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

23 best rooftop restaurants and bars in Boston

Drink in the Boston skyline (and a few top-notch cocktails too) at the city’s al fresco hotspots.

JQ Louise
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Kayla Becker
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When the sun comes out in Boston, it’s an event worth celebrating. Heck, it’s practically required for locals to head outside and soak up all the city has to offer. There’s no better way to do that than by paying a visit to the area’s best rooftop restaurants and bars, all of which offer breezy corners to chat over drinks and bites en plein air. Whether you want a buzzy hotel bar scene or a more relaxed neighborhood beer garden, these sky-high hangouts will deliver on views and vibes. For more ideas on where to go when the sun is shining check out the best outdoor bars and finest waterfront restaurants in Boston. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Boston

The best rooftop bars and restaurants in Boston

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

Perched atop the popular Envoy Hotel, this trendy eighth-floor eatery and bar offers small bites and upscale cocktails from the comfort of stylish lounge seating—but its real draw is a dazzling skyline view that makes wait times worth it. Come for the skyline and sunset views over the Fort Point Channel, and stay for the Seaport Sangria and tunes as you mingle with The Seaport’s in-crowd. Pro tip: Go big and reserve the firepit table.

  • 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 come summer. It’s also one of the largest at 15,000 square feet, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get full—It’s one of the most sought-after refuges in town, so be sure to reserve a spot beforehand. 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. Don’t forget to order the special ice cream sandwich of the day.

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  • Restaurants
  • Back Bay

Located atop The Newbury Boston, this elegant eatery serves more than just comforting Northern Italian fare—it also serves looks in a major way. Befitting of a special occasion or celebratory dinner, this glass-enclosed, rooftop sanctuary seems like it’s a lush garden patio situated on a Tuscan hillside. But if you’re able to pry your eyes away from the beautiful art deco-like interior for a minute, you’ll also see that this restaurant offers unreal views of the surrounding Back Bay. Take a seat on one of Contessa’s plush chairs, order yourself a selection of salumi and a plate of fresh pasta, and raise your negroni to the cityscape before you.

  • Bars
  • Seaport District

Open year-round, the Lifted Restaurant at The Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport brings easy breezy city vibes to The Seaport with its rooftop digs and tropical poolside refreshments. Grab a seat at this open-air restaurant and bar, which is located on the fifth floor of this luxury hotel, and enjoy sips, snacks, and maybe some swimming as you admire the bustling Innovation District below. The internationally inspired menu ranges from light bites—like crispy Brussels sprouts—to more substantial plates made for sharing (or solo eating, if you’ve worked up an appetite doing laps), such as a 1-lb lobster roll. Wash everything—high-rise vistas included— with an icy beverage from its extensive selection of frozen drinks

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  • Restaurants
  • Central Sq

As if Central Square couldn’t get any more hip, along comes Blue Owl and its casually cool rooftop perched atop 907 Main. Overlooking the colorful streets of Cambridge, this chic and sleek spot offers snacks, small plates, skewers, sandwiches and sweets, and features street food favorites from around the world. Savory standouts include a Jamaican oxtail beef patty served with Caribbean slaw and pickapeppa aioli, Oaxacan empanadas, and Korean fried chicken wings. Innovative cocktails should not be missed (our personal favorite is the Space Camp, a refreshing blend of gin, oloroso — a Spanish sherry — and lime) but there are plenty more fun libations where that came from.

  • 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 like short rib gnocchi and fish ’n’chips and a list of classic cocktails, it’s the perfect place to temporarily escape the city’s chaos.

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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 made on-site and collaborations, as well as cider, alcoholic seltzers and slushies, and wine for hop-averse folks who are just there for the scenery. Pair it all with barbecue from on-site restaurant M&M, including “dumpster fries” piled high with barbecue pulled pork and cheese sauce.

  • 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, the roof is retractable (making this spot a hit in all seasons), 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.

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  • 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 opens up to a rooftop patio for seasonal use—a true rarity in this area. The kitchen carefully cranks out hearty, New American fare made with farm fresh ingredients, making it a prime destination for dinner and drinks. The Lexington is located above its sister eateries Cafe Beatrice and Geppetto, so basically whenever you grab a drink here, you’ll always have dibs on the top bunk.

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

Home to one of the city’s most famous rooftop pool hangouts (aka the RTP), 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 Friday and Saturday, the rooftop is open to non-hotel guests (for a $50 fee) Sunday through Thursday.

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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.

  • 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. Whether you’re sipping a refreshing Aperol Spritz or the more inventive Everything Bagel Bloody Mary, this all-season roof is sure to please, especially with igloos keeping you toasty off-season. 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 1 of 4

Felipe’s in Harvard Square has developed a loyal following amongst locals—and for good reason: its fresh, fast and flavor-packed Mexican fare. In the summer heat, the restaurant’s Brattle Street roof deck attracts even more fans, providing prickly pear margaritas, Baja-style fish tacos, and a welcomed cool breeze.

  • Restaurants
  • East Boston

East Boston’s seasonal roof deck is a neighborhood gem with a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere — but it’s cozy, so book reservations in advance to ensure your harborside views. Reminiscent of a shipping container and with plenty of nods to the East Boston Shipyard, the nautical spot serves American classics with an emphasis on seafood, including shrimp and grits, seared scallops, and lobster Benedict for brunch. Grab a craft beer from the walk-up window bar and say cheers over Eastie.

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