February 2020: Miami’s rooftop bar season came in hot—literally, our breezy, non-sweltering winter days have been few and far between this year. Still, the city has gifted us with a couple new rooftop bar options since our last update, and we consider it our moral duty to guide you to their gorgeous views and boozy beverages. Because, really, it doesn’t matter the time of year: Miami just looks better from up here.
Finding rooftop bars in Miami has not always been an easy task. We’re not a skyscraper city like New York and many of the rooftop spaces we have are reserved for hotel guests. Thankfully, that has changed. The Brickell and Downtown explosion has given us some tall drinking options and even relatively small neighborhoods like Wynwood and Buena Vista are throwing their hat into the rooftop ring. We ain’t complaining, especially because many of these bars aren’t content with just good views. They’re bringing great cocktails, food and ambiance to the party too, which has landed at least one in our ultimate list of the best bars in Miami. These places are a great way to see Miami from a different perspective. Time your visit with a Miami sunset and prepare to be wowed.
Amazing rooftop bars in Miami
What is it? A Brickell hotspot that can have a line out the door on weekend nights and Friday happy hour. Brave that line and you’ll be rewarded with 360-views of the city (40 floors up!), pricey (but tasty) cocktails and a swank crowd. Snag a reservation for a guaranteed table, especially if you think you may want to have some food.
Why go? Because you don’t want an average night out. Whether you’re celebrating or just want to feel fancy, Sugar is a one-of-a-kind experience in Miami.
What is it? A neighborhood where buildings are rarely taller than three or four floors, Little Havana welcomes its first open-air, elevated situation above the equally adorable Life House hotel. Oversize umbrellas and couch set-ups are scattered about Terras’ retro-tiled digs, which twinkle at night under the rows of bistro lights.
Why go? The ground floor offerings at Life House have already struck a chord with the area’s cool-kid crowd, drawing locals to mingle with trend-seeking out-of-towners. Terras further legitimizes the spot as a solid nightlife option, serving up pretty, tropical cocktails garnished with all kinds of herbs and veggies plucked from its own garden in the sky.
What is it? Watr owns its stunning view of the ocean with a Polynesian-inspired rooftop restaurant and bar decked in reclaimed wood. The soundtrack is more akin to breaking waves than the usual club bangers you hear in these parts. There’s just something about the laidback vibe of this place that makes us feel like we’re in a spa with frosé on tap—and that ain’t a bad thing.
Why go? If nothing else, to walk through the best-smelling lobby in the southeastern United States.
What is it? Inspired by the lively lounges of Mykonos, Astra brings a rooftop bar to a still-developing chunk of Wynwood. The place is pretty huge at 10,000-square-feet and offers proper tables for dinner or more casual seating options for sipping and relaxing. Expect Greek, both on the seafood-heavy menu and behind the bar with mastika and ouzo.
Why go? There are no tall buildings blocking the view, so you can really see all the way to the Downtown skyline.
What is it? A photo op befitting of an “I live where you vacation” caption. Area 31’s 16th-floor lounge may not technically be on the roof, but its view of Downtown is hard to beat. Expect young professionals and business types from Brickell.
Why go? Friday happy hour ($7 drinks and $12 bites) runs from 5pm till 11pm, so you’ll definitely make it—even with traffic.
What is it? The sister lounge of Wynwood’s excellent restaurant Three. It’s only on the second floor, so don’t expect skyscraper views. But the cocktails are great and taste even better when the breeze comes rushing over the outdoor patio.
Why go? Every Sunday they have a very yummy brunch party with a DJ and dim sum.
What is it? Dive bar meets rooftop bar—which is just as strange and wonderful as it sounds. Find this place hiding in a nondescript residential building that overlooks Biscayne Bay. Don’t question it—or the random location or the Irish menu packed with pub essentials. Just grab some wings and a pitcher of beer, and watch the Dolphins with your peeps.
Why go? Rooftop bars can be pretentious. This place is aggressively not.
What is it? A popular Lincoln Road spot that offers sweeping views of South Beach. Sadly, the views aren’t the only thing that’s sky high—just wait for the bill. But, hey, you’re on vacation, right?
Why go? The $65 prix-fix brunch menu is actually a killer deal for Lincoln Road—especially considering the bottomless mimosas.
What is it? A very tiny rooftop lounge—but a rooftop lounge nonetheless! Vista lives in the charming Upper Buena Vista retail complex and serves some really tasty food that leans towards rustic Italian cuisine. If you can snag a table on the rooftop deck, you absolutely should.
Why go? For a breezy, sun-filled happy hour, which runs weekdays from 3 to 8pm. Order a Negroni ($7) and pretend you’re on the Italian coast. After you’ve worked up a little buzz, head to the restaurant downstairs, where you can indulge in proper Raclette fries (and the waiters will wait patiently while you get your phone out).
What is it? A bar formerly known as the Pawnbroker. And while the latest version of this rooftop bar has definitely lost some of that Pawnbroker magic, it’s still got some sweet Downtown views and a prime location in one of Miami nightlife’s fastest-growing areas.
Why go? Because the hotel beneath this rooftop bar is a slice of Miami history and the building has been around since 1925.
What is it? A new “MediterrAsian” restaurant and lounge overlooking a busy stretch of Lincoln Road, this expansive indoor-outdoor terrace incorporates minimalistic design elements like sleek, sculpted wood tabletops, unpolished floors, metal and clay artworks and natural textiles to impressively decadent effect.
Why go? Despite its tourist-heavy location, Mila’s cocktail program pushes edgy ingredients like beeswax, black walnut bitter and sesame orgeat syrup. Outside, the real star of the show is V by MILA, an omakase-like imbibing experience where guests have a front-row seat to modern mixology techniques incorporating liquid nitrogen, foams, gels and dry ice.
What is it? A little guy who packs a big punch. At just four stories above Collins Avenue, the rooftop offers surprisingly awesome views of Lincoln Road and surrounding areas. If you’re looking to stay awhile, the adjoining restaurant serves food to help you weather a night of cocktails.
Why go? There’s a pretty sick happy hour downstairs at the classy Regent Cocktail Club with $5 beer and $10 cocktails Wednesday through Sunday from 6 to 9pm.
What is it? Perched atop the Viceroy Hotel, this rooftop club, pool and lounge—formerly known as Fifty Ultra Lounge—has one of the best and highest views in the city. It’s gorgeous on a clear night. Occasionally, you’ll find live music and entertainment going on inside as well.
Why go? The hotel’s new restaurant, ADDiKT, makes for a great dinner and drinks combo.