It takes a little digging to find it, but once atop the Conrad Hotel just off Michigan Avenue, the rooftop bar and lounge - Noyane - rewards you with commanding views in the heart of the city.
"Take a little bit more of the savvy diner, because you have to go in an elevator, you have to go in a stair, it's not just a sidewalk café you can walk into," said Michael Fawthrop, the Beverage Director at The Conrad.
The theme up here is Japanese. It's rare to find this level of expertly sliced and plated sashimi at this elevation. And to complement your freshly-sliced sushi, a number of drinking options.
"We have sake, wine, beer and cocktails here," said Fawthrop. "Sakes pull off all these flavors of fish that you wouldn't really find unless you were subtlely looking for them."
At the nexus of Bucktown and Wicker Park, the lovingly restored Robey Hotel now offers two different rooftop experiences.
"So on the 6th floor is Cabana Club. That is our poolside rooftop pool party," said Matt Alessi, the Food and Beverage Director at The Robey.
Think frozen drinks and tiny bites. Maybe a first-stop before heading off to dinner in the neighborhood. But up on the 13th floor, Up and Up beckons with some of the most unique views of the city, with a perspective that's simply unmatched. Here, it's only cocktails, but they veer from traditional to the more avant garde, featuring Japanese matcha for instance.
"Up and Up is just a cocktail bar; we try to really push the limits with different types of cocktails that you're not used to seeing. Fun and inventive ingredients, playful names. It's a great way to sit back and enjoy a drink and get the view," said Alessi.
"Whether it's sushi off the Mag Mile or cocktails in Wicker Park, one thing's for certain: better take advantage of these rooftops before the weather turns a bit cooler."
EXTRA COURSE: ABC7 food report Steve Dolinsky goes back to the rooftop of the Conrad Hotel to see how they're serving thinly-sliced steak and letting guests cook it themselves on hot stones.
NOYANE AT THE CONRAD
101 E. Erie St., Chicago
THE ROBEY HOTEL
2018 W. North Ave., Chicago