Bars & Pubs

Auckland’s Best Rooftop Bars To Watch Day Turn To Night

By Armelle Frimpong

A view across the deck at HI-SO, one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland.

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: rooftop bars are the shiz. What’s not to love about sitting sky-high, sipping on a beverage and taking in an epic view? Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s best rooftop bars are dotted across the city and come in all shapes in sizes including this brand-new Victoria Park offering.

Maybe your ideal spot is a rooftop bar with a bowling alley. Or maybe you’re into lush park views? Whatever your rooftop bar criteria, these Urban List-sanctioned beauts won't let you down. Here’s where to find all of Auckland’s best rooftop bars. Drinking in the sky? You know you want to.

Bar Albert

13 Wyndham Street, Auckland CBD

The expansive views from Bar Albert, one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland.Image credit: Bar Albert | Facebook

It's time to level up your bar game Auckland, and we have just the place. Bar Albert's the name, and aside from being one of the city's newest rooftop bars, it's also the country's highest—sitting a staggering 38 floors above street level, atop the gorgeous voco Auckland City Centre hotel.

Yes, if sipping tipples while taking in sky-high views is up your alley (hell yeah it is!), then Bar Albert is about to become your new fave drinking destination. With an open-air deck and stunning vistas spanning as far as the Waitakere Ranges, there is no other place like it in Auckland, especially at sunset when the sky comes alive with hues of pink and orange.

The Churchill

396 Queen Street, Auckland CBD

The interior of The Churchill, one of Auckland's best rooftop bars.Image credit: The Churchill | Facebook

Sitting pretty atop the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, The Churchill is Auckland's highest gin bar that boasts epic views across the city while offering elevated bar food—think Chimichurri marinated king prawns, gin-cured pork scratchings and 55-day-aged beef—alongside 170+ gins from around the world.

Don't know where to start? Use the 10-10-10 menu to select your gin, and choose a mixer and a botanical to find your ideal tipple while gazing down at Auckland spread gloriously beneath your feet. No wonder this is one of the best rooftop bars in the city. 


10th Floor/63-67 Nelson Street, Auckland CBD

The entrance to Sunset Bar shows pstel hues and palm trees. Definitely one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland.Image credit: Sunset | Facebook

Another incredible spot for golden hour vibes is Sunset. Perched atop the Sudima Hotel on Nelson Street, Sunset is bringing with it ‘70s-style vibes and an incredible west-facing terrace for those dreamy 'Grams. And that's not all.

Several experts consulted on the drinks menu, which includes an eclectic wine list, locally-focused beer selection and bespoke cocktails, while the food reflects executive chef Harmeet Singh Nanda’s Mumbai heritage (think masala waffle fries with parmesan and tomato kasundi, fried chicken with curried mustard and pickled onion, and poppadoms with whipped avocado, green chilli and pomegranate salsa). Hell yes.


67 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD

Comfy seating areas spill out onto the rooftop area overlooking Rangitoto.Image credit: HI-SO | Facebook

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, but 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 rooftop bars. 

Rooftop At QT

4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Westhaven, Auckland

The rooftop at QT at dusk.Image credit: Rooftop At QT | Facebook

If you’re looking to elevate your next day or night out in the City of Sails, look no further than the stunning Rooftop At QT. Perched six storeys above the Viaduct, this expansive new space will have you living out your boujee dreams in style. 

Order up some mezze snacks from the on-site restaurant which offers tastes from Esther’s Mediterranean-inspired menu. With espresso martinis and a (guaranteed delicious) rotating guest cocktail on tap, you may not even need to see the drinks menu, but if you do, you’ll find it loaded with the finest libations available in the city. 

One thing’s for sure, if you’re looking for a place to chill in the Viaduct, you need to head to the roof. 

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The Parasol & Swing Company

The Viaduct, 7/204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD

The deck at Parasol and Swing looks over Auckland viaduct looking inviting. No wonder this is one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland.Image credit: Parasol & Swing Company | Supplied

Just when you thought Auckland's bustling viaduct couldn't get any better, The Parasol & Swing Company enters the scene. Spanning two levels (check out their equally epic spot Brolly downstairs), ideal for ample hours of vino sipping and sun-soaking—especially since cocktail champion Jason Rosen is behind the inventive drinks menu.

The drinks are not the only thing worth a shout-out here though, a moreish menu kitted out with staples such as burgers, tacos and salads with a twist will keep you coming back for more, and don't even get us started on their legendary jalapeño poppers.

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. 

Darling On Drake

27 Drake Street, Auckland CBD

The rooftop bar Darling on Drake with sun umbrellas and cool seating.Image credit: Darling On Drake | Instagram

New on the best rooftop bars in Auckland scene comes Darling on Drake, which is already cementing itself as one of, if not THE ‘it’ place to dine and drink this summer and beyond. Rivalling the likes of Hotel Ponsonby and East Street Hall where cool hangouts are concerned, Darling on Drake is taking the Auckland food and drink scene by serious storm. 

With seasoned hospitality pro Fraser Kirby at the helm, it’s clear to see how his expansive industry career has shaped his own, specially-made slice of hospitality heaven. Whether it’s through the opulent decor, sprawling outdoor deck with unbeatable views or the meticulously crafted food and drink menu, a trip (or two) to Darling on Drake is a must. 

The wrap-around bar is where the mixology magic happens, offering a selection of fancier cocktails (The Serpent is a must) alongside beers, wine and cocktails on tap. The menu is a reflection of Kirby’s worldly travels combined with iconic dishes reimagined with playful twists for today’s discerning diner.

Saint Alice

The Viaduct, Level 1/204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD

Views over the water at Saint Alice in the viaduct.Image credit: Saint Alice | Facebook

Soaking up sunny rays and epic views of the Viaduct, Saint Alice is in a league of its own. A unique cross between a bar and eatery, you’ll find this hot spot next to brother bar Dr Rudis.

The menu has a focus on seafood and is designed to introduce new flavours to diners in a relaxed setting, but as the sun goes down this place pops off, bring your dancing shoes and fill your boots at the expansive bar. 

Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co

The Viaduct, Level 2/204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD

Two people clink their glasses on the rooftop at Dr Rudi'sImage credit: Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co | Facebook

Not only is Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland, but it also injects 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. 

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 tid-bits to match. 

Palmer Bar

1 Albert Street, Auckland CBD

Palmer Rooftop bar shows a lovely outdoor space with chairs and tables.Image credit: Palmer Bar | Supplied

Find food and booze in ample supply at Palmer, the swanky new bar and restaurant that's opened its doors downtown at 1 Albert Street (formerly West Plaza).

Expect plenty of Palms Springs vibes (hence the name) but more importantly, an incredible menu led by next-generation Kiwi chef James Kenny—we're talking manuka martinis, savoury Italian doughnuts, mille-feuille... the only thing left to do is check it out.

Brew On Quay

102 Quay Street, Auckland CBD

A wee nook of an outdoor space at Brew On Quay.Image credit: Brew On Quay | Facebook

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, with a dizzying array of craft beers, 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 Glass Goose

78 Federal Street, Auckland CBD

Drinks on the bar with the rooftop behind at the Glass Goose.Image credit: The Glass Goose | Facebook

Firstly, we’re utterly obsessed with Federal Street. With the likes of Cassia, 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. I

t’s considered to be one of the best rooftop bars in Auckland city and rightly so. Resembling a glasshouse (hence the name), The Glass Goose feels like an inner-city jungle sanctuary. There are 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. 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 The Coffee Club—The Glass Goose will be ready and waiting.  

La Zeppa Kitchen And Bar

33 Drake Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland

People enjoy drinks at night at La Zeppa with the Sky Tower in the background.Image credit: La Zeppa | Facebook

Ah La Zeppa, you 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 are 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?  


127 Picton Street, Howick, Auckland

People sit out enjoying the rooftop at Basalt.Image credit: Basalt | Facebook

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.  

Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen

7 Sale Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland

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 are 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! 

The Oakroom

17 Drake Street, Victoria Park, Auckland CBD

The deck at The Oakroom overlooking Victoria Park.Image credit: The Oakroom | Facebook

Just a hop, skip and a jump from La Zeppa, you'll find The Oakroom occupying an equally enviable position overlooking Victoria Park.

What was once a stable back in the 1800s has been tastefully converted into a boujee den serving all-day pizzas, steak and, of course, wine, spirits and the all-important cocktails.

Looking to escape the city? Check out:

Main image credit: HI-SO  

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