The Absolute Best Rooftop Bars in Nashville

From penthouse hotel bars to breweries with a view, this is where you should be drinking from on high in Nashville.

On weekends, the crowded streets of downtown Nashville can feel pretty tough to navigate. For those seeking to rise above the fray, plenty of rooftop bars with different vibes offer a respite from the delightful—but crazy—scene below.

Whether you’re looking for a high-class vibe at Justin Timberlake’s downtown club or the chance to get a little down and dirty with fellow country music fans, the decks of downtown have something for you. Additionally, rooftops outside of the urban core offer unexpected views of different neighborhoods and a new perspective of the downtown skyline.

Thanks to its location just across the alley from the stage door at the Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is iconic as the place where legendary Grand Ole Opry stars would sneak in for a drink between sets of the radio show. Of course, Tootsie’s didn’t have a rooftop bar then, but today visitors can choose between drinking and music on two interior floors, or they can take in one of the best views of Lower Broad from up on the roof.

Bar East

East Nashville

While rooftop aeries are commonplace downtown, there aren’t many spots to get above it all on the East Side, so Bar East stands out. The plush cocktail lounge serves inventive drinks and small plates of spicy Asian and Latin American food. Take your request upstairs to enjoy an evening around the firepit with great views of the Nashville skyline from a different perspective. The rooftop is also dog-friendly.

The petite rooftop bar at Teddy’s Tavern offers a great view of the entrance to Bridgestone Arena across the street, making this perch an excellent spot to hang before a game or a concert. The new owners painstakingly rehabbed one of the oldest brick buildings in the city to create a three-story restaurant and bar with live music on the first two floors, and the crowds below provide the entertainment for patrons enjoying a beer al fresco up top.

City Tap


Though many enjoy the menu of gastropub fare and the wall of craft beer taps on City Tap's ground floor, they don’t realize that there’s a delightful surprise waiting 10 stories up on top of the parking garage. Take the elevator to the expansive, artificial-turf-covered deck at the Nashville outpost of this Philly-based chain to discover the lawn party. The balconies of the adjoining apartment building are close enough that residents join in the fun, so you might even make a new friend.

This tony, Justin Timberlake-backed, multi-story restaurant/honky tonk/supper club keeps it classy as any establishment from the man wanting to bring sexy back should. The large upstairs deck offers multiple seating options for guests to people-watch while enjoying upscale food and drink options including one of the deepest and best-sourced wine lists in Nashville, courtesy of the state’s only master sommelier.




Only guests at the luxurious Joseph hotel can take a dip in its rooftop pool, but anyone can enjoy the view at Denim, the pool bar. The walls are indeed covered with various shades of blue jean fabric, creating a lovely homage to Nashville’s country music tradition, but the big surprise comes from the food and drink menu. Superstar chef Tony Mantuano provides the inspiration for Italian classics like flatbreads and antipasto plus a damned fine double smashburger. Signature cocktails include a couple of non-alcoholic options, and Denim also offers plenty of local craft beers along with wine and bubbles by the bottle or the glass.

From a prime location at the foot of Lower Broad, Acme offers a unique perspective to both look up and down the Cumberland River and at all the craziness below stretching up Broadway to the Bridgestone Arena. Featuring fun frozen drinks like the moonshine-based Mule Kicker alongside live DJ dance parties on the weekends, Acme truly is the acme of rooftop bars. For a chiller vibe, drop in for a rooftop yoga class, held every other Sunday beginning May 7.

Located atop the upscale Westin Hotel, the ultra chi-chi L27 soars to 27 stories above downtown. Grilled octopus with cauliflower sofrito makes for an enjoyable poolside snack alongside a menu of refreshing cocktails with ingredients like carrot and beet juice. That pool is truly an architectural marvel with a glass wall offering sweeping views of downtown—no need to get out and towel off to take it all in.

L.A. Jackson

The Gulch

The Thompson Hotel in the Gulch is close enough to downtown to make for an easy walk, scooter trip, or rideshare destination, and it offers just enough distance from the mayhem of Lower Broad. The hotel's L.A. Jackson rooftop bar shines with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing a wrap-around vista of the city and the rolling hills beyond the urban core. The food menu satisfies with fantastic, classic bar snacks like garlic-parmesan fries and a delicious double-stack cheeseburger, and the drinks are great, too.

Bobby, a downtown boutique hotel, stands out in a crowded hospitality market for several reasons, and a big one is its rooftop bar. In addition to private cabanas where you can sip a cocktail or cold beer poolside, Bobby features one of the most novel bars in the entire city. During the construction of the hotel, they shut down the entire street below to crane up a vintage 1956 Scenicruiser bus where guests can hop aboard to take a trip to tequila town or head out on a gin journey.

With the rooftop arms race tearing across downtown, every venue looks for a little something extra to brag about. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row boasts that its rooftop bar soars the highest (it's one of two Broadway bars that make that claim), thanks to the building’s fortunate location on a small rise on the high side of the street. There’s more to love at Whiskey Row than just the altitude though, thanks to a separate entrance from the street that allows guests to head straight upstairs without fighting their way through the crowds. Then there’s the great food, drink, and music once they arrive on top.

In Nashville, “SoBro” stands for “South of Broadway,” but at the FGL House there are always plenty of Southern bros in attendance as they worship at the altar of their hero, Florida Georgia Line. It’s all in good fun though at this multi-level entertainment complex, where the music is pumpin’, the bass is thumpin’, and the drinks are flowing, especially at the popular Cruise Rooftop Bar. A tight menu of tasty bar food adds to the fun, and live musical acts or DJs provide the soundtrack.

It seems like all that Blake Shelton touches turns to gold, and this Midas touch extends to his mega-popular, multi-story honky tonk at the corner of 3rd and Broadway. Ole Red’s rooftop feature, The Lookout, offers a more intimate vibe than the ground floor dance hall space. While big bands play kickin’ country and rock 'n’ roll downstairs for the big crowds swigging from longneck beers, The Lookout features smaller acts strumming and singing during acoustic sets for patrons sipping on fancy cocktails. It’s darned close to dignified, at least as far as Lower Broad goes.

While these two rooftops are ostensibly separate venues, you can walk from one to the other across the top of the building they share. On Luke’s side of the roof, the menu features some fairly upscale bar fare, including grilled salmon, shrimp scampi, and a massive ribeye. Jason Aldean’s features downhome Southern fare from skillets of cornbread to meatloaf and steaks. Both bars offer plenty of fun though, with live music and extensive beer and liquor selections.

Though it’s known as the Nashville Underground, the real star is the rooftop at Gavin and Joey DeGraw’s Broadway complex. They claim that the open-air terrace is the city’s tallest (Take that, Dierk’s!) thanks to the bar’s double-decker rooftop. All boasting aside, it really is pretty impressive with an indoor penthouse section featuring a huge wall of video screens and an LED dance floor opening up onto those two decks. The lower of the upper levels is divided into all sorts of spaces for lounging around in comfy sofas while the tippy top actually has a grass-covered green roof and declares itself to be dog-friendly to friendly dogs.

Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink and travel writer based out of Nashville who likes a good rooftop, but his acrophobia keeps him from living on the edge. Discover his other fears on Twitter @CeeElCee.