1. Cindy's (Chicago Athletic Club)
Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is a rooftop restaurant and bar that has an open terrace overlooking the heart of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, and everything that surrounds this beautiful view of our city. The bar restaurant area has interior finishes with natural materials and high ceilings that make you feel relaxed. The space resembles a giant sunroom facing the Lake.
The rooftop terrace is a large space with glass handrails that provide enough space for comfortable standing and seating so you can have your cocktail while you are looking at the magnificent Mile. The views are amazing, especially on a summer night with a glass of wine.
2. Cerise (The Virgin Hotel)
The Cerise rooftop bar is one of the best in the city. Located in the heart of downtown at Wabash at Lake and perched on top of the Virgin Hotel, it provides great views of the surrounding architecture to the north, west, and south.
The rooftop features an indoor bar with indoor and outdoor seating. The design is bright, cheerful, and perfect for summer. The outdoor seating is causal and great for large groups of people and mingling. There are large doors which open fully to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. The glass guardrail allows for great views even while seated and doesn’t detract from the ambiance. Cerise is a swanky chic space that draws a similar crowd of young professionals. It’s great for a summer cocktail and snacks!
3. GreenRiver (18th floor of Northwestern Hospital)
Designed by primarily women from Deborah Berke Partners, tvsdesign, and Conservation Design Forum (plus CannonDesign, who designed the shell of the building), GreenRiver is a serene, hip rooftop bar and eatery located on the 18th floor of the new Northwestern Medicine building at 259 E. Erie St. Its views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline capitalize on the venue's Chicago history motif, and its sophisticated food and drink menus modernize the rooftop experience (the drink menu is organized by key ingredient!).
The rooftop efficiently incorporates a modernist flare of Mies van der Roe and Frank Lloyd Wright influences in its geometry and material choices while successfully masking the roof's mechanical requirements. Window cleaning anchors are hidden by custom-designed light boxes and tall native prairie grasses decoratively block rooftop-goers' view of an MRI scanner quench pipe. Views are preserved for all the different seating arrangements, including those from inside the venue, and a pergola on the south side of the rooftop creates a comfortable "microclimate" that diffuses the wind tunnel effect at this elevated location.