But every so often, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, break the mold, and try a new watering hole. The good news? We have plenty of unique bars here in Connecticut that can take an ordinary night and turn it into an unforgettable experience.
Want to make your next night out truly memorable? Try one of these favorite rooftop bars in CT.
1. Sign Of The Whale—Stamford
This new American Fusion style restaurant has a rooftop bar a stone’s throw away from the Long Island Sound. You can sit on the roof and enjoy a tasty beverage and have beautiful views of the surrounding city. They keep the evening going with live music every day Thursday through Saturday. When you visit make sure to check out their Whale Burger, voted best in Stamford. Depending on the time of year, they show sports games on the rooftop patio where dedicated fans can enjoy their favorite teams and drinks.
2. Cava Restaurant—Southington
Cava, located in Southington, is a true testament to Italian cuisine. You can enjoy pasta, 28-day aged beef steaks, and amazing seafood. Each dish is made with the freshest seasonal ingredients. The rooftop dining area resembles something out of a dream. The wall to wall glass gives you an almost 360-degree view of the world below. The epicenter of the rooftop dining area is marked by an elegant water fountain. The bar upstairs is perfect for anyone looking to extend their dining experience and enjoy a little more of the view.
3. Hot Rod Cafe—New London
It might not be completely rooftop, but the hot rod cafe does have an elevated drinking area. The back patio overlooks the Thames River, you can watch as trains pull up to New London Station and as boats cruise on down the river. They have been voted best food and dining spot by Readers Choice Awards for 3 years in a row. If you get bored by the gorgeous view outside, head downstairs to play their old fashion video games. You are guaranteed a good time whenever you visit Hot Rods. If you go, get the wings. Just trust me on that one.
Pro Tip: If you ever go down to New London to check out some of the bars, I highly recommend going right to Bank Street. You can park the car and hop around from bar to bar.
Rooftop Ecco Eatery and Bar categorize themselves as a “rooftop escape”. La Zingara is located directly below them and serves up some of the best Italian food. I would suggest ordering a little Pollo Capriccioso and then head upstairs for some craft cocktails or a glass of vino. The quaint top section reminds me of a small Italian street side cafe where people come to enjoy each other’s company. You won’t be disappointed by the drink or food menu here. After all, who doesn’t like Italian food, right?
5. John Davenport’s—New Haven
Way high in the sky sits John Davenport’s Restaurant. Located on the 19th floor of the Omni New Haven Hotel, a delicious eatery awaits you. You’ll find favorites like NY Strip, salmon, grilled short rib panini, or even a classic cheeseburger. The freshest ingredients from local farmers combined with the talents of their executive make for an unforgettable meal. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner so make sure you give them all a taste test.
Located in the heart of downtown Norwalk, BobbyQ’s could be amongst the most amazing BBQ in CT. With big roots in Kansas City, they bring the good taste of the Midwest BBQ to our home state of Connecticut. Their meats of smoked daily on site combined with rubs, and marinades from their award-winning flavors. Along with great food, they have great events happening at their restaurant. They have happy hour, family night with a magician and balloon artist, Monday burger and beer night, and a bunch more awesome offers.
7. East Side Restaurant—New Britain
The East Side Restaurant has been family owned and operated for over 70 years. This establishment once stood as a grocery store, but now houses a unique bar. They have an upstairs bar perfect for enjoying their German-American food. They hold on to their German heritage by sticking with many traditions that shine through in their venue and food. Their new expansion named the “Munich Room” has a state of the art beer tap which pours “perfect 32° beers” which pairs perfectly with “5° shots from our spectacular Icy Shot Tower”. Don’t worry about the heat their granite tables have “snow rails” that keep all beverages ice cold. The experience you have at the East Side Restaurant truly makes it a unique rooftop bar.
Millwrights, located in Simsbury, has a bit of an interesting history. It has been apart of the town’s history since the 17th century operating as a sawmill on Hop Brook. This unique restaurant now serves as a rustic setting for delicious upscale food. The dining area hovers right next to the top of the waterfall giving the dining room a relaxing atmosphere. As you eat your delicious pork loin or lamb, you can enjoy the company of rushing water that used to serve as the power to this repurposed mill.
9. Rooftop 120—Glastonbury
Rooftop 120 lives in Hartford County, providing residents with a year-round rooftop bar experience. You can enjoy wine, beer, and specialty cocktails while snacking on small plates. The patio has two fire pits and outdoor heaters to keep things toasty in the colder months. Relax on the patio couches and take advantage of happy hour Monday through Friday from 4:30pm-6:30pm. They have events like live music and DJ’s so make sure to check out their event calendar.
10. Elm City Social Bike Bar—New Haven
Now I know this isn’t a rooftop bar but it is just too good to leave off of this page of “unique” bars. As a former resident of New Haven, I can really attest to the spectacle of seeing the Elm City Party Bike roll down the busy streets on New Haven. The Party Bike is built for groups of 8-15 people and cruise around on a 2-hour ride throughout New Haven and Milford. They make stops along the way to check out other cool pubs and restaurants. If you want to experience it for yourself you better pick a date soon because it fills up FAST.
Switch Things Up
Break the mold and try something new with your friends, family, or significant other. You may even surprise yourself by finding a new favorite spot. If you visit any unique bars that fit the list, leave them in the comments!