Rooftop Bars in Seattle: Great Views & Great Drinks

08/05/2022 | by Andy | Bars & Restaurants Local Area Guide Travel Tips

If you’re planning a visit to Seattle, you might be thinking about checking out a rooftop bar. There are plenty of great locations where you can grab a drink, enjoy brunch, and even take in the view of the Space Needle or Capitol Hill.

Downtown Seattle has a wide variety of stunning views of the city, so take a look at some of the top rooftop patio or bar options from which to choose. The only question left for you to answer is, “Which rooftop bar will you try first on your vacation to Seattle?”

1. The Smith Tower Observatory Bar

Photo Credit: thesmithtower via Instagram

Price: $$$
Address: 506 2nd Ave #35, Seattle

The Smith Tower Observatory Bar is easily one of the top bars in the local area. It’s been around for more than 100 years, it’ll give you a beautiful view of Puget Sound, and it has a wide variety of drink options on the menu.

You might be interested in some happy hour draft beer, some fresh liquor, and some cocktails that have been inspired by the local area. It is true that it’s a bit more expensive than some of the other options, but given the unique food options on the menu, it’ll satisfy all your cravings. Just about everyone should be able to find something at this bar.

2. The Mountaineering Club

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Price: $$
Address: 4507 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle

If you find yourself in the U District, swing by The Graduate Hotel. That’s where you can find the Mountaineering Club, which will give you a gorgeous view of the city. You can take a closer look at Mount Rainier, spot downtown Seattle from above, and you can check out students from the nearby University of Washington (UW) heading to class.

There are some unique options on the menu, including oysters, so your server will be able to recommend a handful of drink pairing options available. It’s one of the most popular options in the area, so you may want to make a reservation ahead of time.

3. The Fog Room

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Price: $$$
Address: 1610 2nd Ave, Seattle

If you ask someone where you should go in the downtown Seattle area, you’ll probably have The Fog Room recommended to you. It was opened in 2018, and it sits on top of the Charter Hotel. It’s located on the 16th story of the building, and it is named after the overcast skies that are popular in Seattle.

There are some beautiful views of the waterfront, and you can enjoy some of the top cocktails in the city. Some of them have been named after a different landmark, so don’t hesitate to talk to the bartender for some recommendations if you aren’t quite sure what they are.

4. The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar

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Price: $$$
Address: 1225 4th Ave, Seattle

When the sun begins to set, you should expect The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar to be packed. It has an amazing staircase that will immediately catch your eye when you walk in the door, but if you want some of the best views in the city, you need to go all the way to the rooftop.

Since this rooftop bar is right in the heart of downtown Seattle, you’ll be surrounded by skyscrapers, giving you unbeatable views of the city. While you’re more likely accustomed to beer flights at the Seattle breweries, this wine bar offers wine flights. Never had one? Now is your chance! Be sure to pair it with something such as lobster mac and cheese or poutine.

5. The Nest

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Price: $$
Address: 110 Stewart St, Seattle

The Nest is another very popular rooftop bar located in the downtown area. Once you find it on top of the Thompson Hotel, you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous view of Elliott Bay. There are plenty of delicious food options on the menu, including some fresh seafood. As we all know, there’s hardly better and fresher seafood than in Seattle, so even the bars know how to do it right!

You’ll definitely want to try some of their specialty cocktails. During the warmer months, you may want to consider making a reservation ahead of time, as it is one of the most popular locations in the city.

6. The Lookout

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Price: $
Address: 757 Bellevue Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102.

Even though The Lookout might not give you the tallest view of the city, it does have great views and delicious food. Located in trendy Capitol Hill, it’s the perfect spot to pop in for a drink on bar hopping kind of night. I suggest starting your night here, since it has one of the best happy hour deals in the city.

Come for the food, stay for the drinks, and the views will probably get better if you hang out longer as the city starts to light up all around you. It is easy to see why this is one of the top rooftop bar options in the local area.

7. Ben Paris

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Price: $$
Address: 130 Pike St, Seattle

Ben Paris has become one of the most popular rooftop bars during the past few years. It is situated on the 8th floor of a beautiful Terrace that overlooks Pike Place Market. Because it has become so popular, you should definitely make a reservation before you swing by. You can even take a tour of the local market if you are willing to add it to your bill.

Ben Paris has some of the best tequila, whiskey, and bourbon in the area, and you can also pair it with a delicious meal. Regardless of whether you are swinging by for dinner or drinks, you need to add this rooftop bar to your list.

8. Patio Cielo

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Price: $$
Address: 422 E Pine St, Seattle

If you find yourself in the Capitol Hill area, Patio Cielo is a must-visit rooftop bar for you to add to your list. The hours have recently expanded, and if you visit during the summer, the hours might be even longer. That means that you have plenty of time to enjoy this rooftop bar, which is located inside Mercado Luna.

If you are looking for a taste of Mexico, you need to give the Mexican food and drinks from this location to try, too. There are lots of great wine, beer, and cocktail options, and for seasonal additions, be sure to ask the bartender what’s on tap.

9. Rooftop Brewing Company

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Price: $
Address: 1220 W Nickerson St, Seattle

Rooftop Brewing Company has been open for several years and has quickly become one of the most popular places to grab a drink in Queen Anne. There are dozens of beers on the menu so you’re sure to find a style you’d enjoy.

While you sip, enjoy a beautiful view of Fremont Cut and Salmon Bay. There are plenty of gorgeous buildings in the area as well for you to enjoy as your backdrop. The space on the roof is popular, so come early if you want to be sure to have a good spot.

10. MBar

Photo Credit: mbarsea via Instagram

Price: $
Address: 400 Fairview Ave N 14th Floor, Seattle

MBar Rooftop Bar is located in the South Lake Union area. It sits on the 14th story, and there is an elevator that will give you a beautiful view on your way up. At night, it is lit up with neon lights, so it is very difficult to miss.

You can try some of the best Middle Eastern fare in the city, but you will also get a gorgeous view of the Seattle Center, Queen Anne, and Lake Union. This is a spot that is known for its delicious drinks, so consider giving it a try during your next visit.

11. Hard Rock Cafe

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Price: $$
Address: 116 Pike St, Seattle

It’s true that Hard Rock Cafe is a chain, with locations spread throughout the world, but it has changed significantly during the past few years. You can find this Hard Rock Cafe near Pike Place Market in the downtown Seattle area.

It is often overlooked, but it does have live music, a delicious brunch on Sunday, and a menu that might take you back a few years. Of course, it is situated on a rooftop, so you will have a nice view of the city. Even if you have been to a Hard Rock Cafe in another part of the country, this one is sure to offer something unique.

12. Terra Plata

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Price: $$$
Address: 1501 Melrose Ave, Seattle

Terra Plata has a menu that is inspired by an edible garden. You can find it situated above Melrose Market, and it is known for its delicious food. The rooftop can get very crowded very quickly, so if you want to guarantee yourself a spot, you will definitely want to make a reservation ahead of time. Or, you may want to consider placing your order to go.

13. Frolik Kitchen and Cocktails

Photo Credit: frolikseattle via Instagram

Price: $$
Address: 1415 5th Ave, Seattle

This bar is located in the downtown area, and it used to be The Red Lion. If you are wondering what happened to that spot, now you have the answer: it’s now Frolik. This is one of the largest kitchens in the city, and there are lots of fire features, ping pong tables, and cocktails that can help you relax. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas, so do not hesitate to have a look around during your visit.

It also has some of the more affordable drinks in the area, which is also one of the reasons why it is relatively popular. Consider making a reservation if you don’t like to wait.

14. Maximilien

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Price: $$$
Address: 81A Pike St, Seattle

Maximilien is definitely one of the more expensive options in the area, but since it’s situated in historic Pike Place Market, you’re getting a great location alongside the already excellent quality of food and drinks. It is an authentic French restaurant, and you can munch on some of your favorite food as you enjoy a beautiful view of the water.

It’s a popular, charming, and enjoyable restaurant, and even better for those who enjoy dining al fresco, the deck is usually less crowded than the inside of the restaurant. This means that you may have an easier time getting a seat outside.

15. The Pink Door

Photo Credit: thepinkdoorrestaurant via Instagram

Price: $$$
Address: 1919 Post Alley, Seattle

The Pink Door is frequently overlooked, as it is difficult to find in Post Alley, but if you can tackle the long staircase, you will find this hidden gem. Once you make it to the top, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the streets surrounding the restaurant, and you’ll feel like you’re sitting on top of the world.

On top of being hard to find, it is also small. That adds to the coziness of sharing a secret that seemingly only you and the others dining know about.

16. Monsoon

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Price: $$$
Address: 615 19th Ave E, Seattle

There are lots of people who have been clamoring for this restaurant to make a return, and it is now back. Monsoon is located in the Capitol Hill area, and it is a great opportunity for you to enjoy some delicious food and drinks.

You can dive into some of your favorite Vietnamese cuisine, and you can take a look at 19th Street, which is located just below this beautiful rooftop restaurant. This is another spot where you may want to make a reservation ahead of time if you don’t want to wait.

Enjoy the Top Rooftop Bars in Seattle

Ultimately, these are just a few of the many Seattle rooftop bars available. Whether you decide to climb to the top of a skyscraper, or simply enjoy panoramic views near the U District, be sure to take advantage of everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer and find a bar that gives you a great view of the Seattle skyline.

If you are kind, bartenders might even treat you to a free drink! Regardless of whether you are looking for an IPA, craft cocktails (like an Old Fashioned), or even some Paella, you can find it all in this city. During your next visit to the area, consider checking out a few of these options.

Just be sure to have your vacation home rental booked in advance so you have a comfortable place to crash after your rooftop drinks. You’ll quickly see why this is one of the most popular cities for people to visit. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world!