Houston's 10 Hottest Rooftops and Patios

By Marcy de Luna  |  May 11, 2015
Credit: Monnalisa Bar at Hotel Sorella (courtesy of Hotel Sorella)

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

  • Credit: Urban Eats/Facebook

    Urban Eats

    The Washington Avenue venue is a full-service bistro and bar, fast-casual eatery and specialty market all rolled into one. The first floor, with seating and counter service, sells fresh-baked breads, cheeses, cured meats and other epicurean products, along with grab-and-go meals. The upstairs bistro and bar offers American comfort food.

    The view: The second-floor patio boasts a killer view of Downtown.

    What to order: Wash down the Picnic sliders (barbecue pulled brisket, aged white cheddar, red cabbage slaw and dill pickles) with over 50 beers, domestic wine and craft cocktails​ such as the Urban Elixir (citrus-flavored vodka, cranberry juice, lime and Fresca). 

    Insider tip: Take in artwork from new local talent, which rotates every three months, and tap your toes to live jazz and blues music on Friday and Saturday evenings.

    3414 Washington Ave.; 832-834-4417

  • Credit: Eric Sandler

    B&B Butchers and Restaurant

    The 7,500-sq.-ft. two-in-one concept on Washington Avenue is set to launch this month with a butcher shop (making its debut on May 15) and upscale restaurant (opening a week later) on the first floor. The restaurant extends upstairs where you'll find a second interior bar, plus a rooftop patio. 

    The view: The patio offers seating for 60 and a picturesque view of Downtown.

    What to order: Choose from a wide variety of chops, including prime steaks that are dry-aged in-house, as well as seafood and raw-bar options. As for drinks, try the sparkling Washington Mule on tap, a play on the Moscow mule.

    Insider tip: Call in your order of meats and swing by the butcher shop for a quick and easy pickup on your way out. 

    1814 Washington Ave.: 713-705-8389

  • 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 order: Appetizing fare includes wings, calamari and our must-try pick, the smoked chicken and goat cheese flatbread. We also recommend the bar's namesake drink, the Monnalisa Martini with marinated blackberries . 

    Insider tip: Save on food and drinks during an evening happy-hour special, which runs daily from 7 to 10 PM. 

    800 Sorella Ct.; 713-973-1600

  • 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 order: Beef sliders, andouille mac 'n' cheese and flatbreads are our bites of choice. Tasty cocktails like the Strawberry Basil Smash and Violet Hour with tequila, muddled cucumber, lemon and violet flower-flavored liqueur are our favorites from the cocktail menu.

    Insider tip: Don't stress about limited street parking; valet is complimentary.

    910 Westheimer; 832-530-4698

  • Proof Rooftop Lounge

    A posh spot in Houston's Midtown bar scene, Proof's rooftop lounge 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 bird's-eye view view of Downtown.

    What to order: We like the refreshing Proof Punch (with gin, elderflower liqueur, fresh cucumber, fresh raspberries, lime juice and ginger ale) and the Coco Cosmo (with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, coconut water, lime juice and basil). To eat, try the grilled chicken wrap or margherita pizza.

    Insider tip: Rent a hookah at the bar for $20.

    2600 Travis St.; 832-767-0513

  • 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 order: We can't get enough of the chilled Gulf shrimp cocktail (with cucumber, housemade spicy cocktail sauce and pickled jalapeños), shrimp and grits, the tempting white-chocolate macadamia-nut bread pudding or the refreshing Diamond Whiskey Peach Tea.

    Insider tip: The boutique property is just steps from the bustling Market Street shopping district, Waterway and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

    9595 Six Pines; 281-203-5005

  • 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 order: Start with an order of chile con queso. Work your way up to the seafood enpoblanas (tortilla and queso quesadilla-stacked enchiladas with Gulf shrimp, blue crab, elotes and crema poblana​). Don't miss the 50 infused tequilas or the fresh-juice margaritas. The Texan margarita with tequila, orange liqueur, agave and fresh lime and lemon juice is our drink of choice.

    Insider tip: Top your taco with one or all of a trio of salsas: salsa borracho, salsa de árbol, salsa verde.

    419 Travis St.; 713-229-8181

  • Credit: Sergio Santos Photography

    3rd Floor

    This roomy Midtown bar has a rotating playlist of solid tunes and several flat-screen TVs for catching the next big sporting event.

    The view: Balconies provide amazing views of Downtown.

    What to order: Choose from over 50 microbrew craft beers, 50 wine selections (24 available by the glass), 50 U.S.-brewed craft beers and various spirits. Live it up with chilled shooters and craft cocktails like the Blossoming Buck made with vodka and ginger beer. On the food side, we favor the grilled triple-cheese panini with provolone, Gruyère and white cheddar, oven-roasted tomatoes and fresh basil​.​

    Insider tip: Enter via an elevator located next to Pub Fiction. 

    2303 Smith St.; 832-384-1960

  • 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.

    What to order: Cocktails include The Heart of Texas made with vodka, lime juice, agave and spicy jalapeños. We fill up on the chicken and waffle sliders or the house burger with fried green tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon and white queso on a jalapeño-cheddar bun.

    Insider Tip: Valet is available. 

    2403 Bagby St.; 281-501-9075

  • Crush Wine Lounge

    The swank, spacious wine bar in The Woodlands boasts a lengthy wine list, creative cocktails, a small-plates menu and several hearty entrees.

    The view: The Woodlands Waterway never looked so good as from the terrace and rooftop patio. 

    What to order: While there's a roster of cocktails and spirits available, it's all about the wine with over 275 selections, including boutique and limited production, from which to choose. Pad your stomach with Buffalo chicken sliders or quesadillas

    Insider tip: Tuesdays, enjoy half-off select bottles of wine. 

    20 Waterway Ave., Ste. 200; 281-362-7874