Prince said it best — sometimes it snows in April. But while the flakes tumble down on Minneapolis and St. Paul, it can’t hurt to dream of rooftop bars, in all their sunny grandeur. The Twin Cities has an excellent lineup for dining on high: as the weather warms, sample Scotch eggs and go lawn bowling on Nicollet Avenue, pair linguine alla vongole with cathedral views in St. Paul, or enjoy a cocktail and a cool dip in the pool in downtown Minneapolis. Here are thirteen essential rooftop bars around the Twin Cities.Read More
13 Essential Rooftop Bars with Fantastic Views of the Twin Cities
Pair tacos, craft sake, and ricotta beignets with a sunset
Ox Cart Arcade & Rooftop
This funky rooftop arcade bar has a decidedly ‘80s and ‘90s feel: On the first floor, try your hand at old-school games like Pac Man and air hockey. Grab a homemade Pop Tart, cheese pretzel, or Vienna beef hot dog from the dining menu, which was designed by chef Justin Sutherland to feature nostalgic, hand-held foods. Up on the rooftop, order a fishbowl at the bar and play giant Jenga or Connect Four.
Cosetta's Louis Ristorante rooftop has stellar views of the city's downtown skyline, the St. Paul Cathedral’s ornate dome, and the picturesque bluffs along the Mississippi River. The atmosphere here is understated and elegant, and the menu is old-school Italian: order the carpaccio alla cipriani, or the linguine alla vongole with Manila clams.
The Lexington is a 75-year St. Paul establishment on Grand Avenue — its rooftop, however, departs from the main level’s traditional steakhouse feel. Enjoy a salmon burger or lobster sandwich with herb aioli and heirloom tomatoes under an umbrella on the casual patio. The Lexington also serves ice cream cocktails: try a Brandy Alexander with creme de cacao.
Hewing Hotel’s rooftop has one of the best vantage points of Minneapolis’s brilliant nighttime skyline. Enjoy duck fat French fries, brussel sprouts with pecorino and fried shallot, and a chilled glass of chardonnay off the rooftop menu. A rooftop sauna is open year-round, and a pool is open all day in the summer. This summer, the Hewing will be hosting a live music series on the rooftop every Sunday at 7 p.m.
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Seven Sushi Ultralounge And Skybar
Seven has a ritzy rooftop space that’s ideal for spotting athletes and celebrities visiting downtown Minneapolis. Order a white peach cosmo with cointreau and lime, and recline on one of the roomy couches, or reserve a spot in the exclusive VIP area with bottle service.
Union Restaurant & Rooftop
The rooftop patio in downtown Minneapolis is home to the wildly popular drag brunches by Flip Phone — get tickets for performances with themes like “Moulin Rogue,” Beyoncé, and Prince. Union Rooftop’s trademark feature is their retractable, glass-enclosed rooftop, which arcs over the dining area — order truffle fries and ricotta beignets on a rainy day.
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Graze Food Hall
Graze food hall’s second-story rooftop patio is an excellent spot to enjoy the golden hour: watch the sun set against the skyline of downtown Minneapolis. Graze offers an array of local food options — sample a Hmong sausage patty sandwich from Union Hmong Kitchen, curry tofu bowls from Viva Taco, or wings with honey hot sauce from B.A.D. Wingz. Come for enormous two-dollar margaritas at happy hour, all day Monday, and Tuesday through Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment
The multi-level rooftop patio at Brit's is famed for its impressive lawn bowling set-up. The menu is stacked with pub favorites: try the mac and cheese bites, made with smoked gouda, or the Scotch eggs. Brit’s also hosts annual summer movies, televised sporting events, and, occasionally, abridged Shakespeare performances.
LynLake Brewery has a classic rooftop bar with simple wooden tables and benches, a firepit, and views of Minneapolis’s Uptown neighborhood. From their in-house brewery, sample the “Rubbish,” an oat amber ale, or the “Pony Boy,” a golden ale. LynLake’s Oakie-style onion burgers are notable, too — try the Western, with shaved onion, bacon, and crispy jalapenos.
Moto-i is Minneapolis’s only craft sake brewery — in fact, it’s widely counted as the first sake brewery in America. Enjoy a bottle underneath sparkling strings of globe lights on the rooftop patio — downtown Minneapolis gleams from a distance to the north. From Moto-i’s menu, try the maitake gyoza, or the curry ramen with beef tenderloin and scallions.
Up-Down is a popular arcade bar on Lyndale Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis — stuffed to the brim with old-fashioned pinball and video games, it offers an impressive selection of beers on tap. The atmosphere on the recently renovated rooftop is somewhat more pared-back and sophisticated: play jumbo Jenga and stay warm near the mod fireplace.
Stella's Fish Café & Prestige Oyster Bar
Stella’s is a seafood go-to near Lagoon Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis’s Uptown neighborhood. The multi-level rooftop patio is enormous: perch under a red umbrella and order the oysters Rockefeller, champagne mussels with fresh garlic, and pair them with the “fish punch,” made with three flavors of Bacardi, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice.
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This Italian bistro in Uptown is a great spot for simple, shareable Italian plates like classic bruschetta al pomodoro, bolognese with fresh rigatoni, and ravioli stuffed with ricotta and pesto cream. Save room for a panna cotta or tiramisu — and enjoy the respite of the rooftop, elevated above Lake street’s busy traffic.