Rooting for Rooftop Bars


Assembly Rooftop Lounge. Photo by Lexy Pierce.

Perhaps one of the best ways to stay hydrated during the warm waning day (and nights) of summer is at a rooftop bar, where you can soak in the warmth and the views. Here are some of the best rooftop bars in the area.


Assembly Rooftop Lounge

The Logan, Philadelphia’s Hotel, 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The first thing you’ll notice about this upscale bar on the 9th floor of the hotel is the lovely views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall. The second thing is likely to be the sophisticated decor with sofas creating cozy seating areas around fire pits. Craft cocktails, beer, wine and champagne are all available to pair with charcuterie, cheese and small plates. Reservations are not required, but are recommended. $10 cover. 21+. Tip: This is the place to celebrate that big deal with a pricey bottle of Dom Pérignon.


Bok Bar. Photo by Irene Levy Baker.

Bok Bar

800 Mifflin

This beloved 6-year-old bar is on the rooftop of what used to be Bok Technical High School in South Philly. Not even the valedictorians of yesteryear could have dreamed up this ingenious re-used of space and how fast it would become more popular than the cheerleading squad. Though the students are long gone, the building retains the character of a high school with long, locker-filled hallways, though now they house local makers. Those hallways aren’t accessible when the bar is open, but when you use the bar’s student-sized bathrooms, it’ll bring you back to your school days. The bar is only open in the summer so make plans to go and see the views - one of few public spots where you can see the city skyline from the south. There is a full schedule of events ranging from a drag brunch to workouts and pop ups by musicians, chefs, artists and makers. This year, for the first time, reservations are available. Some space is held for walk-ins as well. Tip: Make reservations just before sunset so you can see the daytime views, the sunset and the nighttime lights.

Sunset Social

129 S. 30th Street

At this 1.2-acre rooftop park in West Philadelphia, you’ll find big grassy areas perfect for picnicking and a giant movie screen for watching movies, cartoons and sporting events. There’s a kiosk selling fast casual food, beer, wine and bottled cocktails. It’s atop the Cira Center’s 12-story parking garage where the views of the Schuylkill River and the city skyline are pretty enough to attract wedding parties posing for portraits. Programming ranges from live music to movie nights. Don’t wait, it’s only open during warm weather. Tip: Get parking validation after 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.


El Techo. Photo by David Baker.

El Techo

Motto Hotel, 1830 Ludlow

The bar on the rooftop of the Motto Hotel in Rittenhouse has quickly become a popular spot. What’s not to love, with its views of Liberty Place, white string lights, tasty but inexpensive tacos, guacamole and baskets of nacho chips that pair perfectly with margaritas, tequila- and mezcal-focused drinks? The grown up popsicles are the icing on the cake. Think rhubarb, strawberry, hibiscus or flan, caramel and sea salt or butterscotch pecan and mezcal. It has one of the city’s few retractable roofs, making it an all-weather destination. Open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Tip: Walk-ins only but service is speedy and the wait may not be as long as predicted.

Continental Midtown

1801 Chestnut

This retro bar on the 3rd floor Rittenhouse restaurant has indoor and outdoor spaces and a fireplace, making it a fun place to visit year-round. The menu includes frozen cocktails, champagne, beer and wine, as well as a fun food. Tip: Jumbo lump pad Thai, Szechuan shoestring fries and a cheesesteak spring roll are its signature dishes.

Photo courtesy of the Moshulu. Photo by Allison Guzy.

Moshulu

401 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

This ship docked on the Delaware River, just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge is the oldest and largest square-rigged sailing vessel still afloat. Grab a drink or seafood-focused eats on the deck for great views of the river and the skyline. Tip: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Bistro on Bridge

212 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

This casual, kid-friendly restaurant and bar is the ideal place to relax and enjoy craft beer, wine, whiskeys and cocktails. The menu includes crowd-pleasers like burgers, pizza and brunch foods. On Friday and Saturdays it is first come/first served. Tip: The menu includes vegetarian and gluten-friendly options.