Best Bars With A View

January 6, 2011 7:00 AM

ROOF on theWIT
The reason I chose to live in the apartment that I live in is because it has a rooftop with an ideal view of Lake Michigan and the Oak Street Beach with The Drake Hotel in the background. It’s here that I enjoy a glass of wine with my closest friends or bathing in the sun. Even though you are probably not my neighbor, I still have quite a few options where you may do the very same thing. And yes, these bars include bathing in the sun.

The Roof
201 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601

This rooftop opened in 2009 with a bang and is still just as busy as it was on its opening day. The Roof has attracted ladies and gentlemen alike to mingle in the chic, modern décor with delicious specialty cocktails. Rain, shine or snow, you can enjoy this elegant view at any time of the year. My favorite is enjoying The Roof in the spring or fall in front of the fireplaces and heat lamps and tasting a different seasonal cocktail per visit. If you choose to enjoy your evening inside, the floor-to-ceiling windows still provide the same great view of the west side of the skyline. While it is beautiful in the daylight, the evening lights that light up the city make for the best sight.

Terrace at Trump
401 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

The Trump Terrace is made for the low-key, yet sophisticated crowd. This terrace is located on the sixteenth floor of the Trump Hotel & Towers and keeps the crowd minimal due to the fact that you must have a table- no standing. It contains everything Donald Trump would expect his hotel to contain: classy people, great view, top of the line service and, my personal favorite, an excellent wine list. The Terrace has a great view of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Just don’t peer over the railing or you will get a talking to. I speak from experience.

Rock Bottom
1 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60654

Rock Bottom’s rooftop is for the very casual beer drinkers. While it is not 32 stories high, you will notice that heading up a mere three stories drains the white noise of traffic. Sit above State Street and Grand Avenue and enjoy a house brew or specialty cocktail. With the slightly tacky, yet refined tiki-hut décor, you can enjoy your happy hour dreaming of the vacation that you please. Great bar food from Rock Bottom is also provided to ensure your belly is always satisfied.

2 West Eerie Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Located at the top of the Dana Hotel, this lounge has it all: The view, the nightlife, the terrace and, my favorite, the sushi! Yum! Operated by the hotel on its 26th floor, Vertigo’s drinks and cuisine run along with the hotel’s Aja Steakhouse (which is one of the best Asian restaurants in the city). With the funky and sexy décor and floor to ceiling windows, you can either lounge in sofa or chair indoors or enjoy the Chicago breeze on the terrace. Bottle service is always available and the entrance is located on Eerie, so that guests do not have to rummage around the hotel attempting to find its location. Sushi, a good cocktail and a fabulous view= an enjoyable night in my book.

30 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

Terrace at the Trump is for the fancy-shmancy, Rock Bottom is for the chill, and Rivers is for the in-between who can’t seem to make up their mind. Regardless, no one disagrees on the view of the Chicago River on Wacker Drive. Rivers is one level above the Chicago River, with a great light reflection of the sun during the day and romantic moon lighting in the evening. After a long day of work, the business men and women flock to this restaurant and bar for their beer or dirty martini, or, if it was a long day at work, their scotch on the rocks. Let’s face it; we’ve all had those days.

C-View Rooftop Bar
166 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

The view at C-View is not only great because it is located on the top floor of the Affinia Hotel, but the layout is by far my favorite of all rooftops. It has the warm, modern home feel to it with its wood floors and paneling, but has a classy, lounge atmosphere as well. The bar and a few couches are located indoors and the rest is to be enjoyed by candle and moonlight. Well, more so city lights than moonlight, but you catch my drift.

Oak Street Beachstro
1001 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL

Beachstro is so casual, they encourage bikinis and board shorts. Here you can dine at a table or lounge in a beach chair and catch some rays with a Corona in hand. Located on Oak Street Beach, you can classify it as a great view in three ways: Lake Michigan, Chicago’s Skyline or the half-dressed beach bodies. I guess it depends on the crowd.

Alycia Nicole
is a concierge in the heart of downtown Chicago by day, party girl by night.

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