Looking for next-level outdoor drinking destinations? Here are the 10 best rooftop bars in Charlotte.
We’ve rounded up Charlotte’s best rooftop bars — from flashy Uptown high rises with dress codes and lines at the door to chill neighborhood hangouts perfect for day drinking with a view.
In the works: Lincoln Street Kitchen & Cocktail, Grand Bohemian, Restoration Hardware, Wooden Robot NoDa, Soul Gastrolounge Sister Concept, Intercontinental Hotel at Carolina Theater, AC Hotel SouthPark, B Tower
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Expect a wait at the elevator to get up to this swanky lounge and lawn on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
Address: 303 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC 28208
Dress code: The dress code is serious and they won’t hesitate to deny you access in “flip-flops, baseball caps, tank tops, sports apparel, sweatshirts, work or hiking boots and ripped clothing.” Team jerseys are allowed during Bank of America stadium events only.
Set up: The flexible, indoor/outdoor space features an indoor bar with floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor covered terrace, a semi-private VIP section and a sprawling “lawn” with a retractable roof.
Go when: You need to deliver on a special date night or celebratory happy hour
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Chef Rocco Whalen’s 21st-floor restaurant is Charlotte’s go-to destination for showing off the city to out-of-towners
Address: 222 S. Caldwell Street, Charlotte NC 28202
Views: The view from this 21st-floor restaurant and bar has to be one of the most Instagrammed in town thanks to the sun setting behind the buildings and the linear fire pit on the patio that really sets the whole thing off.
Food & drink: It’s a full-service restaurant inside with floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the bar area that slide open to the terrace the view. Evening is a major draw but don’t miss the only rooftop brunch of its kind Sundays 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Go when: Your out-of-town friends or family are here and you need to show off
Young, clubby party bar atop Le Meridien hotel
Address: 18 S. McDowell Street, Charlotte, NC 28204
Views: The 18th-floor outdoor terrace at the Le Meridien Hotel has arguably the best, most complete view of the city skyline plus the only 360-degree view among the major Uptown rooftops.
Must-try cocktail: They’re best known for their Sparkle & Pop, a $14 glass of bubbly with a local King of Pops popsicle inside.
Go when: You’re looking for a lounge-y club feel but outside
Casual sports bar located between Bank of America Stadium and BB&T Ballpark
Address: 400 S. Graham Street
Views: Graham Street Pub is unique in its offering among Uptown rooftop destinations. For starters, it’s not soaring 20 stories above the city. But you’ve got to hand it to them — the view from atop the single-story building is pretty spectacular.
Come as you are: You won’t find dress codes, elevator lines or formal dining here. Those are all great and certainly have their place, but Graham Street, on the flip side, is the place to be for a more casual rooftop alternative in Uptown.
Daily specials: They’ve got deals seven days a week, including $6 burgers on Wednesday, $5 margaritas and $2.50 tacos on Thursday and $5 rose and prosecco on tap on Saturday.
Go when: You want a casual sports bar vibe with a view
Sophisticated, airy, indoor/outdoor bar on the 22nd floor of the AC Hotel at the Epicentre
Address: AC Hotel, 220 E. Trade Street
Set up: Located on the 22nd floor of the dual-brandedAC Hotel and Residence Inn, Nuvolé features a 2,400-square-foot indoor space with a large U-shaped bar and floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside, you’ll find 2,400 square feet of partially covered patio space with lounge seating and fire tables.
High life: Want to stay awhile? There’s a penthouse suite across the hall available for rentals.
Go when: You want to hang out with a crew; the fire tables are the perfect place to congregate
Casual fish bar in South End with 80-seat rooftop bar dubbed Topside
Address: 2729 South Boulevard
Specials: $1 oysters from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. They’ve also got live music and tiki drink specials every Thursday as well as a DJ, mimosas, Bloody Marys and punch every Sunday.
Cocktails: The drink menu includes boat cocktails, frozen drinks and draft cocktails. Popular cocktails include The Waterman’s Sunken Pirate —Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, ginger, blueberry puree, basil and lemon ($13); Clement — Old Forester Bourbon, Brugal Anejo Rum, Velvet Falernum, Peychaud’s bitters, and pineapple gum ($12); and the Nautical Mule — Pinnacle Vodka, ginger, blackberry, star anise and lime ($9).
Menu: Dishes includes tacos, seafood plates, salads, po’ boys, burgers, sandwiches, shareables and, of course, oysters.
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Rooftop pool deck with a backyard party vibe at the Omni hotel (open seasonally to the public)
Address: 132 E. Trade Street (Omni Hotel pool deck)
New & improved: The 41-year-old Omni Charlotte Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Uptown, underwent a massive $30 million renovation recently, including major upgrades to the pool deck.
Game day: A massive dual-sided LED screen (22′ wide x 12 ‘ high) makes this a unique spot to catch sporting events.
Go when: You want to feel like you’re on vacation
Large rooftop bar and event venue atop the Epicentre
Address: 210 E. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Events: Rooftop 210 hosts everything from concerts to fashion shows. Look for their rooftop yoga series in the warm weather months.
Go when: You’re looking to party with a crowd
Treehouse-style escape in the heart of Plaza Midwood
Address: 1221 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Set up: There’s a bar hut in the middle with prime stool seating and ample high top seating around the perimeter. Thanks to a jackpot location in the heart of Plaza Midwood, this spot is consistently packed when the weather is right.
Views: The east side orientation makes for perfect sunset views of the Uptown skyline
Daily deals: Specials available 7 days a week include $3 sparkling rose on Wednesday, 1/2 off glasses and bottles of wine on Thursday and $2 mimosas and $4 Bloody Mary bar all weekend.
Multi-level Plaza Midwood restaurant with a rooftop terrace
Address: 1212 Pecan Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205
Set up: This spot has you covered from the ground up with a ground level beer garden, main dining room and a second floor bar. But the best spot is on the rooftop terrace where you can catch Plaza Midwood’s best view of Uptown.
Go when: You want a casual brunch with a view; catch it every Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.