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The best rooftop bars in San Francisco

Elevate your night out at one of the best rooftop bars in San Francisco

Written by
Lauren Sheber
Shoshi Parks
Clara Hogan

San Francisco has no shortage of places to get an excellent drink, from intimate cocktail bars to award-winning breweries to carefully curated wine bars. But historically, one type of venue was severely lacking: rooftop bars. We're here with good news, though. Over the past couple of years, the city has experienced a boom in sky-high drinking destinations. Now, rooftop bars are some of the hottest spots to grab a drink in the city.

Enjoy fresh air (with heat lamps, don't worry) and cityscape views that stretch from the iconic Bay Bridge to the streets below. Sip on handcrafted cocktails expertly mixed by talented local bartenders as you take in the sights and sounds that define the city. From established favorites to hidden gems, we've rounded up the best rooftop bars in San Francisco that offer a range of options to suit your tastes. Whether you're seeking a laid-back atmosphere to catch up with friends, a romantic setting for a special date night, or simply soak up the city's beauty you'll find it here.

Best rooftop bars in San Francisco

Located on the 12th floor of the Hyatt Place Hotel in the SOMA district directly next door to the Giants stadium, the Kaiyo Rooftop bar offers a stunning view over San Francisco Bay. The spinoff venue from Cow Hollow’s Kaiyō has a distinct tropical vacation vibe with lush greenery, palm trees and vibrant colors throughout. There really isn't a bad seat in the house here and the interior aesthetic, with the large, oversized bar, emerald green tiles, curved arches and hanging woven lanterns completes the experience.

One of the newer rooftops in the city, Rise Over Run sits atop the LINE Hotel in the mid-market Tenderloin neighborhood. The lush, sky-high terrace and solarium offer panoramic views of the city. Local beverage consultant Danny Louie crafts the cocktail menu—grab a drink around a fire pit or inside the greenhouse, where you can grab a bite from the food menu prepared by Executive Chef Joe Hou who has worked at Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning restaurants, including Per Se and the NoMad In New York City.


The newest rooftop to the SF scene, Cavaña is situated on the 17th floor of the new LUMA Hotel in the Mission Bay neighborhood. The views here are some of the best in the city: take in the Bay Bridge, the water, and various neighborhoods and even peek directly into the Giants Stadium. A night at Cavaña is always a party, as it's almost never not packed with friend groups and dates having a good time both inside at dining tables and lounge areas and outside by the fireplaces and standing ledges. Both the food and cocktail menus are vibrant and colorful, highlighting Latin American flavors.

Charmaine's, the Proper Hotel's rooftop bar, has a city-inspired cocktail menu crafted by Josh Harris and Morgan Schtick of Trick Dog fame. The roof deck, perched 120 feet over Market Street, is stylish, but the vibe is laid-back—largely due to its hoodie- and t-shirt-clad tech patrons. Bar snacks come courtesy of Chef Jason Fox, formerly of Michelin-starred Commonwealth, who heads up Villon, the restaurant below.


Opened in January 2022 by Jeff Hanak and Ravi Kapur in the same location as their last restaurant, Liholiho Yacht Club, Good Good Culture Club offers a vibrant restaurant with an eclectic menu inspired by Asian flavors, the chef's Hawaiian roots and California ingredients. Some may not realize the restaurant also offers a rooftop with colorful art, lush greenery and a glow from the city. This is a perfect place to grab a cocktail or two.

This Latin American-inspired hotspot is one of the best-equipped rooftop bars in the city—which explains the constant crowds. Arrive before 5pm to avoid a wait; those lucky enough to snag a post-work table tend to linger. The open-air rooftop is bordered by glass walls—a welcome shield from breezes—and outfitted with sun-shading umbrellas and high-powered heat lamps. Happy hour runs from 4pm to 6pm, and includes discounts on beers, bar bites (go for the chili-spiced fried plantains), and margaritas. 


Mini-olive trees are nestled under a canopy of heat lamps at this elevated outdoor bar at 25 Lusk. Rooftop25's playful menu offers boozy slushies (we love the Spicy Passionfruit Margarita), bottled piña coladas and wood-fired pizzas like the Pizza#2, loaded with bratwurst sausage, fennel, shaved apple and oregano. Get there early to catch a great view of the sunset from the west-facing deck.

The location of this extremely popular pizza and pasta restaurant is a big factor in drawing crowds. An impressive bar is also a contributing factor and the delicious cocktails, created by veteran bar director Candice Meierdirk, served on the tastefully designed rooftop deck, are reason enough to make plans to spend whole evenings here. There are now three locations of this awesome eatery dotted around San Francisco, but the Sunset District is our favorite—it's also the only one, currently, that serves that all-important contribution to western civilized society, brunch.


The dining room at the Palm Court in Restoration Hardware along Pier 70 is a complete stunner: the live-fire restaurant sits within a jaw-dropping atrium of glass and steel, with a center fountain sculpted of Calacatta gold marble, recalling the glamour of San Francisco’s Gilded Age. Outside, you'll find the Rooftop Park, a garden space with spectacular views of the city's skyline where you can sip cocktails to the sound of trickling fountains.

It may be sandwiched between a Nordstrom Rack and a Trader Joe’s, but this fifth-story hotel bar is surprisingly sexy. Tucked atop the Hotel Zelos, the spot isn’t known for its views but as a stylish, upscale destination for craft cocktails. The landscaped terrace is outfitted with gas fireplaces and a range of indoor-outdoor seating, from bar stools to cushy leather sofas. Though the atmosphere inside is moody, the deck is more laid-back (you'll still want to make a reservation, though, as the outdoor space usually fills up in advance.) The cocktails are inventive, incorporating tea, spices, and fresh herbs.


Jones is only on the second story, but trust us, you won’t mind. Enter through the wrought iron gates (they’re easy to miss), scale the stairs, and emerge onto an open-air terrace decked with string lights and palms. This raucous Tenderloin bar is a scene-y happy hour spot, thanks to the ample seating and three bars. The perch affords views of FiDi, the Transamerica Pyramid, and the TL below. There’s an all-around arty vibe, from the glowing neon signs to the surrounding murals. Happy hour runs from 4pm to 6pm.

This staple of San Fransico's downtown dining scene has been around for a decade, offering consistently delicious fresh California cuisine. The menu is focused on high-quality, locally sourced ingredients infused with global flavors and served family style among shared plates. It also includes an artisanal market featuring local food artisans. Many don't know Bluestem features an upstairs patio overlooking the downtown streets, complete with heat lamps and all. 

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