The best rooftop bars and restaurants in Florida for drinks, food and amazing views!
While us Floridians love drinking and dining with our toes in the sand, we also enjoy an elevated experience.
Produced by our USA Today Network team living in communities throughout the Sunshine State, we chose a dozen of our favorite rooftop bars and restaurants, which are perfect to visit pretty much any day of the year but extra pleasant now during the spring.
You’ll find we’ve selected everything from a place with a dress code to one that’s clothing-optional. The one thing they all have in common, though, is sweet views of everything from beautiful bodies of water to dazzling downtown skylines. We even included an elevated sports bar that overlooks one of the state’s most famous football stadiums.
Presented in alphabetical order, here are 12 of the best rooftop bars and restaurants in Florida for drinks, food and amazing views!
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Beacon Social Drinkery
2200 Edwards Drive, Fort Myers; 239-314-3800; luminaryhotel.com/taste
You hear Beacon Social Drinkery before you see it. The convivial sounds of laughter and conversation cascade down from the rooftop of the new Luminary Hotel in downtown Fort Myers like raindrops, sprinkling the streets and sidewalks below. Walk inside the hotel and ride the elevator. The doors open to the 12th floor, the host shows you to a table on Beacon’s open-air patio, and that racing mind of yours stops. This rooftop cocktail bar and eatery isn’t huge. But its views are. From this cozy pie wedge in the sky, you can take in a vast swath of the Caloosahatchee, from east to west to where it bends south toward the Gulf. At the horizon line, Cape Coral glows beneath the setting sun, while North Fort Myers is draped in tranquil twilight. You remove your mask and breathe. And you’re reminded, in the most beautiful way, of why you love this city, of why you’re here. – Annabelle Tometich, The (Fort Myers) News-Press
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340 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; 727-896-1080; thebirchwood.com
St. Petersburg’s transformation from “God’s waiting room” to one of the hippest cities in the Sunshine State enjoyed a nice push from the 2013 opening of the fifth-floor rooftop lounge that locals simply call The Canopy. Perched atop a former apartment building originally constructed in 1924 that’s now an adorable 18-room boutique inn, The Canopy remains a trendy spot with its craft cocktails, bar bites and weekend brunch menus, cabanas, fire pits and glass railings to better enjoy the views of the Tampa Bay waters, bustling Beach Drive and St. Pete Pier. Opened in 2020, the pier is home to another awesome rooftop lounge called Pier Teaki, which has the same owners as the Birchwood.– Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
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10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Orlando, 407-313-7777, fourseasons.com
Capa is the place to book for special occasions or whenever you want to treat yourself. There are two large outdoor terraces that offer views of the resort’s gorgeous grounds. All this while dining on everything from caviar (starting at $135) to A-5 Wagyu beef ($32 an ounce). There also are plenty of small plates and tapas starting at $5. Make a reservation and bring the little ones. The kids menu includes classics like mac and cheese and chicken fingers, as well as a petite filet served with charred corn and creamy polenta. This rooftop restaurant on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Orlando gives the quintessential view of fireworks from Walt Disney World theme parks. – Michelle Spitzer, for FLORIDA TODAY
The Deck at Oak & Stone
1201 First Ave. W., Bradenton; 941-357-4306; oakandstone.com
Opened in late 2019 and located on top of the eight-story SpringHill Suites hotel in downtown Bradenton, The Deck at Oak & Stone overlooks the Manatee River with views that also include Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Bradenton Riverwalk and the Palmetto shoreline. At the covered rooftop bar, you can order from their craft cocktail menu or serve yourself at the beer wall containing taps for craft brews, cider and wine selections. There’s also a large, open-air space featuring several seating areas with low-top tables and fire pits. Hungry? The Deck offers the first-floor restaurant Oak & Stone’s full menu, starring thin-crust pizzas, oven-roasted wings and one of Sarasota-Manatee’s best burgers. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
More rooftop bars in Sarasota and Bradenton for drinks, food, amazing views
Garden of Eden
224 Duval St., Key West; 305-296-4545; bullkeywest.com
For those seeking a rooftop experience unlike any other on this list, the Garden of Eden found in Key West above the The Bull & Whistle Bar invites guests to literally get naked. In addition to being clothing-optional and, yes, a popular spot for people-watching, Garden of Eden bills itself as Key West’s only third-story bar with an open rooftop, sun chairs and views of world-famous Duval Street. During the day, expect a crowd of sunbathers, while at night, there’s usually a DJ and lots of dancing. No cameras or cell phones are allowed and remember, “If you go, expect to see lots of skin from all walks of life!” reads the website. – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
RH Jacksonville, The Gallery at St. Johns Town Center
4831 Village Shops Way, Jacksonville; 904-730-1474
A high-end home-furnishings store with a rooftop restaurant? Sure, why not? RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware, but it’s not the kind of place you go when you need duct tape or drill bits) opened a three-level “gallery” at the St. Johns Town Center in 2021, selling decor, furnishings and artwork on the first two floors. Up top, it’s anything but “throw a couple tables on the roof and call it a restaurant.” Instead, it’s more of a European-style garden, with sliding glass walls, olive trees and a fountain. The dinner menu features a signature RH burger, shaved ribeye and miso salmon, but the prices can be a bit of an eye-opener (the burger is $22, lobster roll is $34). — Tom Szaroleta, The Florida Times-Union
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River & Fort
12 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine; 904-481-8396, riverandfort.com
A new addition to the oldest city’s nightlife is River & Fort, a restaurant and rooftop lounge in downtown St. Augustine across from the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and on the bayfront at 12 Avenida Menendez. The lounge offers great views of the Matanzas River and downtown. The restaurant has a rooftop menu and lunch, dinner and dessert menus featuring “Southern continental inspired” food and drink, including “local seafood, steaks, wine and craft cocktails,” according to the business website. People can enjoy downtown scenery from second and third-floor rooftops. Lunch is served from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and dinner is served daily from 4 to 10 p.m. The second and third floor rooftops and bar are open daily at 4 p.m. For details go to riverandfort.com. ― Sheldon Gardner, The St. Augustine Record
The Roof Bar and Eats
100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota; 941-217-4777; marriott.com
Downtown Sarasota actually offers multiple rooftop bars within walking distance of each other, yet when it comes to the view, you can’t beat the one located on the 19th floor of The Westin Sarasota. As its name suggests, The Roof Bar and Eats offers a menu of cocktails, beer and wine, and casual dining dishes, yet the real attraction is its expansive vantage point over Sarasota Bay and the ever-changing downtown Sarasota landscape. The view makes it a great backdrop for a selfie – particularly at sunset – and is a popular nightlife spot as well. Make it a rooftop bar crawl by also visiting Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar, with a sleek, artsy feel fitting its home on the eighth floor of the boutique Art Ovation Hotel, and Sage’s fourth-floor bar, which has a more intimate feel and is housed in the Sarasota Times building on the National Register of Historic Places. – Jimmy Geurts, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Ryan’s Pizza and Pub
4 Harrison Street, Cocoa; 21-634-5555, ryanspizzaandpub.com
It’s hard to improve on indulging in a slice of pepperoni pizza as big as your head. Add a view of sailboats bobbing in the Indian River, and that pizza turns into a slice of heaven. Ryan’s Village Pizza & Pub has been part of Cocoa Village for 15 years, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the restaurant moved from Delannoy Avenue to it’s water-view location on Harrison Street. The second-floor rooftop deck is the perfect place to spend a lost afternoon, sipping cocktails, watching boat traffic on the river and laughing at the kids playing in Riverfront Park. It’s also a great place for a lunchtime reset during a busy work day. You can’t go wrong with pizza here, but if you’re really hungry, or dining with a crowd, go for the calorie splurge and order the Irish nachos, all the goodness of regular nachos piled atop a platter of fries. – Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY
The Social at MidTown
1728 W. University Ave., Gainesville; 352-373-7383; thesocialgnv.com/rooftop
The Social at MidTown opened in fall of 2016 after more than $2 million in renovations and now features a rooftop food truck along with two rooftop bars. The Social is a simple but sleek sports bar with tasty familiar food, great atmosphere and plenty of alcohol options. Once the bar Gator City Sports Grille and before that the Purple Porpoise, the location of The Social is filled with Gainesville history. Football celebrations, concerts and all manner of events have been held here over the years. Patrons can enjoy a meal and drinks with views overlooking Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the University of Florida campus from the two rooftop terraces. Philly Cheese Taquitos, Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap and the Fiesta Burger, which is topped with queso, pickled jalapeños and tortilla chips, are all options from the rooftop food truck that cost under $12. The rooftop cocktail options include a Gator-Rita, the Drunken Monkey, and an Old Fashioned for $6.–Brad McClenny, The Gainesville Sun
251 N. Narcissus Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-655-4001, thebenwestpalm.com
Take in the most sweeping, sparkling view on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront from this rooftop bar. Peer out from Spruzzo, the bar located atop the 2-year-old boutique hotel The Ben, and you’ll see the ever-expanding metropolis as well as glimmers of stately Palm Beach island. Spruzzo is the place for enjoying tweaked-classic cocktails like the Smoky Negroni (High West American Prairie whiskey, Aperol, Antica Formula, chocolate bitters) and Mediterranean-inspired small plates like octopus carpaccio, lamb merguez kebab and Marguerita pizzetas. Grab a seat at the 360-degree bar or a spot at any of the loungey areas on the deck – which is scattered with more traditional tables as well – and watch the boats drift along the Intracoastal waterway below. Take a sip, slurp an oyster and welcome to the fab, new West Palm Beach. – Liz Balmaseda, The Palm Beach Post
More nearby: Rooftop restaurants, bars in Palm Beach County offer drinks with a view
788 Brickell Plaza, Miami; 305-712-7000; easthotels.com
Miami features an impressive roster of rooftop restaurants and lounges, but none are more fabulous than Sugar, which is on the 40th floor of the EAST Miami hotel. From the tropical rooftop deck setting, you can observe the downtown skyline and Biscayne Bay, as well as the best sunset views in town. The Asian-inspired menu includes cocktails such as the Apple-A-Day (gin, apple, elderflower liqueur, ginger juice, citrus and pickled ginger), which should pair nicely with an order of the Truffled Pistachio Tataki that can be upgraded with a side of Caspian Sea caviar for about 50 bucks. Oh, and be sure to dress to impress, with “nightlife attire enforced after sunset.” – Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Wade Tatangelo is the Herald-Tribune’s dining and entertainment editor overseeing the weekly Ticket publication. He’s also author of the Best Things to Eat and Top Things to Do columns and co-leader of USA Today Network’s Uniquely Florida team creating statewide content. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. He may also be reached by email at [email protected]. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Best rooftop bars, restaurants in Florida: Miami, Tampa Bay, Sarasota