Rooftop Bars. Does it get any better? Before the weather gets chilly, enjoy the last of summer’s sunsets with a cocktail in hand at one of the best rooftop bars in the U.S. A visit to one of these rooftop bars will spice up a corporate meeting, a fun date, or any friendly gathering. Best of all, one of these fabulous bars might just be in a metropolitan area close to you. Drink up!
10. Departure Restaurant + Lounge - Portland, OR
Photo Credit: departureportland.com
Adjacent to Portland’s famous Pioneer Square, the swanky rooftop bar, Departure, serves up “Asian fusion” drinks and dishes, along with a Stumptown Cold Brew-centered cocktail with Templeton rye, ginger liqueur and honey. While the interior part of the restaurant has mood lighting and futuristic metal paneling, guests can take-in impressive views of downtown skyscrapers and the Willamette River outdoors at this chic rooftop bar.
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9. Raven Café - Prescott, AZ
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Nestled between Flagstaff and Phoenix in one of Arizona’s greener enclaves, Prescott is home to Victorian-style architecture, cultural festivals and plenty of hiking trails. Stop by the hip Raven Café, an eco-friendly rooftop bar with all-natural ingredients. Accompanying the delicious food (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options abound) is a generous selection of local craft beer and a patio looking out towards the picturesque Prescott National Forest.
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8. St. James Infirmary - Reno, NV
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A couple blocks south of Truckee River, the locally-loved St. James Infirmary rooftop bar has an unparalleled vintage feel, with mod couches, a jukebox and unique neon lights in its downstairs lounge. The bartenders are known for their attention to detail and careful beverage presentation, namely the Moscow Mule served (as it should be) in a copper mug. Upstairs, the smoke-free balcony bar is illuminated by tasteful string lighting and provides people-watching of the highest caliber.
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7. Skybar - Pittsburgh, PA
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Looking to party the night away? Pittsburgh’s most dynamic club, Skybar, features an awesome rooftop bar with a pool on its deck that closes in the evening to become a dance floor, with surrounding cabanas for rent. Events take place frequently here, from good ol’ blowout raves to rooftop yoga sessions. If you aren’t in the mood for bottle service, grab one of Skybar’s alcohol-laden slushies and gaze out over the view of Pittsburgh’s South Side. For more dancing, head downstairs to Diesel Club Lounge, to find a dance floor, cheap drinks and great music!
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6. Acme Feed & Seed - Nashville, TN
Image Credit: theacmenashville.com
This memorably-named traditional Southern rooftop bar has a menu to fit any craving. Whether it’s an IPA from a local brewery like Turtle Anarchy or Jackalope, a glass of Prosecco, or one of Acme’s signature cocktails with fresh ingredients, you’ll find the perfect beverage to accompany your “Heaven-lee” ribs or a nibble from the sushi menu. Check out the spacious second floor of this 200-year-old building to enjoy local talent along with a great view of both the bustling Broadway thoroughfare and Cumberland River.
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5. El Techo de Lolinda - San Francisco, CA
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Tucked away in San Francisco’s Mission District is one of the city's favorite rooftop bars. El Techo de Lolinda is a fantastic place to have brunch or drinks with an Argentinian twist. The cheerfully modern rooftop lets you gaze out over this hilly city while sipping on a Bloody Maria or a $25 pitcher of sangria. In addition to Latin versions of breakfast favorites (lots of chorizo and jalapeño cornbread), Lolinda offers small plates like shrimp ceviche and beef empanadas. Don’t forget to make reservations!
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4. HandleBar - Austin, TX
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Celebrate facial hair by visiting this moustache-themed establishment in downtown Austin, where Happy Hour continues from 3 to 8 p.m. every day except Sunday, which is all day long. Drinks at this rooftop bar are named after famous men with ‘staches, such as Ned Flanders, Tom Selleck and Salvador Dalí. Up on the roof, HandleBar steps-up regular bar fun with giant Jenga, a seesaw and rocking horses for adults—you might not be able to pull yourself away from this bundle of activities.
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3. Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery - Chapel Hill, NC
Image Credit: www.thetopofthehill.com
Any self-respecting college town has its share of brewpubs, but UNC-adjacent Top of the Hill goes above and beyond with award-winning in-house lagers, porters and IPAs, and most recently, a burgeoning distillery. TOPO’s “Great Room” is a popular wedding venue and appeals to all types of corporate events, yet the exterior balcony works for more casual gatherings. Try one of TOPO’s flatbreads while boozing; one comes with house-made pimento cheese and slow-roasted pork.
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2. Drumbar - Chicago, IL
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If you enjoy a classy vibe with an enforced dress code, look no further than Chicago’s rooftop barDrumbar, inspired by old-time speakeasy culture. Inside, leather couches and fireplaces give the bar a cozy, exclusive feel, with a hushed atmosphere that allows you to actually hold a conversation with fellow guests. Step onto the terrace for a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, all while imbibing on one of Drumbar’s signature cocktails, like Crime Wave, with Banks rum, walnut orgeat, blueberry preserve and citrus.
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1. VU Rooftop Bar - New York, NY
We saved the best view for last—VU Rooftop Bar in Manhattan’s Koreatown sets you up right in front of the Empire State Building, complete with heat lamps and retractable awnings. Come here on a weekend for live music, people watching and great deals: a check-in on Yelp gets patrons a free shot of any well liquor. Though the venue gets a bit crowded, it’s worth it for locals taking a break from a busy work schedule or tourists seeking sights. Order a Pimm’s Cup or maybe, for fruit lovers, a lychee martini.
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This article was written by Juliana Cohen and edited by Tripping.com Content Specialist Lexi Perman.