People in Seattle seem to think roofs are only there to keep the rain off them... not for frivolous things like “getting a drink on” or “enjoying the weather atop of." Luckily, there are a handful of establishments willing to brave the elements to give you a place to drink with views of the city. We did most of the work for you (a painstaking effort... truly) to bring you the absolute best rooftop bars in Seattle.
Classic cocktails and views of The Great Wheel
Opened last fall atop the new Charter Hotel, this 16th-story bar is named for Seattle's perpetually cool, grey skies, and boasts an interior with a muted color-palette to match. But you'll hardly notice given the impressives views of the waterfront and the excellent cocktails they're serving, including a range of classic ones invented in famous hotels.
Seafood and sweeping views near campus
Seattle's newest rooftop bar is brought to you courtesy of the new Graduate hotel and offers uninterrupted views of basically the entire city, both from its multiple outdoor seating areas, and a comfortable Northwest-inspired indoor space with tufted couches and flannel-backed chairs, as well as old mountaineering journals/gear lying around. To top it off they've got a solid seafood menu (there's a Mountain Club Boil with shrimp, clams, corn & more), and the kind of sophisticated cocktails you don't always find a block from campus.
Playful patio in the middle of Downtown
Five stories above 4th Ave, in what used to be The Red Lion, this sprawling indoor/outdoor drinking destination is 4,000-square-feet full of fire features, Gatorade-colored ping-pong tables, and plenty of summery cocktails -- even when it doesn't feel like summer out.
Colorful, casual roof deck just above the street
A welcome addition to this Vietnamese mainstay on the back side of Cap Hill, Monsoon's roof deck makes the thing they do best -- brunch -- even better. Enjoy steamed pork buns, and some of the city's best pho (get the beef round/brisket version) under the morning sun, while a breeze gently blows through the trees lining 19th St below, and the frustrated curses of people looking for parking under said trees recede gently into the background.
Great beer and great… well, reasonably good views
Opened in 2015, this rooftop patio equipped space down the street from their tiny, rooftop patio lacking original location features 10 taps pouring a rotating selection of at least 13 brews, including a pair of IPAs, an ESB on nitro, and an impressive variety of other styles, all of which taste just a little better each time you catch a glimpse of Salmon Bay and the Fremont Cut between the buildings across the way.
A tourist trap worth falling into
Yes, it's a Hard Rock. And yes, it's mostly for tourists and out-of-towners who don't know better. BUT it does boast a pretty phenomenal astroturf topped rooftop bar, complete with cabanas, a fire pit, and commanding views of the Pike Place, and Elliott Bay behind the market's famous neon sign.
A rooftop garden with food from one of the city's best chefs
Everything on this stunning, triangular-shaped restaurant's "earth to plate"-inspired menu tastes better when you're surrounded by an edible garden, one story above the considerable fray of the always bustling Melrose Market. Especially the water buffalo burger, or the Monday Night Paella.
Tequila and tacos in the city's trendiest neighborhood
MO's second, and much more sprawling location in Pike/Pine, features a sleek, mostly black bar inside and most importantly, a vibrant lounge on the roof. In either area you can expect to be plied with an almost endless array of margaritas and seriously delicious Mexican street food, including enfrijoladas that aren't to be missed.
Cramped, crowded, and utterly charming
Set away behind the mongers throwing fish in the Pike Place Market, it's easy to overlook this charmingly authentic French restaurant… but it's impossible to forget once you're ensconced at a table overlooking the waterfront eating escargot in garlic & parsley butter.
A sun-dappled spot overlooking Pike Place Market
Like the rest of the beguiling Post Alley eatery on which it sits, this most unlikely of all Seattle's rooftop decks is reached by going down a long staircase, though a trapeze-equipped dining room (they host burlesque shows at night), and out onto the patio which is both below street level and breathtakingly above what few streets remain between it and the waterfront, giving you the sense that you're safely hidden away, and sitting on top of the world, at the same time.
A stylish hotel bar with stunning views
Perched atop the Thompson Hotel, this 12th floor space serves a selection of snacks from the people behind Westward (crostini with foie butter, smoked salmon with lemon panna cotta, etc.), as well as a range of classic and specialty cocktails poured over housemade pieces of ice, but who are we kidding? You're there to drink in the seriously stunning views of the city and Elliott Bay, which makes this a can't-miss destination.
Sweeping views of Lake Union and a Middle Eastern menu
Helmed by the people behind Mamnoon, this 14th story spot is accessed through a small street level bar/waiting room. From there an elevator takes you to a short windowed corridor strewn with neon light that opens into a sprawling 2,800-square-foot space -- 2/3 of which is outside -- where, in addition to Middle Eastern fare from noted Seattle chef Jason Stratton, you will also enjoy unparalleled views of Seattle Center and the Space Needle, Queen Anne, and Lake Union just two blocks to the north.
An EDM destination open almost late enough to see the sunrise
This surprisingly intimate cocktail bar and dance music destination with a polished industrial feel and a seriously good sound system somehow flies a little bit below the radar despite consistently booking talented DJs, and boasting an after-hours roofdeck (open til 4am) that features a fireplace, multiple seating areas, and sweeping views of the skyline in the distance.
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