Food & Drink

The 13 Best Rooftop Brunches in Chicago

Published On 08/05/2015 Published On 08/05/2015
Courtesy of I/O
Courtesy of Roof @ The Wit
Courtesy of NoMi
Courtesy of I/O
Courtesy of Cindy's
Courtesy of Gene's
Courtesy of J Parker
Courtesy of Fig & Olive
Courtesy of Shanghai Terrace (Peninsula)
Courtesy of Twisted Spoke
Courtesy of Terzo Piano
Courtesy of Parlor
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1. Roof on the Wit 201 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Do you like models, bottle service, and DJs? If so, theWit's rooftop lounge is for you. More than just a glitzy bar, the 27th-floor hotspot features a retractable roof (it's open year-round, after all), a 3D video-mapping wall, and a sleek bar that turns into a runway. The food and drink menu is equally fit for a glam squad, serving up flatbreads, seafood towers, fancy craft cocktails, and punch bowls.

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2. NoMI Kitchen 800 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Back in action after its renovation-induced slumber, the new NoMI's ditched white tablecloths in favor of a livelier vibe, with an open kitchen, cheese cave, and raw bar providing a view of the action, and a retooled menu featuring handmade tagliolini (ov

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3. IO Urban Roofscape 127 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654

This seriously sleek rooftop spot is perfect for our 100 days of Summer. A lounge with swanky drinks and serious eats, this is the place to be when the weather's nice.

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4. The Rooftop at Gene's Sausage Shop 4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

This sunny roof-deck atop the Lincoln Square delicatessen pairs a rotating selection of brews with pierogi, beef-stuffed cabbage rolls and their house-made sausage creations, ranging from Polish to jalapeño bratwurst. Plus, they've got a killer brunch.

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5. J. Parker 1816 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

This rooftop bar atop the Hotel Lincoln features an impressive cocktail list, views of the park/lake shore/skyline, and small bites so good you'll hang around for a dangerously long time--no big deal.

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6. Fig & Olive 104 E Oak St, Chicago, IL 60611

This perennially popular spot has an extensive brunch menu and is one of the few rooftops in the Gold Coast. Get the French omelet for brunch, and the branzino every other time of day.

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7. Twisted Spoke 501 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

In case the exterior motorcycle art and bike handlebars on the front door didn't tip you off, Twisted Spoke is a biker bar. The West Town hangout is beloved by Chicagoans of all stripes thanks to a massive selection of whiskey and beer, legendary Bloody Mary menu, rooftop garden, and sinister bites like barbecue nachos and fried jalapeño poppers. Of all the things that make Twisted Spoke stand out though, it's the weekly Saturday night "Smut and Eggs," when you can order breakfast food and watch porn. Um.

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8. Terzo Piano 159 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603

Located in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, Terzo Piano is Chef Tony Mantuano's greatest work of art. The food is fresh, local, organic, and sustainably produced. You can expect healthful Italian dishes like an olive oil poached salmon sandwich, clams flatbread, and a grilled beef burger.

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9. Tanta 118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Tanta celebrates Peru’s diverse culture by injecting Japanese and Spanish flare into an otherwise Peruvian street-food-centric menu. In addition to traditional street anticuchos (skewers), there's a selection of ceviche, nigiri, and causitas, or whipped potatoes fused with seafood. The restaurant's lively atmosphere -- and creative menu -- tempts you to indulge in fruity, colorful cocktails made with pisco brandy made in the wine regions of Peru.

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10. Parlor Pizza Bar 108 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Parlor flaunts a rooftop beer garden, an expansive ground-level patio, and a sweeping indoor dining space. Whet your appetite with “craziest bread” (house beer bread with garlic, shallots, Parmesan, pepperoni, mozzarella, and scallion cream), then try a “pork-Q-pie” (cherry peppers, BBQ pork, pineapple, and smoked and fresh mozz) and any of 75+ beers.

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11. ZED451 739 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Housed in a mammoth, blonde-wooded former churrascaria, ZED's a "contemporary steakhouse" that swipes Brazil's shining achievement: tableside all-you-can-eat rotisserie.

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12. Shanghai Terrace 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611

Shanghai Terrace, located inside the Peninsula Hotel, is an upscale Chinese restaurant, meant to evoke a 1930's Shanghai supper club vibe. This spot has swanky '30's decor inside and a chic outdoor terrace with spectacular skyline views of the city and the Water Tower. On the menu, you can expect traditional Cantonese dishes along with re-vamped classics, plus wonderful specialty cocktails.

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13. Cindy's 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Cindy’s is one of the most beautiful restaurants in the Loop with views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, but underneath its glass dome ceiling atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel it doesn’t simply rely on its looks. Cindy’s has a host of gifted bartenders who whip up unexpected “potions” like the Alsatian Rustbelt (made with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Wolfberger Amer Fleur de Joie, lagunitas, and lime) that complement its upscale, seafood-forward menu. At brunch the egg dishes, like the cast iron-made quiche with chard, leeks, and gooey emmental, are buttery and light, and at dinner the shellfish platter and the grilled salmon with horseradish crème fraîche are both rich but pleasantly light ... but the late night fried cheese curds might be the sexiest thing on the menu.