The Montford Rooftop Bar

Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Impressive craft cocktails, great drink variety, and unparalleled views prove that the rooftop bar craze is not only suited for big cities.

- The Local Expert Team

Just because Asheville doesn’t have a skyline filled with massive skyscrapers doesn’t mean it’s not a great locale for an energetic rooftop bar, and the arrival of the Montford Rooftop Bar has given the city exactly that. There’s something about drinking on an open-air rooftop that just gives a bar a special vibe, and the Montford harnesses that energy effectively to create a space that’s hip but still feels welcoming.

The view is obviously one of the main attractions at the Montford, and it doesn’t disappoint! The vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance are a reminder of what a special city Asheville is, and as the sun goes down the city lights begin to twinkle all around from below. Needless to say, the Montford is a pretty good option if you’re looking to take a date somewhere for a sunset cocktail. The glass panes that surround the patio allow you to get a truly panoramic view of the environment around you.

If the views aren’t enough of a reason to get you to make the journey up to the Montford Rooftop Bar, then the inventive and tasty craft cocktails definitely will be. The bartenders clearly take pride in the drinks they are creating there, and it shows in the varied drink menu and the cocktails that they pour dozens of times per night. Whenever possible, the Montford creates cocktails that use locally-sourced ingredients to ensure that the flavors are as fresh and aromatic as possible. They also pay close attention to balance when mixing their drinks, allowing all of the tastes to converge in harmony.

Some of the standout cocktails you may discover on their list include:

Montford Mule
This riff on the Moscow Mule substitutes bourbon for vodka and ups the ante with house-made ginger beer balanced out by bitter amaro.

Carolina Fog
Smooth vodka and flavors of earl grey tea make for a surprisingly mellow combination, and the herbs and honey soda round out the drink and give it considerable complexity.

Strange as You
This cocktail strikes a wonderful equilibrium between sweet and bitter thanks to chicory liqueur, coffee syrup, and mole bitters, and punches them up with a kick of reposado tequila.

The full drink list is pretty impressive in its own right. It features a generous selection of wines by the glass, and the beer list is replete with sought-after North Carolina-based breweries and large-format beers that are difficult to find at many bars. This variety in the drink menu makes the Montford a good choice if you’re going out with a group and everyone likes something different to drink.

The food menu is composed of a selection of mostly small plates that reflect the southern heritage and modern ideology of the place. The pimento cheese plate and roasted brussels sprouts are standouts for sure. The dishes tend to be shareable, so if you’re looking for a meal with individual, composed dishes you may want to check in for a drink and then dine elsewhere.

Cocktails and other drinks lean towards the pricier side of things for Asheville, so don’t come to the Montford expecting dive bar prices. While the atmosphere inside the bar is pleasant and comfortable, it doesn’t have the same energy and excitement when the weather turns sour and forces everyone to remain inside. The Montford Rooftop Bar is located at the top of the Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Asheville, making it a great location for visitors staying in and around the center of the city.

Insider Tip:
Check the Asheville weather forecast for specific sunset times and plan to get to the Montford about 30-45 minutes before then if you want to get a great spot. As you can imagine, the patio starts to fill up on nice evenings right around the sunset, and you don’t want to miss it.