Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, just keeps on getting bigger, sprawling 15 miles in every direction from the heart of it. That shifting skyline, combined with the city’s famous Southern hospitality, makes for excellent rooftop bars. There are dozens of them scattered across the city, mostly concentrated in Uptown but there are a fair few in some of the trendier neighbourhoods too. If you’re feeling stuck for choice, we’ve served up seven of the best rooftop bars in Charlotte.
The Best Rooftop Bars in Charlotte
1. Fahrenheit (Uptown)
Soaring 21 -floors above Second Ward, Fahrenheit is one of Charlotte’s highest rooftop bars and restaurants – so you’re guaranteed an excellent view wherever you sit. It’s part of the Hyatt Place and you’ll need to don business-casual attire for admission, so avoid those sneakers and baseball caps. Outside on the terrace there are big comfy lounge chairs, large dining tables and fire pits to keep you cosy as the sun goes down. There’s an extensive drinks list featuring craft ales, fine wines and an eclectic range of cocktails. Come with an empty stomach too – you won’t want to miss out on Chef Rocco Whalen’s creations.
2. Merchant and Trade (Uptown)
Perched on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park, Merchant and Trade is one of Charlotte’s best-loved rooftop bars. The outdoor terrace offers sparkling views over Romare Bearden Park and it’s perfectly positioned for some epic sunset skyline ‘grams too. The indoor bar features floor-to-ceiling windows so you can feel like you’re outdoors when you’re indoors if it all gets too breezy. There’s a range of beers and wines to choose from but we highly recommend flicking straight to the cocktail menu. You’ll find all the classics on there, as well as creative concoctions like the Dew Drop, made with Sevilla orange gin, Lillet blanc, Peychaud’s bitters and rosemary salt. If you’re feeling peckish, the menu is well worth dipping into too.
3.Whisky Warehouse (Plaza Midwood)
If you like your whisky then hotfoot to Whisky Warehouse, Plaza Midwood’s neighbourhood rooftop bar. At two stories high, it’s no soaring skyscraper but it does offer sweeping views of the city skyline. There’s an excellent range of quality local beers to choose from but you’d be a fool not to dive straight into the whiskeys. You’ll find everything from classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and remixed classics like the Whiskey Smash, made with strawberry puree. Food-wise there’s an excellent assortment of classic bar food – pretzels, burgers, wings, and the lot.
4. Coin Bar (Uptown)
In the blistering heat of summer, sometimes only a pool will do. As well as boasting a huge pool, Coin Bar also offers sweeping views of the city skyline. And, with huge 22-ft wine double-sided LED television screens, sports fans will love it too. You can rent the huge couches via DM on Instagram or simply rock up with your day pass. The bar hosts regular events like the ULTIMATE Football Watch Party, every Sunday from 11:00–13:00. There’s a good range of drinks on offer, as well as a seasonal-inspired menu. It’s one of the best places to beat the heat in the city.
5. The Waterman (South End)
If you’re looking to pair booze ‘n’ views with some top-notch food, the Waterman in South End is an excellent option. The laidback roofop terrace offers sparkling views of South End and the Charlotte skyline, accompanied by some of the freshest seafood in town. It’s a laidback, neighbourhood affair so you don’t have to dress up to have a good time either. Head here during the week from 14:00–19:00 for USD 1 oysters followed by po’boys, seafood burgers and tacos. The drinks menu is excellent too.
6. Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo (Uptown)
Nuvole (pronounced new-va-lay) rooftop is just the sort of bar you would expect to find perched on top of a swish hotel. Occupying the 22nd floor of the AC Hotel, Nuvole Rooftop offers 2,500 sq. ft of partially-covered patio space and 2,400 sq.ft of indoor space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. There are fire pits and blankets for colder months too. As well as sparkling views, Nuvole offers tasty light bites and a staggering range of cocktails too. Note, it’s an upscale joint so you’ll want to turn up in your glad rags. If you can’t bear to leave, there’s a dedicated penthouse suite too.
7. The Pump House (Rock Hill)
If you’ve had your fill of central Charlotte and fancy something a little different, head out to Pump House. Located between Rock Hill and Fort Mill, the bar is set in an old pump house that now offers multi-level dining and a rooftop bar on the fifth floor. Come for the cocktails and linger long into the evening for the Southern-inspired meals. It’s also a great spot for brunch with a menu that goes well beyond pancakes and Eggs Benedict. Try the shrimp and anson mills grits, made with jumbo white shrimp and served with roasted sweet peppers and tasso ham. The views are unbeatable too.