This blog post was updated on May 1, 2020.
If you’re flying to a happening city this summer, there’s going to be nothing like sitting at a rooftop bar and taking in the glory of the metropolis spread out before you. As was recently reported in this CNN story, there are some spectacular rooftop bars spread out all around the world. However, the price you have to pay to experience them will make you have second thoughts on getting on that elevator to the top. We’ve put together a more value-for-money list of seven great rooftop bars in amazing cities across America that we think you’ll love. After all, reaching the rooftop shouldn’t come at the cost of breaking your budget ceiling!
Acme Feed & Seed
Music City offers choices galore when it comes to entertainment, but don’t pass up on this very reasonably priced rooftop bar. While just 4 floors up from the ground, the building’s location in the heart of Downtown will give you a great view that includes the Music City Center and the Cumberland River. There is live music almost every night, and with just $11 for their famous hot chicken sandwich and ~$6 for drafts you’ll be elevated to honkey-tonk heaven in no time!
VU Rooftop Bar
The VU gives you a neck-breaking view of the Empire State, which after a few cheap happy hour drinks ($5 wells and $3 house shots – 5-7pm everyday) might be dizzying to say the least. But we love it’s unpretentious, welcoming vibe and the fact that it sits atop the 14th floor of a La Quinta hotel doesn’t take anything away from having a good time with close friends – a certified bang for your buck in the Big Apple.
El Techo de Lolinda
Just a modest five floors up from the street, El Techo offers up a great view from Mission Street all the way to the Bay. While long lines can be expected to get into this very popular Latin American/Tapas inspired eatery and bar, you’ll be guaranteed a good time with their Mon-Fri happy hour (4-6pm) with $4 beers and $7 magaritas, and can chow down on some succulent small plates (just $5 a plate on happy hour – including fried chicken and beef empanadas).
52Eighty Rooftop Lounge
Located on the 29th floor of the MileNorth Chicago Hotel, no trip to the Windy City can be complete without having a drink at this rooftop bar. While it may be small, you’ll find the savings will be big when you take advantage of their happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays (5-7pm with $2.00 appetizer’s and 50% off beer and wine). Plus, the view, on a clear day, can certainly be majestic.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails
Located off the fifth floor of the Motif hotel, this sleek and trendy rooftop bar offers cool games such as ping-pong and shuffleboard. The food and drink is also top notch, with an extensive cocktail menu that is sure to satisfy. Sunny Seattle days and an ice cold beer go hand in hand up, while when things get a bit chilly there’s always a very interesting looking fireplace to keep you warm.
This simple, small rooftop always has a party happening. With a great crowd and conveniently located on U Street (right near the metro and several buses), Marvin often gets an energetic thumbs-up for its summer vibe. Note: you won’t be getting a jaw-dropping view of D.C., but for $6 mimosas and their sizable $10 chicken fried oysters (I know it sounds strange, but you gotta try ‘em!) you know you’ll be having a ball in the capital city.
This hipsterish hangout on the Penthouse Floor of The Langford Hotel is the new kid on the block in downtown Miami, with just a few months of existence under its belt. But in this short time, its spectacular rooftop view along with reasonably priced cocktails (5-7pm happy hour) and stand-out starters like Wagyu beef tartar sliders, yellowtail taquitos, and curried chicken croquetas have made a muy grande impression on our experts.
Are there any affordable rooftop bars in major cities that we may have left out? Let us know in the comments below!