We’ve said it once but we’ll say it again: rooftop bars are the best. What’s not to love about sitting sky high, sipping on a beverage and taking in whatever epic view? Auckland’s best rooftop bars are dotted across the city and come in all shapes in sizes. Perhaps you want an Auckland rooftop bar with a bowling alley? Or maybe you’re into lush park views? Whatever your rooftop bar criteria, the best rooftop bars in Auckland won’t let you down.
Here’s where to find all of Auckland’s best rooftop bars. Drinking in the sky? We know you want to.
There’s really only one way to best enjoy a cocktail or two—and that’s with a killer view. Head on up to the 16th floor of SO/Auckland and prepare to be dazzled at HI-SO. Not only do gorgeous panoramic views of Auckland harbour, Rangitoto and the North Shore await, you’ll also find a glittering menu boasting some of the finest drinks out. Complete with eclectic yet fiercely glamorous décor, it’s no wonder this inner-city gem is considered one of Auckland’s best cocktail bars.
Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co
Not only is Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland, but it’s also injected a whole lot of life into the Viaduct. Hop on the escalator to Dr Rudi’s and you’ll soon find yourself drinking a cold vino or homebrew while eating 15 kinds of metre-long pizza while throwing balls down an indoor bowling alley. Yep, it really is one of Auckland city’s best rooftop bars. If bowling isn’t your idea of fun (and if it isn’t, try it after a few wines and we bet you’ll change your mind), then fret not—Dr Rudi’s has so much more to offer. There are live DJs, piano players who duel as the night goes on, unbeatable views of the harbour and a delectable line-up of eats and drinks. Better yet, in the a.m. Dr Rudi’s turns into a coffee pit-stop serving Atomic coffee and tasty tit-bits to match.
Relative newcomer on the rooftop bar scene, The Churchill is the highest rooftop bar in Auckland sitting pretty atop the Four Points By Sheraton. Looking to elevate their bar food, their delectable dishes have been compared favourably to those at Sugar Club so you know you'll be onto a good thing. Add to this the 170+ gins on offer from around the world they offer a simple to understand 10-10-10 menu. Simply select your gin, choose your mixer and add your botanical and find your ideal tipple, all while gazing down on Auckland spread beneath your feet.
The Glass Goose
Firstly, we’re utterly obsessed with Federal Street. With the likes of MASU, The Fed, Depot and other Auckland-famous restaurants, it’s constantly buzzing with people looking to get their fix of delicious food and good times. Secondly, we’re utterly obsessed with The Glass Goose. It’s considered to be one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland city and rightly so. Resembling a glasshouse (hence the name), The Glass House feels like an inner-city jungle sanctuary. There’s fantastic sharing dishes such as crumbed pork belly bites in a mulled wine glaze, potato cod croquette and impressive meat board, as well as a killer cocktail menu. We’re talkin’ dark chocolate Negronis and espresso martinis made with butterscotch liqueur—gimme! Just a head’s up: this Auckland rooftop bar can be a wee bit tricky to find. Head down the little alley and up the stairs behind Gloria Jeans—The Glass Goose will be ready and waiting.
SEVEN and the word ‘swanky’ go hand-in-hand. It’s one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland City and will have you feeling like you’ve hit the jackpot. What's not to love about an extensive pan-Asian menu of bao and dumpling goodness alongside a mouthwatering selection of cocktails? It's a win-win if we ever did see one. Located in the heart of Auckland, SEVEN is the perfect inner-city escape for that mid-week hump. What's more, it makes for a pretty perfect date night—apparently, dumplings are the new noodles of the romance world. To top the evening off, be sure to order the infamous salted coconut espresso martini, do yourself a favour and pair it with the moreish popcorn chicken. Mmm-mmmm.
Member-only clubs not your jam? Ostro might be more your style. Set in the Seafarers building, Ostro is the kinda place every Aucklander must visit once (or twice, or more). As one of Auckland’s best rooftop bars and eateries, Ostro is divided into two spaces—the restaurant and The Deck. Grab a table at the restaurant and take in the stunning Waitemata Harbour views over beef carpaccio, mushroom gnocchi with truffle cream and their famous new season asparagus (who knew these little green sticks could be made to taste so good?). Or, gather your work crew and head to The Deck for some post-grind tapas, drinks and yarns.
Brew On Quay
You’ve always wanted to go to a topless bar, right? Well, Brew On Quay is the ticket. Dubbed as one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland’s CBD, Brew On Quay is the perfect pozzy for after-work drinks (their beverage list is impressive), grazing menu eats and much-needed fresh air. In need of a quick lunch in the sunshine? Brew On Quay caters for that, too. They specialise in food that’s good for the soul. Think truffle mash, bangers and mash, and glazed pork ribs. Their rooftop is the perfect not too big, not too small size to soak in a few rays during the day.
The Parasol & Swing Company
Just when you thought Auckland's bustling viaduct couldn't get any better, The Parasol & Swing Company enters the scene. Perched between Soul Bar and Dr Rudi's, this new kid on the block fits in perfectly. It spans two levels, ideal for ample hours of vino sipping and sun soaking—especially since cocktail champion Jason Rosen is behind the eccentric drinks menu. Like every good rooftop bar, you'll find a moreish menu kitted out with staples such as burgers, tacos, salads, shared plates and a whole lot more deliciousness. In particular the buttermilk fried chicken burger, with wasabi mayo, sriracha and yuzu miso slaw is not to be missed. Grab a round of craft beers if that's up your alley or get sippin' on something a little more creative. If we're not in the office tomorrow—you'll find us here.
Ah La Zeppa, you're an Auckland rooftop bar legend, you. As one of the most well-known and best rooftop bars in Auckland, La Zeppa is the place to be when the sun is shining and you need to get your booze and Vit D combo, stat. Grab a spot under those brightly coloured lanterns and unwind as the arvo fades and the stars take over the sky. The industrial, cosmo feel will transport you straight to the famous rooftop bars in NYC...except the up close and personal view of the Sky Tower will bring you back to our wonderful city of Auckland. There’s often live beats to set the tone and the big-ass indoor fireplace will warm your cockles in the chilly season. Get there. La Zeppa is one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland and you don’t want to deprive yourself of that, do you?
Tom Tom has been providing the Auckland rooftop bar goods for a while now, so you know it’s a solid choice. Set in the Victoria Park Market district, Tom Tom offers an upstairs retreat for a quiet drink with mates or a sesh of day drinking in the sunshine. The deck is big enough for you and your whole crew, and also works as a stellar date night spot. On the food menu, you’ll find dishes such as apricot chicken quesadillas, classic fish ‘n’ chips and the ultimate bar snack—chilli beef nachos. You can’t say you’ve been to Auckland’s best rooftop bars until you hit up Tom Tom. Trust us, it’s always a blast.
Whether you call Howick home or you’re keen to escape the bustle of the city, get yourself to Basalt, home to one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland. There’s a collection of colourful country flags lining the ceiling and plenty of bar tables to perch on, making it a welcome change from the more sophisticated rooftop bars in the city. Basalt’s staff are super-friendly and go out of their way to make you feel at home. They’ll help you navigate their huge and varied menu, which features everything from soft shell tacos to homemade burgers and Angus Blackstar eye fillet and make sure you have a blast. Get amongst, you don’t want to deprive yourself of one of East Auckland’s best rooftop bars.
Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen
An arvo-turned-evening at Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen is always a winner. Boasting a huge outdoor deck, Sweat Shop knows how to get the punters going. There’s slow-cooked smoky meat platters, award-winning beer brewed on-site and DJs that provide killer tunes. BYO appetite because the food is outrageously good. Our picks are BBQ bourbon pork ribs, southern spiced squid, and the ultimate American hotdog. One of Auckland’s best rooftop bars? We think so!
Want more: Here's 8 Of Auckland’s Cosiest Bars
Image credit: La Zeppa, Dr Rudi's, Hi-So