Best Rooftop Restaurants in the Country
Few things add atmosphere to a meal quite like a view — a rooftop venue can turn a meal into a sky-high feast. These are the most-special spots on high, in major cities from coast to coast.
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The Roof in Salem, Massachusetts
Just a quick commute from Boston proper, this Salem spot draws a crowd, especially when fall foliage hits New England. Tacos with tortillas from the Vermont Tortilla company are filled with proteins like salsa-roasted chicken, seared tuna or pulled pork. Gaze out over churros with Nutella sauce for dessert.
Geraldine’s in Austin, Texas
If you want to make sure to have a bird’s eye view of Austin’s famous bat show in the summer — where they all flee from under the Congress avenue bridge at sunset — head for Geraldine’s and grab a cocktail. Dip your feet into the pool or sit at a table and you’ll catch sights of downtown and Lady Bird lake.
Irwin’s in Philadelphia
For a neighborhood spot with funky style head to the 8th floor of the historic Bok building in the heart of Philadelphia, where you’ll find Irwin’s. The eclectic space is filled with graffiti from the original space and vintage furniture. The menu pulls from various parts of the Middle East with dishes like za’atar-roasted eggplant and chicken and feta handpies. There’s plenty of greenery inside, but venture to the intimate rooftop to enjoy your meal under twinkling lights with views of downtown Philly.
404 Kitchen in Nashville
The rooftop of 404 Kitchen has prime views of the hip surrounding Gulch neighborhood. Take a peek out when you’re not eating scallop toast with avocado and crispy banana or digging into cast-iron cornbread. Whiskey is the drink of choice — with 400 options, it’s not an easy task narrowing down to just one.
El Techo in San Francisco
Head to the center of the Mission to get great views of Fog City from El Techo. The rooftop is a favorite spot for Mexican street food like empanadas, yuca fries and taquitos with margaritas and sangrias to pair. With screens and heat lamps, this remains a hot spot even in cooler months.
The Livery in Indianapolis
You’ll feel like you just stepped on your friend’s apartment rooftop at this Latin American spot, if your friend just happened to start making stellar food. The rooftop patio here is hidden, tucked intimately between buildings away from the hustle of the city down below. The perfect way to enjoy corn empanadas with cheddar, truffle, and jalapeno-cilantro crema, or lamb tamales with avocado salsa. All washed down with a house margarita, of course.
mBar in Seattle
This Middle Eastern-infused restaurant gives a bird’s eye view of Seattle, including downtown, the Olympic Mountain range and so much in between from both the inside windows or out on the patio. The spice-forward menu is full of variety with dishes like Grilled halloumi with medjool dates, spicy carrots and pistachio, and grilled trout with caramelized onions, avocado, za'atar, labneh and fenugreek.
Camp Tripanlindee in Madison, Wisconsin
Camp Tripanlindee manages to bottle all the nostalgia of summer camp into one throwback rooftop that looks like a 1980’s Midwestern camp’s mess hall. The food is better than any camp cafeteria, but keeps it simple with cheeseburgers, beer brats, spaghettiOs and meatballs and fried cheese curds (this is Wisconsin after all!) Buy a S’mores kit for dessert and roast them over the fire.
Hamptons in Sumter, South Carolina
If you find yourself in the middle of South Carolina, Sumter is full of hidden gems like Hamptons, a rooftop restaurant in a beautiful, historic building serving up American food with an Italian twist. The chef, an Italian who previously cooked at the Inn at Little Washington, changes the menu frequently, but features dishes like fried oysters with Asian slaw, and ricotta gnudi with short rib ragout. On cooler nights cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy the fresh Southern air.
Departure in Portland, Oregon
What used to be the roof of the historic Meier and Frank department store is now Departure, a hip Asian fusion restaurant with vibrant sushi rolls and flavor-packed veggies like broccoli with Szechuan peppers, cashews and fried garlic and a charred carrot salad with chili, orange cashews and a sour coconut cream. Cocktails and mocktails are full of great flavors as well, so grab one and take in views of the Willamette Valley and beyond.
Gallow Green in New York City
Tucked above the warehouse holding the renowned Sleep No More, Gallow Green is like entering your own secret garden, an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Greenery is just about everywhere you turn (in the winter there’s more of a ski lodge vibe).The food and drinks are a draw on their own. Try the Sleep No More cocktail with pea flower-infused vodka, elderflower and rosé cider along with a lobster roll brimming with freshly steamed claws to best channel warm weather vibes.
Rivea in Las Vegas
Perched high above the Las Vegas strip — 64 floors to be exact — is Rivea, Alain Ducasse’s tour of the French and Italian Riviera. Take in the bright lights of sin city while indulging in sautéed calamari and prawns with grape tomatoes or freshly baked focaccia de recco with stracchino cheese and olive oil.
Mirador in Dallas, Texas
Eleven-foot floor-to-ceiling windows makes this rooftop spot a stunner both indoors and out. Scope views of the city and the famed outdoor sculpture Eye while eating artistically plated dishes of tuna crudo with marinated gooseberries or grilled pork loin with green strawberries, ramps and asparagus.
8UP in Louisville, Kentucky
This Louisville destination offers panoramic views of the Bourbon city. And if you are looking for a drink with the brown stuff, the bar boasts more than 100 selections of bourbon, whiskey and rye. Enjoy sharable plates like salmon tartare with everything bagel spice and Prince Edward Island mussels. After dinner cozy up by one of the firepits and soak in the city.
Guyutes in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Yes, Guyutes is an unabashed tribute to Phish and music at large — catphish wontons, anyone? But alhough Phish lovers will fawn over the soundtrack and 100 concert posters that set the scene, you don’t need to love jam bands to appreciate this OKC spot. The scratch kitchen prepares creative takes on bar food like the waffle sunfryz with tequila queso, pulled pork, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños topped with a fried egg and finished with cilantro crema, or the Wu Plantang quesadilla. The rooftop is a hit, especially on nights where the sky is clear and the stars are bright.
Up on the Roof in Greenville, South Carolina
Come for the views, stay for the food at this 8th-floor rooftop that overlooks downtown Greenville. Before cozying up by a fire pit to watch the sunset, indulge in rooftop risotto made with seasonal vegetables and parm, or their shrimp and grits with creamy mascarpone polenta and andouille. There’s often a fun theme night or collaboration dinner going on, which are a great excuse to enjoy the mild temperatures of the South year-round.
Nine Mile Station in Atlanta
Ponce City market is a must-visit in Atlanta, and that includes the roof, home to Nine Mile Station. This beer gardenesque spot, named for the city’s historic electric streetcar, offers views of Atlanta’s skylines in three directions, plus lush greenery from surrounding parks and neighborhoods. Soak in the south with a platter of crudité and assorted dips or something heartier like smoked baby back ribs with fennel slaw and cheddar cornbread. Wash it down with a beer flight or perhaps one of their three versions of an Old Fashioned with unique ingredients like Coffee, Maple, Chocolate and Orange.
Born and Raised in San Diego
Rooftops can often be an afterthought of a large restaurant, but that’s not the case at Born and Raised. The stunning outdoor space of this Little Italy steakhouse is elegant with built-in banquettes, brass details and plaid accents. Chef Jason McLeod honors the classics with dry-aged steaks as a centerpiece but has fun with some of the sides — smoky creamed kale, coal-roasted leeks with goat cheese, hazelnuts and grapes.
Izakaya Den in Denver, Colorado
An architectural stunner, Izakaya Den is a huge draw year-round, but warmer weather brings flocks of people to the rooftop. The retractable roof is a nice perk for the inconsistent weather, but the food is spot-on year-round with izakaya-style small plates filled with shrimp and lobster wontons, freshly sliced sashimi and seared wagyu ribeye with pickled mushrooms.
California Grill in Orlando
Views from the roof of California Grill are extra special — you can see right into the Magic Kingdom of Disney World. Indulge in Sonoma goat cheese ravioli in a tomato-fennel broth or grab a 'za straight that comes straight from the wood burning oven. Time your dinner just right, and you can see the iconic fireworks while you finish your meal.
Cabra in Chicago
Cabra, from beloved Chicago star chef Stephanie Izard, was a hit from day one. The colorful energetic spot has great views of Chicago’s Fulton Market, plus a pool to dip your feet in, or if it’s typical Chicago weather, a fireplace to cozy up to. Izard’s food is as energetic as the setting, with a menu showcasing creative Peruvian cuisine — bright ceviches and tiraditos, and of course a goat dish, like her goat empanadas with huacatay mayo.
Hendrix in Columbia, South Carolina
There’s a lot of history on Columbia’s Main Street — it’s been a hub since the city’s founding in 1786. Head up to the Hendrix roof to see it from a new perspective. Expect twists on traditional dishes here like loaded potato gnocchi with cheese, bacon, onions, sweet peas and crème fraiche, and an open-faced pork belly Cuban with local honey, pickled cabbage and their own bread-and-butter pickles.
The Outsider in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee may not have a long outdoor dining season, but the indoor/outdoor rooftop of The Outsider is worth a visit even with the Wisconsin chill. Batch cocktails and craft beers are a highlight — to be paired with fun snacks like local Ellsworth fried cheese curds, root beer-braised short rib sliders and Buffalo-style crispy oyster mushrooms.
The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio
Chef Jonathon Sawyer is a star of the Cleveland dining scene, and what better way to experience his food than on a rooftop at his renowned Greenhouse Tavern? Sawyer’s cooking puts a twist on the familiar with fried rice — his version is vegan and made with kimchi, forbidden rice and fried garlic — or foie gras steamed clams with foie butter, red onion brulee and grilled bread to soak it all up.
The Monarch Club in Detroit
If you want to see the resurgence of Detroit from high above, head over to the Monarch Club rooftop, which pays homage to some classic venues of yesteryear with a modern twist. You’ll find the grandeur in the design, on the inside plush leather chairs, velvet banquettes, and outdoors, intimate fire pits with the backdrop of Detroit’s skyline. Cocktails run both classic and creative like the Recess Refresh with Miles Gin, Cocchi Americano, lime acid and fruit cup syrup. The food is made for soaking up cocktails — burnt-end poutine, olives and whitefish dip are a few favorites.
Hemingway’s Cuba in Asheville, North Carolina
If you are looking for authentic Cuban cuisine, Hemingway’s Cuba is the place to try it with a view. Owner Tony Fraga is a Cuban native and brings his own twists on the cuisine. With the backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains, diners dig into paellas, drink Hemingway’s daquiri and save room for tres leches cake.
Margot in Los Angeles
Margot is more than just beautiful views and chic furniture. The market-driven menu for brunch, lunch and dinner has gained a loyal following, turning the Culver City spot into a must-visit for fresh pastas, a crudo bar, and plenty of vegetables like the charred broccoli with crispy quinoa, feta and broccoli tzatziki. Plenty of fun cocktails like the strawberry spritz with lillet rosé, strawberry tonic and cava are perfect for soaking in the sun and celeb sightings.
Sparrow in Ft Lauderdale
There’s plenty to see in southern Florida and from Sparrow’s rooftop you’ll get a lovely vista, including the beach and the buildings. The art deco rooftop is nice to look at, too, with colorful mosaic planters and funky geometric prints abound. Don’t let that distract from the menu full of cocktails for each color of the rainbow and fun shareables like sweet corn fritters with avocado remoulade and crispy mushroom
Lincoln Social in Columbus, Ohio
Peek at all the action happening down below the Short North area of Buckeye town from this ninth-floor hot spot. Snack on lobster corn dogs or share some shishito peppers with a crowd. Save room for dessert — there are plenty of sweet treats like s’mores pops and Funfetti birthday cones.
Merchant and Trade in Charlotte, North Carolina
Adults-only at this sleek and modern rooftop overlooking Charlotte where the food, drinks and music are all carefully thought out. Kick back on one of the couches with a seasonal cocktail in hand and munch on filet sliders with Asian truffle aioli and bok choy soubise, or Carolina crab cakes with pickled ginger aioli. With a covered terrace you can still enjoy the views even when the rain is pouring down.
The Heights in Toledo, Ohio
Head to the 12th floor of the Renaissance hotel for The Heights’ sweeping views of Toledo and the Maumee River down below. Cozy up on oversized cushions with a cocktail in hand to take in the vista, or munch on creole-spiced chips with green goddess dip or fried pickles with pickled garlic aioli alongside modern firepits.
Parker at The Fontaine in Kansas City, Missouri
Whether you grab a seat on the rooftop pool deck to grab a bite or head inside to the dining room, Parker inundates visitors with panoramic views of lush Missouri greenery. Brunch, lunch or dinner is served with options like create-your-own flatbread with fun toppings like nduja, braised artichoke hearts and black walnuts, and vegans will love the spring stew full of local legumes and veggies.