If you’ve spent a summer day in Atlanta any time over the past two years, you know that it’s generally sweltering most of the early afternoon, drizzling around 4 p.m., and settling into a nice, comfortable temperature around 7:30 or 8—the perfect time to hit one of the city’s hottest rooftop bars. Here are six of our favorites:
Tucked just adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood, this rooftop lounge is a weekday happy hour must. The menu is small, featuring sophisticated bar bites — expect loaded potato chips, turkey burgers and more. The signature cocktails are fruity and flavorful (try the Re-Tox Lemonade with Ketel One Citroen vodka, Hendricks gin, cucumber, basil and fresh lime), and there’s a selection of wine and beer as well.
We’ll be the first to tell you that the view from atop the Poncey-Highlands location of this popular local burger chain doesn’t offer much in the way of Pinterest-worthy moments—unless, of course, you’re seeking out stroller-pushing joggers with your lens. What we can say, though, is that savoring a juicy double stack and mocha milkshake (Patron, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream) from high up is one of the coolest ways we know to beat the Georgia heat.
Bring your swimsuit if you’re heading to the rooftop bar at the W Atlanta Downtown. There’s a pool, so you can cool off while sipping something refreshing like the tasty Epiphany Martini with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and a splash of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. If you head there on a Friday or Saturday night, go early: The place fills up because of the fantastic drinks and even-better music.
While there are two Six Feet Under restaurants in Atlanta, we suggest the Grant Park location for two reasons: It has a rooftop bar, and (brace yourself for reason No. 2) the catchy name didn’t come out of nowhere — the place overlooks the historic Oakland Cemetery. Still onboard? If so, order a pitcher of one of the house specials, such as The Handy Shandy (Ketel One Citroen, Weihenstephan, ginger beer, lemon and basil) or the Six Feet Under Lemonade (Bourbon and the housemade lemonade). Plan to hang here on a sunny weekend to munch on some of the best deep fried treats in town — oysters, scallops, shrimp, chicken fingers, fish and chips, and more.
If you’re bunking at a Midtown hotel, a good bet for local color is Shout, which boasts a second-floor patio that’s been seen on many Atlanta-based reality TV shows such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The hot spot is known for its social scene and is wedged between skyscrapers, so you’ll find a bunch of suits gathered right after the whistle blows, sipping on something that comes on the rocks, or one of the many colorful martinis (the apple variety being one of the best), but the cosmos also rule the bar here.
If you want a more sophisticated location for rooftop lounging, take in the top deck of the Glenn Hotel. It’s close to CNN headquarters — so wave if you see your favorite news anchor also hanging out here — and it’s a popular watering hole during the summer. It boasts a mellow, SoHo feel, and on some nights, a house DJ spins tunes. Once the summer really kicks in, you can sometimes enjoy the entertainment coming from musicians playing at nearby Centennial Olympic Park.
Photo Courtesy of Shout Here To Serve Restaurants