Looking for next-level outdoor drinking destinations? Here are the 12 best rooftop bars in Charlotte.
We’ve rounded up Charlotte’s best rooftop bars — from flashy Uptown high rises with dress codes to chill neighborhood hangouts perfect for day drinking with a view.
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Editor’s note: This guide was last updated on March 25, 2021.
Take the elevator to the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, and you’ll arrive at Merchant and Trade.
Address: 303 S. Church St.
Views: The outdoor space has breathtaking views of the city and overlooks Romare Bearden Park and Truist Field.
Dress code: The dress code is taken seriously and the staff will not hesitate to turn you away 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.
- Bonus: From now until early April, Merchant & Trade is renting out its chic igloo as a private dining space (or Instagram backdrop — we won’t judge). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.
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 S. Caldwell St.
Views: The view from 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-2pm.
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: 18 S. McDowell St.
Views: The 18th-floor outdoor terrace at the Le Meridien Hotel has arguably the best, full view of the city skyline and touts the only 360-degree view among the major Uptown rooftops.
Must-try cocktail: “Uptown Girl” — 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 S. Graham St.
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 near the Epicentre.
Address: AC Hotel, 220 E. Trade St.
Set up: Located on the 22nd floor of the dual-branded AC 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.
Brunch: Nuvolé is one of the most happening brunch spots in the city. There’s often a waitlist to get in on Sunday Funday and try the social media-famous donut charcuterie board and bottomless “Vitamin D” mimosas for $28 per person.
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 2-7pm Monday through Friday.
Cocktails: The drink menu includes boat drinks, frozen boozes, and draft cocktails. Popular cocktails include Safe Harbor (the Waterman’s take on a Dark ‘N’ Stormy) —Kraken Spiced rum, Plantation pineapple rum, ginger agave, lime, and ginger beer ($11).; Gentlemans Blackberry Bramble — Gentleman Jack, blackberry, Chambord, and lemon ($12).; and the Nautical Mule — Pinnacle Vodka, ginger, blackberry, star anise and lime ($9).
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
Coin Bar – Omni Hotel
Rooftop pool deck with a backyard party vibe at the Omni hotel (open seasonally to the public).
Address: 132 E. Trade St. (Omni Hotel pool deck).
Details: The 41-year-old Omni Charlotte Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Uptown, underwent a massive $30 million renovation a couple years ago, including major upgrades to the pool deck.
Now reopened: The Coin Bar reopened in mid-March for reservation only on weekends. It costs $30 for an adult day pass — 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.
Rooftop 210 (temporarily closed)
Large rooftop bar and event venue atop the Epicentre.
Address: 210 E. Trade St.
Events: Before the pandemic, Rooftop 210 hosted everything from concerts and fashion shows to rooftop yoga series and networking nights.
Go: If it reopens and you want to party. The future of the EpiCentre is a big question mark.
Read more: Can the EpiCentre survive the pandemic?
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 $2 mimosas and a $4 Bloody Mary bar all weekend.
Búho Bar – Grand Bohemian
An elegant and sophisticated setting inspired by the rooftop bars and lounges found in South America.
Address: 201 W. Trade St.
Dress code: The dress code encourages business casual clothing and does not allow hats after 6pm.
Set up: Take the elevator to the 16th floor for stunning rooftop views.
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 S. Tryon St.
Set up: The first floor features local beer, on the second floor you’ll find international beers — this area is set up like a traditional beer hall.
Go when: You want to have a good time with friends.
Guests coming into town? Check out our 48 hours series where notable locals share their weekend itineraries.