Let’s keep the elevated drinking going strong with part 2 of “Best of Chicago Roof Top Bars”. We’re going to cover a lot of ground on this edition both vertically and laterally. Grab your drink and let’s get started on round 2 of Best of Chicago Roof Top Bars.
The J. Parker
Where: 1816 N Clark St. 13th floor 60614
The J. Parker in Chicago’s Old Town Neighborhood, offers a fantastic skyline view of Chicago from the Northside. When you first walk into the doors of the Hotel (it’s located on top of Hotel Lincoln), you’ll notice people waiting around in the lobby. Most of which are waiting for the door man to take them up to the roof in the elevator. While it might take awhile for your turn to ride up, the view and atmosphere is worth the wait. Right when the elevator doors open you’ll see the green trees and running paths of Lincoln Park, Lake Michigan, and skyline of Chicago all in one take. While the roof top bar is plenty big and has 2 separate bars, on a weekend consider yourself lucky if you can find a spot to sit. We recommend going during the day if you want to casually sit, drink and take in the view. For those that like a good party head up in the evening. Their cocktail menu is seasonal, but we’ve been told that the must try drinks are “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and the “let’s Get Lost”. The food menu is a short selection of bite sized dishes. We think the sliders are the winner. For an awesome view of the skyline, lake and park, the J Parker is the perfect choice.
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Where: 401 N. Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
Technically it’s called the Terrace at The Trump, but in light of recent events, we’ve decided to leave “the Trump” portion out. Even if we do leave it out it doesn’t matter because as soon as you get close to the sky scrapper where The Terrace resides, you’ll see a huge sign that says “Trump” much to local Chicagoan’s dismay. The terrace at The Trump is an upscale roof top bar and probably deserves one of the nicer shirts you brought on your trip. We’ve heard it’s similar to the bars we posted last week, Vertigo and Roof at the Wit. Since it’s located downtown the view offers an awesome panoramic of surrounding sky scrappers. Unlike most of the other bars we’ve posted about (and will continue to post about), The terrace has a fantastic food menu. Notable dishes include: Hate Teppan menu where you grill your own tapas, pork bely pastor and the spicy grilled prawns. If you want a cocktail to wash it down keep in mind the cheapest one starts at $20. Yea we think that’s ridiculous too. We would say stick with a beer, but that starts at $12. On Sunday nights they host a Movie night on the Terrace, in case you get bored of scenic views too easily.
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The IO Godfrey
Address: 127 W. Huron and LaSalle Chicago, IL 60654
The IO Godfrey is the spot for a happy hour drink after work. The roof top showcases Chicago’s southern skyline from River North. If rougher weather looks like it’s heading your way, have no fear they have a retractable roof. The retractable roof also means winter time rooftop drinking. Even if you can’t find a spot outside, the interior bar isn’t too shabby. In fact, the indoor is almost kind of outdoors. That’s how it got it’s name the IO Godfrey Lounge. IO stands for indoor out door. No matter where you find yourself drinking at the Godfrey on a nice day, it feels like your outside. On really hot days this is ideal, especially for those with fair skin. The cocktails are your standard summer drinks, mojitos, margarita’s, daiquiris and other fruity drinks. prepare for a line later in the night. River North has turned into the area to go out in the past 5 years and some bars tend to think they are in Vegas. It’s unfortunate, so that’s why we’re heading out of Downtown/River North for our next rooftop bar.
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Estate Ultra Bar
Address: 1177 N. Elston Chicago, IL 60642
Finally a roof top where you can buy a drink for under $10. Estate Ultra Bar is only about 1 mile away from the hostel. It’s located right off the Chicago river and offers and full view of the skyline as well as a long view of the river. Watch all the boats go by as you sip on your drink of choice. We recommend the Candy Crush and Ginger Mule. The location is kind of in no man’s land, so it’s probably best to take a cab and then order an Uber x to get back to civilization. However, the nice thing about the location is it’s never that long of a wait and you can usually always find a table. If you like venturing off the beaten path definitely check out Estate Ultra bar.
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Address: 501 No Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
People swear that Twisted Spoke makes the best bloody Mary in the City. We agree completely. The twisted spoke is a biker bar… well it looks like a biker bar and it decoration is themed after a biker bar, but you won’t really find any actual bikers there. Surrounding the entrance are a bunch of motorcycle parts and on the roof is an actual motorcycle spinning around with a skeleton on it. Ironically enough most of the patrons there will be wearing button ups from J Crew and shorts. The roof top it self is always busy and wide open. They have umbrellas, but that’s all protecting you from the elements. On a hot summer day this roof top is filled with day drinkers enjoying an awesome brunch menu and again we can’t emphasize it enough delicious bloody Marys.
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