Best rooftops without a view
The views may not be the best, but these rooftop establishments have other redeeming qualities.
Thu Jun 18 2009
You'd think this sliver of a terrace atop the Library Hotel was an actual study space, with its hushed atmosphere and cozy nooks. Thankfully, the focus is on boozing, not books, so leave the Proust at home.
Redeeming feature: Literary-themed cocktails, like the Tequila Mockingbird and the citrusy Jackie Collins ($13.50 each), are as tasty as they are inspired. 299 Madison Ave at 41st St (212-983-4500)
The Eagle Bar
Notorious for its Thursday-night bash (when fetish garb is mandatory to enter), this two-story club has a wood-plank roof deck with multilevel bench seating. The higher the perch, the better for spotting the prey.
Redeeming feature: Hunky, leather-clad cruisers offer a view that makes up for the not-so-scenic West Side Highway. 554 W 28th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (646-473-1866, eaglenyc.com)
Graziella's Italian Restaurant
Graziella's may primarily be a restaurant, but it's also a fine place just to sit and sip wine or beer on the one-story rooftop. Redeeming feature: The eatery is known for its thin-crust pizza ($11--$18), so you can have pie with your sky. 232 Vanderbilt Ave between DeKalb and Willoughby Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-789-5663, graziellasmenu.com)
The secret's long been out about the low-key, no-frills patio at the top of La Quinta hotel. The view isn't expansive, but it's memorable: The bar sits directly under the hulking Empire State Building.
Redeeming feature: For such a prime location, the drinks are surprisingly affordable: Mixed drinks are $6--$9, and beers average $5. Plus, there's none of the hassle or snootery found on swankier midtown rooftops. La Quinta, 17 W 32nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 14th floor (212-290-2460, mebarnyc.com)
When this authentic Irish pub made the long haul out to Red Hook two years ago, it gained triple the space for hosting book readings and a trivia night, plus a sprawling wood-paneled roof deck.
Redeeming feature: Thanks to its remote location, this breezy spot is one of the few rooftops in the city you won't need to elbow your way through. 34 Van Dyke St at Dwight St, Red Hook, Brooklyn (718-246-8050, rockysullivans.com)