Looking for next-level outdoor drinking destinations? Here are the 13 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.
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Take the elevator to the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, and you’ll arrive at Merchant and Trade.
Address: 303 South Church St.
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.
- Bonus: Merchant & Trade will be bringing back its chic igloos once the weather cools down as a private dining space (or Instagram backdrop — we won’t judge). Follow their Instagram for updates.
Go when: You want a special date night experience or a celebratory happy hour.
Chef Rocco Whalen’s 21st-floor restaurant is Charlotte’s go-to destination for showing off the city to out-of-towners.
Address: 222 South Caldwell St.
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: Your out-of-town friends or family are here and you want to show Charlotte off.
Chill sun-soaked bar atop Le Meridien Hotel.
Address: 555 South McDowell St.
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.
Must-try cocktail: “Uptown Girl” — a refreshing cocktail made with gin, pineapple-coconut juice, lime, and cucumber.
Go when: If you’re looking to party with bacon and booze.
Casual sports bar located between Bank of America Stadium and BB&T Ballpark.
Address: 400 South Graham St.
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.
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.
Pronounced “new-va-lay.” Sophisticated, airy, indoor/outdoor bar on the 22nd floor of the AC Hotel near the Epicentre.
Address: AC Hotel, 220 East Trade St.
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.
Casual fish bar in South End with 80-seat rooftop bar dubbed Topside
Address: 2729 South Blvd.
Specials: $1 oysters weekdays from 2-7pm.
Cocktails: The drink menu includes boat drinks, frozen boozes, and craft cocktails. Popular cocktails include Gentlemans Blackberry Bramble made with Gentleman Jack, blackberry, Chambord, and lemon ($12).; and 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.
[Related guide: The 10 best places to eat oysters in Charlotte]
Rooftop pool deck with a backyard party vibe at the Omni hotel (open seasonally to the public).
Address: 132 East Trade St. (Omni Hotel pool deck).
Details: The Omni Charlotte Hotel, Queen City’s first large hotel in Uptown, underwent a massive $30 million renovation a few years ago, including major upgrades to the pool deck and all guest rooms.
Now reopened: The Coin Bar is available to hotel guests and also offers day passes to patrons ranging in price from $15-$100depending on the day of the week — 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.
Treehouse-style escape in the heart of Plaza Midwood.
Address: 1221 The Plaza.
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 $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.
An elegant and sophisticated setting inspired by the rooftop bars and lounges found in South America.
Address: 201 West Trade St.
Set up: Take the elevator to the 16th floor of the Grand Bohemian for stunning rooftop views.
Dress code: The dress code encourages business casual clothing and does not allow hats after 6pm.
Go when: You want to feel like royalty.
A casual everyday spot atop the AC Marriot Hotel in SouthPark.
Address: 1824 Roxborough Rd.
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.
A sprawling three-story bar with 436 beer taps.
Address: 1300 South Tryon St.
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 want to be able to change settings just by going to a different floor or if you’re with a large group of friends.
Located on the fifth floor of the newly opened JW Marriott.
Address: 600 South College St.
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.
[Read more: A first look inside the new JW Marriott uptown]
The open-air bar is decked out with flowers on the walls and above, making it a very Instagramable venue.
Address: 123 East 5th St. (Binaco Tower)
Set-up: Novelty House has a sibling concept located one floor below called Havana Smoke, which is an upscale cigar lounge.
Dress code: The dress code was a topic of conversation in recent weeks after multiple people were denied entry. Read the latest on NH’s dress code here.
Go when: You want to get dressed up and take photos with your friends.
Editor’s note: This guide was last updated on September 15, 2021.
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