Miami isn’t exactly known for its rooftops. Buzzy clubs and tourist-packed South Beach bars have long dominated the drinking scene, but in recent years Miami’s bars have diversified, bringing a welcome wave of venues perched high above the chaos down at sea level. Downtown many of the area’s towering buildings have opened rooftop bars that take advantage of the city’s perfect weather and pristine scenery, but other neighborhoods like South Beach and Wynwood have sprouted more rooftop venues as well.
Here are some top picks for rooftop bars in Miami. Take in the stunning views, sip on some of the city’s best drinks, breath the fresh air, and remember how heavenly drinking in Miami can be.
Somewhere along the elevator ride up 40 floors, you were transported to a jungle oasis. At least that’s how it can feel stepping out into Sugar, the rooftop bar of the EAST hotel in the Brickell City Centre complex. The vaguely “Balinese-inspired” bar takes inspiration from cultures across East Asia for its decor and menus. Be sure to reserve a table in order to enjoy the kitchen’s Korean chicken wings alongside drinks like the Lychee Blossom featuring vodka and sake.
There’s no better view of the ocean than from the appropriately named Watr on top of the 1 Hotel in South Beach. The thoroughly relaxed venue opens to the public starting at 6 pm each evening, just in time to find the perfect spot to settle in with a frosé (spiked with vodka, peach purée and Lillet Rouge) or one of the bar’s other frozen specialties as the day fades over the Atlantic. If you somehow grow tired of the ocean view, you can lounge by the killer rooftop pool.
Unless you want to blow your entire paycheck in a single evening, stick to drinks at this ritzy seventh floor rooftop restaurant in South Beach. Topping 1111 Lincoln Road, the famed garage turned mixed-use complex, Juvia offers Japanese-Peruvian fine dining and high-end, tropical drinks to match. While the city shines brilliantly through the floor-to-ceiling windows inside the restaurant, head outside for the legit rooftop experience.
The Mediterranean Astra adds a new way to experience Wynwood. The lush rooftop garden overflows with greenery, drinkers lounge in hanging loveseats, and servers wander with plates of meze and Greek wines and cocktails. As beautiful as the patio space is, most visitors will be hard pressed not to spend all their time looking out over the picturesque neighborhood.
The roof may not be the prime draw of 24-hour mega-club E11EVEN, but you’ll be glad to know about it when you need a breather from the chaos on the dancefloor. The indoor-outdoor lounge scene above the notorious venue is also the perfect place to drop a few bills on a bottle as you look out over Downtown and feel like utter royalty. As the party rolls into morning, catch the sunrise from the roof -- before plunging back into the hedonic celebration inside.