If there's one thing that Dallas drinkers hate, it's being limited to imbibing indoors. After all, that's half the reason we live here in the first place. Because we don't have to brave cruel, cold winters, and the summer heat is easy to beat on a patio with some shorts on and a cold drink in hand, we have rounded up the best bars with rooftop patios where you can catch a buzz, catch some rays, and take in a pretty awesome view all at once.
Dallas' Best Rooftop Bars for Beating the Heat
Just based on location alone, it's hard to beat Happiest Hour. Being nestled between Uptown, the Arts District, and Downtown, and literally right next door to the American Airlines Center makes Happiest Hour the perfect post-work meet-up spot for happy-hour drinks, or the perfect pregame spot before a Mavs or Stars game. The fact that their sleek interior blends effortlessly into a rooftop bar with a prime view of the Downtown skyline is just icing on this boozy cake.
There are so many reasons to love the Quarter Bar, but chief among them is the great upstairs area. The indoor courtyard seamlessly fades to rooftop with a great selection of eats from the Bread Winners' kitchen next door. Score a table near the balcony railing for a nice view of the skyline in the distance.
This is the rooftop bar for people who don't usually think of themselves as rooftop bar aficionados. On Elm St in the heart of Deep Ellum, Wits End prides itself on its funky decor, old-school arcade games and lack of concern with frills. The rooftop bar offers a prime spot to people watch one of the city's greatest sports: couple's fighting.
This East Dallas hotspot has come to define the new era of Lower Greenville. Head through the restaurant downstairs -- or stop for a meal, the food is great -- and make your way to the extensive rooftop. The hip industrial decor is softened by planters filled with fragrant herbs, the same herbs accenting your cocktail. Stake out a table facing Greenville for one of the best views of the city.
The green neon sign simply says "ROOM." Get it? Neither do we, but The Green Room is a name as synonymous with Deep Ellum as Trees, and in fact, it’s just next door. This rooftop has been the post-concert hangout for over 20 (non-consecutive) years. The rooftop patio overlooks the scene of Elm St below, with Downtown looming just a few blocks away.
Between the poolside cabanas, the sleek bar, and the infinity pool, you might think you got off the elevator in Las Vegas for a moment. But step outside onto the patio and there is no mistaking where you are -- Dallas, Texas in all its glory! The view from SODA Bar is incredible and (almost) not to be topped.
The Belmont Hotel is brimming with rustic Southwest charm and easygoing vibes. The bar, aptly named Bar Belmont, serves cocktails to a mature crowd that's less interested in being seen and more interested in the company they are with. The atmosphere may be subdued but the view of Downtown is over-the-top.
Tei-An is best known for its world-class Japanese cuisine, but it quietly boasts one of the best rooftops in the city. Tucked into the end cap of the Arts District in One Arts Plaza, Tei-An hosts patio jazz sessions on certain Wednesday nights throughout the summer. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for these happenings as they fill to capacity quickly.
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Amanda Cobra did a lot of research on rooftop bars around town primarily by re-enacting the iconic scene from Titanic until other people asked her to stop.
When not writing for Thrillist or CultureMap, you can find Hayden Bernstein plotting his next road trip on Google Maps and counting the days until South-by-Southwest.
1. Happiest Hour2616 Olive Street, Dallas
2. The Quarter Bar3301 McKinney Ave, Dallas
3. Wits End2727 Elm Street, Dallas
4. Green Room2715 Elm St, Dallas
5. HG Sply Co.2008 Greenville Ave, Dallas
6. Tei-An Rooftop Lounge1722 Routh St, Dallas
7. Bar Belmont901 Ft Worth Ave, Dallas
8. SODA Bar at the Nylo Hotel1325 S Lamar St, Dallas
Uptown Dallas's aptly named the Happiest Hour is sure to become your post-work go to. The outdoor bar and lounge scores with killer skyline views, an extensive bevy of fruity craft cocktails, and spacious digs (at over 12,00 square feet, it's the largest patio in all of Dallas, so bring your crew). Crudité-like small plates are good if you're in the mood for a snack; the signature two pound braised "Dino" beef rib is a solid choice to share.
A dive bar with an outdoor patio and killer happy hour specials, all from the food geniuses at Bread Winners Bakery & Bistro.
A quirky update on the classic honky tonky bar, Wits End is a no f**ks given kind of neighborhood spot that gets lively when the sun goes down. Shoot pool and play vintage arcade games with the regulars, or head upstairs to the roof deck and take in some people watching along busy Elm St. The no frills menu includes all your favorite dive bar standards: plenty of beer and lots of whiskey.
Green Room had a 12yr Elm St run before shuttering with nearly everyone else in '06 -- now two veteran venue managers (Green & Gypsy Tea Rooms, Trees...) cranked it back up, adding a full kitchen retrofit and gardened rooftop, but leaving the rest largely unchanged, from the time-weathered 150yr-old saloon bar to the cymbal chandeliers (zildjiantastic!).
This East Dallas hotspot has come to define the new era of Lower Greenville hotspots, with its carefully crafted food and drink, not to mention its extensive rooftop bar area and sweeping skyline views of Downtown. Paleo-inspired New American grub is what's on offer (think Tex Mex grain bowls, zucchini "pasta" with roasted eggplant, and cauliflower-cashew "grits"), but don't think that just because its "health conscious" doesn't mean it's not delicious.
Whether you're dinging on the rooftop patio or in one of the mod or rustic dining rooms, Tei-An is a sight for sore eyes. The menu boasts gourmet-level Japanese fare like daily fish selections in big sashimi spreads, brisket braised in miso, and chewy tonkotsu ramen bowls. Reservation for the roof top are must -- seated just below Uptown, this spot's prime location offers one of the best skyline views of the city.
Located in the Belmont Hotel, Bar Belmont's got an outdoor terrace with incredible views of the Downtown skyline (as does the hotel's pool!), an EB&D Loaded Up & Truckin Burger (bacon, cheddar, and frittered farm egg), and a Beer (!) Can Farm Chicken with tomatillo chili sauce and pickled green beans.
When you step off the elevator you may think that you are momentarily in Las Vegas with the poolside cabanas, sleep bar and infinity pool -- until you see the skyline of Dallas below you.