Airy courtyards, sky-high panoramas and great vibes — it’s easy to see why rooftop bars are adored by many. Auckland has seen a proliferation of these stylish venues over the years. Whether you’re looking for an inner-city party hub or rustic-chic sanctuary, here are some of the best establishments New Zealand’s largest city has to offer.
Tom Tom Bar & Eatery
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Mediterranean, Mexican, $$$
Tom Tom boasts having Auckland’s biggest rooftop deck, with views extending from the Victoria Park Market area right to the Sky Tower. Its luxurious ambiance is greatly complemented by a range of signature cocktails, a carefully curated wine list, a selection of local and international beers and some the world’s very best whisky. Food is served all day and includes an impressive assortment of tasting platters as well as burgers, salads and wholesome seafood delicacies. A great all-rounder for a quiet drink with friends, or a low-key date before the night sets in.
The Parasol and Swing Company has all the right ingredients for a fantastic night out. The bar is perched above two stories and overlooks the city’s stunning Viaduct Harbour. Bespoke cocktails are the house speciality, and if you’re feeling a bit peckish, the menu brings a fresh twist to your standard thoroughfare: there’s an array of sharing platters, burgers as well as savoury and dessert waffles to appease all appetites and palates.
Dr Rudi’s has brought a whole new sense of dynamism to Auckland’s rooftop bar scene. A set of escalators lead you up to this hip joint, where patrons can sample the house produced brews, some classic vino and a refreshing selection of cocktails. The waterfront-adjacent outdoor area is an obvious asset, but what makes this bar a standout attraction is the fact that it comes with its own indoor bowling alley. DJ and live music performances, along with an impressive ‘pizza by the foot’ menu ties everything together to ensure the fun continues til the wee hours of the morning.
Auckland’s Federal Street is lined with some of the city’s best eateries, bars and fine dining establishments. But even with all these awesome places vying for attention, the Glass Goose manages to stand out from the rest. This casual rooftop bar is, as its name suggests, modelled to look like glasshouse and enjoys some epic views of the Sky Tower too. On the menu, you’ll find a varied selection of shared meals, along with the Glass Goose’s signature cocktails and an extensive wine list for an added hint of sophistication.
At the end of a long summer’s day La Zeppa is the ideal place to savour some shared, Mediterranean-style tapas and meals while you’re sipping on your beverage of choice. On a crisp winter’s night, the bar will warm you up with its roaring indoor fireplace and outdoor heating. Year-round, the industrial chic jaunt colours the skyline with its vibrant lanterns. And if that’s not enough to get you reeling, live music is a nice constant in this highly-desired rooftop venue.
The ‘topless’ rooftop bar at the Brew on Quay is not like anything else you’ll find in the city. It’s intimate enough that it can easily go amiss if you don’t know to look for it, but spacious enough to ensure that all its patrons are having a great time. The roof has a special bar area, completely separate from the one downstairs, with taps serving the craft brews and hearty meals that have made this establishment an Auckland icon.
What’s not to love about a rooftop bar-pizza joint hybrid? The Fort Street Union is tucked right amid the city centre bustle, yet it manages to strike the perfect balance between a stylish garden-like interior and a casual ambiance. Food here will definitely appeal to those who love their carbs — woodfire pizzas are the biggest draw card, but the beer battered fries and signature burgers are also worth sinking your teeth into. Tap beers, sangria jugs, plus a comprehensive selection of wines and cocktails are up for grabs for anyone who wants to wet their whistle.