Things to do in Houston

Best Rooftop Bars in Houston, TX

Raise a glass for our guide to top rooftop bars, offering views and drinks in Houston.

Welcome to Houston, an unexpected circus of creative cuisine, colliding cultures, and dazzling nightlife. Here, you’ll discover what happens when innovators turn their dreams into reality, and there’s no better way to experience the city than from a front-row seat in the sky.

From innovative tapas to unexpected brews, the rooftop bars in Houston offer a unique glimpse into the city’s creative spirit, adding to the diverse things to do in Chicago. While you’ll find no shortage of thrilling sights and sounds at street level, experiencing Houston from a cozy seat among the stars, surrounded by fresh air and limitless possibilities, is truly unparalleled.

Whether you’re looking for a discreet speakeasy, a heart-racing party in the sky, or romantic date ideas in Houston, the city always brings the fun and wonder, offering something for every couple. 

Downtown Houston

With over 30 immersive public art displays and historical sites that whisper stories of days gone by, Downtown Houston has something for everyone. It’s also home to the award-winning Toyota Center, where you can experience the surrealism and wonder of Corteo.

1. Upstairs Bar & Lounge

Mouthwatering specials, happy hour with cocktails, and Brunch on the Balcony are a few reasons we love Upstairs Bar & Lounge. Taking center stage is the genius Executive Chef Sue Nowamooz, who brings light bites, wood-fired pizza, and tacos to hungry travelers.

Refreshing tropical cocktails with house juices and a selection of beer and wine provide a perfect accompaniment. Intimate indoor seating is available, but we prefer to take our meals outside on the expansive open-air terrace, surrounded by mature oaks and fresh air.

By day, Upstairs is a welcoming spot for catching up with friends, grabbing a drink after work, or enjoying a weekend brunch. At night, it transforms into an otherworldly escape where you get downtown views of Houston’s skyscrapers and moonlit parks. 

Photographer: Nik Owens

2. Lawless Spirits & Kitchen

With a name like Lawless Spirits & Kitchen, you know this show-stopping rooftop bar isn’t a place to miss. If you’re like us, you’ll feel right at home among some of the nonconformists, rule-breakers and mavericks who shaped — and continue to mold — the city, setting the stage for dreamers to think outside of the box and create the world they want to see.

Located next to the iconic Rice Hotel, Lawless Spirits & Kitchen reflects all the glitz and glamor of old-school Texas with a modern take on classic cocktails and upscale finger foods.      

Whether you enjoy a meal in the luxuriously dreamy indoor lounge surrounded by snapshots of some of the city’s most daring visionaries, or you settle in for an evening surrounded by stars on the rooftop terrace, Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is sure to be one of your favorite spots in your journey through Houston. 

3. Market Street Bar at Hyatt Centric

For an aerial view of some of the city’s best hidden gems and hot spots, Market Street Bar at Hyatt Centric is where you want to be. This rooftop bar not only offers some of the best food and drinks in the city, it brings with it unmatched style and sophistication.

Its stunning outdoor terrace features an eclectic mix of cozy lounge chairs around fire pits, comfortable bar stools, and a swimming pool exclusively for hotel guests, all with a birds-eye view of the Market Street shopping area. 

The menu is the real show-stopper, featuring a selection of small plates, fresh sandwiches, and innovative entrees. It also has an extensive drink list with signature cocktails, imported beer, and local microbrews, plus a wine menu.

4. B&B Butchers & Restaurant 

Is it a butcher house? Is it a restaurant? It’s both! B&B Butchers & Restaurant has the richness of an upscale steakhouse with a rooftop terrace to take in views of the unforgettable skyline. We love its dedication to high-quality cuisine, and we’re betting you will, too. 

It’s one of only a handful of restaurants in the country certified by the Kobe Beef Association in Japan, so you know you’ll be getting one of the best steaks in the state. Not to be outdone by other rooftop bars in Houston, it has a mile-long list of cocktails, beers, and wines by the glass.

Pop in for a weekend brunch and take in the live music on the terrace, or swing by for happy hour before hitting the town!

Photographer: Bridge India

Midtown and Surrounding Areas

Looking for the bustle of the downtown or some of the most unique museums in the city? Take a stroll through the parks and shops of Midtown, and you won’t have to choose! Here, you’ll find a maze of colorful murals winding through some of the best nightclubs and rooftop bars Houston has to offer.

5. R24 Rooftop Bar & Lounge

Panoramic vistas and the mysterious art of mixology come together at R24 Rooftop Bar & Lounge. Here, an elegant lounge awaits you with intimate seating and soaring windows that provide a heart-stopping view of the city’s sparkling skyline.

An impressive menu of handcrafted cocktails, after-dinner drinks, and wines from around the world is sure to delight, but plan your schedule wisely — this hotspot is only open Thursday to Saturday. 

6. Cielo XLIII at Market Square Tower

Grab your dancing shoes and make your way to Cielo XLIII at Market Square Tower if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience. Soaring 43 stories above street level, this rooftop bar is the tallest in Texas, boasting a 360-degree view of downtown.

With the energy of a Miami nightclub combined with Vegas-style opulence, it offers unexpected luxury in the heart of Midtown.

Its mix of entertainment showcases diverse genres, from laid-back jazz to electronic dance music. Exclusive VIP sections, a glass-bottom infinity pool, and an elevated food and drink menu make for a truly surreal experience. 

7. Skylawn at POST Houston

Once upon a time, a man named Hoerr Schaudt rolled into Houston, looked around, and noticed the startling lack of rooftop parks. Fortunately for us, Schaudt rolled up his sleeves and set to work, creating the breathtaking 5-acre rooftop park we can get lost in today.

Seven gardens, a world-class event space, an intimate cafe, and a skyline promenade are all framed in by one-of-a-kind views of Houston.

And of course, no rooftop bar is complete without an impressive drink menu. Skylawn hosts mobile bars on weekends and holidays for an ever-changing experience. 

The Heights 

Created to be a utopian planned community in the late 1800s by Nebraska native Oscar Martin Carter, The Heights is an upscale neighborhood with dreamy historic Victorian architecture, one-of-a-kind specialty stores, and sprawling parks.

This heaven-on-earth neighborhood was a dry zone from 1912 right up until 2017, but fortunately, we’re making up for lost time with microbreweries and some of the most eclectic bars in the state. As you’re strolling along the bayou, be sure to check out one of these show-stopping bars and raise a glass to Mr. Carter.  

Photographer: Brenda F

8. Harold’s Restaurant, Bar, & Terrace

When Harold and Milton Wiesenthal opened their iconic clothing store, Harold’s in the Heights, over a hundred years ago, they probably never expected their store to become one of the coolest watering holes in town.

Its founder and current owner, Alli Jarrett, opened the restaurant in 2013 with the mission to provide guests with authentic Southern hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine.

With Creole-inspired favorites such as fried Gulf shrimp, bacon-braised collards, and Granny’s Cake, Harold’s brings comfort food at its finest, while its taproom delivers locally inspired delicious drinks such as the 19th Street Cosmo and Harold’s Award-Winning Sangria.

Enjoy comfortable seating inside, or take in balmy nights on the terrace for a truly unforgettable experience.

Lazybrook/Timbergrove

Peppered with one-story brick ranches, mature trees, and upscale townhomes, the Lazybrook/Timbergrove neighborhood is a mixed bag of urban and suburban vibes. Just below the surface of that polished exterior, a whole world of fun and unexpected delights awaits, and there’s no better place to take it in than in a seat among the stars.  

9. Brenner’s on the Bayou

Take a break from the concrete jungle and bask in the wonder of nature at Brenner’s on the Bayou. We feel right at home among chirping crickets and splashing fish as we pour over the seemingly endless drink menu with selections from around the world.

One outdoor deck wasn’t enough to contain the fun, so Brenner’s offers two, both with comfortable seating, fire pits, and unmatched views of the Buffalo Bayou. If that wine list is too daunting, the sommelier can help you pair the perfect bottle with your filet mignon, Chicken Paige, or Crispy Duck Leg Confit.

And just in case that’s not enough, specialty cigars are available upon request.  

Montrose and Nearby

With a nickname like “The Heart of Houston,” you just know that Montrose offers an experience you don’t want to miss. At first glance, you see the small-town charm with architecture from the Roaring ‘20s mixed in with modern builds.

Hang around for a while, and you get an entirely different picture — this neighborhood brings the same energy as your eccentric uncle who glides into town with a cool car, a pet snake, and a wild story. If you’re looking for a fun place to unwind, your journey will likely bring you to Montrose. 

Photographer: Roschetzky Photography

10. 77 Degrees Rooftop

Where can you find laid-back Caribbean vibes and island-inspired cocktails? If you answered, “The Caribbean islands,” there’s a decent chance you haven’t yet experienced 77 Degrees Rooftop. Why 77 degrees, you ask? As it turns out, that’s the perfect cocktail temperature, so that’s what you can expect from your drink every time.

Comfy cabanas with luxurious seating and swings make our hearts fly, and there’s nothing quite like the island-inspired menu, which includes tacos, ceviche, and unexpected specialty cocktails such as Violet Sky and Norman’s Cay. This open-air rooftop bar features four levels, but our favorite is the top, where you can get unhindered panoramic views of the Houston skyline. 

11. La Carafe

Lean in closer, we’ve got an exciting secret — La Carafe. This wine bar is set in an assuming brick building on Congress Street, where it’s been since 1847. Rumor has it that this is the oldest bar in the city, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it gets the praise it deserves.

It blends in with its surroundings so well that you could walk past it a hundred times and never know it was there. We’re not saying this cozy little corner of Houston will usher you into an otherworldly scene where anything is possible, but we’re definitely insinuating it. 

Step inside its aged wooden door, and you’re immediately surrounded by flickering candles, an antique chandelier, and the oldest cash register you’ve ever seen. You could stop there, but that would be a mistake — just upstairs, a second-story balcony offers an enchanting view of downtown Houston. 

Along with a daily menu of wines and tap beers, La Carafe offers open mic nights, live entertainment, and wine tasting.

12. Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. 

When your wandering takes you to the eclectic Arts District, you’ll want to be sure to pay Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company a visit. Here, brewers are free to dream the unimaginable and make it a reality, bringing us creative brews you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Gingerbread stout, pumpkin spice latte, thin mint stout, Dreamsicle… the list goes on and on. 

BuffBrew offers an immersive experience across three levels, with a tasting room, a brewpub, and a restaurant. While enjoying these unique flavors, don't forget to explore similar elevated dining experiences at the best rooftop restaurants in Houston. The spacious rooftop terrace here provides a spectacular view of the Houston skyline, perfectly capturing the city's rhythm and architectural beauty.

Photographer: Jeswin Thomas

Downtown Historic District

Oh, the stories these streets could tell! Houston’s Downtown Historic District is perched at the northern edge of Downtown and features a colorful palette of open green spaces, brick sidewalks, and evocative street art. The historic district offers something for everyone and is one of the best places in the city for people-watching.

Is there a better place to take it all in than one of the Downtown Houston bars? We sure don’t think so!

13. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge

If you know, you know. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirits Lodge is a modern-day speakeasy that’s hidden in plain sight, bringing an escapist’s dream into reality. Don’t look for its sign — you’re not going to find it. Instead, the entrance to this upscale bar is tucked below a seemingly official “Law Offices” sign.

Go through the painted doors, climb the stairs, and you’ll find a moody indoor saloon with an impressive cocktail menu. 

If you keep going, you’ll get to a cozy rooftop balcony where you can enjoy a view of Main Street’s hustle and bustle. While it’s not the most expansive terrace in town, we love it for its intimate yet cool atmosphere and exclusive feel. 

Elevate Your Houston Experience: Rooftop Revelry Beyond the Stars 

Some views are better when you’re seated close to the stars — away from the noise and busyness of the city. Here, it’s easy to let your mind roam and dare to dream up the impossible, enjoying a unique perspective usually reserved for the birds.

A city is like a river that’s different every time you set foot in it, so whether you’re a lifelong Houston native or you’re a weekend adventurer, there’s always something new to discover. What better place to enjoy an expansive view with a handcrafted cocktail than at one of the city’s luxurious rooftop bars?

Speaking of heights, you don’t want to miss our thrilling Houston show! Spend an evening with us and find out how Mauro the clown dreams of his own burial amid dazzling acrobatics and an immersive storyline that challenges ideas of generosity and humanity.

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