The 17 Sexiest and Most Scenic Rooftop Bars in Austin

Soak up the views at swank hotel lounges, DJ-driven cabana bars, and laid-back music venues.

It’s always fun to throw back a nice refreshing cocktail—and that goes double during the hot Texas summer. It’s even more fun when you pair that thirst-quenching experience with some stellar open-air views. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of changes in Austin’s skyline over the past few years, and with that has come an influx of skyhigh drinking dens where you can down something tasty while watching the sunset over Bat City. If you are looking to change things up—quite literally—head on over to the nearest elevator or set of stairs and try out these top-notch Austin rooftop bars.

Wax Myrtle’s
Greta Koehn

Wax Myrtle’s

Downtown
$$$$

As much a greenhouse as it is a bar, Wax Myrtle’s is an upscale newcomer named after the ubiquitous Southern shrub. Find it on the 4th floor of the Thompson Austin, stocked with all sorts of beautiful plants lining the place. You’re in for a unique experience, as their cocktail menu is informed by “the colors, flavors, and textures of West Texas.” They encourage reservations, but walk-ins are welcome.

Available for Reservations

Zanzibar

Downtown
$$$$

Roll up to this spot and you’ll be greeted with a lone glass elevator facing the street. Enjoy the view on the way up before stepping into this trendy spot located atop the Austin Marriott Downtown hotel. From there, you’ll be able to kick back on the loungy terrace with an assortment of tropical-themed drinks. We recommend The Duke's Pearl, a combination of rum, passionfruit, pineapple, honey, and lime.

Available for Reservations
P6
Chase Daniel

P6

Downtown
$$$$

Formerly your run-of-the-mill rooftop parking garage, the P6 Lounge is now a happening watering hole complete with an intoxicating lakeside view. Located inside the LINE Austin, P6 offers Mediterranean small bites and seasonal cocktails alongside the opportunity to see South Austin from a new angle. If you’re feeling fancy, check out their Sunday Special, when wine bottles come $20 off.

Available for Reservations

La Piscina

Downtown
$$$$

The Proper’s poolside rooftop restaurant and bar is arguably the most happening place in town at the moment. La Piscina serves fajitas and family-style Tex-Mex platters alongside frozen Margaritas, small-batch tequilas, and choice mezcal. The crowd is international glam without compromising the relaxed Austin charm (in other words, you won’t get in trouble for wearing flip flops).

Available for Reservations

Group Therapy

Downtown
$$$$

Both indoor and outdoor poolside seating at Group Therapy offer all-day dining, snacks, and drinks—and there’s a lot to love about the beverages here because they are huge (everything’s bigger in Texas, after all). We’re talking full wine glass-sized pours of bubbles and pitchers capable of quenching a thirsty gang of four. Views overlook Republic Square and there’s usually live music from Wednesdays through the weekend.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Rules & Regs

Downtown
$$$$

For all the breeze, music, and sunshine, head up to Rules & Regs on the Fairmont. The restaurant and bar serves brunch, frozen refreshments, and colorful tropical cocktails. They also have non-alcoholic ‘hangover cures’ teeming with trusted recovery agents like Kombucha and coconut water. Best for when the heat is too much to bear downstairs, Rules & Regs keeps things chill thanks to a cluster of shady—and scenic—palm trees.

Available for Reservations

El Alma Cafe y Cantina

Barton Springs
$$$$

El Alma’s casual rooftop patio is a summer escape from the city, with prices that make you feel like you’ve been airlifted to a neighborhood cantina in Guadalajara. The menu stars seasonal Margaritas and Mojitos alongside Queso Fundido and tangy Ceviche, and the happy hour runs daily between 3 and 6 pm with discounts across the board including on the famed Mangorita, a frozen margarita swirled with tequila-marinated mango purée and served with an el chile rim.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Promising to treat you to gluten-free’s lesser-known wild side, Wilder Wood sports a prime low-key rooftop situation in hipper-than-thou East Austin. Expect a laid-back atmosphere, bargain happy hour, and delicious wheatless tacos, sandwiches, and other bites. Grab your favorite classic cocktails or settle in with something special like The Dirty 7th, a mix of Bulleit bourbon, Grand Marnier, lemon, and simple syrup served on the rocks.
How to book: Reserve via Google.

Maggie Mae's

Downtown
$$$$

A real old school joint, Maggie Mae’s is hosting legendary live music performances—as it’s been doing since 1978—and serving fun-lovin’ patrons across the twinkly rooftop deck, indoor bar, and courtyard. The 6th Street location places Maggie Mae’s in the thick of the action, and best of all, it’s right by Voodoo Donuts if you need to satisfy a late night sweet tooth.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Upstairs at Caroline is an absurdly fun urban backyard party overlooking Congress, complete with picnic benches, astroturf, bar games like foosball, shuffleboard, cornhole, and giant Jenga, koozies, and, of course, all the cocktails. Weekly specials include $2 Taco Tuesday, Sunday Yappy Hour (bringing along your pup gets you 25% off your bill), and Thirsty Thursday with $7 draft cocktails from 4 to 7 pm.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

This three-story rooftop patio atop the Rose Room is a non-stop Vegas-style dance party, complete with dancers and DJs galore. There’s an outside dance floor and loads of seating to enjoy tapas, cocktails, and bottle service. Soak up the bright lights, hard beats, and big crowds on weekends—in other words, it’s a post-vaccination celebration for the ages.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Edge Rooftop + Bar

Downtown
$$$$

The rooftop of the JW Marriott is open to the public after 5 pm, and features a wide selection of crafty cocktails (the Piña Colada is everything), beer, and wine plus a full menu of tacos, salads, and other light bites. The vibe is stylish yet relaxed, with comfy lounge chairs surrounding fire-pits in case the temperature takes a dip. One side has views of Ladybird Lake and the other overlooks the city skyline, so you truly can't go wrong.

Available for Reservations

WET® Bar

Downtown
$$$$

There ain’t no party like a W party. The WET Deck downtown is accessible to non-hotel guests who purchase a day pass on the W Austin’s website. Time it, if you can, to catch Happy Hour, which runs Monday to Thursday from 12 pm to 4 pm. Slurpy delights include Frosé and Frozen Cola, and cabanas and daybeds are reservable for a fee and minimum spend. DJ Sundays and Drag Brunches are currently in the works, so stay tuned.
How to book: Reserve online.

Speakeasy

Warehouse District
$$$$

Speakeasy is one of those rare OG downtown spots that's managed to weather the storm over the years and even evolve along the way. Terrace59 is the Miami-esque rooftop lounge upstairs, with white cushioned furniture, DJs, low lights, and epic views. Dedicated bar and cocktail waitresses make this a welcoming destination for the graduated-from-Dirty Sixth crowd, and they even sell cigars if you’re feeling extra swank.
How to book: Email info@speakeasyaustin.com to reserve.

Geraldine's

Rainey Street
$$$$

Hotel Van Zandt is home to this upscale restaurant and bar, known for hosting talented live music on select nights. The performers are always top tier (we’ve never witnessed a bad set), and adjacent to the stage is a glittering rooftop pool and fireplace for added ambience. The bar serves cocktails, beer, and wine, and they’ve also been known to run enticing specials like Whiskey Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for sizzling summer parties with guest DJs.

Available for Reservations

Summit Rooftop Lounge

West Fifth
$$$$

Transplants missing LA, Vegas, and NYC make a beeline to this open-air, bottle-service emporium. The swank interior sports a posh feel that, combined with a huge glitzy dance floor, evokes a vibe that’s quite literally the opposite of Austin casual—meaning, of course, guests arrive dressed to impress. The experience is high-energy, with an emphasis on EDM, so plan accordingly and don’t forget to hydrate.
How to book: Reserve online.

Hovering 20 floors above the pavement, Azul Rooftop boasts some of the best views in town alongside a massive selection of cocktails to help enhance the panoramic entertainment. The deck also has a wading pool, cabanas, fire pits, and a wealth of space to snap those coveted sunset selfies.

Available for Reservations
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Jade Fabello is a contributor for Thrillist.

James Wong is a Libra who spends his time pretending to be a vegan, watching wildlife clips, and booking plane tickets. Born in London, lived in Tokyo, and now residing in Austin, his greatest achievement is giving Posh Spice a hug in 2016.