Not too long ago the Tampa Bay area had just a few rooftop bars and restaurants, and two of the best known — Armani’s at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and CK’s at Tampa International Airport — are now closed. But they’ve been replaced by many new establishments offering spectacular sunset views, tasty morsels and creative cocktails. (They’ve even shared some recipes!) There’s no better time to enjoy them than now, while Florida’s weather is at its finest. As the classic Drifters’ song put it, “Right smack dab in the middle of town, I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof — up on the roof!”
Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach
The Zamora sat vacant and unfinished for years, a victim of the Great Recession. But construction eventually resumed and the 72-room Spanish-inspired hotel was worth the wait. From the aptly named 360° rooftop bar, guests can see the Don CeSar resort to the south, the Intracoastal Waterway to the east and the north-south sweep of beach across Gulf Boulevard. Tapas can be ordered from the hotel’s Castile restaurant.
Generally opens at 4 p.m. but times and days can vary due to weather. 3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. thehotelzamora.com.
The Rooftop Bar at the Berkeley Beach Club, Pass-a-Grille
Opened in 2019 on Pass-a-Grille’s funky Eighth Avenue, the Rooftop Bar is known for its Gulf Primeval, an oyster and raw bar and a seafood-focused menu that includes raw, smoked and cured fish. In the same building as the popular Dewey Beach Bar and Grill, the Rooftop is owned by an investment group that includes Maryann Ferenc, owner of Tampa’s iconic Mise en Place restaurant.
5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 109 Eighth Ave., St. Pete Beach. Email [email protected].
Spinners Rooftop Grille, St. Pete Beach
Since CK’s at the airport Marriott closed, the recently renovated Spinners at the Bellwether Beach Resort has been Tampa Bay’s only revolving restaurant. At 12 stories, it’s also one of the area’s highest rooftop restaurants, boasting superlative views. There’s a full menu with fresh seafood, Black Angus beef and locally grown greens.
Planning your weekend?
Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter
We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.
Explore all your options
4-10 p.m. daily. 5250 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. bellwetherbeachresort.com.
Vista at the Top, Tierra Verde
Just over the new bridge to Tierra Verde is a Residence Inn, and on the roof is Vista at the Top. Enjoy cocktails and a light meal while taking in views of Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway, the Don Cesar and the upscale townhomes and condos lining the road to Fort De Soto Park. The hotel is next to a marina, making the Vista a good place to cap a day on the water.
Opens at noon daily, closing hours vary. 214 Madonna Blvd., Tierra Verde. vistaatthetop.com.
The Canopy, St. Petersburg
A once nondescript inn on bustling Beach Drive, the redone and renamed Birchwood now entices a steady stream of guests to The Canopy and its stunning view of the downtown waterfront and twinkling lights of nearby condo towers. Cocktails and light bites are served at a bar; there’s also living room-style seating and high-top tables with private cabanas available for rent.
p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday. 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. thebirchwood.com.
Pier Teaki, St. Petersburg
Atop the St. Pete Pier, Pier Teaki affords sweeping views of the St. Petersburg skyline, fiery sunsets and Tampa Bay. Guests at the tiki-style lounge run by the folks at the nearby Birchwood can watch planes take off from Albert Whitted Airport while enjoying bar bites and frozen and signature cocktails in Teaki souvenir mugs.
11 a.m.-around midnight Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-around midnight Saturday-Sunday. 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.
Vantage Rooftop Bar Karol Hotel, Feather Sound
Developer Fred Bullard named his new Karol hotel after his wife, a former Miss Florida and TV weatherperson. From the 12th-floor Vantage Rooftop Bar, guests can see Tampa Bay, the Tampa skyline and the vast Carillon office park just across Ulmerton Road in St. Petersburg. The menu includes charcuterie, wings and soups and salads.
Opens at 3 p.m. Sunday, 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. thekarolhotel.com.
Jimmy’s on the Edge, Clearwater Beach
On the 10th floor of the Edge Hotel, Jimmy’s offers views of the gulf and the night lights of bustling Clearwater Beach. There’s a long “fire” bar, a free Fireball shot at 9 nightly, tropical drinks and a casual dining menu. Music videos are shown on a 30-square-foot projection screen that also features football and other major sporting events.
Opens at 11 a.m. daily and closes at midnight most nights and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 505 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach.
Bar Tiki, Clearwater Beach
Another tiki-themed rooftop bar, this one is in the Clearwater Marina. Part of a restaurant group that includes Salt Rock Tavern and Island Way Grill, Bar Tiki is known for cocktails with colorful names like Hana Hu Hemingway. Coconut shrimp, Hawaiian flatbread and Island Steak skewers are among the menu items.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 25 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach.
Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar, Dunedin
Perched atop the historic Fenway Hotel, the Hi-Fi looks out across the Intracoastal Waterway to Caladesi Island State Park and St. Joseph Sound. The name pays homage to the hotel as the site of Pinellas County’s first radio station, back in the days when there was a speakeasy in the Fenway’s basement. You’ll find an assortment of local craft beers, creative cocktails and select wines.
Open daily starting at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin.
Rox Rooftop Bar, Rocky Point, Tampa
On the 10th floor of the Current hotel, Rox puts guests almost eye level with planes taking off from nearby Tampa International Airport. It’s the highest rooftop bar in Tampa, so there are also great views of Tampa Bay and distant city lights. Menu highlights include crab cakes and charcuterie.
5-9 p.m. daily. 2545 N Rocky Point Drive, Tampa.
Sal Y Mar, Tampa Midtown
Hard to believe there was nothing called Midtown just a few years ago. Then the Bromley Cos. announced a $500 million project between the West Shore Business District and West Tampa that has since morphed into a community with apartments, restaurants, offices, stores and a hotel with this indoor-outdoor restaurant on the seventh floor of the Aloft and Element hotel. The Mexican-inspired menu includes shrimp corn fritters, plantains and tacos.
Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 4-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday. 3650 Midtown Drive, Tampa. salymarrooftops.com.
EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge, Tampa
The Epicurean hotel, as its name suggests, is famous for its food, and those culinary delights extend to its EDGE lounge with small plates, artisan cheeses and charcuterie. Lounge seating, colored lighting and eclectic artwork complement sunset and Tampa skyline views.
5 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday. 1207 S Howard Ave., Tampa. epicureanhotel.com/taste/edge.
SIX, downtown Tampa
Heading to a hockey game at nearby Amalie Arena? Stop by this indoor-outdoor bistro on the sixth floor of the JW Marriott for Florida-inspired cuisine and specialty cocktails. It’s part of the huge Water Street project that is transforming downtown Tampa into a true live-work-play area.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 510 Water St., Tampa. sixtampa.com.
Santo’s Drinkeria Rooftop Bar, Ybor City
Atop Casa Santo Stefano, part of Richard Gonzmart’s Columbia Restaurant Group, Santo’s Drinkeria offers views of historic Ybor City along with Sicilian street foods, craft cocktails and cigars by Tampa’s own Arturo Fuente Cigar Factory and J.C. Newman Cigars.
5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 1607 N 22nd St., Tampa. Email [email protected].