We hit the roof to find out which hotels have the best food with a view.
How high? Seventh floor
The view Incomparable. NoMI is one of the few dining spots in the city whose views aren’t limited to the terrace. No matter where you sit (there are three areas, including the open-air Garden), you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the poshest part of Michigan Avenue.
The fare The global-inspired, French-flaired menu varies depending on whether you nab a spot in the Lounge/Cellar or Garden (which share a small-plates and cocktails menu that features swank nibbles like charcuterie), or the more formal main dining room. But everything is top-notch—and priced accordingly.
Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N Michigan Ave, seventh floor (312-239-4030, nomirestaurant.com). Average main course: $35; average cocktail: $15.
How high? Fourth floor
The view The vast foliage-adorned terrace of this upscale Chinese hot spot is situated on the Peninsula’s east side, smack in the middle of the Gold Coast, but remains pleasantly quiet. The cityscape glows all around you, with the Hancock looming just to the north.
The fare Choose from a full menu of dim sum, with the requisite noodle and rice dishes (the XO scallops are perfect), traditional soups and go-tos like kung pao chicken. Cocktails are less traditional—the mojito, for instance, is made with fresh berries.
The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E Superior St (312-573-6744, chicago.peninsula.com). Average main course: $25; average cocktail: $11.
The Terrace at Conrad
How high? Fifth floor
The view Framed by a few potted palms, the view is great during the day—and spectacular at night. The Conrad is wedged against Nordstrom’s backside, which means its deck, appointed with both tables and bedlike lounge seating encircling a lovely fountain, overlooks the prettiest part of the Mag Mile.
The fare Grabbing a light dinner of tasty tapas—like minisamosas or tasty crab cakes—is your only option, but it’s complemented by sultry samba music and excellent cocktails. Stay away from the railing, though—one too many passion fruit Tom Collinses could send you over the edge.
Conrad Hotel, 521 N Rush St (312-645-1500). Average main course: $15; average cocktail: $12.