Sun made a rare appearance? Raise a glass and take in the views at one of the best rooftop bars in Belfast. From hotel rooftop gardens to speak-easy-style terraces, there’s a rooftop in Belfast for every taste.
We’ve sung the praises of Babel (and even voted it one of the top 50 rooftop bars in Belfast), but the outlook for this popular rooftop joint looked bleak after a fire last year. Thankfully, after a whopping £1 million transformation, Babel is back, but it has a new name — ‘Tetto”. Perched atop the Bullitt Hotel, Tetto serves up sparkling city views alongside farm-fresh food, creative cocktails and an irresistible playlist. There’s brunch every Saturday and Sunday too. Come hungry. The seafood is grilled whole over charcoal and the Neapolitan sourdough pizzas are just as good as any Nonna could make.
This local favourite is one of the city’s oldest rooftop bars, but it’s just as popular as ever. Housed in a converted Victorian warehouse five floors above the heart of Linen Quarter, The Perch offers bottomless brunches, cocktail trees and local DJ sets every Friday and Saturday all night long. We’re not the only ones who have fallen head over heels for the space: it won ‘Best Outdoor Space’ at the LCN Awards a couple of years ago. In keeping with its name, the space is packed full of colourful birdcages and tumbling greenery.
Angel & Two Bibles is Belfast’s newest hidden speakeasy cocktail bar, but it already ranks as one of Belfast’s favourite rooftop spaces. Open every Friday and Saturday from 5 pm until late, visitors can choose to cosy up by the fire or head out to the heated terrace. There are two hefty cocktail menus to choose from: The Old Testament and The New Testament. The former promises to whisk you away to the Golden Age of Cocktails (1870s, Prohibition, the Prohibition), while the latter honours the rebels who broke the rules. You’ll need to buzz for entry.
Billed as “Belfast’s best-hidden gem”, this heated rooftop terrace on Upper Arthur Street is just a stone’s throw from the city centre. The menu features crowd-pleasing starters and sharers like Korean bbq chicken wings and garlicky bruschettas, as well as generous main courses and charcuterie boards. You’ll find all the usual suspects on the drinks menu too, including craft cocktails, champagnes and fine wines. Unlike most spaces, you can enjoy the views all year round thanks to a strategically placed roof.
5. The National
Housed in a listed Victorian building, this popular bar, nightclub and roof terrace combines sleek industrial design with the glamour of an old gentleman’s club. It’s a huge space, spread across three floors and a roof terrace. Upstairs, there’s a nightclub open from Thursday to Sunday that opens out into the exclusive rooftop terrace. Choose from bottled beers, ciders and draughts, wines and bubbles. There’s also an excellent cocktail menu.
The Jailhouse may look like a bog-standard pub from the outside, but the building is steeped in history. Authorities would hold prisoners before hanging them round the corner in Cornmarket. Happily, seventy years later, the clientele is much cheerier. The Joys Entry Project restored the building to its original glory, complete with original brick walls, inscribed beans and window panels. There’s a good range of food, drinks and entertainment on offer and the terrace is open all year round.
A swanky hotel deserves an equally swish rooftop spot, and for this The Roof Garden really delivers. Overlooking Skipper and Waring Street, the aptly-titled space is packed with apple trees and festooned with twinkling lights. The views are just as good, stretching out over the Black Mountain and Cave Hil. The latter is said to be the inspiration for the giant in Gulliver’s Travels. The bar has a fully retractable roof too. Sadly, it’s mostly open for private events but keep an eye on the website for open public events; they do crop up every now and then.