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Houston's 10 Hottest Rooftops and Patios

By Marcy de Luna
May 27, 2014
Photo by: Julie Soefer

Chill out this summer with cool bites, refreshing drinks and dazzling views.

  • Rosemont Social Club
    This trendy Montrose-area lounge sees the most action upstairs on the rooftop patio. The crowd is a classy mix of business professionals and fashionistas, and while the music is continually pumping, it's not so loud that you can't catch up with friends.

    The View: With a view of the bustling intersection of Westheimer and Montrose, grab a seat above the noise and relax in one of four cozy Moroccan-style cabanas.
    What to Drink: Tasty cocktails like the Strawberry Basil Smash ($10) and frozen lemonade ($7) with hibiscus, orange, jasmine or ginger liqueur toppers are our favorites from the cocktail menu.
    What to Eat: Beef sliders ($11), andouille mac 'n' cheese ($12) and flatbreads ($11-$12) are our bites of choice.
    Insider Tip: Don't stress about limited street parking; valet is complimentary.
    Details: 910 Westheimer; 832-530-4698

  • Proof Rooftop Lounge
    A posh spot in Houston's Midtown bar scene, Proof's newly renovated rooftop lounge, atop Reef Restaurant, offers bottle service, plenty of seating and an upbeat scene, perfect for rendezvousing with co-workers and friends during the week or on the weekends. Just a few steps away from the expansive outdoor wooden deck is an indoor dance floor and two bars, plus a second-floor area with billiards and arcade games.

    The View: Located above Reef Restaurant, the 4,000-sq.-ft. patio at Proof offers a killer view of the Downtown skyline.
    What to Drink: We like the refreshing Proof Punch ($11) highlighted by the smooth taste of gin, and the Texas Tease ($11), a nod to the Lone Star State with a mix of all Texas liquors including Waterloo Gin, Treaty Oak Rum, Starlite Vodka and Z Tequila.
    What to Eat: From 4 to 8 PM Thursdays and Fridays, patrons can expect happy-hour drink specials occasionally accompanied by light fare from Reef, Proof's downstairs neighbor.
    Insider Tip: Rent a hookah at the bar for $20.
    Details: 2600 Travis St.; 832-767-0513

  • Monnalisa Bar
    Monnalisa at Hotel Sorella features a cozy central fireplace, heavenly starlit ceiling and ample plush seating. The European-inspired bar attracts a mix of locals and out-of-town visitors.

    The View: A swank, LED-lit infinity pool and fabulous views of the plaza at Houston's CityCentre.
    What to Drink: We recommend the bar's namesake drink, the Monnalisa Martini with marinated blackberries ($12). 
    What to Eat: Appetizing fare includes wings, calamari and our must-try pick, the smoked chicken and goat cheese flatbread ($15).
    Insider Tip: Save on food and drinks during happy hour, which runs daily from 4 to 7 PM. Get the Monnalisa cocktail for just five bucks and the chicken and goat cheese flatbread for $9.
    Details: 800 Sorella Ct.; 713-973-1600

  • Hyatt Market Street
    The second-floor poolside terrace at Hyatt Market Street in The Woodlands provides a chic, alfresco option for lunch, dinner or drinks. 

    The View: Whether at a table for four or at a cozy bartop for two, enjoy a scenic view of the bustling retail area and central park below.
    What to Drink: The refreshing Diamond Whiskey Peach Tea ($12).
    What to Eat: We can't get enough of the chilled Gulf shrimp with cucumber, housemade spicy cocktail sauce ($15) and tempting white-chocolate macadamia-nut bread pudding ($8).
    Insider Tip: Decompress during happy hour weekdays from 4 until 7 PM with $4 beers, $5 wines and $6 cocktails.
    Details: 9595 Six Pines; 281-203-5005
     

  • Red Door
    The two-story, trendy bar has a spacious dance floor and large, central bar on the first level. A maze of stairs leads to the top bar with rich red decor and greenery-lined walls. The average age ranges from 20s to 30s.

    The View: While every table downstairs has a great view of the dance floor action, it's the bird's-eye view of Downtown from the upstairs rooftop bar that this Midtown bar is known for.
    What to Drink: $7 to $8 for mixed drinks and $5 to $6 per beer.
    Insider Tip: If you're here for the party, the crowd doesn't get going until around 10:30 PM.
    Details: 2416 Brazos St.; 713-256-9383

  • Photo by: Julie Soefer

    Benjy’s in Rice Village
    The outdoor lounge deck upstairs at the upscale yet relaxed Benjy's in Rice Village is a great gathering spot for drinks and a tasty meal courteous of the restaurant's lunch, dinner and brunch menus. 

    The View: Your position from the second-floor patio overlooks Rice Village.
    What to Drink: The champagne-based Hibiscus Royale ($9) and tangy blood-orange margarita ($9.50) are tops in our book.
    What to Eat: Try the crunchy chicken with potato gratin ($17 at dinner). On the lighter side, we like the baby kale and melon salad ($8 at dinner). Or just stick with shareable plates like the Black Hill Ranch pork potstickers ($10 at dinner).
    Insider Tip: Patio seating follows a first-come, first-served policy. Take advantage of the price break during happy hour, daily from 4 to 7 PM.
    Details: 2424 Dunston Rd.; 713-522-7602

  • El Big Bad
    Located Downtown, this gastro-cantina's Mexican Wrestler decor is colorful and bright. Multilevel, the staircase is lined with glass shelving where tequila is infused. You'll spot business professionals on the weekdays and a casually cool crowd at night and on the weekends.

    The View: The 2,000-sq.-ft. top-floor balcony looks out over the city
    What to Drink: Don't miss the 50 infused tequilas or the fresh-juice margaritas. The Mexican candy margarita ($10), is a mix of fruit-infused tequila, three-chile-infused tequila, freshly squeezed lime and lemon juices and agave.
    What to Eat: Start with an order of chile con queso ($7). Work your way up to the duck empanadas ($9) and shrimp tacos ($5).
    Insider Tip: Top your taco with one or all of a trio of salsas: salsa borracho, salsa de árbol, salsa verde.
    Details: 419 Travis St.; 713-229-8181

  • Photo by: Sergio Santos Photography

    3rd Floor
    This roomy Midtown bar has a rotating playlist of solid tunes and several flat-screen TV's for catching the next big sporting event.

    The View: Balconies provide amazing views of Downtown.
    What to Drink: Choose from over 50 microbrew craft beers, 50 wine selections (24 available by the glass), 50 USA-brewed craft beers and various spirits. Live it up with chilled shooters ($8 to $9) and craft cocktails like the Blossoming Buck made with vodka and ginger beer ($10).
    What to Eat: Snacks, "handwiches" and grilled panini make up the food menu. We favor the grilled triple-cheese panini ($10).
    Insider Tip: Enter via an elevator located next to Pub Fiction. 
    Details: 2303 Smith St.; 832-384-1960

  • Tremont House
    The Rooftop Bar at Tremont House in Galveston has a romantic ambiance courteous of a picturesque view, and charming touches like an illuminated eight-foot Manzanita tree strung with glimmering white lights.

    The View: Located on the fourth floor of the Tremont House, this modern rooftop bar offers a stellar view of Galveston's historic Downtown and harbor.
    What to Drink: Our favorite summertime cocktails at the full bar are the seasonal sangria ($7) and Belmont Blue ($10), a blend of vodka, blue curaçao and pineapple juice.
    What to Eat: A shareable charcuterie plate comes with four cheeses, three meats and accoutrements ($17).
    Insider Tip: Hours change seasonally and are also weather permitting. Check the times before you go.
    Details: 2300 Mechanic St.; 409-763-0300

  • The Dogwood
    Southern hospitality flows at this casual Midtown bar, with its down-home atmosphere and menu of Southern fare. The low-key, lively hot spot also has a dance floor and plenty of TVs for watching a game.

    The View: Enjoy the open-air upstairs on the wraparound rooftop bar while taking in the view of Downtown Houston.
    What to Drink: Cocktails include The Heart of Texas ($10) made with vodka, lime juice and agave. Spicy jalapeños are added to the mix, which is topped with Sprite.
    What to Eat: We fill up on the chicken and waffle sliders ($12) or the house burger with fried green tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon and white queso on a jalapeño-cheddar bun ($13).
    Insider Tip: Valet is available. 
    Details: 2403 Bagby St.; 281-501-9075

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Places Mentioned

Benjy's

American • Rice Village

Food24 Decor22 Service23 Cost$35
 
 
 
Reef Restaurant & Lounge

Lounge • Queen Village

Atmo.23 Decor21 Service22 CostM
 
 
 
The Dogwood

Southern American • Midtown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
 
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