(CBS) — When summer arrives in Chicago, the place to be is outside soaking in the precious few beautiful days. And that means rooftop bars and patios.
CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan heads to a few of the very best-rated outdoor spaces — old and new.
First stop: the J. Parker bar at the top of the Hotel Lincoln. It’s easy to see why this made the top of the Zagat list of best rooftop bars in Chicago.
With stunning views of Lincoln Park, Lake Michigan and the downtown skyline, the J. Parker is a great place to kick off summer and enjoy cocktails inspired by the Green City Market.
“You get a little both here,” says Zagat blogger Sarah Freeman, who had the “tough” assignment of compiling the list.
Another great spot with a very different view is Zed451. It’s both a bar and a restaurant, in the heart of River North.
One of the first rooftop spots in the city, Zed451’s menu and relaxed atmosphere have made it continuously successful.
“I think that we are in hibernation all winter long, and people want to be outside, and rooftops in particular are the little oasis off of the street, out of the hustle and bustle,” manager Jennifer Thompson says.
Sumi Robata Bar in River North and Embeya in the West Loop both have new outdoor patio spaces that make Metromix’s list of hot spots to check out this summer.
TimeOut Chicago lists Piccolo Sogno’s beautiful patio in River West as a top destination. If you’re looking for some dynamite Cuban food and a colorful outdoor space, try 90 Miles From Cuba in Logan Square.
And for a decidedly more relaxed atmosphere, Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen has a rooftop space that also allows them to grow their own vegetables.
Lastly, here is Chicago Magazine’s Top Ten Rooftop Bars.