9 Great Rooftop Bars In HoustonFor scenic views and a (bearable) dose of sun, check out one of these spots.
After maybe a cute puppy, it’s pretty hard to beat a good sunset from a rooftop patio. Perhaps it’s the feeling of the sun shining down on you, or maybe it’s the incredible lighting that golden hour gives to all of your selfies. Whether you’re in the middle of downtown soaking up the vibes from a bougie hotel, or you’re on the second story of a moody dive bar, here are the best rooftop bars in Houston to catch a killer sunset (and maybe a good cocktail, or two).
Perched on the top floor of the downtown hotel Le Méridien is Z On 23 Rooftop. The lounge is minimally decorated—there are only a few tables and couches for folks to sprawl—but most people are here for the views, which are downright stunning regardless of where you’re seated. Come during the day and soak up some sun over a watermelon margarita, or come at night when the rooftop packs out and you can cosplay as a busy downtown socialite for your social feeds.
Even though the inside of Grand Prize Bar, a two-story dive bar in the Museum District, is entirely blacked out, there’s plenty of sun to soak up on the balcony. The rooftop is intimate, but there’s still enough space to sprawl at one of the round tables that sprinkle the balcony. Take your $3 beer up to the second story, and take in the view of Bell Park as you strategize what meal from the rotating kitchen you’ll have with your next round of drinks.
If you find yourself reminiscing about the good ‘ole days and absolutely need a frozen mojito, head to Patterson Park in The Heights. Not only is the bar reminiscent of a giant tree house, but it’s also where you can check out the downtown skyline without battling through traffic. And when you’re not soaking up the views, go to the first floor and play giant tic-tac-toe, or grab a bite from whatever food truck is parked outside.
On the second floor of Hungry’s, a sort of healthy lunch and brunch spot in Rice Village, is Upstairs Lounge, a 21+ rooftop bar. While the inside of Upstairs is dark and feels like a speakeasy, the outside is bright with a light wood exterior and feels like a giant clubhouse. You can enjoy a drink on the rooftop alongside dishes like gyro plates, pineapple and prosciutto pizza, and grilled salmon. And with trees hugging the perimeter of the bar, expect your view to be filled with a few treetops, blue skies, and maybe a spicy pineapple margarita.
Connected to the Westin in the Medical Center, Terrace 54 Bar + Table provides the most scenic views of the neighborhood. The hotel rooftop is pretty quiet, with only the sounds of splashes coming from the rooftop pool next to the patio. Sit at the bar while you sip on a cocktail or camp out underneath an umbrella table while you remind yourself that downtown isn’t the only part of the city with a pretty skyline.
Want the perfect view of downtown, without having to actually go downtown? Try Sunset Lounge, a compact rooftop in EaDo. Alongside the picturesque skyline, a night spent at Sunset means having a frozen cucumber cocktail while dancing the night away and to DJs spinning the hottest tracks. Sunset fills up quickly in the evening, so come early to secure one of the cool LED light up chairs, unless you plan on being a dancing machine for most of the evening.
OK, so Bad News is only a rooftop by technicality, but the nearly unobstructed view of downtown along Main Street from its second-floor balcony is pretty spectacular. Plus, Bad News has some of the best cocktails—and bartenders—in town. The cocktail menu here updates seasonally, but there’s also a mind-numbingly long list of mezcals, amaros, absinthes, and just about everything else. Find Bad News Bar by first locating a line waiting for nothing in particular emanating from a blacked-out door marked for a lawyer’s office. Join them, and then head up. Just don’t trip on the narrow stairs heading up (or down).
Something about a rooftop in downtown Houston feels fancy—even more fancy when you add an infinity pool, a Texas-shaped lazy river, multiple cabanas, a full service bar, and an expansive view of Discovery Green park’s lake and trails below. Feel on top of the world (or at least the sixth floor) and book a day pass to the Marriott Marquis Altitude Rooftop & Pool. It’ll set you back around $90 with tax, but you can use the pool until 10pm and enjoy all of the Tex-Mex snacks and frozen daiquiris you can stomach.
For a view of downtown without actually having to go downtown, there’s Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company in the First Ward. The brewery and rooftop has a huge bar food menu with everything from smoked birria nachos and tikka masala fried to soft pretzels and “chopped and screwed” pepperoni pizzas, and of course a mind-numbingly long list of beers. You can have a meal in the second story restaurant, but we recommend heading straight to the rooftop on the third floor and grabbing a seat while you take in the gorgeous views.