While Houston has no shortage of patios at which to get your buzz on, cool rooftops and next-level terraces are slightly harder to pinpoint. That doesn’t mean these unicorns don’t exist; you just need to know which rainbows to follow. We scoured the skies to bring you the most excellent above-ground, open-air drinking spots. In the words of your dad who is absolutely up-to-date with modern trends: let’s “raise the roof.”
Comfy cabanas and pillows give an Arabian Nights feel to this sultry rooftop lounge. The meticulously crafted cocktail lineup features everything from classic Pimm’s cups to a Vietnamese-style julep infused with coffee, and there’s small bites and flatbreads to keep you going well into the night.
Not only does this premium party spot have a rooftop bar, but the patio wraps around the entirety of the open-air building design, meaning MAXIMUM outdoor 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?
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Make your way through the lounge nestled away in Hotel Sorella and you’ll be treated to an open-air oasis overlooking the CityCentre, complete with an infinity pool, draped cabanas, luxe loungers, and lanterns that really set the mood. As if things couldn’t get any more alluring, the relentlessly chic space plays host to live music every weekend.
Margaritas as good as the ones from this feisty tequila temple deserve to be enjoyed alfresco, so it’s a good thing it has a 2,000sqft balcony. Take the semi-creepy elevator, or the winding stairs, one level up and grab an umbrella-covered table at which to slurp your cranberry-and-churro-infused marg.
Proving that the Buffalo Bayou can, in fact, be pretty freaking beautiful, this swanky bar with a duo of raised decks boasts picturesque views and a sublime happy hour to boot. But if you can’t make it out of work in time, fire pits and specialty cigars (by request) make even non-happy hours a damn good time.
Overlooking the charming urban park that is Discovery Green, this second-story treehouse is one of the most beautifully designed spaces in Houston. Don’t miss the upcoming Sundown at The Grove, a beer, wine, and small bites tasting event that takes place every Wednesday from late June through the end of August.
We’re almost positive you couldn’t tell by the name, but this place is a rooftop lounge. The sprawling 4,000sqft space lures the hard-partying type thanks to special events like its weekly Saturday Night Live event, when the DJ is blasting beats and club kids are sure to be poppin’ bottles.
Just when you need to escape Houston’s biggest dance orgy (which is most definitely happening downstairs), the posh, breezy rooftop awaits... and so do the scantily clad dancers on said posh, breezy rooftop.
If this two-story watering hole looks grungy, that’s because it is. It’s managed to become a beloved hangout for both regular and industry folks thanks to rad happy hour specials, its ample rooftop, and a Jekyll and Hyde-like personality that’s half serious cocktailery, half low-key dive bar.
During Social Hour (weekdays 3-6pm), this bespoke butcher & steakhouse’s rooftop patio draws a well-dressed crowd looking to booze and bite. Get a view of the Downtown skyline while you take down Texas-spirited cocktails and opulent bar bites, including miniature beef Wellingtons and carpetbagger pizza.
Get all the feels and a view down on Main Street as you take down a few of spirits guru Justin Burrow’s boozed-up, old-style cocktails laced with things like elderflower and spiced wine syrup. But before you get to the breezy, albeit pretty small, second-story terrace, you’ll have to find your way into the bar. We’ll help.
While the drinks here aren’t cheap, the four-story view from atop the historic 1839 Tremont House, which glows at night thanks to an 8ft, 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 host your hurricane party.
Fact: coastal Mexican food and freshly squeezed and infused craft cocktails are best enjoyed outdoors. So this hip 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 totally chill terrace bar that earns it a coveted spot on this list.
Gone is the storied State Bar in the Rice Lofts, a popular haunt for influential lawyers and politicians since its days as a members-only Capitol Club (which, by the way, was rumored to be where President Kennedy enjoyed his last drink). The spirit of the place remains, but the industrial space has been given a much-needed refresh, with an excellent craft cocktail & bar menu included. Sip a Bootleg Old Fashioned on the patio to watch the bustle of the city and feel the power.
Get excellent drink specials, a generous selection of beers, and a bird’s eye view of Houston’s ever-changing landscape at this third-story watering hole. For snacking, get the Bavarian beer pretzel with apricot mustard and spicy queso.
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1. Rosemont Social Club910 Westheimer Rd, Houston
2. The Dogwood2403 Bagby St, Houston
3. Monnalisa at Hotel Sorella800 W Sam Houston Pkwy N Bldg 9, Houston
4. El Big Bad419 Travis St, Houston
5. Blue Bar at Brenner's on the Bayou1 Birdsall St, Houston
6. The Grove1611 Lamar St, Houston
7. Proof Rooftop Lounge2600 Travis St, Houston
8. The Red Door2416 Brazos St, Houston
9. Grand Prize Bar1010 Banks St, Houston
10. B&B Butchers1814 Washington Ave, Houston
11. Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge308 1/2 Main St, Houston
12. Tremont House Rooftop Bar2300 Mechanic St, Galveston
13. La Grange2517 Ralph St, Houston
14. Lawless Spirits & Kitchen909 Texas St Ste 2A, Houston
15. 3rd Floor2303 Smith St Ste 300, Houston
Situated in the heart of Montrose, this sophisticated, bi-level bar and event space slings meticulously-crafted cocktails -- ranging from classic Pimm’s Cups to a Vietnamese-style Julep infused with coffee -- and small bites and flatbreads. And just as important as the menu is Rosemont's popular rooftop, which is given an Arabian Nights feel with its comfy cabanas and pillows.
Not only do they have a rooftop bar, but patios wrap around the entirety of this open-air building design at The Dogwood meaning MAXIMUM outdoor time on a warm summer's night. With a southern-influenced menu perfect for bar snacking and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka on top, what more could you need?
Housed on the second floor of the Hotel Sorella in Citycentre, Monnalisa is a chic, upscale lounge with an open-flame fireplace, secluded booths, plush couches, and an open-air courtyard with an adjacent infinity pool (cabanas and daybeds included). The posh space features specialty cocktails and wine, as well as a menu of modern American snacks. It’s a high-end option for post dinner drinks, or a night out with friends. You can enjoy your fancy martinis with live music and birdseye views of the bustling central plaza.
El Big Bad describes itself as a "feisty" cantina and we agree. This downtown tex-mex spot not only has the eats, but also specializes in infused tequilas so you can get your drink on. Come by for happy hour every from 3pm to 7pm when cocktails and margaritas are $3 off.
Proving that the Bayou can, in fact, be pretty freaking beautiful, the picturesque Blue Bar at Brenner's boasts a swanky happy hour complete with $4 craft beers, $6 cocktails & martinis, $7 wines, and $6 small plates -- including hand-cut truffle fries and tender veal & ricotta meatballs that are absolute musts.
If the innovative New American cuisine and cocktails at The Grove don't amaze you, then perhaps the restaurant's gorgeous view of Downtown Houston's urban park, Discovery Green, will.
Pegged as a NYC/LA lounge "with a Southern flair," this midtown club boasts 4,000 sq ft of rooftop patio along with fun, vibrant cocktails. Among many others, guests can enjoy the popular house punch (Hendricks gin, St. Germain, fresh cucumber, fresh raspberries, fresh lime juice, ginger ale) and special events like the weekly Thursday Steak Night, Friday Frenzy, Saturday Night Live, and Sundown Sundays.
This sign-less lounge in Midtown is recognizable only by its signature -- and obvious -- red door, and shares a suite with Spare Key, Sage County, Wonder Bar. But unlike it's chic, and sometimes crowded neighbors, Red Door's boasts a posh, breezy rooftop that's isolated and sophisticated. And like it's neighbors... Houston's biggest dance party rages on on the bottom floor.
This grungy two-story bar where Montrose meets the Museum District features rooftop access, a pool table, jukebox tunes and a full bar manned by award-winning mixologists on each floor. Cocktail lists are ever-changing and the kitchen is fully operational, meaning you’ll snack on a pimento grilled cheese with blackened green tomatoes or a chorizo meatball sub between sips of an imaginative beverage like the Five Finger Death Punch with rum, apricot brandy, vanilla, and lavender. Illuminated by glittery rainbow string lights, the space is alternately sophisticated and whimsical.
You can’t get more Texas than in-house dry-aged USDA Prime and Texas Wagyu served in cuts larger than your head. Or a chicken-fried pork chop with sausage. Or a Carpet Bagger on the Half Shell, a filet with bacon, blue cheese, and a fried oyster on top, all housed in an oyster shell. Fill up on all this and a couple of superb cocktails, like the Blood Orange Sky or the French Diplomat at Houston’s B&B Butchers & Restaurants, a butcher shop-steakhouse hybrid in the Sixth Ward. While we suggest hunkering down at a table in the elegant, exposed brick dining room, the antsy among you will head to the deli counter, where you can grab the same delicious meats, either by the pound or stacked in a sandwich.
Be prepared to feel the effects after just one of spirits guru Justin Burrow’s boozed-up, classic cocktails laced with unexpected flavorings like elderflower and spiced wine syrup. But before you can enjoy the drinks, you’ll have to find them behind a nondescript door in Downtown Houston. Climb the dark, narrow staircase to the dark drinking den at the very top, where you’ll revel in your libations and the views of the city in a small, sultry space.
Though the drink prices may be a little higher than usual, you'll be grateful for the elevation of the rest of the bar once you take in the views from the top of the Tremont House Hotel.
Located in a former horse hospital in the heart of Montrose, this casual bar and patio is known for its coastal Mexican fare, rotating craft beers, and south of the border inspired cocktails. Menu items like the shrimp and crab empanadas, "Holy" queso, and salmon aguachile pair perfectly with La Grange's freshly squeezed and infused libations and tequila flights.
Situated in the Rice Hotel in the space that was once the historic State Bar in the Rice Lofts, lives Lawless Spirits & Kitchen: a swanky, Downtown bar that supplies refined cocktails and bar bites to white collar clientele. Libations are both classic -- like the double rye Manhattan -- and creative -- "Punch Me in the Moonshine" (Ole Smoky Hunch Punch Lightnin', agave, splash of soda with fresh strawberries and basil). A rooftop patio supplies gorgeous views of Downtown Houston.
This massive bar in Midtown Houston supplies 50 microbrews from all over the country, 50 boutique American wines, a rotating selection of three cocktails -- such as a boozy Arnold Palmer or sangria -- on draft. Food includes comfort shareables, like ahi tuna nachos, charcuterie, and Bavarian pretzels, all to be enjoyed at 3rd Floor's long communal tables. The rooftap patio offers a bird's eye view of the city.