15 Essential Houston Rooftop Bars with Jaw-Dropping Views

Elevate your booze game.

Odds are you can throw a rock and it’d probably land atop one of Houston’s many patio bars (there’s a reason “patio season” is a year-long thing, here), but boozy rooftops and picturesque terraces with sweeping skyline panoramas are slightly harder to come by in these parts. Unicorns do exist, however, you just need to know which rainbow to follow to find them. Consider this list your treasure map, leading you on a magical journey from skyhigh hotel perches to multi-level sundrenched oases. Here’s where to catch your above-ground, open-air buzz this summer.

Z on23 Rooftop
Z on23 Rooftop

Downtown
The Le Méridien hotel’s resident rooftop bar sits 23 stories up, where you can get a sensory overload via fancified cocktails and close-up views of Houston skyscrapers. Snag a lounge chair and make classy conversation over Sazeracs, Aperol Spritzes, and popcorn shrimp—and don’t forget to snap a selfie for Insta or it totally didn’t happen. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

77 Degrees - HTX
77 Degrees - HTX

Midtown
Its name a nod to the “optimal cocktailing temperature,” this stylish spot brings the fun with four levels of cabana-style seating that’ll make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacay alongside sexy views of downtown. Grab a swing and enjoy life in the clouds as you make your way through a library of Caribbean-inspired tapas and cocktails, from rum-, mango-, and coconut-spiked tipples to Gulf snapper ceviche, fresh guac, and pineapple pork tacos. And come nightfall, the tiered haunt transforms into a super cool neon-lit escape.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

Arts District Houston
Buffalo Bayou puts out some of the most interesting brews in all of Houston (we’re talkin’ creamsicle-inspired pints and picnic-perfect suds infused with maple chili jam, y’all), and now that the team has moved into newer, bigger digs, you can enjoy said interesting brews with one of the best views of downtown. You’ll also probably want to pair those beers with outside-the-box pub grub, including but not limited to gems like masala fried cauliflower, carne asada fries, and Cheetos-dusted-and-crusted pizza made with 72-hour fermented dough.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

Photo courtesy of Sunset Rooftop Lounge

EaDo
Live music, Latin beats, and Taco Tuesdays are all a part of the fun at this hip rooftop bar, a choice spot to watch the sun crest over the skyline with an aptly-titled cocktail in hand. The boozy lineup includes the Tullahoma Sunset, a play on a whisky sour; the St Petersburg Sunset, a Moscow mule riff; and the Lake Atilan Sunset, a spiced rum punch to take the night to volcanic levels.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Dogwood Houston
Dogwood Houston

Midtown
Not only does this premium party spot house a killer rooftop bar, but the patio wraps around the entirety of the open-air building design, meaning MAXIMUM al fresco time on a warm summer's night. To clarify: By warm summer’s night, we actually mean hot summer’s night, but that’s what the Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka on tap is for, right?

How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

El Big Bad
El Big Bad

Downtown
Margaritas as good these deserve to be enjoyed alongside ample amounts of sunlight, so it’s a good thing this Big Bad boy offers a 2,000-square-foot balcony complete with an ultra-‘grammable “I Love You and Tacos So Much” sign for your imbibing pleasure. Take the totally rad elevator (or the winding stairs) one level up and grab an umbrella-covered table to slurp your cranberry and churro-infused marg and take down some Gulf shrimp tacos and old-school nachos while you’re at it. Festive events from social meetups and salsa dancing to absolutely epic holiday weekends add even more incentive to keep an eye on this joint’s Facebook page.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Brenner's on the Bayou
Brenner's on the Bayou

Rice Military
Proving that the Buffalo Bayou can, in fact, be pretty beautiful, this swanky bar rocks a duo of raised decks, picturesque views, and a sublime happy hour to boot. But if you can’t make it out of work in time, fire pits, specialty cigars (by request), and Ruby Red frosé make even non-happy hours a damn good time. As do Wagyu skewers and roasted Gulf oysters dripping in pasilla chile butter. 
How to book: Call 713-868-4444 or reserve via OpenTable.

The Grove Houston
The Grove Houston

Downtown
Overlooking the charming urban park that is Discovery Green, this two-story treehouse is one of the most gorgeously designed spaces in all of Houston. Though the second floor is mostly used as a private party space (look out for the eventual return of public events), you can always lounge on the first-level terrace to enjoy pork belly nachos, beet hummus, and tuna tartare tacos while making your way through the cocktail list. Bonus points: Herbs and produce are picked straight from the rooftop garden, which also helps to absorb heat and more efficiently cool the spot.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or reserve via OpenTable.

Grand Prize Bar
Grand Prize Bar

Museum District
If this two-story watering hole looks a little grungy, that’s because it proudly is. And it’s managed to become a beloved hangout for both regular and industry folks thanks to rad happy hour specials, a large rooftop, and a Jekyll and Hyde-like personality that’s half serious cocktail den, half low-key dive bar.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant
Chris Brown

Washington
This bespoke butcher shop and steakhouse’s rooftop patio draws a sharply dressed crowd looking to booze and schmooze. Cop a view of the Downtown skyline while you take down Texas-spirited cocktails and an opulent steakhouse meal. The restaurant is currently only offering dinner and Sunday brunch, but it’s popular rooftop social hour will make its way back into our world soon.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out online.

Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

Downtown
Great news! After a year of lockdown, this Houston classic is back and ready to serve you all the good stuff. Catch a great view of Main Street as you indulge in a few of spirits guru Justin Burrow’s boozed-up, old-school cocktails laced with things like elderflower and spiced wine syrup. But before you get to the breezy—albeit quite small—second-story terrace, you’ll have to find your way into the bar. We can help.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

The Tremont House
The Tremont House

Galveston
While the drinks aren’t cheap, the four-story view from atop the historic 1839 Tremont House, which glows at night thanks to an 8-foot, fully-lighted manzanita tree and illuminated pots, more than makes up for it. Just know that the hours are weather permitting... meaning this probably isn’t the best spot to throw that hurricane party.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

La Grange Houston
La Grange Houston

Montrose
Fact: Coastal Mexican food and freshly squeezed and infused craft cocktails are best enjoyed outdoors. So this patio bar, housed in a former ‘30s horse hospital which later became the late Montrose hotspot EJ’s, gives you two ways to do just that. But it’s the indisputably chill terrace bar that earns it a coveted spot on this list. Hit it up for mixers and seasonal fun like Steak Nights and Bingo & Pints.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Lawless Spirits & Kitchen
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen

Downtown
Gone is the storied State Bar in the Rice Lofts, a popular hideaway for influential lawyers and politicians since its days as a members-only Capitol Club (which, by the way, is rumored to be where President Kennedy enjoyed his final drink). The spirit of the place remains, but the industrial outpost has been given a much-needed facelift including an updated (and excellent) craft cocktail and bar menu. Soak up all that residual power while sipping a Bootleg Old Fashioned on the patio and watching the bustle of the city below.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

upstairs
Julie Soefer

Rice Village
This 21-and-up reboot of Hungry’s sits on the second level of the neighborhood hangout, marked by a canopied open-air treehouse-style terrace that packs the house during happy hour. That’s when you can score drinks (including frozé) on the cheap alongside wood-stone pizzas and small plates from crabcakes to ahi tuna tartare.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based who is pretty down with rooftop drinks because who isn’t? Find here enjoying some around town or on Twitter @BrookeViggiano.