The Essential Rooftop Bars in Atlanta
From penthouse hotel bars to breweries with a view, this is where you should be drinking from on high in Atlanta.
There are few things better than enjoying your favorite cocktail with friends while taking in a gorgeous bird’s eye view of Atlanta. And the city has plenty of rooftop bars that quite literally take you to soaring heights. You’ll find live music at downtown’s RT60 and stunning sunsets and sips at Nine Mile Station. And with elevated heights comes elevated bites. Atlanta’s rooftop bars offer everything from mouth-watering, Southern staples to hunger-halting burgers.
As one of the city’s newest rooftop destinations, RT60 provides sweeping views of downtown Atlanta, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium (which is absolutely stunning at night). On the menu at RT60, you’ll find shareable plates and signature cocktails that include a Caribbean Mai Tai and an Extra Hot Rita for those who like to feel the burn. On any given night at RT60, you’ll be treated to live music or the latest and greatest tunes from a local DJ.
Located in the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, St. Julep is a darling rooftop bar where you’ll find breezy cocktails and elevated bar snacks. And speaking of breezy, St. Julep’s location on the ninth floor makes it perfect for enjoying the night breeze as you sip on a 13th Floor (bourbon, tiki bitters, and spices) or the equally tasty My Cousin In Trinidad (rye, orgeat, angostura bitters, and lemon).
Stunning skyline views await at Drawbar, the latest boozy lounge to grace the city. If you’re feeling hungry, the small bites menu at Drawbar is loaded with lip-smacking, Southern favorites, including Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs and Crawfish-Sweet Corn Hushpuppies. And be sure to stop by for Recess at Drawbar for $10 signature cocktails, and discounted bites and wine. Your wallet will thank you.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Grindhouse makes the cut because we’ve seen how awesome Grindhouse has been without a rooftop bar. Now that it has one, and has a solid list of drafts available by pint and pitcher, the burger spot’s robot-toy decorated, horror-movie-styled design will benefit from an uplifted outside area designated as a sports bar (and limited to adults only). Hopefully that means you qualify for being at least 21, and isn’t a way to pass judgment on the way you dress or the type of jokes that come to your mind and make you snort with Beavis-like laughter when you invite your nerdy friends to a place called “Grindhouse.”
Suite Food Lounge
Tucked right beside Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, State Farm Arena, and practically every other major attraction in Downtown Atlanta is Suite Food Lounge, a bar and lounge that looks lavish but still feels welcoming. Its rooftop bar is revered for its lively day parties (which often stretch all the way to 11 pm), so after experiencing any of Downtown’s go-to attractions, head over to Suite Food Lounge.
HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern - Atlantic Station
HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern’s newest location has made a major splash at Atlantic Station since its opening. In addition to having a menu full of must-try handcrafted cocktails (and fishbowls), the two-story eatery also boasts HOBNOB HIGH UP, a 21+ rooftop patio that overlooks Atlantic Station’s stunning new courtyard and gives patrons an awe-inspiring view of the Midtown Skyline. Pull up to HOBNOB right before sunset and thank us later.
Virtue Cocktail Club
5Church is a staple in Colony Square, and thanks to its swanky discord, the Midtown eatery has become a tried-and-true destination for low-key business meetings, a quick, yet fulfilling bite for lunch, and everything in between. What makes 5Church even cooler is that its roof is home to the sexy (and not too-high) rooftop lounge known as Virtue Cocktail Club, which is open Thursday to Saturday starting at 5 pm.
Upstairs at the Parisian-styled market Bazati, Estrella serves up a Latin-American vibe that’s part Miami nightlife and part Yucatan flavors Tuesday through Sunday. The brilliant white interior, with teal floral floor tiling and woven brown chairs, provides a high-energy brightness that complements the skyline sprouting from Atlanta’s tree canopy and pedestrians strolling the Eastside BeltLine trail below. But it’s easy to let your tastebuds escape ATL for a few moments via the tamarind margarita, pisco sour, Hemingway daiquiri, and Cuba Libre, along with tapas like jicama ceviche with pineapple vinaigrette, fancy venison, or tempura-fried oyster tacos.
Sky Lounge At The Glenn Hotel
As long as The Glenn Hotel’s centrally located roof exists, it'll remain in the top tier of ATL’s most scenic building-top bars. It’s hard to get a better view of Downtown and beyond than what’s in your frame of vision on the 11th floor. The drink menu includes three wines by the glass (pinot grigio, chardonnay, and pinot noir) and cocktails like the margarita-esque Smoked Roca, with pineapple and a paprika salt rim.
After a bout of heavy renovations and near-demolitions, Hotel Clermont reopened with a relaxed, well-manicured, Astroturf-covered rooftop space. It's got an identity all its own, with plants growing from painted oil barrels, early-to-mid-century patio furniture, and the restored, neon-red-lettered “HOTEL CLERMONT” radio tower that stood on the top floor for decades and is taller than the actual hotel—but most importantly, it has a pristine white bar shack from which you can order frosé.
Resting atop the stylish boutique hotel known as Hotel Colee—which was formerly The W—is Whiskey Blue. So whether you’re treating yourself to a picturesque staycation or simply looking for a sleek and classy rooftop bar to hit up on a clear summer night, Whiskey Blue should most definitely be on your radar.
Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House
Whether you’re ducking traffic on Howell Mill and Northside, or just enjoying the view of Atlanta’s most memorable dead people at Oakland Cemetery, these are two of the city’s premiere spots for rooftop boozing (and brunch boozing as well). Both locations are open till 11 pm on the weekends and serve the likes of lobster rolls, conch fritters, and crawfish boils.
Fado Irish Pub
Whether you’re in at 7 am to catch an obscure soccer match on the other side of the globe, or just lifting a pint in honor of knocking off work early, this Buckhead booze factory is a can't-miss stop thanks to a fantastic view, a deep drink menu, and waitresses who'll charmingly explain that yes, Queens Park Rangers and Rangers are two different things. Get there between 4 pm and 7 pm to enjoy Happy Hour and throw back $7.50 premium wines and $8 signature cocktails.
Republic Social House
Republic stands out for its varied assortment of daily specials, including the $0.65 wings on Mondays from 6 - 9 pm, $9 burger-and-a-beer lunch deals on Wednesdays, and the $8 beer-and-shot combos on Thursdays, among others. Oh, and don’t forget the $15 bottle of bubbly with OJ during weekend brunch from 11 am to 2 pm.
Drinking beer out of a stein on a beer garden roof in Downtown ATL has many benefits, starting with the buzz that results from all that German beer you’re getting in one vessel. Will you fail at pronouncing the names of many of these Reinheitsgebot-approved brews? Absolutely. Will that be OK? Absolutely.
The Westside has plenty of views, but O-Ku stands out with remarkably fresh sushi. The deck may not be the most decked-out, but when you’re standing on the weathered wood floors under the string lights and steel covering, you’ll know that they treated their rooftop like their sushi—great taste based on simplicity.
Little 5 Corner Tavern
The inside almost completely burned up a few years ago, and that sucked. But then it came back with a rooftop patio situated right in the heart of Little 5 Points. You’re in the center of Atlanta's strangest neighborhood, with a bird's-eye view of purple and pink mohawks attached to bodies wearing matching sneakers. Not a bad place to drink local beer!
Nine Mile Station
Nine Mile Station, located in a corner slightly separated from the rest of PCM’s rooftop carnival Skyline Park, is more than a beer garden—it’s a beer garden with low-ABV draft beers, high-gravity stouts (appropriate for your location), three types of Old Fashioneds, a house shot that mixes Campari with Fernet-Branca called the Ferrari, and a cocktail called “3rd Coast Drip” that mixes gin with yellow Chartreuse, lime, mint, and more. You can also buy wine by the glass or bottle and sip enough to completely crush Skyline Park’s games and giant slide as you get back to your skeeball-loving childhood.
This upper-deck intersection of Spanish, Moroccan, and Indian flavors at the Buckhead Atlanta development welcomes you to “Gypsy Hour” every weekday at 4 pm for two hours of $6 wine varietals, $9 infused gin & tonics, and tapas for $10 or less. They’ve also got a late-night menu with chorizo and manchego plates, poutine, and a fried chicken pita all beneath that huge marquee name sign. Be there on Sundays for Basque in the Sun Sundays, which will make you feel like you’ve momentarily been transported to Northwestern Spain with a live flamenco guitarist, featured wines, refreshing ciders, and a vast selection of delicious Spanish snacks.
Tom, Dick & Hank
While you won’t see any Braves games happening just down the street anymore, this Ralph David Abernathy barbecue bar still offers some of Atlanta’s best smoked wings and supreme looks at what used to be Turner Field. The modernist, woodsy design somehow blends in with the historic vibe of the area, so you’ll feel like The Perfect Atlantan when you drink the actual cocktail, made of Crown Royal Apple, agave, Chambord, lime and cranberry juice, or the Hennessy peach tea. Hell, if it’s hot (and it probably will be), get the house special TDH made with Hendrick's gin, cucumbers, lime, and ginger beer.
Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar
From the Hop City empire comes Barleygarden, which has brought a beer garden to the Avalon—and therefore serious beer credibility. There’s a covered patio bar outlined by stools with butcher block seats, where you can sip top-shelf Euro brews, canned local beers, and Pulp Fiction-inspired cocktails like the Fox Force Five with rum, lime, and allspice dram, and the gin-based Vincent Vega with house-made grapefruit and fennel aperitif. If you get hungry, The Spotted Trotter provides charcuterie, sausage, and such, paired especially to your beverage.
New Realm Brewing Company
Panoramic Atlanta is what you get from New Realm's rooftop terrace. The BeltLine is its backyard, and the rooftop has plenty of heated outdoor seating, food from Chef Julio Delgado (who previously ran the kitchens at The Ritz-Carlton Downtown and Château Élan Winery & Resort), and beers like Hoplandia American IPA from cofounder Mitch Steele (former Stone Brewing brewmaster).
Danielle Harling is a contributor for Thrillist.
Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist.
Mike Jordan is a contributor for Thrillist.