Tampa Bay Rooftop Bars And Restaurants Are Trending High

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 But they’ve been replaced by many new establishments offering spectacular sunset views, tasty morsels and creative cocktails.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.

The rooftop bar at the Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach boasts beautiful views. [ Photo courtesy Gabriel Burgos ]

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.

The view from the Rooftop Bar at the Berkeley Beach Club in Pass-a-Grille. [ AMY MARTZ | Photo by Amy Martz ]
At the Rooftop Bar at the Berkeley Beach Club in Pass-a-Grille, oysters are among the specialties. [ Photo courtesy Berkeley Beach Club ]
The Spaniard, a cocktail at the Rooftop Bar at the Berkeley Beach Club in Pass-a-Grille, features an ounce of sherry, an ounce of dry vermouth, cava float and an orange peel. [ Photo courtesy Berkeley Beach Club ]

5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 109 Eighth Ave., St. Pete Beach. Email info@BerkeleyBeachClub.com.

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.

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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.

Vista at the Top at the Residence Inn in Tierra Verde. [ PHOTO BY LAUREN RUBINSTEIN | Marriott ]

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.

The Canopy is the rooftop bar of the Birchwood inn in downtown St. Petersburg. [ The Birchwood ]
The Canopy is the rooftop bar of the Birchwood inn in downtown St. Petersburg. [ The Birchwood ]
The Canopy is the rooftop bar of the Birchwoo inn in downtown St. Petersburg [ The Birchwood ]

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.

Pier Teaki at the St. Pete Pier in downtown St. Petersburg. [ PHOTO BY BRIAN TISZA | The Birchwood ]

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.

The Karol Bliss 2 ounces Wheatley Vodka 1/2 ounce St Germain Elderflower 3/4 ounce sour 1/2 ounce simple syrup 3 raspberries muddled Lime peel, for garnish Place all ingredients in a mixing glass with a cup of ice. Stir for 20 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with raspberry and lime peel. [ Photo courtesy of Marriott ]
Vantage Rooftop Bar at the Karol Hotel in Feather Sound. [ Marriott ]

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.

Jimmy’s rooftop handout [ HANNAH REYNOLDS | handout ]

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.

Bar Tiki, Clearwater Beach [ Baystar Restaurant Group ]

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.

Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar, Fenway Hotel, Dunedin [ Photo courtesy of Marriott ]
Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar at the Fenway Hotel in Dunedin [ SEAMUS PAYNE | Marriott ]
Tropical Tune cocktail, Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar, Fenway Hotel, Dunedin 1 1/4 ounces Plantation Rum 3/4 ounce Don Q Coconut Rum 1/2 ounce Banana Liquor 1 ounce orange juice 1 ounce pineapple juice Shake and strain into Collins glass Sink 1/4 ounce grenadine

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.

Rox Rooftop Bar in the Current hotel in Tampa. [ Photo courtesy of Marriott ]
Rox Rooftop Bar in the Current in Tampa. [ Photo courtesy of Marriott ]

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.

Sal Y Mar Rooftop Bar at the Aloft and Element hotel in Tampa [ Photo courtesy of Marriott ]

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.

Edge Cocktail at Edge Cocktail Lounge, Epicurean Hotel, Tampa Recipe: 1 1/2 ounces EG Lavender 3/4 ounce Butterfly-pea Syrup 3/4 ounce lemon juice Shake and double strain. Top off with Champagne [ Marriott ]
EDGE Rooftop Lounge at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa [ Marriott ]
EDGE Rooftop Lounge at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa [ Marriott ]

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.

SIX rooftop bar, JW Marriott Hotel, Tampa [ Marriott ]

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.

Limonada, Santo’s Drinkeria, Ybor City Fill mixing glass 3/4 full with ice. Add 3/4 oz Strega, 3/4 oz Lazzaroni Limonce, 1/2 oz Rosemary Syrup and 1/2 oz lemon juice. Top with soda water. Garnish with rosemary sprig and lemon wheel. (For rosemary syrup, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in boiling water, add 2 rosemary sprigs and let seep. Cool completely before using.) [ Columbia Restaurant Group ]
Limonada, a specialty drink at Santo’s Drinkeria, Ybor City. [ Columbia Restaurant Group ]

5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 1607 N 22nd St., Tampa. Email comments@casasantostefano.com.

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