Chicago has no shortage of options for those looking to quaff a great cocktail outside. Here’s a look at six concierge-approved rooftop lounges and bars.
LIBATIONS IN THE LOOP
LondonHouse Chicago’s outdoor terrace, LH Rooftop, is a summer bucket list topper, offering picturesque angles of the city that you really can’t find anywhere else. Ramon Gomez, concierge at the W Chicago Lakeshore, recommends starting your evening here for a cocktail and to snap some instagram-worthy photos of the stunning vistas of Chicago’s world renowned architecture and the Chicago River.
Sure, the panoramic view alone of Millennium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and the electricity of South Michigan Avenue makes Cindy’s—The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel’s rooftop restaurant and open-air terrace—a great spot to gather with with friends. But when you factor in craft cocktails from an alum of The Violet Hour and seasonal, mouth-watering food, then you’ll soon see why this is is one of the Loop’s most sought-after hot spots.
For less of a see-and-be seen scene, but equally lovely scenery, head over to The Tree House, Tavern at the Park’s rooftop hangout. Described as “the ideal rooftop for dining and cocktailing to ease into your evening” by Joyce Fong, chef concierge at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, this third-floor patio boasts ample seating to graze on appetizers and sip on craft cocktails while you take in the bird’s eye view of Millennium Park.
SIP IN STREETERVILLE
One of corporate concierge Cassie Cook’s favorite hidden gems is the 100-seat, couch-and-table-filled terrace at GreenRiver. Nestled above Streeterville on the 18th floor of a Northwestern Medical Center building, this luxe spot combines breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline with the culinary and cocktailian prowess of restaurant king Danny Meyer (Union Square Events) and the Best Bar in the World Team (of New York’s The Dead Rabbit fame). The cocktail menu here is arranged by key ingredient (i.e. juniper, rye, agave, etc.) and within each are masterfully-crafted cocktail selections named for a person or event in Chicago’s history.
BELLY UP, UP NORTH
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. A favorite of John Dillon, concierge at the Ritz-Carlton, 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 pints.
Venture just a bit south on Lincoln Avenue and cozy up at what Reside Living concierge Beth LaBrosse describes as “one of the best rooftops around” at Fountainhead. This local gem has a stellar craft beer and whiskey selection, both of which are perfect for sipping the afternoon—or evening—away.