THE BEST ROOFTOP BARS IN AUSTIN
By THRILLIST for thrillist on May 26, 2017
With scorching temperatures right around the corner, it’s good to know there’s always a breezy refuge high in the sky. Austin’s 11 best rooftop spots offer live music, killer happy hours, dancing, and even a pool -- along with sweeping views of our ever-changing skyline, of course.
Backbeat is the second cocktail destination from the owners of drink.well. With playfully named cocktails like Melon Collins & the Infinite Gladness (Cimarron tequila, house cantaloupe shrub, lime, soda, orange flower water, and cardamom bitters), it provides one of the best and most forward-thinking drink menus in Austin, all on top of a chill rooftop deck with views of busy South Lamar.
This East Fifth Street bar with a breezy rooftop is a fun weekend stop, just a few blocks away from the chaos of Dirty Sixth. Pro tip: The mustachioed bartenders (it’s called HandleBar for a reason) make a solid Old Fashioned.
SOUNDWAVE SUNDAYS, the WET Deck’s rooftop pool party series, goes down from noon to sundown (with a few exceptions) with beats by DJ Bird Peterson. Meanwhile, you can enjoy complimentary pool access from 5-9pm on Night Swim Thursdays!
Mohawk’s rooftop is for two things: drinking, and drinking in between watching bands. Check out upcoming shows, or just have an ice cold local beer from Austin Beer Works, perfect for summer nights.
This sprawling nightclub has three levels of fun that include a photo booth and bowling, but the rooftop is the main attraction. Great views, lots of seating, and a dedicated bar and cocktail waitresses make this a welcoming spot for the graduated-from-Dirty Sixth crowd.
With its retro airport theme, this hangout caters to a 30-something business crowd. Grab a drink and head to the rooftop deck for skyline views to go with your craft brews.
The Hotel Van Zandt is home to this posh restaurant and music venue with an outstanding bar program: Choose from house cocktails, a few classic standbys, and some specialty bottled cocktails (two servings each). Just outside the restaurant is the hotel’s rooftop pool with a striking view of Downtown -- unfortunately, it’s for guests only. Maybe spring for a room after dinner?
The Rattle Inn, located on the west side of Downtown, has friendly bartenders and local live music to light up the dance floor. Make your way to the roof for a relaxing spot to sip your whiskey. Happy hour is Wed-Fri, from 4-7pm, and includes free Skee-Ball.
One of newest in rooftop venues, Summit has a very posh feel with a huge dance floor; expect a very EDM-heavy nightclub experience.
El Alma’s whitewashed rooftop patio is the stuff happy hour dreams are made of -- think seasonal margaritas and mojitos alongside queso fundido and tangy ceviche. Every day from 3-6pm, it offers discounts on favorites like the Chilanga, a frozen margarita with orange and an extra bite from Valentina hot sauce and an el chile rim.