters).
THE VIBE: The spacious outdoor patio of this Greektown
restaurant with a smashing skyline view is packed in the summertime with West
Loop workers, residents, large groups and families, along with tourists who are
looking for a little Opa!
MUST TRY: You can’t go wrong with the rich pastitsio: baked
macaroni mixed with beef and cheese, topped with bechamel sauce. For dessert,
sip the Buttered Rum Cake Martini crowned with whipped cream.
PLACE: Oak Street
Beach Food + Drink
THE VIBE: Set on the sands of Oak Street Beach in the shadow
of the towering John Hancock Center, this breezy lakefront eatery attracts
sun-loving Chicagoans and out-of-towners who know the beach is the place to be.
MUST TRY: A summertime match made in heaven are the fish
tacos paired with a refreshing mango Oak Street Mojo Mojito.
Urban Rooftop Bar
THE VIBE: Guests staying at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown
Hotel and locals in the know flock to this sleek rooftop deck that features an
indoor/outdoor bar and a private VIP greenhouse that’s right in the middle of
MUST TRY: Pass around shareable plates like the beef
tenderloin sliders with truffle cheese and split a decanter cocktail for six,
such as the Parley (rum, seasonal berries and mint).
THE VIBE: Shades of deep red and an elegant Asian decor
create a vintage 1930s supper club feel at this fourth-floor oasis in The
Peninsula Chicago hotel that is a favorite of the well-heeled Magnificent Mile
MUST TRY: Order the Cantonese dim sum, including barbecue
pork buns and spicy beef pot stickers, sided with a Lost in Shanghai (vodka,
lychee and cassis).