6 Breathtaking Rooftop Restaurants and Bars in Jacksonville, Florida
There’s a refreshing sense of freedom that comes with dining outdoors—the combination of scrumptious food and bright sunshine or bright city lights satisfies hunger as well as the soul. While much of the country retreats indoors to avoid cold weather, outdoor restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida always seems to have perfect al fresco dining weather, no matter the season. With it’s beautiful beaches, urban skyline, and waterfront views, Jacksonville naturally is home to some of the best rooftop restaurants and bars in the state.
Don’t skip the chance to visit at least one of these six places with unbeatable outdoor rooftop dining or creative cocktails in the Bold New City of the South. All these restaurants are the ones I, as a local, routinely suggest to friends and family coming into town.
#1 Black Sheep
Black Sheep has become a Jacksonville institution since opening in the trendy Riverside-Avondale Five Points neighborhood, a historic artist district that borders downtown Jacksonville. While it does have a traditional dining room serving locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine, the real star of the restaurant is the first-come, first-served rooftop bar and lounge where all of their delectable dishes are served alongside spectacular views.
There is no wrong choice on this menu, but a few local favorites include the Korean beef short ribs and the pappardelle pasta. Looking for a libation to round out the evening? The bar serves up hand-crafted cocktails, all while looking out over the St. Johns River and downtown Jacksonville.
#2 River & Post
With sweeping views of the river and downtown, River & Post- also in the Riverside area- is the spot to be for a light meal and great drinks. The seafood-forward restaurant boasts a large rooftop dining area that serves a limited menu of small plates, appetizers, flatbreads, and sushi along with creatively crafted drinks. There are quite a few gems on the rooftop menu including a muffuletta flatbread, barbecue bacon shrimp, and house-smoked fish dip (a Southern specialty). With a large outdoor fireplace, panoramic city views with the best sunset view in town, live music and entertainment, and happy hour specials, this is a must-visit destination for any time of the year.
Hoptinger has two locations in Jacksonville, a rooftop bar in the Riverside neighborhood and a large outdoor patio at Jacksonville Beach. Both have ample outdoor dining ideal for warm Florida days.
The menu features bar favorites with a twist like brats in a blanket, which wrap bratwurst in croissant dough that’s baked with goat cheese. Hoptinger serves local beer from breweries around Jacksonville, including Bold City Brewery and Engine 15 Brewery. If you want to keep the beer sampling going, partake in the Jax Ale Trail, a self-guided brewery hopping experience that highlights nearly 20 different breweries around the city.
#4 Estrella Cocina
Estrella Cocina is a Baja Mexican-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant located in the historic Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville. The rooftop bar features a beautiful outdoor space with a large bar and plenty of seating that is great for lunch, dinner, and late night drinks. You’ll also have a unique view of the blue John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge.
The restaurant offers a menu of traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, as well as a variety of craft cocktails and local beers. One of the most popular dishes at Estrella Cocina is the grilled street corn, which is served with cotija cheese and chili lime aioli. Other popular menu items include the shrimp ceviche, the carne asada tacos, and the churro ice cream sandwich. The restaurant also offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian options, including the jackfruit tacos and the plantain ceviche.
#5 Coop 303
Coop 303 in the Atlantic Beach area is a great mix of Southern-inspired cuisine, and an extensive and innovative beverage menu. Like Estrella Cocina, Coop 3003 is another popular rooftop bar and restaurant with ample vegetarian and gluten-free options like their BBQ jackfruit sandwich and roasted vegetable plate. One of the most popular dishes at Coop 3003 is the fried chicken sandwich, which is made with buttermilk-marinated chicken, house-made pickles, and spicy mayo. Other popular menu items include the smoked pork belly mac and cheese, the grilled ribeye steak, and the blackened shrimp and grits. With comfortable places to lounge, beautiful greenery, and its proximity to Atlantic Beach Towncenter and the beach, Coop 303 is a great date night spot to linger.
#6 Cowford Chophouse
For steakhouse classics look no further than Cowford Chophouse in the heart of downtown. The restaurant is housed in a striking historic building that was once home to the Cowford National Bank, and the decor pays tribute to the building’s past with features like a bank vault door and original tile flooring. Cowford Chophouse offers a luxurious dining experience in a beautiful setting, making it a must-visit destination for steak lovers and anyone looking to enjoy the sights of downtown Jacksonville.
Plan A Trip
When you travel to or through Jacksonville will include an overnight stay, consider Omni Jacksonville. This hotel is located in the heart of downtown with views of the St. Johns River and TIAA Field (where the Jacksonville Jaguars play football in the fall), and central to all six of these featured outdoor dining options.
If you’re willing to drive about 45 minutes out of town, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island is worth the extra mileage. The resort is right on the beach with stunning views of the ocean.
Jacksonville offers lots of fun for foodies, including the Riverside Arts Market, which showcases local farmers and food purveyors.
For more information, contact Visit Jacksonville and Visit Florida.