By Eric Barton

City & Shore Magazine

There was a time, not long ago, when we would take a trip to New York or Chicago and marvel at the open-air bars atop so many buildings. If only we could have them, too, we would say.

Now’s come rooftop revolution in South Florida, as bars and restaurants and chill hangouts are springing up from the tops of our buildings. For a bar crawl with skyline views, here are some choice rooftop views.

Bar Rita

401 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-990-6658,

It took three and a half years for the team behind Tap 42 to open Bar Rita, but they finally pulled it off late last year. The space includes a 5,500-square-foot rooftop bar with views of Fort Lauderdale’s skyline to the north. Unlike the downstairs, laid out to mostly accommodate diners, the upstairs feels more like a Wynwood club, with pumping hip-hop and neon-glowing lights to set the party mood.

the blue

501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, 561-447-3000,

Don’t let the lowercase name fool you because there’s nothing understated about the blue. Surrounded by windowed walls on the 27th floor of The Boca Raton Resort & Club, the blue serves up fine dining and $7 cocktails during happy hour. It’s not an open-air rooftop spot like others on this list, but the blue does offer panoramas of Boca Raton, best caught as the sunset drops across the Intracoastal and western Palm Beach County.

Buddha Sky Bar

217 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-450-7557,

Delray Beach has had a hopping dining and bar scene for years, but Buddha Sky Bar was the first spot to open atop a building, offering views of busy Atlantic Avenue below. The space features a glass-encased main dining room and bar. There’s also a private chef’s table accessed through the kitchen. It can hold 10 guests and requires an $800 minimum tab weeknights and a grand on weekends.

Cielo Restaurant & Sky Bar

777 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, 954-613-3700,

This is perhaps the most chill of the rooftop spots on this list, with a come-as-you-are beach vibe atop the Costa Hollywood Beach Resort. But Cielo’s spot along A1A on Hollywood Beach affords brilliant panoramas of the Intracoastal to the west and Hollywood Beach. Catch live music and discounts on drinks and food during weekday social hours.

The Muse

1780 Polk St., Hollywood, 954-500-1780,

The first hotel in downtown Hollywood in three decades, Circ Hotel added something else entirely novel for the city: a trendy rooftop hangout. It’s called The Muse, and it has a modern feel with a faux ivy wall, tiled floors and glass railings allowing for a 12-story view of south Broward. The Muse offers daily specials including DJs spinning ’80s classics on Tuesday, ladies’ nights on Wednesdays and live music and DJs on weekend nights.


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