Atlanta's 11 Hottest Rooftop Restaurants & Bars

By Christopher Hassiotis
May 27, 2014
By Christopher Hassiotis  |  May 27, 2014

If the temperature's elevated, maybe take a cue and elevate your dining and drinking spot too. The springtime pollen and intense summer humidity means that there are times when Atlanta's alfresco options are limited, but when it's good, it's real good. These restaurants and bars all have something to offer for the warmer weather, from private cabanas and high-rise views to poolside sips or historic vistas.

Want more summertime content? Check out Zagat Atlanta's Best Summer Ever, a regularly updated collection of features to guide you through the season.

  • Big Sky Buckhead

    Two wide decks on opposite sides of the upstairs bar offer plenty of outdoor space, and the spot bustles on the weekends with a post-college crowd of young drinkers.

    The View: Depending on where you stand, you'll have a nice view of Buckhead high-rises and rooftops, or the leafier parts of the neighborhood.

    What to Eat: Chef Hector Santiago consulted on the menu, and his Latin-and-more-inspired bar food is a welcome change from the norm…

    Insider Tip: …but don't be surprised if you're underwhelmed by the lack of zing on the Sriracha wings, for instance. Flavors have had to be toned down for the Buckhead clientele. Ask for extra hot sauce.

    3201 Cains Hill Pl. NW; 404-481-5168

  • 5 Seasons Westside

    The Westside outpost of this local brewery offers up its own beers (and more than a few others as well). The roof deck gets crowded when the young creative-professional crowd in the neighborhood takes off from work, though if it's too hot out, the lack of shade cover can make for an easy table to grab.

    The View: Scope out the once-industrial Marietta Street corridor, or Midtown in the distance.

    What to Drink: The servers and bartenders are knowledgeable about the wide variety of beers on tap and in the bottle. Let them guide you by telling them your tastes.

    Insider Tip: Park behind the building in the attached parking deck to minimize your hassle.

    1000 Marietta St.; 404-875-3232

  • Flip Burger Boutique - Poncey-Highland

    The creative local burger chain recently renovated its failed sister hot dog concept into this third location, which includes a new rooftop patio. DJs and events may materialize later in the summer.

    The View: This part of the Highlands isn't all that scenic, but you're directly east of Midtown's skyscrapers, providing a dramatic sundown view.

    What to Drink: The Flip Nutella-and-burnt-marshmallow shake is a sure bet. If so inclined, add booze to it for an extra charge.

    Insider Tip: Parking's tight. Look for the complimentary valet or park in the indicated lot across the street rather than cruising the tight neighborhood streets.

    664 N. Highland Ave.; 404-815-1127

  • Photo by: Flickr / s4bsocial

    Republic Social House

    This Grant Park pub's wooden banquettes provide a nice rooftop spot, and there are some TVs for those keen on getting some sun while not missing the game. "Dirty South Trivia" takes place on Thursdays, while a rotating cast of DJs provide tunes on the weekends.

    The View: Memorial Drive may not be the most scenic of streets, but get two stories up and you get a nice peek into historic Oakland Cemetery. Many of the seats point the other way, though.

    What to Eat: The Matty Melt's a quarter-pound cheeseburger pressed between two slices of Texas toast with bacon, onion straws and barbecue sauce.

    Insider Tip: Hang a quick right when you enter to head straight upstairs.

    437 Memorial Dr.; 404-865-1939

  • The Reserve at Café Circa

    An affinity for cigars and hip-hop DJs characterize this Old Fourth Ward space, which serves tapas-style snacks and entrees to complement its cocktails.

    The View: Sadly not much, as buildings and walls border the space, but there aren't many options for alfresco dining in O4W, so you've gotta take what you can get.

    What to Eat: The food veers towards predictable small-plates fare, but if you want something heartier, opt for the lamb burger, where a spicy mayo and coconut bread hints at Caribbean influences.

    Insider Tip: Don't look for a separate door, just enter Café Circa and head upstairs.

    464 Edgewood Ave.; 404-477-0008

  • Rooftop 866

    The chic rooftop lounge at the Renaissance Midtown hotel offers a pleasantly mellow experience, though an occasional large party can turn up the volume. It's more of a neighborhood destination, unlike nearby spots like Shout that bring in weekend crowds from beyond the city line.

    The View: The Midtown skyline sparkles at night, while an ivy-covered wall provides a Southern backdrop.

    What to Drink: The Rooftop 75 cocktail blends Bombay Sapphire gin, lemongrass syrup and sparkling rosé.

    Insider Tip: Keep up with Rooftop 866 on Facebook for live music schedules and weekday specials.

    866 W. Peachtree St. NW; 678-412-2402

  • Six Feet Under

    Whether at the Westside or Grant Park location, this casual fish house offers fried (and occasionally not) seafood fare and a healthy selection of craft beers.

    The View: You've got a nice view of Midtown from the Westside Six Feet Under, though the ever-multiplying parking decks in the area mar that a bit. Grant Park overlooks Oakland Cemetery, hence the restaurant's name.

    What to Drink: Six Feet Under supports a number of ATL breweries. Check out one from their neighboring Eventide.

    Insider Tip: Show up early to grab one of the coveted outlooking bar seats, but beware the nearby large tables, which can quickly get overrun by rowdy groups.

    Grant Park: 437 Memorial Dr.; 404-523-6664
    Westside: 685 11th St.; 404-810-0040

  • Shout

    The Here 2 Serve Restaurant Group's luxe Midtown hot spot combines Mediterranean and sushi menus with crisp cocktails, large cabanas and weekend dance parties.

    The View: You'll get a good look at Midtown's high-rises and the traffic on Peachtree.

    What to Eat: Some of the architectural rolls on the sushi menu may seem overly elaborate, but they also allow for a paced-out meal that complements a night of lounging and sipping.

    Insider Tip: Befitting its name, Shout can get pretty raucous. If you want something more toned-down, stop by for a weekday happy hour, when the staff's less harried and the crowds thinner.

    1197 Peachtree Rd.; 404-846-2000

  • Skylounge

    Up top at the historic boutique Glenn Hotel in Downtown's Luckie-Marietta District, the chic Skylounge is among ATL's more well-known, if not well-visited, rooftop spots.

    The View: A terrific view of Centennial Olympic Park and the Atlanta skyline makes this one tough to beat.

    What to Drink: The bar's signature lemongrass cocktail is herbaceous, tart and refreshing.

    Insider Tip: Hungry? The hotel's restaurant Glenn's Kitchen is open late into the night.

    110 Marietta St. NW; 404-521-2250

  • Wetbar

    Atop the W Downtown you'll find this spot with an all-weather rooftop pool bar. The crowd veers a little more towards the business expense end of the spectrum, although the hotel has its fair share of wedding parties and large groups as guests.

    The View: A panoramic Downtown vista offers a look at (and into) neighboring buildings, the Georgia Aquarium and the newly constructed National Center for Civil & Human Rights.

    What to Drink: Go for something bubbly to match the sparkles of the city skyline.

    Insider Tip: Want to work out before the weekend DJs set up? Wetbar offers barre and yoga activities some mornings.

    45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.; 404-582-5800

  • Whiskey Blue

    Two outdoor terraces 125 feet above street level boast swanky, understated banquettes and curtains that can close to provide privacy or open up depending on the party atmosphere. The vibe is upscale, with much of the clientele coming from the adjoining W Hotel.

    The View: This high up you can catch a peek of much of the city.

    What to Drink: A breezy spot like this on a warm summer evening begs for a Caipirinha or mojito, although as the bar's name indicates, a fine selection of whiskeys is on hand.

    Insider Tip: If you're staying at the hotel, ask the concierge if they can snag you a reserved couch or cabana.

    3377 Peachtree Rd.; 678-500-3100

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