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The Colonnade
Photograph: Courtesy The ColonnadeThe Colonnade’s rooftop pool and bar

The best Boston rooftop bars you need to know about

Hip hotels, neighborhood hangouts and waterfront decks; these Boston rooftop bars deliver views with a side of booze

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
&
Eric Grossman
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Good weather means good moods, and when New England’s notoriously fickle climate allows, locals head out to revel in all kinds of al fresco activities, heading to the area's most scenic hiking trails, beaches and parks. Fortunately, less actively-minded folks can enjoy the fact that Boston also boasts plenty of options for just sitting, eating and drinking outside—from its best outdoor bars to its finest waterfront restaurants. So if you’re looking to come out of hibernation mode, we suggest taking your open-air antics to a higher level with our list of the city's best rooftop bars.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Boston

Best rooftop bars in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • East Cambridge

East Cambridge is calling and it’s telling you to get to The Lexington. Overlooking Cambridge Crossing, this modern space resembles an airy greenhouse and open ups to a rooftop patio for seasonal use—a true rarity in this area. The kitchen carefully cranks out hearty, New American fare, making it a prime destination for dinner and drinks. The Lexington is located above its sister eateries Cafe Beatrice and the forthcoming Geppetto, so basically whenever you grab a drink here, you’ll always have dibs on the top bunk.

  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

Perched atop the popular Envoy Hotel, this expansive, eighth-floor eatery and bar places an emphasis on luxurious comfort, with stylish lounge seating and upscale cocktails. Come for the skyline and sunset views over the Fort Point Channel, and stay for the Seaport Sangria. Pro tip: Go big and reserve the firepit table.

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  • Restaurants
  • South Boston

Give your regards to West Broadway when you hit up this South Boston spot. Situated atop the Cambria Hotel, this roof deck provides spanning city views alongside a menu of curated cocktails—shaken and stirred. For bites, this place offers a selection of Italian-inspired dishes with a serious twist (bolognese nachos, anyone?), and its brunch is anything but basic… unless you order the Basic B. Breakfast. Reserve a greenhouse or outdoor table for the ultimate Southie outing.

  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Bay Village
  • price 2 of 4

Hovering above the Theater District and Back Bay, this hotel hotspot is one of the liveliest rooftop scenes in the city. Whether you’re there to crash in your own cabana, stretch out on a couch or chill by the indoor pool, you’ll be able to enjoy the spectacular views in all of their 270-degree glory. It’s one of the most sought-after refuges in town, so be sure to reserve a spot beforehand—and don’t forget to order the special ice cream sandwich of the day.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Dorchester
  • price 2 of 4

Dorchester Brewing’s rooftop echoes the New England spirit because it’s ready for anything Mother Nature throws its way. While it offers a selection of uncovered seating, this Dot establishment also has a gigantic greenhouse space that enables all-season sipping. Drinkers can grab drafts and flights of its menu of ever-changing brews and collaborations, as well as cider, alcoholic seltzers and wine for hop-averse folks who are just there for the scenery.

  • Hotels
  • Seaport District

Yotel Boston offers a year-round rooftop with panoramic views of the Seaport District and surrounding waterfront. During the winter, guests can seek shelter from our city’s bitter cold inside the bar’s cozy, glass-enclosed seating. The rest of the year, patrons can spread out and make the best of the warmer weather in its sun-soaked outdoor terrace. It’s open daily for your dining, drinking and (on the weekend) brunching pleasure.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

Trillium’s brews are cherished by locals, especially when you add the outdoor ambiance of the brewery’s spacious Fort Point location. This tap room offers a rotating selection of drafts made on-site, as well as a full-service, farm-to-table restaurant spotlighting local, sustainable ingredients. The rooftop of this Seaport complex is first come, first served, so if you want to get your beer and stracciatella toast fix, you best be ready and eager.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Home to one of the city’s most famous rooftop hangouts, this Back Bay hotel has revamped its 12th-floor pool deck numerous times over the years. A mix of hotel guests and local scenesters gather around this literal watering hole to cool off during the summer months. Private cabanas cater to the truly indulgent, while most patrons head to the bar to order a frozen cocktail alongside a lobster roll. Closed to the public on weekends, the rooftop is open to non-hotel guests (for a fee) on weekdays.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

When you want to show off one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods to an outsider, take them to Legal Harborside’s roof deck. The plush lounge seating is a serious upgrade to run-of-the-mill patio seats, and the spectacular harbor views impress. Work your way through the extensive wine list and seafood-focused menu; sparkling rosé and oysters are always a wise choice.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Located on the outskirts of Harvard Square, Daedalus has long been a Cambridge staple when it comes to drinking en plein air. The roofdeck of this former greenhouse resembles a secret urban garden with its overflowing flower boxes, oversized umbrellas and the soft glow of stringed white lights. With a menu of elevated wholesome fare and list of classic cocktails, it’s the perfect place to temporarily escape the city’s chaos.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • South Boston
  • price 2 of 4

Not many restaurants can say they have a vintage Airstream that’s retrofitted as a bar parked on top of their roof—but Coppersmith can. Yuppies near and far flock to this 3,000-square-foot South Boston joint, camping out at its picnic tables for eclectic comfort food, pitchers of cocktails and a local-heavy beer list. And on the weekends, Coppersmith is home to both day-drinkers and wounded soldiers who are nursing their hangovers with brunch pizzas, breakfast burritos and the obligatory mimosa flights.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Charlestown
  • price 3 of 4

If you’re chasing water views, you’ll certainly find them at Pier 6. Located near Charlestown’s Navy Yard, this marina rooftop provides arguably the most incredible panorama of the Boston skyline. A colorful mix of locals typically congregate on the nautically themed deck to get their fill of fresh seafood and New England classics. A well-stocked bar is on hand to keep everyone hydrated as they drink in that salt air.

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  • Restaurants
  • Canadian
  • Back Bay

Earls Kitchen + Bar takes up some serious real estate at the Prudential Center, and within its 14,000-square-foot space is a spacious, three-season rooftop bar. A go-to for Back Bay office workers, Pru shoppers and downtown residents alike, the enclosed patio is airy, bright and filled with natural light. If its extensive, globally-inspired menu doesn’t beckon you, its monthly drink specials surely will.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Government Center
  • price 2 of 4

Sam Adams Boston Tap Room is located just steps away from a statue of the man himself, Samuel Adams, at Faneuil Hall. This massive State Street space takes up three whole floors, including an outdoor rooftop deck with downtown views. The brew hall has 20 beers on tap, switching up its hopped offerings to suit the season, and offers a number of bites to pair perfectly with your pint of preference.

See the best rooftop bars in America

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