The Best Rooftop Restaurants to See and Be Seen at in Austin

It’s never JUST about the food. Okay, yes—there is something to be said for a delicious breakfast taco found off the beaten path. But if I’m going to spend my hard-earned dollars at a restaurant then I’m looking for good food and great aesthetics. It doesn’t even matter if I’m going to ‘gram it or not. I just want the immersive experience of an incredible meal. Admit it, you know what I mean. And truly, what experience could be more aesthetically pleasing than a restaurant with a view?

Thankfully, Austin is a town that’s full of ’em. From lake views to city views, there’s a pretty place to perch at many an establishment. Book in at sunset and you won’t even care that you spent $15 (or more…) on a margarita. “It’s worth it for the view,” you’ll say to yourself. And you’ll be right.

Cosmic East Austin

Cosmic is one of Austin’s best all-day hangs. The East Austin location boasts a view of the city while you sip on local beers and kombucha on tap. Grab a coffee while you work, a day drink come happy hour, and tacos with agua frescas as the sun sets over Austin.

P6 at The Line Hotel

Take in views of the sunset on Lady Bird Lake at the lounge-y, open-air happy hour (or long brunch) favorite. It’s a fun spot for celebrating with a seasonal cocktail—and kicking off the weekend certainly stands as something to be celebrated.

  • Cuisine: Small Plates, Locally Sourced
  • Price: $$
  • 111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701 | website

El Alma

El Alma is something of an institution on Barton Springs Road. With a rooftop patio that pairs perfectly with a margarita, it’s no wonder. We love to pop in for a late, long lunch—that miiight just move into happy hour come 3:00.

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Price: $$
  • 1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704 | website


Find yourself outside of the city hub—but with a spectacular view of just that. Sway’s West Lake Hills rooftop is famous for its views but it’s the menu that makes repeat visitors of us all. Grab your friends and sit around the communal table while you take it all in.

  • Cuisine: Modern Thai
  • Price: $$
  • 3437 Bee Cave Rd, West Lake Hills, TX 78746 | website

Group Therapy at Hotel ZaZa

Live it up at one of Austin’s most fun—and most aesthetic—restaurants with a view. If you’re going out with the girls, this is the place. If you’re looking for an intimate date night, this is the place. And if you just want a killer weekend brunch on a rooftop with a pool, this is the place.

  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Price: $$$
  • 400 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701 | website


Zanzibar sits atop the Austin Mariott Hotel and serves a mix of Austin views and tropical vibes. The specialty drinks will transport you to a beach worlds away, where rum and coconut go hand in hand. Get there before happy hour ends at 6:00 to indulge in the sunset on a summer day, fruity $10 cocktail in hand.

  • Cuisine: Tropical Cocktails + Bites
  • Price: $$
  • 304 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701 | website

Nido at The Loren

If you’re craving something a bit more elegant and peaceful, head to one of Austin’s newest rooftop restaurants, Nido. You’ll get a view of Lady Bird Lake and downtown all at once. Perch at one of the outdoor lounge tables or enjoy the view from floor-to-ceiling windows while you savor every bite from the locally sourced meal.

  • Cuisine: Modern American
  • Price: $$
  • 1211 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704 | website

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