Mary Van Hollebeke

Did someone say “rooftop bar”?

I’m going to let you in on a secret: When the sun comes out in Seattle, our Emerald City is the most heavenly place on the planet. It almost seems unfair to the other cities. And with a new rooftop bar cropping up every year (or so it seems), there’s no shortage of opportunities to make the most of our idyllic spring and summer months. To enjoy a cocktail while gazing as far as the eye can see, here are four spectacular venues for those sunny afternoons and warm evenings.

I’m in love with the unapologetically bird-themed décor. Mary Van Hollebeke

The Nest

The Nest is Thompson Seattle’s rooftop perch with sweeping views of Elliott Bay, perhaps the best waterfront view one can find downtown. Guests oohed and aahed as they stepped out of the elevator – we were all dazzled. With names like RoseAllDay, YachtLife, and ShutItDown, their current hashtag-worthy cocktails look just as beautiful as they sound. Their menu is ever-changing though, so if you made it here last summer it’s probably time for you to come back.

Cocktails: $13-$17

Visit The Nest and see how many waterfront landmarks you can spot from here (it’s more than you might think!). Mary Van Hollebeke

Aesthetically pleasing table details and geometric lines are found throughout mbar’s décor. Mary Van Hollebeke


Mamnoon’s little sister has found a home in South Lake Union’s 400 Fairview market hall. Make a reservation before you head to this oasis, because mbar’s secret is out and everyone wants in. mbar opened September 2016, so we’re welcoming this new darling to its first full Seattle summer. As for the views? Incredible. Watch the sailboats on Lake Union, see if you can spot the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat, and take a peek at Gas Works Park from afar.

Signature Cocktails: $13

Trendy and understatedly colorful, mbar is right at home in the tech-powered South Lake Union neighborhood. Mary Van Hollebeke

Hard Rock Cafe is your spot for a bird’s-eye view of the landmark Pike Place Market. Mary Van Hollebeke

Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

Yes, there are Hard Rock Cafes all over the world, but there’s something that is so uniquely “Seattle” about this one. This rooftop brings a certain amount of nostalgia for the grunge vibe our city saw in the ‘80s and ’90s. Maybe it’s simply the confident ownership of the Seattle rock scene that this restaurant clearly relishes. Situated so that the eye is drawn right to Pike Place Market on the street below, there’s no doubt that you’re in the Emerald City.

Specialty Cocktails: average about $8

Rooftops on sunny days don’t have to come at a premium – Hard Rock Cafe offers an affordable option (my fellow college students, I’m looking at you!). Mary Van Hollebeke

Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails

When it opened in June 2014, Frolik at the Motif Seattle was downtown’s largest outdoor patio. It’s safe to say it paved the way for other trendy rooftop bars to find their place in our city. Complete with ping-pong tables and strings of lights that illuminate the cityscape around it, the fifth floor of Motif Seattle is a tried-and-true downtown escape. Their Rooftop Concert Series is coming up this summer, giving you eight different chances to check out local music acts at this open-air watering hole.

Cocktails: $12 – $13.50

Frolik is a great spot for watching the sky turn from day to night, and will be even better with live music during the Rooftop Concert Series this summer. Mary Van Hollebeke

About the Author

Mary Van Hollebeke

Mary is a former Partner Services Intern at Visit Seattle. A Pacific Northwest native and soon-to-be University of Washington alum, Mary enjoys traveling, scenic viewpoints, and a well-told story. She is a notoriously fast walker and loves all things Disney.

More Posts By Mary Van Hollebeke


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