Since the dawn of time, humans have been drawn skyward. Over the course of thousands of years, we finally figured out how to construct buildings that stack dozens of stories on top of one another, and we fill them with opulent furnishings fit for kings. So what do we do when we get to the top? Have a drink, of course. These are the world’s 25 most amazing rooftop bars and restaurants.
There’s something about a rooftop that makes us feel special. Being perched above street level, even if it’s just a few stories, brings out the inner royal in us, and, in short, makes us feel cool. Rooftops, by definition, are exclusive. We walk out onto a rooftop and immediately feel as if we’re part of a club.
The experience of dining or having a couple cocktails on a rooftop is completely different from doing the same thing indoors, namely because there’s usually no roof over your head, or an open-sided one at most. You’re in the elements, which can be a drag when it’s cold or raining, but nothing short of life-affirming when it’s gorgeous outside. A rooftop experience is also completely different in the daytime than at night, when a serene pool deck can turn into a nightclub.
In order to create our ranking of the world’s top rooftop bars and restaurants, we started by compiling all the existing rankings both in print and online, including our own. We then judged them by their ratings on online review sites, and also examined the menus for creativity and selection. We’d visit all of these rooftops in a heartbeat.
These rooftops run the gamut from casual rooftop restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, to a super-exclusive West Hollywood hotspot. In the end, one thing is certain: If you like hanging out on rooftops, every one of these should be on your list.
#25 Three Sixty at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, St. Louis
Three Sixty has the best of all worlds in St. Louis. It’s on top of the Hilton, so you can stay where you play. You get a 360-degree vista from the roof (hence Three Sixty, get it?), taking in the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi River, and a view directly into Busch Stadium. Grab a drink and a small plate by chef Matt Wessel and relax by a fire pit at the outside bar, one of several indoor bars, or the dining room.
#24 Cavalieri Roof Top Bar and Restaurant, Corfu, Greece
There’s no finer view of Corfu’s old town and azure waters than the one you’ll get from the rooftop restaurant of the gorgeous seventeenth-century Cavalieri HotelHotH. Open from May to October, the cozy balustrade-lined restaurant is a great place to enjoy cocktails and traditional Greek fare.