Rooftop Bars Around Rhody

Restaurants transform rooftops into a special space for summertime sipping

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Over the years, and especially post-pandemic, the outdoor dining experience has leveled up. The once-standard concrete patios lined with iron tables and chairs and fabric umbrellas have been lent a bit of magic with iridescent igloos and light-filled solariums, converted ski gondolas and open-air lounges. And in the heat of summer, there’s nothing quite like taking in the city or coastal views from above with a cocktail in hand. Here are 20 rooftop decks around the Ocean State to grab a drink (or two!) and toast to our favorite season.

 

EAST BAY

 

THE BEEHIVE CAFÉ

When you think of this popular neighborhood cafe and sister pantry, you likely conjure up images of fresh-brewed coffee, homemade pastries, and breakfast galore. But the Beehive is also home to a modest upstairs deck, with space for a handful of diners to cradle a latte and steal a glimpse of Independence Park and the harbor beyond. Try out one of their signature cocktails, also available in jars to-go, nicknamed “Buzz on the Fly”. Bristol

THAMES WATERSIDE BAR & GRILL

If this restaurant were sitting any closer to Bristol Harbor, it would be in the water. Besides sunsets, Thames Waterside Bar & Grill is known for its food, drinks, and live entertainment on the roof deck each weekend. Gather around the centerpiece bar, cozy up on a couch, sway to the music, or simply lean against the railing to take in the serene sight of boats bobbing in the harbor below. Bristol

THE WHARF TAVERN

This renovated dockside destination boasts three event spaces, a dining room, outdoor seating, and a rooftop bar with live entertainment on weekends. Echoing the trendy nautical touches from inside, the expansive wood deck is anchored by a center bar surrounded by sofas and fire pits. The rooftop is drinks-only, so all patrons must be over 21. Warren

 

NEWPORT

 

BENJAMIN’S RAW BAR

If you’re looking for a local, low-key vibe, climb the stairs up to the third floor to discover the Crow’s Nest, an outdoor bar and dining room at Benjamin’s Raw Bar. The real star of this sea shanty is the raw bar, which includes the Mother Shucker Platter, an indulgent array of 12 oysters, 12 topnecks, 12 shrimp, and two chilled lobsters. Newport 

MIDTOWN OYSTER BAR

The name reveals its primary claim to fame, but alongside a raw bar and seafood-forward selection, this lively spot on Thames is known for experiential dining that includes two rooftops. One is uncovered and overlooks the bustling historic street, while the other feels like an open-air room strung with bistro lights. The bar menu impresses with a long list of wines, beers, and most interestingly, oyster shooters. Newport

THE ROOF DECK AT VANDERBILT

The Vanderbilt, now part of the Auberge Resort Collection, is known for its storied past linked to Newport’s rich and famous. Besides being a luxurious stay for tourists and locals alike, the rooftop bar is a summer destination where patrons can gather around a nautically themed bar or lounge in Adirondack chairs situated to catch the sunset behind the Newport Pell Bridge. Newport

THE ROOFTOP AT BRENTON HOTEL

The Brenton is a new boutique hotel that overlooks the harbor, a gorgeous sight from the rooftop six stories up. The environmentally sensitive green space offers more than just views: Find games like cornhole and ping pong, sofas and fire pits, a veritable jungle of succulents and plants, and modest menu of small plates in addition to beer, select cocktails, and wines by the glass. Newport

SHOWFISH AT GURNEY’S

Located on Goat Island, Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina is a lavish escape complete with top-notch dining, full-service spa, and, you bet, outdoor decks for lounging with libations. The vibe is chill yet contemporary, thanks to streamlined furniture, bistro lights, and glass-enclosed fire pits. Discover the seasonal pop-up Showfish serving elevated seafood or savor light bites from a special menu at The Firepit. Newport

SKIFF BAR

While not exactly perched on a rooftop, Skiff Bar offers an elevated second-floor deck with unobstructed views of the harbor. The restaurant is the perfect stop for a light lunch while soaking up some rays, and features a streamlined menu of seafood classics, soups, salads, and handhelds. Even though it’s located at the Newport Marriott, you don’t need to be a guest to stop in for a bite. Newport

STONEACRE GARDEN

As implied by the name, Stoneacre Garden embraces everything lush and green, including its rooftop, which offers a picture-perfect view of the sunset over Newport Harbor where you can indulge in a farm-to-table brunch, lunch, or dinner. A brand-new bar pours everything from sparkling wines to signature cocktails, even a dedicated mocktail list. Newport

TOP OF NEWPORT AT HOTEL VIKING

Located in the heart of Newport, this historic hotel has been a local landmark since it opened in 1926 and recently debuted a massive makeover, including a revamped rooftop bar and kitchen. Lounge chairs and sofas arranged around fire pits and tables create pockets for conversation over cocktails. Find a menu of bubbles, beer, and boozy specials, plus lite bites like tartare, deviled eggs, and ceviche. 

 

PROVIDENCE AREA

 

MARE ROOFTOP

This rooftop restaurant offers sweeping views of Providence’s East Side year-round, whether it’s from inside its fully enclosed dining area or on the outdoor patio known for igloos in the winter. Mare is known for upscale eats (think indulgent seafood and steak entrees) and matching drink list featuring upmarket wines and premium spirits. Providence

ROOFTOP AT THE PROVIDENCE G

What city doesn’t have a trendy rooftop bar? The Providence G takes urban dining to new heights with a completely weatherized space open year-round for al fresco dining, live entertainment, and an unobstructed PVD skyline that makes for the perfect photo op. 

TUMBLESALTS CAFÉ

An adorable eclectic cafe nestled in the most unexpected of places, Tumblesalts is known for a little bit of everything, from Italian-American classics to weekend brunch and myriad dining spaces both indoors and out. The rooftop deck is small but cozy, with comfy couches arranged strategically for conversation. North Providence

 

SOUTH COUNTY

 

CHAIR 5

Located at The Break Hotel, Chair 5 is a favorite among locals as well as guests, especially beloved for its beachfront rooftop. Creative cuisine and surf-chic vibes reign supreme, including fresh-prepared seafood, contemporary coastal decor, and of course views of Narragansett Town Beach, best enjoyed with an artisan cocktail, craft beer, or glass of boutique wine in hand. Narragansett

COAST GUARD HOUSE

Chances are CGH is on your radar, whether it’s for its proximity to the landmark Towers or reputation for shorefront dining, but the rooftop deck is a special summer highlight. Open seasonally, the upper open-air level boasts the restaurant’s signature seafood and sea views.  Narragansett,

MATUNUCK OYSTER BAR

Matunuck Oyster Bar has made a name for itself across the state for oysters farmed on-site, plucked straight from the water for your plate and served alongside other locally sourced ingredients. While the dockside destination is already scenic from sea-level, you can’t beat a rooftop view of the sun setting over Potter Pond. 

PHIL’S RESTAURANT

This family-friendly restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner on its rooftop deck overlooking downtown Wakefield. The center bar is surrounded by tables with umbrellas to shield patrons from the summer sun, as they pull apart woodfired pizzas or sip spiked cold brews. Wakefield

THE PUB AT MATUNUCK

Just a stone’s throw from the beach, The Pub is a classic Irish joint known for good times and even greater views, especially from their multiple levels of decks that includes a rooftop. On weekends, longer hours mean you can enjoy breakfast and lunch from the top, though we always favor an evening visit to catch the sunset. 

SIMPATICO

Walking down Narragansett Avenue, you’re bound to stop in your tracks for a better look at Simpatico, an enchanting woodland escape plopped in the middle of a beach town. The multiple rooms and outdoor spaces boast carefully hung greenery, twinkle lights, and even a pergola, for a variety of dining experiences. However, we’re focused on the upper deck, nicknamed the Jamestown Knot Club + Bar, which offers open-air eating at inset booths and a view of downtown. Jamestown

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