May 11, 2023 - Food and Drink

The 18 best rooftop bars in Charlotte

The JW Marriott uptown. Photo: Danielle Chemtob/Axios

Looking for next-level outdoor drinking destinations? Here are the 17 best rooftop bars in Charlotte.

We’ve rounded up spots from flashy Uptown high rises with dress codes to chill neighborhood hangouts perfect for day drinking with a view.

Honorable mentions: The Imperial, Gin Mill, Unknown Brewing, Nellie’s Southern Kitchen (Belmont) Burial and Lincoln Street.

Scared of heights but still love the outdoors? 25 best patios in Charlotte

Editor’s note: These establishments are listed in no particular order; this is not a ranking. This guide was last updated on May 12, 2023.

Merchant & Trade

Take the elevator to the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, and you’ll arrive at Merchant and Trade.

Views: The outdoor space has breathtaking views of the city and overlooks Romare Bearden Park and Truist Field.

Dress code: Merchant & Trade used to be notorious for its dress code. But feedback from guests and a change in staffing have resulted in the dress code being relaxed.

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.

  • You’ve likely seen their chic igloos on Instagram during the winter months.

Go when: You want a special date night experience or a celebratory happy hour.

Details: Merchant and Trade is located at 303 S Church St.

  • It’s open Tuesday-Sunday 5pm-midnight.
  • Follow their Instagram for updates.
Merchant & Trade

Fahrenheit

Chef Rocco Whalen’s 21st-floor restaurant is Charlotte’s go-to destination for showing off the city to out-of-towners.

Views: This 21st-floor restaurant and bar has to be one of the most Instagrammed in town thanks to the unmatched views of the sunset and modern fire pits.

Food & drink: There’s a full-service restaurant inside with floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the bar area that slide open to the terrace view. Their evening atmosphere is a major draw, but be sure to come back for their rooftop brunch on Sundays from 11am to 2:30pm.

Go when: You’re out-of-town friends or family are here and you want to show Charlotte off.

Details: Fahrenheit is located at 222 South Caldwell St.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 5-11pm, Friday 5pm-2am, Saturday 4pm-2am and Sunday 11am-2:30pm (brunch); 5-11pm.
Fahrenheit Rooftop
These boozy slushies pair nicely with skyline views on a hot day.

Cloud Bar by David Burke

Chill sun-soaked bar atop Le Meridien Hotel.

Views: The 18th-floor outdoor terrace at the Le Meridien Hotel has arguably the best full shot of the skyline and touts the only 360-degree view among the major Uptown rooftops.

Dress code: Neat casual, according to their website.

Go when: If you’re looking to party with bacon and booze.

Details: Find Cloud Bar by David Burke at 555 South McDowell St.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 5-11pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-midnight.

Go deeper: See inside: Cloud Bar, a rooftop bar by celeb chef David Burke, is now open in Uptown

Cloud Bar by David Burke
SKyBar Bacon, Tuna Taco, etc.
The DB Maple-glazed bacon clothesline is a fun novelty item to try.

Graham St. Pub & Patio

Casual sports bar located between Bank of America Stadium and Truist Field.

Views: Graham Street Pub isn’t soaring 20 stories above the city. But it holds its own with this patio atop a single-story building.

Come as you are: You won’t find dress codes, elevator lines or formal dining here. Graham Street is the more casual rooftop alternative in Uptown.

Go when: You want a casual sports bar vibe with a view.

Details: Find Graham St. Pub & Patio at 400 South Graham St.

  • It’s open Sunday-Wednesday 11am-midnight and Thursday-Saturday 11am-2am.
graham-street-pub-new-restaurant-bar-charlotte

Nuvolé Rooftop TwentyTwo

Pronounced “new-va-lay.” Sophisticated, airy, indoor/outdoor bar on the 22nd floor of the AC Hotel near the EpiCentre.

Set up: Located on the 22nd floor of the dual-branded AC Hotel and Residence Inn, Nuvolé is 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.

Dress code: The suggested attire is “upscale,” meaning collared shirts, dressy jeans or slacks and dress shoes; or high-end clean sneakers for the gents and a dress or a dressy top and jeans for women. Find the full dress code here.

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.

Address: Find Nuvolé at the AC Hotel at 220 East Trade St.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 5-11pm and Friday-Saturday 5pm-1am.

Topside at The Waterman Fish Bar

An 80-seat rooftop patio dubbed Topside on top of The Waterman in South End.

Specials: $1.50 oysters weekdays from 2-7pm.

Cocktails: The drink menu includes boat drinks, frozen boozes and craft cocktails. Order the Nautical Mule made with Pinnacle Vodka, ginger, blackberry, star anise and lime ($9.50).

Menu: Dishes include tacos, seafood plates, salads, po’boys, burgers, sandwiches, shareables, and, of course, oysters.

Go deeper: The 10 best places to eat oysters in Charlotte

Details: Find The Waterman South End at 2729 South Blvd. 

  • The restaurant is open Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm. Topside’s open status is weather-permitting. 
Topside at The Waterman
lobster-roll-at-the-waterman-in-charlotte
Lobster roll at The Waterman

Coin Bar

Rooftop pool and bar with a backyard party vibe at the Omni hotel (open seasonally to the public).

Know before you go: The Omni Charlotte Hotel, Charlotte’s first large hotel in Uptown, underwent a $30 million renovation a few years ago, including major upgrades to the pool deck and all guest rooms.

  • The Coin Bar is complimentary for hotel guests and also offers day passes to the public starting at $25 — book here.

Gameday: 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.

Details: Find Coin Bar at the Omni Hotel pool deck at 132 East Trade St. 

  • It’s open everyday from 11am-10pm seasonally.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Coin Bar, Charlotte’s only rooftop pool open to the public.

Coin Bar Omni Hotel
Photo: Symphony Webber

Whiskey Warehouse

Treehouse-style escape in the heart of Plaza Midwood.

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 seven days a week include $4 drafts and $3 sparkling rose on Wednesday, 1/2 off glasses and bottles of wine and $4 Trulys and White Claws on Thursday and $3 mimosas and a $5 Bloody Mary bar all weekend.

Details: Find Whiskey Warehouse at 1221 The Plaza.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 11am-midnight, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am, and Sunday 10am-10pm.

Búho Bar

An elegant rooftop bar on top of the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Uptown inspired by the rooftop bars and lounges found in South America.

Set up: Take the elevator to the 16th floor of the Grand Bohemian for stunning rooftop views.

Dress code: The dress code encourages smart casual clothing and does not allow hats after 5pm.

Go when: You want to feel like royalty.

Details: Búho Bar is located at 201 West Trade St.

  • It’s open Wednesday-Thursday 5:30pm-midnight and Friday-Saturday 4pm-1am.

Related stories: See inside: Grand Bohemian Hotel is now open in Uptown, along with 2 restaurants; Here’s how to spend 24 hours at Charlotte’s new Grand Bohemian Hotel

grand bohemian charlotte

Cordial SouthPark

A casual everyday spot atop the AC Marriot Hotel in SouthPark offering cocktails and a Spanish-inspired menu of small plates.

Set up: There’s 5,500-square-feet of indoor/outdoor seating around several spaced-out fire pits.

Go when: You’re looking for a laid-back setting to enjoy a post-work cocktail and small bites.

Details: Find Cordial SouthPark at 1824 Roxborough Road.

  • It’s open Tuesday-Thursday 5-11:30pm and Friday-Satuday 5pm-midnight.

Go deeper: A rooftop bar in new AC Hotel opens this Friday in SouthPark

cordial drinks
cordial rooftop
The rooftop seating is spaced out to allow for social distancing.

Charlotte Beer Garden

A sprawling three-story bar with 436 beer taps. It’s a solid late night option; CBG stays open until 2am every night.

Set up: The first floor is where you’ll find local beer, the second floor is home to all of the international beers — this area is set up like a traditional beer hall. And the third floor is a spacious rooftop with a cozy greenhouse feel and city views.

Menu: Food-wise, you’ll find shareable items like wings, fried pork belly bites and CBG mac & cheese bites. After a long night in South End, the benedict pizza hits the spot.

Go when: You need a go-to game day spot or if you want options on options (that goes for both seating and drinks).

Details: Find Charlotte Beer Garden 1300 South Tryon St.

  • It’s open Monday-Saturday 11am-2am and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2am.
Charlotte Beer Garden Rooftop

Aura Rooftop

Located on the fifth floor of the JW Marriott, this trendy rooftop with a pool and cabanas feels like an hidden oasis in the midst of Uptown.

Views: The fifth-floor bar overlooks the Harvey B. Gantt Center and has views of Bank of America Stadium.

Do it up and book a cabana. Rentals start at $375 and can be booked here.

Go when: You want to feel like you’re in a botanical paradise.

Details: Find Aura Rooftop at 600 South College St.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 4-11pm, Friday 3pm-midnight, Saturday 11am-midnight, Sunday 11am-9pm.

Go deeper: A first look inside the new JW Marriott uptown

Aura Rooftop Uptown
Axios archives

Novelty House

The open-air bar is decked out with flowers on the walls and above, making it a fun instagrammable venue.

Set-up: Novelty House has a sibling business located one floor below called Havana Smoke, an upscale cigar lounge.

Dress code: They’re known for enforcing a dress code. It’s smart casual with a note on their website to “keep it classy.” Jeans are allowed — just not ripped.

Go when: You want to get dressed up and take photos with your friends.

Details: Find Novelty House at 123 East 5th St. (Binaco Tower)

  • It’s open Monday-Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday noon-2am and Sunday noon-10pm.

Go deeper: Rooftop bar and cigar lounge now open in Uptown’s newest tower

novelty house rooftop

Hestia Rooftop

The rooftop restaurant known for its panoramic views of the city and visually stunning dishes opened in March in Ballantyne. 

What to expect: The modern Asian restaurant offers both indoor seating and a rooftop patio with a 180-degree view of the Charlotte area.

Menu: You’ll find a range of Asian cuisine, from omakase (meaning you leave it up to the chef) to a wagyu beef dish served on a golden cow platter. Hestia has a full-service bar with over 10 specialty cocktails, mocktails and bottle service.

Go when: You want an elevated dinner that’s a short drive out of the city.

Details: Hestia is located at 14819 Ballantyne Village Way (on the 16th floor of the AC Hotel in Ballantyne Village).

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday-Saturday 5-11pm and Sunday 5-9pm.

Go deeper: Hestia is Ballantyne’s newest rooftop restaurant

Hestia Rooftop
Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios
Hestia Rooftop
Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

RSVP South End

RSVP South End is a nightclub with four different event spaces in one — RSVP stands for rooftop, stage, veranda and parlor.

Cover: Cover is typically free, but expect a long line, especially on Saturdays.

Go when: You’re looking for a club vibe with the option to step away and grab a nightcap on the rooftop.

Details: Find RSVP South End at 225 Fairwood Ave.

  • It’s open Thursday 6pm-midnight, Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday noon-2am and Sunday noon-9pm.

Go deeper: 5 hot new nightclubs in Charlotte

The main rooftop is ideal for grabbing a drink. There’s another rooftop on the other side of the venue that’s typically used as an event space. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

State of Confusion

Located in LoSo, the two-story restaurant with a rooftop bar is known for its expansive food menu, cocktails and family-friendly environment.

The set-up: State of Confusion offers no shortage of space — you’ll find a main dining room, outdoor patio, private event space and rooftop bar. 

  • The rooftop is partially covered with cabanas and offers skyline views. It has its own bar if you’re just looking for drinks (but we recommend dining there, too). 

Order: One of their draft cocktails, like the margarita or hurricane and grab some ceviche from their massive menu, which features a fusion of Latin American, New Orleanian and low-country fare.

Details: State of Confusion is located at 3500 Dewitt Lane.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday 11am-midnight, Friday 11am-1am and Sunday 10am-1am. 

Go when: You’re looking for an outing that’s both family- and dog-friendly.

Go deeper: Chattanooga restaurant State of Confusion now open in Charlotte with a rooftop bar

You’ll find both bar seating and tables on State of Confusion’s rooftop. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Wooden Robot — The Chamber (NoDa)

A brewery with a sprawling rooftop deck including its own eight-tap bar, lounge furniture and a mix of picnic tables with umbrellas.

Details: Wooden Robot is located at 416 E. 36th St.

  • It’s open Wednesday and Thursday 4-10pm, Friday 3-11pm, Saturday 12-11pm and Sunday 12-8pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Go when: You’re looking for relaxing place to unwind after a long work week. 

Go deeper: Wooden Robot’s new NoDa location with a rooftop beer garden sets grand opening date for June 29

Burial Beer Co.

The beloved Asheville brewery has a taproom and bottle shop in Plaza Midwood taproom called the “House of Relics.” You’ll find indoor and outdoor seating, plus a rooftop deck.

Details: Burial is located at 1214 Thomas Ave.

  • It’s open Monday-Thursday noon-11pm, Friday-Saturday noon-midnight and Sunday 12-9pm.

Go when: You want a variety of taps — including barrel-aged sours, stouts, wild ales and rustic lagers.

Go deeper: Asheville favorite Burial Beer opens taproom with rooftop bar this weekend

Guests coming into town? Check out our 48 hours series where notable locals share their weekend itineraries.

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