It’s no secret that Seattle is a gorgeous city. The Emerald City is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, sparkling waters, and every shade of green you can imagine. Some of the best places to soak up these beautiful sights are the rooftop bars in Seattle.
What’s more romantic than seeing the city awash in golden light during sunset while you sip an expertly-made cocktail, after all?
This guide will cover the best rooftop bars in Seattle. Some of these spots are perfect for romance, some are great for groups, and others are historic lounges that will transport you to a bygone era.
Many of them have great drinks and covetable views. Without further ado, here are the best rooftop bars in Seattle that you shouldn’t miss!
10 Rooftop Bars in Seattle
The Nest Rooftop Bar
The Nest Rooftop Bar is one of the best hotel rooftop bars in Seattle. Make a reservation, head to the Thompson Hotel, and ride the elevator to the top to reach this romantic destination.
The atmosphere at The Nest is classy and contemporary. From this 11th-floor bar, you’ll see the downtown waterfront and beyond. Come at sunset to watch the sky turn pink as the sun sinks behind the Olympic Mountains. Stay through the evening to watch the city come alight with twinkling lights.
When it comes to drinks, I suggest ordering one of the house specialties. Try the Moon Lake with mint-infused gin and creme de Violette. Or go with an Old Fashioned to enjoy a classic drink in this swanky spot. The food menu includes light bites like grilled oysters and a refreshing watermelon salad.
Fog Room is another top-rated Seattle rooftop bar. It’s just a few blocks away from Pike Place Market in the elegant Charter Hotel.
This downtown rooftop bar is modern and chic with giant floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a fantastic view of Puget Sound. There’s not a bad seat in the house.
Choose to hang out inside on chilly days, and make use of the cozy patio on a warm evening. Golden hour and sunsets are unreal here. These are popular times to visit though, so make sure you snag a reservation before you come.
Like most hotels with premium bars, the food and drinks are pricey, but they’re quality selections. Get a flight of spirits or enjoy a classic French 75. Lounge with a specialty cocktail in hand or sip local wine. The food menu is small but includes delicious appetizers and entrees. Try juniper and rosemary fries, lamb meatball skewers, and Dungeness crab rolls.
Altitude Sky Lounge
Find Altitude Sky Lounge at the top of Astra Hotel in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Make a reservation for a table on the patio. At this bar, you’ll have views of downtown Seattle, the surrounding Lake Union neighborhood, the Olympic Mountains, and the Space Needle.
The Altitude Sky Lounge is lively and upbeat. It’s a great place to meet up with a group after work and has plenty of cozy seating for lounging. Enjoy fireside tables on cool nights or soak in the sights from inside.
The food menu consists of lighter charcuterie bites and flatbreads. Drinks include creative cocktails (try the Seattle Slew or the Fool’s Gold!), wine, and local beers and cider.
The Mountaineering Club
The Mountaineering Club is a fantastic rooftop bar in the University District. You’ll have views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, and Lake Union from one end. On the other end, you’ll see the Cascade Mountains, Lake Washington, and Bellevue. Needless to say, because it has such expansive views, this may be the best rooftop bar in Seattle!
You’ll want to make reservations in advance to experience The Mountaineering Club. With decor that’s eclectic and outdoorsy, this bar manages to feel both cozy and luxurious. The crowd here tends to be younger because it’s just minutes from the University of Washington. This bar is also kid-friendly before 6 p.m.
Trying to decide on food and drinks? You can’t go wrong with the Whidbey Island Iced Tea or the Clear Mountain Lake, which is unusual but delicious. The Mountain Bacon Sandwich is the most popular item on the menu and, after a bite, it’s easy to see why.
Craving comfort food, unpretentious cocktails, and a view? Go to The Lookout on Capitol Hill. This no-frills joint is a good spot for an inexpensive meal. Expect classic pub grub: wings and burgers, fish and chips, pretzels and cheese sauce. The drinks range from local beers on tap to reasonably priced cocktails like a spicy margarita and a Dark and Stormy.
The vibe at The Lookout is laid-back and casual and the view is more than satisfying. From the rooftop patio, look out at the Space Needle, mountains, and downtown Seattle in the distance. You don’t have to pay top dollar for a good view, food, and drinks. The Lookout proves this.
mBar in South Lake Union has floor-to-ceiling windows, an indoor and outdoor area, and water, city, and Space Needle views. It’s chic, trendy, and popular with tourists and people working in the area.
Come for lunch and dinner on the weekends, or for post-work drinks daily. The menu consists of a range of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean bites like pita, kebabs, and baba ganoush. Grab its mezze platter to get a little taste of some of the specialties or just come for drinks and dessert. You can’t go wrong with the house sangria, dessert wine, and a slice (or two!) of baklava.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails
You’ll find Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails nestled in the heart of downtown Seattle on the rooftop of the Hilton Motif Hotel.
Come for excellent happy hour deals and enjoy some of its events like Tropical Tuesday with a live DJ or drag shows during Pride. Guests can also play fun games like cornhole and shuffleboard to pass the time. This bar doesn’t have the best view since it’s surrounded by other high-rises in the area. But Frolik is one of the best rooftop bars in Seattle for food, drinks, and entertainment.
Like most hotel bars and restaurants, the food and drinks at Frolik are pricey. However, there’s a lot to choose from, and it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grab porridge or a malted waffle in the morning. Enjoy sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and burgers in the evening.
Smith Tower was the first skyscraper in Seattle and the tallest building in the West when it was completed in 1914. And even though there are now taller buildings in downtown Seattle, Smith Tower still has one of the best views.
Book tickets to go to the Smith Tower Observatory Bar on the 35th floor. This swanky, speakeasy-style bar is dark and intimate and has a gorgeous wrap-around observation deck outside. From the deck, you’ll have 360-degree views of Puget Sound, downtown, the stadiums, and even Mount Rainier on a clear day.
While there are some light snacks at the bar, I recommend sticking to the drinks. The old-fashioned cocktails are the perfect thing to sip given the Smith Tower’s history.
Patio Cielo at Mercado Luna
Mercado Luna is a great spot for tasty Mexican food with a super fun vibe. This restaurant in Capitol Hill isn’t in a skyscraper. But its rooftop bar, Patio Cielo, has an incredible atmosphere that makes it stand out among all the great restaurants in the Capitol Hill area.
Enjoy a tasty variety of margaritas and snag tacos from the rooftop taco truck (yes, there’s a taco truck and rooftop bar!). The food is delicious. The twinkly string lights, large tables, and colorful decor all make Patio Cielo the type of place you want to lounge in for hours.
Rooftop Brewing Company
Rooftop Brewing Company is different than the other rooftop bars on this list. First, it’s a brewery. Second, while it’s technically on a rooftop, the views are not as pretty as some of the other ones on this list. The view from Rooftop Brewing is of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and admittedly industrial surroundings.
That said, this is still a worthwhile place to go if you love beer and want a low-key place to hang out with friends on summer days. Try the Belgian Wit or the Glorious Basker, two beers perfect for sipping on warm days. The atmosphere at Rooftop is always welcoming and friendly, and this is an excellent spot to enjoy brews with friendly locals
The rooftop bars in Seattle are all unique and worth visiting if you’re looking for great drinks with a view. Whether you’re sticking to popular, swanky gems, or going to casual, unfussy bars, you’ll have great views and a great time.