Many visitors fall in love with Asheville and make it their regular vacation spot or even decide to stay and make it their home. When spending an evening in one of our rooftop restaurants or bars, it is easy to see why. The views of our mountains and city lights from these high top perches make a convincing argument for making one of those choices. Here are some of our best sky high places to enjoy the view.
Pillar Rooftop bar is on the top of the Hilton Garden Inn at 309 College Street in the heart of downtown Asheville. Given all the live plants and greenery and fire pits, locals refer to it as the botanical rooftop. The menu is limited to small bites and dips, salads, and burgers but the cocktails list is lacking nothing, and the southward views are awe inspiring. Retractable garage doors connect the outside to a comfortable modern bar with great atmosphere and local, live music.
The Hemingway Restaurant and adjacent 4000 square foot rooftop patio of the Cambria Hotel at 15 Page Avenue evokes the flavor of Cuba with a mural depicting a Havana bar called the Floridita, a haunt of the famous author. It looks down on the Grove Arcade and downtown Asheville, with the beautiful mountains as their backdrop.
The view from Capella on 9 is one of the best and while you are falling in love with our mountains and city skyline, you can enjoy tapas, cocktails, wine, and beer. It is sometimes windy on this ninth-floor rooftop so bring a jacket on cooler days and find a place near one of the fire pits. The hotel’s address is 10 Broadway Street.
The message about Montfort on Top is: “Come for the views and stay for the food and cocktails.” My favorite is their local cheese and charcuterie plate. An express elevator takes you directly to this rooftop restaurant at The Hyatt Place Asheville on the corner of Montford Avenue and Haywood Street. The restaurant opens to a tiled veranda with couches and communal high-top tables.
The Edison at the Omni Grove Park Inn has one of the best patios in Asheville. While it is not a rooftop, its position on the side of Sunset Mountain affords stunning views of the city. There are a lot of seating options, and the menu is varied. But locals suggest that it is a great place for a burger and fries while enjoying its million dollar view.
Antidote is atop a real gin distillery, Chemist Gin. Actually, the distillery located at 151 Coxe Avenue also makes a great single malt whiskey. Before going legit, the founder, Debbie Word, learned the ropes at a small family still and from many hours of moonshining with her chemist daughter, Danielle. Their rooftop bar has a big-city vibe and pre-Prohibition feel with nooks and private places for avoiding teetotaling do-gooders and prohibitioners, but my choice would be the rooftop patio extension of the bar with its view of the South Slope, especially as the sun is setting. While we are speaking about distilleries, The Thirsty Monk at 92 Patton Ave is a another one with a rooftop patio bar. It is called Top of the Monk. It is not one of the tallest, but its height still provides a panoramic view of the majestic mountains surrounding the city. The Monk’s claim to fame is its whiskey list and craft cocktails, both classic and modern, made with hand-crafted ingredients.
One way to experience Asheville’s rooftop scene and perhaps make new friends is to book a seat on Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours, www.ashevillerooftopbartours.com. The most popular is The Rooftop Sunset Tour. Whichever tour you choose, you will spend three hours divided between three rooftop bars. The stops on the tour change regularly, but you can count on a premium tour that captures spectacular views of our city and historic landmarks all while enjoying sample drinks at reserved seats.