While we’ve certainly got nothing against bars at sea level, sometimes we want to take our drinking game up a notch — and by notch, we mean 10,000 feet.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about swigging $7 mini-bottles of booze on our next American Airlines flight. (That’s a different story for a different day.) Instead, to indulge the most adventurous drinkers among us, we’ve compiled a list of eight bars, restaurants, and experiences around the world where you can score a buzz off alcohol and altitude.
Oh, and only a few are legitimately dangerous. Cheers!
Dinner in the Sky
While plenty of bars and restaurants have dress codes, not many require harnesses. That’s the requisite attire for Dinner in the Sky, a drinking and dining experience that first took flight in Belgium and has since taken off in cities around the world.
Rather than a destination, Dinner in the Sky is an always-changing experience, so there are no specific addresses, opening hours, or set cocktail lists.
Just imagine a “flying dinner table” where you can eat, drink, and be merry — or, you know, be terrified — while suspended mid-air via a crane-like contraption with your dining companions and, of course, chef.
Check out the current schedule here, and then strap in and drink up!
Las Vegas, Nev.
Las Vegas is basically an amusement park for adults, so it makes sense there would be a bar on a ferris wheel. We’re talking about the Happy Half Hour experience on the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, which takes riders up 550 feet and offers unparalleled views of the Strip from an open-bar cabin with a personal bartender.
Anyone who’s been to an open-bar wedding (or even an open-bar mitzvah) has witnessed what happens when you provide unlimited access to alcohol, but hey, it’s Vegas. How bad could things really get in 30 minutes?
Um, maybe don’t answer that.
“I’m on top of the worrrrrld!”
That’s what you’ll be yelling after putting a few back at OZONE, the highest bar in Hong Kong — and on Earth.
Enter the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel — we’ll call that base camp — and begin your expedition via elevator to the 118th floor. Whether you arrive in the evening to check out the city lights while sampling cocktails and Asian tapas, or come for Sunday Brunch (a dreamy buffet featuring a “free-flow of Dom Pérignon Champagne”) to see the city sparkling in the sun, OZONE gives you the rare chance to look down on skyscrapers.
Oh, and if you can’t make it back down to base camp afterward, don’t worry. There are plenty of hotel rooms around.
There are only two ways to Alpino Vino: skiing in by day, or taking an enclosed, heated snow coach by night. But hey, did you really expect to be driven right up to the highest-elevation fine-dining restaurant in North America?
From its 11,966-foot perch, Alpino Vino serves Italian fare à la carte at lunch, and in the form of a $150, five-course tasting menu with an “optional” $75 wine pairing for dinner. (Like the wine pairing is ever really optional.) The most noteworthy feature of the restaurant, though, is probably the outdoor wine bar, which serves as the perfect oasis for a midday break from the mountain.
We hear a little Chardonnay really improves your snowboarding skills.
Los Angeles, Calif.
People from around the world flock to L.A. clutching copies of US Weekly and hoping to see celebrities. A Chris Pratt or Chris Pine (or whatever Chris the kids are into these days) sighting isn’t a guarantee, but there is one way to get closer to the stars — in the astronomy sense, at least. And that’s a visit to the tallest bar in the Western Hemisphere.
Spire 73, which opened last summer, sits atop the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. It has an easy-breezy vibe, with patrons perching on stools, lounging under umbrellas, and huddling around fire pits as they enjoy craft cocktails and food ranging from fancy takes on the PB&J to tableside s’mores.
Positioned perhaps even above exhaust-fume level, this sky-high spot is the ideal destination to grab a drink and catch a California sunset — plus, at 73 floors up, it’s probably the only place in L.A. where you don’t have to deal with traffic.
Located atop Canada’s soaring CN tower, 360 Restaurant is an award-winning eatery that revolves, offering ever-shifting views of the city 1,150 feet below.
From a bucket-list perspective, that’s a good enough reason to check out the restaurant, but what’s most noteworthy about 360 is that it’s also home to the world’s highest wine cellar. It has storage capacity for 9,000 bottles and at any given time holds 500-plus wines from around the world.
Restaurant Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Next time you happen to be in the Alps, swing by Restaurant Matterhorn Glacier Paradise where you can enjoy food and booze with some serious mountain views. The restaurant is situated at the highest cable car station in Europe, some 12,739 feet in the air, where there are snow-capped peaks spreading across Switzerland, France, and Italy.
According to the Switzerland Travel Centre, this is the highest restaurant in Europe, and — as a bonus — it’s also an eco-friendly, zero-energy building that has been awarded the Swiss and European solar prizes. We’ll drink to that.
New York, N.Y.
The highest rooftop bar in Times Square, Bar 54 is situated on the the 54th floor of the Hyatt Centric, with sweeping views that span from the Hudson to the East River. While bars with this much Instagram appeal often phone it in drink-wise, Bar 54 delivers with an extensive list of cocktails featuring farm-fresh ingredients, plus a large number of beers, wines and spirits, and light bites — you know, in case that elevator ride makes you hungry.
Whatever you order, and whether you sit indoors or out, just be sure to take a moment to gaze down at the busy streets and experience Times Square the way locals like to: from far, far away.