The 14 Best Rooftop Bars in Asheville and Nearby: See the City From a New Height!
There’s a really fun anticipation about walking into a typical building or a hotel with the knowledge that you’re headed for the roof to visit one of Asheville’s coolest rooftop bars. For a small city, Asheville boasts an impressive number of terraces and outdoor dining options, including a variety of bars that keep the nightlife in Asheville fun even as you look down on the city lights around you.
You don’t have to choose between the view and the menu either – the best rooftop restaurants in Asheville often come with delicious meal options and craft cocktails. If you’ve been here for a bit, you know that Asheville chefs and bartenders alike love a local ingredient, so don’t be surprised if the cocktail you’re sampling has honey from hives just outside city limits or herb infusions grown right there on the rooftop terrace.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor for a party or some Biltmore touring, a rooftop bar is a great addition to your list of things to do in Asheville at night. There’s something wonderful about enjoying some nice night weather while relaxing and looking out on the mountains, especially if you time it right and catch a sunset.
Beyond the fancier set of rooftop bars in Asheville, there are a variety of fun bars that happen to have a patio on a higher floor, offering the same purple mountains majesty with a more casual vibe.
One iconic rooftop bar in Asheville, the Skybar at the top of the Flatiron Building, closed in 2019, ending an era for one of the finest rooftop restaurants in town. However, the rapid growth of the city over the past decade has brought you many satisfying spots to visit in its stead. Check out our wide-ranging variety of restaurants with great cocktail lists, hotel-based rooftop bars, upper-story patios at breweries… and more!
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14 Amazing Rooftop Bars in Asheville
1. “Elevate Your Sipping Point” at Pillar Rooftop Bar
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Asheville, you’re only an elevator ride away from Pillar, but luckily, the rest of us can visit too. There are southern fusion small plates available, as well as a cocktail list that perfectly pairs with amazing views of the Asheville skyline.
Musicians frequently play on the rooftop, and there are outdoor fire pits to extend the season out on the patio, making this a great destination. One cool feature is Pillar has a shuttle if you want to spend the evening enjoying food and drink but need a safe ride to another spot in downtown.
On the seasonal menu, you’ll find approachable and well-crafted cocktails that feature delicious flavors from ginger liqueur to Godiva’s White Chocolate Crème de Cacao, and of course, at least a couple classics with bourbon, gin, rum, or vodka.
Pair your drink of choice with a Sweet Thai Chicken flatbread, one of several salad options, or some shrimp and grits, and you know you’ve got the right start to your evening. While this place is a couple blocks out of downtown proper, it’s easy to walk to and from Pillar if that’s your preference during a night out.
2. Take a Walk Through Havana at Hemingway’s Cuba
On the 4th floor of the Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville lives a truly unique contribution to our list of the best rooftop bars in Asheville. Hemingway’s Cuba features menu items inspired by the traditional flavors of Cuba, and they celebrate Cuba on the drink menu too.
From the Hemingway’s Daiquiri, which melds Bacardi Silver rum with Luxardo, grapefruit, and lime juice for a tropical toast, to the Cinnamon Haze, a tequila-driven cocktail that is sure to warm you: house-infused cinnamon syrup and habanero pepper bring the heat, while triple sec, caramelized pineapple, and black lava salt bring the brightness.
On clear days, the open patio is a must, but when rain falls, you can still get great views from their interior via the floor-to-ceiling windows. Equally good for a downtown business lunch as for a relaxing night out on the town, Hemingway’s Cuba delivers on flavor and energy.
If you’ve got reservations at one of the many fine dining establishments along Wall Street, Lexington Avenue, or beyond, Hemingway’s Cuba makes a great stop since it’s so close to everything – pop in for a cocktail before heading along!
3. Jet Set to Italy from the Social Lounge Rooftop
While there are a lot of contenders for places that mix the best cocktails in Asheville, Social Lounge serves up some of these libations while also letting you order off their full dinner menu from Strada, the connected, next-door-neighbor Italian restaurant.
The Social Lounge “side” of the building has a cozy, dim bar area with seating but also a small and picturesque rooftop terrace, perfect for taking in the city lights while noshing on crispy arancini – that’s deep-fried cheesy risotto balls, if you’ve never had the pleasure of trying them!
If you’re just in the mood for a drink, you’ll still leave happy – from the Succulent Summer (Lunazul Blanco, Chareau Aloe, lime, and agave) to the First in Flight (house-infused vanilla vodka, pineapple, lemon, cinnamon, and rosemary), the signature cocktails at Social Lounge deliver a combination of the familiar and the unexpected.
With local kombucha and non-alcoholic ginger beer from Devil’s Foot on the menu, even the designated driver will be treated to a wonderful flavor. While I’m particularly partial to all Italian food, Social Lounge is an awesome concept: mostly cocktail bar, but when it comes down to it, all the food you could need, served in style on a romantic little rooftop!
4. Taste the Handmade Difference at Top of the Monk
Thirsty Monk Brewery may be known for its monastery-inspired suds, but the cocktail bar and rooftop haunt Top of the Monk, located on the top floor, takes handcrafted to another level. They literally make as much of their drink ingredients in-town as possible, from bitters to infusions, flavored syrups to mixers.
If you browse their Instagram, you’ll see that every drink is meant to also be a work of art, from the layering of colored ingredients to perfect garnishes in the ideal glassware. In the heart of downtown, there’s majestic mountains and blocks of city life to watch from your spot on the rooftop, and even if the casual atmosphere downtown made you wonder if you’re overdressed, being classy is just part of the experience on the top floor.
5. Enjoy the Natural Scenery at Highland Brewing Company
Just a smidge out of downtown, you’ll find one of the most esteemed and recognizable beer brands of Asheville, Highland Brewing Company. Maker of the iconic Cold Mountain Ale and Gaelic Ale, Highland has taken their place among places that have the best beers in Asheville, and we thought they deserved a mention for their truly lovely terrace and rooftop.
Their facility is part customer-facing brewery and part large-scale brewing and distribution center, all in one enormous building. The easiest way to enjoy a Highland beer while taking in the views is from their Taproom Patio, a comfortable elevated area full of seating from which you can quickly jaunt into the taproom for another pint.
We also want to give them a shout-out as one of the coolest spots for an event like a wedding reception or company dinner: their event center includes a rooftop beer garden that is generally only for private events but has some majestic mountain views. Do not turn down an invite to a meetup that happens on that roof!
6. Sip a Living Beer at Archetype Brewing
What struck me most when I walked into Archetype Brewing in West Asheville for the first time was that the space was large – truly hundreds of folks could happily drink in their combination indoor/outdoor space.
While this is not one of those traditional Asheville rooftop cocktail bars, this brewery has a lovely first-floor terrace and a staircase up onto the roof. You can bring pizza in from next-door-neighbor Pizza Mind and enjoy one of Archetype’s signature pints while watching a sunset.
As a local, Archetype is my go-to for getting a little evening work done on a weeknight, but it is just as good for a hangout with a friend, a place to watch a game on one of their TV screens downstairs, or attending one of the many community-oriented events they hold like trivia and music nights.
From the Cowboy Poet lager to the Unruly Mystic coffee porter, you’ll find well-balanced beers of all kinds made with Belgian brewing processes. If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Asheville at night, join their running group for a jog before hanging out and drinking a pint!
7. Be the Class Act of the Evening at W XYZ Bar
The classy and sleek Aloft Hotel wisely included the W XYZ bar in the plan for their hotel, creating a rooftop bar experience with a substantial small plates menu too. You and your friends can sample their roasted red pepper hummus on their Medi Plate or choose the sushi nachos, with deconstructed sushi ingredients served on fried wonton chips.
A flatbread or burger will satisfy anyone who came famished. The main attraction is, of course, the cocktail menu. The Humble Bee combines bourbon with honey-thyme syrup and lemon juice for a well-balanced twist on a whisky sour, and the classic Aviation features crème de violette, Luxardo, fresh lemon juice, and gin.
It’s nice to see a cocktail menu with unusual combos, like the Looking Glass, which features cucumber vodka and sage, and The Juniper Rose, which combines hibiscus rose tea with the orange-infused Tanqueray Sevilla. Your craft cocktail pairs perfectly with the trendy interior of the rooftop bar and makes for a great first stop on a tour of the nightlife in Asheville.
8. Embrace the Tapas Lifestyle at Capella on 9
Spain knows how to serve you a small plate and a cocktail in the open air on a terrace, and in Asheville, the 9th floor of the AC Hotel will transport you to Madrid or Barcelona in your mind.
Capella on 9 focuses on small plates as well as craft cocktails, so you’ll be able to get your patatas bravas (fried potatoes with sauces), your olives, and your pozole, but they also have a few more familiar options like chicken wings and flatbreads.
The star of the show is the drink menu, where you can get your Smoked Manhattan made with actual cedar smoke, a Pear Pressure made with pear vodka and a cinnamon-sugar rim, or a Popcorn Ball Rum Fashioned, with rum that was infused with actual buttered popcorn – the rim is sugar and salt, just like sweetened popcorn!
You’ll have no lack of things to talk about as you survey the city from one of the highest heights available.
9. See Everything From a Bird’s-Eye View The Montford Rooftop Bar
Located on top of the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville Downtown, The Montford offers both a patio and an enclosed bar space from which to enjoy an eight-stories-up view that is totally unforgettable. Sink your teeth into a roasted mushroom flatbread or nibble on a cheese and charcuterie board while you sip one of the signature cocktails.
Every season is a little different, but they get creative, like the wintery Rudolph’s Rum Rhapsody, served in a very large serving and indicated for two people: it’s Jamaican and Puerto Rican rums combined with lime, orange, pineapple, passion fruit, bitters, ginger, and honey – that’s a lot of flavor packed into one punch!
An excellent beer and wine list round out the offerings and keep all the people who come with you to The Montford happy. Be aware, however, that this is a popular location for a night out in Asheville, with reservations strongly suggested and groups of six and under being the only ones admitted.
10. Taste Craft Cocktails at the Source at Antidote at Chemist Spirits
You can reasonably expect an actual distillery to also serve up some of the best cocktails in Asheville, and Chemist Spirits definitely delivers. They designed Antidote to be styled like a 1900s-era apothecary, delighting your friends who love the Roaring ‘20s or anything historical.
While you can absolutely sample any of the Chemist gins in a perfectly attuned gin and tonic, the cocktail list ranges wider than that: Season’s Change, for instance, combines rye with rum as well as spicy bitters, cinnamon, lime, and a float of stout beer on top.
The Saturday Satan features Czech herbal liqueur Beckerovka alongside Reyka vodka, apricot liqueur, plum, lemon, bitters, and alternative egg white, with a candy rim – there’s a lot going on! You’ll be tasting new elements of your drink until the very last drop.
If your designated driver or sober friend wants to come along, the Sunday Saint offers Ghia non-alcoholic aperitif mixed with plum, fresh ginger, lemon, and rosemary for a refreshing mocktail.
11. Visit the Green Mansion of Green Man Brewery
Green Man Brewing began at Dirty Jack’s, but as South Slope flourished with microbreweries, they opened the enormous Green Mansion, a combination production facility and tasting bar.
While you can pick up gifts and drink a beer by a fire pit on the first floor, the rooftop magic happens on the third floor, where they’ve created an indoor/outdoor bar that allows you to watch the beer brewed below you on the 2nd floor. Also, check out the Asheville Tourists’ game from above (that’s minor league baseball, by the way!), or just take in the majestic mountain views.
While Green Man is probably most recognizable for their ESB, a malty amber ale brewed in the authentic English style, they brew nearly every kind of beer, from hoppy and hazy IPAs to lagers and pilsners to porters and even ginger seltzer. Every palate will leave happy after a visit, especially if you take in some of their scratch-made pub food while you’re there for a visit.
12. Take in a Sunset at Shine in Hendersonville
If you’re venturing out beyond the cocktail bars in Asheville but still want a rooftop experience, try Shine in Hendersonville. Their cocktail list is long and varied, focusing mostly on classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Sazerac, and The French 75.
If you’ve never had a properly made Vesper, Vieux Carre, or Dark & Stormy, these bartenders know how to make your first experience a memorable one as you look out over the mountains and the charming downtown of this small town.
The menu features plenty of good appetizer nibbles, including escargot, shrimp cocktail, and tuna tataki, as well as a great selection of salads, soups, and sandwiches, and a wide-ranging entree menu including a Thai curry, mussels, pasta dishes, and steaks. In fact, we love their food so much Shine also made our list of best restaurants in Hendersonville. Your options are limitless as you enjoy this out-of-the-city experience and experience a beautiful view at the same time.
13. Take in the View Without the Height at Twisted Laurel
While not on a roof, the terrace at Twisted Laurel downtown is one of the best in the city for people-watching, facing out to Pack Square and all the excitement of the various festivals, gatherings, and general city life that happen there.
Sip a Pom Spritzer with Tito’s Vodka, Velvet Falernum, pomegranate, lemon juice, rosemary, and bubbly water, or a Kanela Margarita, which adds cinnamon and apple cider to the mix of a well-balanced margarita. On the food menu is a variety of Mediterranean-inspired comfort foods as well as other American classics, making this a crowd-pleaser of a restaurant.
Not all things to do in Asheville at night are wild parties or ultra-complicated cocktails – Twisted Laurel is, to me, the comfort of a great gyro or mushroom pizza alongside a tasty beverage while taking in all the life of the street below. You’ll never want for something to see from this vantage point.
14. Sip and Learn With Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
Want someone else to coordinate when the best bars in Asheville are open, where to go, and what are truly the most spectacular views available from the best rooftop bars in Asheville? Local tour guides at Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours will journey with your group for three hours, taking a chauffeured van ride to three separate rooftop bars.
You’ll try a sample cocktail or mocktail and then have time to sample food or a different cocktail before heading for the other two rooftop bars on your tour. Choose from a The Sky is the Limit Tour, an afternoon journey, the Rooftop Sunset Tour, where you’ll find the best sunset views, or Sunset and City Lights Tour, which takes you from sunset to later in the evening so you can see the whole city light up the night.
Along the way, you’ll get a history lesson of Asheville and get to learn about the buildings you see spread out below you – it’s truly a magical experience that will bond you to each other. Guests frequently mention just how personable and knowledgeable their guides are, which makes this all the more interesting as a tour for those who are looking for the best cocktail bars in Asheville with a view!