River North has the highest concentration of rooftop bars in the city, ranging from beer gardens a few flights up from street level to penthouse-like perches atop high-rise hotels. A few are technically terraces rather than rooftops, but when you have a cocktail in hand with the sun shining on your face, we promise you won’t care much about technicalities.
Start off your sky-high tour like a high roller at The Terrace at Trump (401 N. Wabash Ave. 312-588-8600). The drink prices are some of the highest in the city, but the lofty views from the 16th floor of the Trump Tower are worth the cost of one round.
Next, head to the lively rooftop beer garden at Rock Bottom (1 W. Grand Ave. 312-755-9339) for pint or two of the brewery’s latest seasonal creation.
A few blocks north on the 26th floor of the Dana Hotel, Vertigo Sky Lounge (2 W. Erie St. 312-202-6060) features a faux grass-carpeted terrace with a fire pit and voyeuristic views of nearby condo buildings.
As you walk east on Erie, you’ll know when you’re getting close to Citizen Bar (364 W. Erie St. 312-640-1156) when you hear the roar of pretty people cutting loose on the second-floor roof deck and sideyard patio from a half-block away.
Keep the party going on the rooftop lounge at Zed 451 (739 N. Clark St. 312-266-6691), where you can claim a couch and sip a glass of sangria.
Finally, there’s no better nightcap that settling into a table at the picturesque Nomi Garden (800 N. Michigan Ave. 312-239-4030) on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt to toast with a flute of bubbly in hand.Copyright © 2015, RedEye