When you hear the phrase “summer in Chicago,” what comes to mind? If a post-work cocktail on a rooftop with impressive skyline views sounds nice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eight Chicago bars offering superb views of architectural mainstays such as the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, Tribune Tower, and more. All are within walking distance of AMLI River North, and a couple have covered or retractable roofs that make them comfortable year-round.
52Eighty is not the most well-known rooftop lounge on our list, but it’s a good one to keep in your pocket. This is both because it tends to be less crowded than some of Chicago’s more popular rooftop bars and because it’s a great option for ogling at the city’s skyline year-round. The indoor lounge is chic and stylish, and the outdoor patio is covered for year-round use. 52Eighty rooftop Lounge, housed in the Cambria Hotel, is a 15-minute walk and 52-floor ascent from AMLI River North.
The Virgin Hotel’s rooftop lounge has a lot going for it, and you don’t have to be a guest to take advantage of it. The Japanese-inspired space, occupying the hotel’s 26th floor, is impeccably designed. Magnificent views from three sides stop just short of affording 360-degree views. And the izakaya cuisine and exotic drinks are good enough to please Richard Branson.
Cityscape Bar makes good use of its nice vantage point from the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North. Floor-to-ceiling windows negate the neat for side walls, affording patrons stellar views of the Chicago River and skyline. Cityscape is a 10-minutes’ walk southwest of AMLI River North.
A 15-minute walk northeast of AMLI’s River North Chicago apartments can put you at the Northwestern Medical Center building. On the 18th floor of that building is GreenRiver, another River North bar and restaurant with dazzling views. This bar’s highlights are an expansive cocktail menu, friendly and experienced bartenders, and the view-rich patio. GreenRiver also serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
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The IO Urban Roofscape, located on the 4th floor of River North’s Godfrey Hotel, is one of Chicago’s classiest rooftop bars. Thanks to a retractable rooftop, a cozy fire pit, and a food menu filled with comfort classics, you can enjoy IO Godfrey’s phenomenal views year-round. Their cocktails also have a reputation for being some of the city’s best. This fashionable indoor/outdoor bar is just a ten-minute walk from AMLI River North.
Raised may only be three floors above ground. But this riverside rooftop locale offers a stunning and unique perspective of the Chicago skyline. While you’re enjoying views of the river and River North’s skyscrapers, you can enjoy a Chicago brew or craft cocktail. Raised also serves small plates of New American-style cuisine. The bar is a short walk across the river from AMLI’s River North Chicago apartments.
Named one of the world’s hottest rooftop lounges by Travel + Leisure, Roof on theWit is a spellbinding place to take in the magic of Chicago’s impressive skyline. The magnificent skyline views are rivaled by the lounge’s exquisite interior. If you’re looking for a relaxed setting, check the schedule of events before you go. With DJs spinning most nights and other mildly raucous events held sometimes, the Roof is not usually a quiet bar. Located on the 27th floor of the glitzy Wit Hotel, Roof on theWit is a 10-minute walk from AMLI River North.
If pisco cocktails are your drink of choice, make it a priority to visit Tanta’s well-designed rooftop space. Just two blocks north of AMLI River North, Tanta is an accomplished Peruvian grill widely considered one of Chicago’s best. The rooftop space is seasonal and space is limited, so go early or on a weekday if you can.
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