Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Fri June 24 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | June 24, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Touch The Sky in the Chi: The City’s Best Rooftop Bars

    Touch The Sky in the Chi: The City’s Best Rooftop Bars

    PHOTO: Joy District, a chic newcomer to the River North neighborhood. (photo by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates)

    With cloud-skimming towers and architectural design wonders surrounded by a glistening lakefront, Chicago offers some of the best urban vistas in the world. And there’s no place to enjoy these views than a cool rooftop lounge. There are dozens of rooftop bars around the city but some consistently supply the perfect combination of great views, ambiance and drinks. Here are four to check out:


    The evidence of Cindy’s long-term popularity can be summed up by the crowd that fills the rooftop in summer as well as winter. Unfolding at the top of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s provides dreamy views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Clean lines and modern decor combine with fresh, seasonal dishes and a stunning list of expertly crafted cocktails (labeled as potions, elixirs, apothecaries, tisanes and mocktails) makes this place the ultimate winner. Try the Kick in the Daisy, a blend of Avion Reposado, Ancho Reyes, licor 43, fresh watermelon, lime and Maldon sea salt. Expect long lines — but it’s worth it.

    READ MORE: Groove in The Grass at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival

    Joy District

    A hot newbie in the bustling River North hood, Joy District attracts the crowds with stylish art and trendy drinks and apps. A sleek, multi-level space that includes a restaurant, club and rooftop lounge, Joy District kicks off the “joyful hour” with $5 shots, boozy milkshakes and intriguing cocktails like the Lady Mary, which consists of Wheatley Vodka, Carpano Bianco, tropical rooibos tea syrup, lemon juice and Brut Champagne.  Casual crowds descend after work, so go early to grab a chair with prime views.


    One of the city’s earliest rooftop bars, this energetic lounge covers the Wit Hotel and continues to draw hordes of revelers eager for good times. Roof boasts luxurious design as well as sweeping views of the Chicago skyline. Named one of the top three rooftop lounges in the world by Travel & Leisure, a raucous lineup of DJs and events helps make this lounge one of the “sceneiest” in the city. Sip on the G.E.T Ratchet, a Beefeater 24, elderflower tonic and lime concoction.

    READ MORE: Chicago's Saved By The Bell Diner Opens For Business


    Another River North gem, Tanta's creative Peruvian menu scores lots of fans and the vibrant rooftop space just ups the ante. The breezy rooftop terrace features a retractable awning and live music on Wednesdays to accompany the spicy plates and drinks. Cocktails highlight the signature Peruvian liquor, pisco but don’t pass up the Pisco Punch, a mixture of Porton pisco, lemon juice, watermelon juice and paprika syrup.

More Chicago


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships