Warmer(ish) weather means it’s time to take happy hour to the next level with the best rooftop bars and patios in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

We’ve put together a list of hot spots to check out this season because there’s nothing quite like sipping a chilled drink while taking in the sunset or the humming bustle of the city. Check out our 7 favorites (3 of which also happened to make our Best Bars in Gold Coast Part 2 list.) See one we missed? Let us know your favorite spots in the comments!

Blue Agave

You can never go wrong with a margarita (frozen or on the rocks, we don’t judge) and chips and salsa when it comes to happy hour staples. Blue Agave is the spot to cover these creature comforts and take in the pulse of the Rush Street scene patio-side.

Del Frisco’s

No matter if you’re in the mood for snacks or steaks, Del Frisco’s is quite the hidden gem. In addition to the 3 floors it occupies of the historic Esquire Theater, Del Frisco’s boasts a fabulous patio/rooftop bar overlooking the luxe boutiques of Oak Street. Add the 1,200+ wine options and you’re set!


A tried and true Gold Coast watering hole, Pippin’s is somewhere you can go where everybody knows your name… in Chicago. Head to this Rush Street bar of over 40 years for a pint and a great place to people watch.

Freds at Barneys

When it comes to rooftop bars, this hot spot works as both a destination and a stopover – Freds is perched on the top floor of Barneys New York at the crossroads of Oak and Rush. Head upstairs for some respite during your shopping escapades, or meet up with friends for rosé brunch – all with a killer view of Lake Michigan.

Related: in the area and want to swing by? Try us out for free!

Argo Tea Café

While this spot might not fulfill your need to imbibe, it definitely should not be overlooked as far as outdoor hangouts go. A quaint greenhouse-like building nestled in the middle of a small park lets you enjoy the simple things (like nature and freshly brewed tea) in the middle of the concrete jungle.


If you’re in search for the perfect balance of Gold Coast essence and late-night revelry, LuxBar should be your go-to. The street-side patio gives you a front-row view of all the glittering traffic rolling down Rush and Bellevue, while the 2nd floor seats next to the open windows offer a little more of an observation vantage point. LuxBar doesn’t take itself too seriously either – it’s also a great place to catch a game near the bar with a burger.


While most of our list resides on or around the Rush Street area, Drumbar takes you across Michigan Avenue for a different Gold Coast experience. Situated on the rooftop of the Rafaello Hotel, the speakeasy-inspired bar is a great place to stop after a shopping trip or before a night out on the town.

Can’t get enough of the Gold Coast neighborhood (or rooftop bars, in general?!) You can also check out our past Best Bars in Chicago’s Gold Coast installment!

Try FFC free - best gym in Chicago!