There’s nothing like a bird’s-eye view to offer a breather from the busy sidewalks of city life. As restaurants have expanded out over the past year — seizing space from parking lots, patios, and even streets — diners can also look up for opportunities to share a meal al fresco on rooftops, where the scenery and atmosphere can’t be beat.
From east to west, mountains to lakes, here are 13 of the best rooftop restaurants in the United States and Canada, where meals pair with some of the best panoramic views you can find. Book a table before the warm weather passes.
Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou (Houston, Texas)
A mainstay of Houston dining for more than seven decades, Brenner’s offers a rustic retreat within the city. Nestled in wooded Buffalo Bayou, near Memorial Park, the fine-dining restaurant is surrounded by lush gardens and a stone waterfall that cascades into the bayou below — a serene landscape to frame the dining experience. From the expansive patio of the two-story dining room, share seafood platters and prime steaks of Texas Akaushi and American wagyu beef, plus bottles from an award-winning wine list. Cap off a special night with a signature Brenner’s soufflé of chocolate, Grand Marnier, or Chambord.
Broken Shaker (New York, New York)
Situated on top of New York City’s Freehand hotel, Broken Shaker serves craft cocktails and bites in a stylish space flooded with colorful, eclectic details. A brainchild of the team behind Bar Lab, the restaurant and bar has been a James Beard Award finalist and won the Tales of the Cocktail award for Best American Hotel Bar. On the roof, next to potted plants and under string lights, enjoy sweeping views of the city while sipping bourbon infused with Cinnamon Toast Crunch (“tastes like: breakfast, but better,” per the menu) and sharing cheesy empanadas and French fries dipped in guava ketchup.
Canoe (Toronto, Canada)
Regularly listed among Canada’s best restaurants, Canoe is synonymous with its setting: the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, one of Toronto’s tallest skyscrapers and an architectural masterpiece, overlooking both the city and shimmering Lake Ontario. The menu, too, is pure Canadian, showcasing ingredients sourced and foraged from coast to coast, including wild Northwest berries and Baffin Island turbot. Choose between a tasting menu of seven or nine courses, which may start with bison tartare and end with hay custard, featuring whipped salmon roe and Ontario morels along the way.
Charmaine’s Rooftop Lounge (San Francisco, California)
San Francisco is known more for pocket-sized wine bars than rooftop lounges, which is part of what makes Charmaine’s so special. In the Proper Hotel, 120 floors above Market Street, sleek striped sofas surround individual fire pits for an outdoor setting made for the city’s cool and foggy summers. Cozy up with cocktails from the team behind iconic bar Trick Dog, such as the Mister Bigglesworth with rye, mezcal, and apple mole or the Stray Mob with Japanese whisky and cream sherry. An all-day menu from award-winning chef Jason Fox features house-made charcuterie, yuzu- and togarashi-dusted chicken meatballs, and roasted pork lettuce cups.
Corrida (Boulder, Colorado)
To access the Spanish-inspired Corrida, diners take the elevator to the top floor of the restaurant’s downtown building and step out onto a vast rooftop lounge boasting an unobstructed view of the iconic Flatiron mountains, plus a panorama of the whole city. A traveling cart serves cocktails tableside, including an entire menu of gin and tonics, made distinct with elderflower, cucumber, and rose. Gather around a fire pit in the winter months and feast on pintxos of olive and anchovy, grilled octopus, and savory Ibérico ham. Wood-fired steaks are the stars of the menu — don’t miss the dry-aged ribeye or Japanese striploin, cooked tableside on hot stones.
LA Cha Cha Chá (Los Angeles, California)
This downtown Arts District restaurant from Mexico City-born, LA-raised chef Alejandro Guzman opened its doors in 2021 — a timely moment to welcome guests onto a sprawling rooftop terrace surrounded by native plants. Lively enough for casual drinks and refined enough for a date night, it’s a spot that always feels on point, thanks in part to mid-century design that screams SoCal luxe. Begin with a mezcal cocktail (Oaxacan Zombie or red pepper-mezcal Negroni) and aguachile for the table. For a main course, share tuna tostadas and the pipián rojo (a mole cousin), or whole grilled snapper.
Eiffel Tower (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Appropriately housed in the Paris Hotel & Casino, Eiffel Tower sits more than 100 feet above the Las Vegas Strip, giving diners a view of the Bellagio fountains and Sin City’s bright lights. You may be indoors, but you’ll feel like you’re in the clouds. Enjoy French classics including beef wellington, whole Dover sole, and roasted rack of lamb in the most romantic of dining rooms. The restaurant has one of Vegas’ largest wine lists — more than 1,400 labels — so a Champagne toast (or even a marriage proposal) is right on cue. Brunch is also an affair, including three-course menus of French onion soup, lobster eggs benedict, and signature chocolate soufflés.
Juvia (Miami, Florida)
You may not expect to find one of Miami’s best rooftops perched on the penthouse level of a South Beach parking garage, but Juvia is it. This contemporary 10,000-square-foot restaurant features a terrace of stylish booths flanked by living vertical gardens, conjuring images of the Amazon rainforest (the restaurant’s name describes the trees that produce Brazil nuts). The rooftop is an unparalleled place to see Miami sunsets and spectacular downtown views. Like the downtown, menus reflect influences from all over the globe, including French, Japanese, and Peruvian flavors. Start off with a glass of bubbly from the Champagne bar, paired with hamachi espuma or gyoza with parsnip purée. For dinner, enjoy sea bass in a maple miso sauce or a black truffle-dusted filet.
Shanghai Terrace (Chicago, Illinois)
Lauded as one of the Windy City’s top Chinese restaurants, Shanghai Terrace lives up to its name with a spacious patio on the fourth floor of the Peninsula Hotel overlooking the Chicago skyline. Settle into cabanas and comfy sofas, then sample a mix of traditional Cantonese specialties and spins on the classics. For lunch, choose from a menu of noodle soups (wild mushrooms, braised beef), and dim sum (barbecue pork buns, shrimp and chive dumplings). Dinner might be Maine lobster dumplings followed by braised pork belly or Peking duck. Complementary cocktails star flavors such as duck fat, lychee, and jasmine tea.
Stars (Charleston, South Carolina)
Charleston’s only bar with a 360-degree view of the city’s historic dining and entertainment district, Stars is a must-stop destination for parties and nightlife. In fact, the name “Stars” originated from the owners’ first visit to the rooftop, where the skyscape offers a perfectly clear view of the Milky Way. The restaurant, set in a restored arts and crafts building, specializes in live fire cooking — both a wood-burning grill and hearth oven — using ingredients sourced within 100 miles. From the rooftop perch, diners can sip tap wines, craft beers, and signature and frozen cocktails, while the restaurant menu features lobster and shrimp toast, spit-roasted ribeye, stuffed quail, and more.
Sway (Austin, Texas)
Thai meets Texas at this award-winning restaurant in Austin’s Westlake neighborhood, where a covered rooftop bar offers skyline views of downtown among plush banquettes lined with succulents. An open-air staircase, filled with natural light, connects the deck to the main floor dining room. Menu favorites include the jungle curry, made with black angus brisket, okra, and roasted corn, and the son in law, featuring braised pork shoulder and a crispy egg over rice. For drinks, try a housemade soda or drinking vinegar. Other highlights: a beer list spanning Austin to Japan and Thailand, specialty and barrel-aged cocktails, and a selection of sake.
Terra Plata (Seattle, Washington)
Appropriately for a restaurant named for its earth-to-plate ethos, an edible garden surrounds the open roof deck at this Capitol Hill mainstay, enclosing a space that’s made for lingering. Menu influences cover the globe — from white gazpacho and Peruvian chicken to chilled cavatelli and chermoula-slathered lamb riblets — while ingredients are overwhelmingly sourced from Washington. Don’t miss Monday paella nights, when an order of paella mixto (chicken, chorizo, seafood) or marisco (clams, mussels, shrimp) make a perfect meal for two. Come cooler months, the space is heater.
Terrasse William Gray (Montreal, Canada)
From the eighth floor of the William Gray Hotel, this terrace looks out onto the best of Montreal, including the St. Lawrence River and the tallest ferris wheel in Canada. With retractable awnings and heaters, the space is designed for day-long comfort, when laid-back lunches fade into late nights. Start with a dozen oysters (available Sunday and Monday), then move on to signature dishes such as chickpea croquettes, beef tartare, or orecchiette tossed with duck confit. For drinks, order from the European-leaning wine list or try a classic cocktail — a sunrise or sunset sangria, perhaps, depending on the time of day.