Chicago's restaurant clout has hit a high, and it's equaled only by the bars and lounges. A hub of secret tippling activity during the Prohibition era, Chicago now has a well-known and well-publicized cocktail culture. From the sports-obsessed Wrigleyville strip to the swanky, see-and-be-seen clubs in River North, there truly is a watering hole for everyone. For the spots that come out on top, just look up. Rooftop bars are taking over, and everyone wants to be above the cut (and the sidewalks). They're the perfect places to take in some sun and fun during the afternoons, or for a nightcap overlooking the sparkling cityscape. We've rounded up some of our favorite Chicago rooftop bars and lounges. Even if you're afraid of heights, the views, inventive menus and cool atmospheres will keep you grounded.
Evoking turn-of-the-century Chicago glam, this River North hybrid dashes the glitz on multiple floors, starting with a vintage bar. In the Deco Room, find a 1920s supper club vibe for feasting on dishes such as Moroccan chicken pita and salmon with herbed spätzle. Come summer, escape to a Victorian-inspired rooftop garden.
Though it has much in common with the neighborhood’s trendy Brazilian steakhouses—think deluxe salad bar and an assortment of all-you-can-eat meats brought by chefs to your table—this River North destination goes for a more varied menu, with dishes like citrus salmon and goat cheese-encrusted rack of lamb.