In a city lined with skyscrapers that’s blessed with year-round patio weather, finding a prime rooftop perch for cocktails can be more challenging than you’d expect. We did all the heavy lifting (read: drinking) for you, scouting out the best skyline scenes from bars around town to bring you a mini guide to the top spots to sit and sip with sweeping city views unfolding below.
It’s hard to decide what’s better here: the view or the cocktails. Set on the rooftop of the Lincoln Road Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage, a private elevator on the ground floor leads up to one of South Beach’s sexiest open-air spaces. A vertical garden spans one side of the Amazon rainforest-inspired rooftop that looks out across the Art Deco district and its iconic neon signs. Take a seat outside or cozy up at the bar in the glass-encased indoor space and order one of the South American-influenced specialty cocktails like the Exotic Caipirinha, a blend of 51 Cachaça, guava purée, passion fruit, lime and sugar.
1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-763-8272
If you’re after beach vibes served up with rooftop views, head to the bar at the new 1 Hotel South Beach. Sitting next to the adults-only pool, the 18th story watering hole offers fresh seafood and Mediterranean-style tapas, as well as 360-degree views of South Beach and the sea. Curl up on one of the white couches by coffee tables made of reclaimed wood—all keeping with the sustainable beach theme here—and order from a menu of organic wine and cocktails that can be enjoyed both by day or night as DJs spin in the space that takes on an Ibiza feel come sunset.
2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-6580
It was only a matter of time before The Pubbelly Boys developed a bar concept, and for their first venture they couldn’t have chosen a better venue: the rooftop of 1925 building housing one of Downtown’s newest boutique hotels, The Langford. Complementing the small plate-inspired American eatery, PB Station, Pawn Broker specializes in New American-craft spirit cocktails that take on a Prohibition Era twist. Take a seat at the Roaring Twenties-style indoor bar or on the more modern terrace in the midst of Downtown’s towering buildings, sampling bar chef Derek Stilmann’s menu of cocktails served in the most decadent of crystal with options like Giggle Water, a bubbly gin and tonic that plays on Prohibition-themed bathtub gin.
121 SE 1st St., Miami; 305-420-2200
The #TBT hashtag can apply to more than just your Instagram posts here. Make your way up to the 16th floor at the EPIC Hotel for Area 31’s new Thursday night happy hour that’s dedicated entirely to throwbacks, from 80’s and 90’s hits to “classic” cocktails (think cosmos and Sex on the Beach). You can also sample seasonal cuisine from Chef Birk while taking in the glistening panoramic views over Biscayne Bay and the Miami River from the restaurant’s terrace for scenic drinks any day or night of the week.
270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-424-5234
Styled after a Southeast Asian jungle, Sugar is one of two bars at the new EAST, Miami is a mix of rooftop garden and bar sitting above the city on the hotel’s 40th floor. The tree-filled Brazilian teak deck with its sofa pit serves as a casual spot for Asian tapas like tamarind-glazed beef satay and boneless Korean chicken wings paired alongside liquor- and craft beer-based cocktails. Sample one of the specialties like The Getaway, a mix of plantation pineapple rum, tamarind ginger chutney, ginger beer and lime, and take a seat amongst the local Sea Grape and Star Jasmine plants, admiring 270-degree views out over Miami’s skyline and waterways.
EAST, Miami, 788 Brickell Plaza, Miami; 305-373-2282
It’s hard to get any higher than FIFTY, the rooftop lounge splayed across the fiftieth floor at the new W Hotel in Brickell (formerly Viceroy Miami). It’s certainly a scene here come Friday and Saturday night as a chic crowd gathers for drinks and dancing around South Florida’s longest infinity pool, taking in sweeping views over Miami’s downtown skyline. The queue here can build up fast, so dress to impress and make a table reservation to ensure (speedy) entry.
485 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-4417
Downtown is dotted with late-night bars and lounges, but when it comes to cozy rooftop spaces, the neighborhood is somewhat lacking. Miami’s 24/7 nightclub, E11even, has just the solution. Head up to the 4,700-square-foot, open-air rooftop space and you’ll find a pulsating scene more fitting of South Beach. DJs and live acts narrate the show while the crowd sits on sofas around posh versions of fire pits sipping craft cocktails and nibbling on light bites like vodka pizza and mahi tacos—all while taking in shots of the sweeping scenery below.
29 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-570-4803
The downstairs lounge is dubbed Lolita, but make your way up to the rooftop and Dolores unfolds—an urban oasis in the heart of Brickell with stunning views of the Miami skyline. Take a seat on a sofa or table outside on the buzzy terrace of the historic building—Miami’s former Fire Station No. 4 dating back to 1923—or head inside the intimate all-white dining area where you can pair those cocktails with some of the spot’s stand-out cuisine, which includes everything from mini kobe burgers and tuna tacos to Italian spreads like shrimp gnocchi and firecracker rigatoni with a surprising kick of spicy sausage.
1000 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-403-3103