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The best rooftop bars in NYC

Have a cocktail high above the city and take in spectacular views at one of the best rooftop bars NYC has to offer

As the warm weather rolls in, Gothamites gear up for all manner of seasonal activities ranging from spring festivals to concerts in NYC and al fresco dining and drinking at rooftop bars. NYC's top restaurants and bars are unveiling their best outdoor drinking spots, including people-watching terraces and rooftop perches touting sweeping skyline views. From buzzy hotel hotspots to low-key first-date hideaways, raise a glass to the best rooftop bars in NYC.

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RECOMMENDED: Full guide to bars in NYC

Best rooftop bars in NYC

Roof at Park South

Gotham’s top-notch cocktail haunts come tucked in restaurant basements, stuffed behind unmarked storefronts and hidden in hot-dog shacks. Rarely do you find quality drinks in the DJ-soundtracked, pool-soaked terrain of rooftop bars—until now. Enter Tim and Nancy Cushman, the husband-and-wife team behind Boston’s high-flying Japanese spot O Ya, who bring smart tippling to the roof deck of Gramercy’s Park South Hotel.

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Midtown

Gallow Green

The transportive vibe of Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s interactive theater piece at the McKittrick Hotel, carries over to the venue’s rooftop bar. Named for a Scottish field where accused witches were hanged, Gallow Green has the feel of a garden party thrown at an abandoned farm. Fairy lights and tattered flags hang between verdant trellises; bartenders sling cocktails like the Vanessa’s Cup (which combines Rhum J.M. Gold rum, Pimm’s, sirop de canne—a simple syrup infused with cinammon, cloves and vanilla— strawberries, ginger and nettle tincture; $14), served by waitstaff dressed in ghostly white. The best seats in the house are inside an artfully ruined antique railcar, whose empty windows are hung with destroyed lace curtains.

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Chelsea

Top of the Strand

The Strand Hotel’s 21st-floor drinkery boasts an uninterrupted sight line of the towering Empire State Building and first-come, first-served benches that offer a front-row seat. Don’t let the imposing main attraction blind you to the rest of the skyline—to your left is the lit-up crown of the Setai at 400 Fifth Avenue, and over to your right is the illuminated double-fin roof of the Epic. The price of admission for this light show? Specialty cocktails are $15 and bottles of beer $9. If you’re rolling deep, reserve a cabana and don’t worry about the weather, a retractable glass roof ensures a warm viewing platform safe from the elements.

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Midtown West

The Delancey

While the music pounds downstairs, this LES rooftop offers a palm-studded oasis with white chaise lounges. On Saturdays between 10pm and 1am, the spot is often packed with large group reservations (fortune, it seems, favors the popular and organized). Head there on Sundays and Mondays for two-for-one well drinks.

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Lower East Side

St. Cloud

There are few better ways to enjoy New York than from above, cocktail in hand, gazing across the lights and landmarks that define the city. One such landmark is the historic Knickerbocker Hotel, onetime haunt of American elite like F. Scott Fitzgerald and John D. Rockefeller, which serves as base of this 7,800-square-foot rooftop bar and terrace. Named after the late-19th-century hotel that originally occupied the Knickerbocker space, the outdoor space is outfitted with plush "sky pods" (VIP lounges built into corners of the roof), metallic-finished wood floors and a cigar lounge from celebrated tobacconist Nat Sherman.

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Midtown West

Berry Park

Gaze at the Manhattan skyline from across the East River at this 3,000-square-foot roof deck. After a recent renovation, the aerie features a retractable glass roof, so you can hang out when it's sunny or raining. Quaff European brews that skew German, like the Schöfferhofer grapefruit Hefeweizen ($7), as you chow down on boozing-friendly eats such as bratwurst with sauerkraut ($6). There's also a DJ during the weekly boozy Sunday Brunch (2pm).

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Greenpoint

Pod 39 Rooftop

This rooftop bar, 17 stories above ground, offers a view of the East River, craft cocktails and light bites by April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco. Sip the Salvation Margarita, a tequila, agave and lime juice concoction with a guajillo chili salt rim, while gazing at the vista.

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Murray Hill

The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

This outdoor terrace bar on the Wythe Hotel’s sixth floor affords sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan, and it’s an ideal vantage point for watching summer sunsets while lingering over a Professor Fritz Briem tall boy ($16) or a quaff made from local small-batch spirits. Sure, the crowd comprises mostly globe-trotting cool kids from outside the five boroughs, but consider that another avenue to finding a guilt-free summer fling.

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Williamsburg

Juliette

When you tire of Williamsburg’s dive bars, head up the stairs of this French bistro for a glass of vin on the wooden terrace that’s dotted with trees. The roof deck is now more conducive to drinkers: The same menu is offered as in the restaurant below, and DJs are occasionally spinning.

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Williamsburg

La Birreria

This massive rooftop beer garden, located 14 stories above the Italian megastore Eataly, offers a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. Hops-heads will geek out over the three proprietary cask-conditioned ales brewed on the premises. But you don't have to be a beer nerd to appreciate the views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings while sipping on the unpasteurized, unfiltered suds.

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Flatiron
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See the best rooftop bars in America

Comments

19 comments
Ryan F
Ryan F

I think it's pretty strange that you don't have Bar 54 at the Hyatt Times Square on here seeing as it's the highest rooftop bar in all of New York City. You've got Juliette on here, which is hardly a rooftop bar. Get it together, TimeoutNY...... 

Allie E
Allie E

I love Gallow Green and Berry Park! If you’re looking for a super relaxed rooftop cocktail, try the new Whitney—there’s a bar on the highest floor with a gorgeous balcony that has river and city views. 

Tim L
Tim L

Gallow Green is pretty glorious. 

GETR B
GETR B

These are some of the trendiest rooftop bars in New York! 

TCintheBigCity
TCintheBigCity

I wouldn't mind nominating the Roof at the Viceroy Hotel next to Carnegie Hall as a Rooftop liquor haven, but it seems to be an over-priced dud.  It even has a velvet rope and faux bouncer, but it is tiny and pompous.

Hannan A
Hannan A

The increased trend of roof top bars has boomed the College Station Roofing business. Many businessmen are utilizing their roofs to expand their business without spending thousands on real estate. This is an attractive and economic way of a business expansion.


Andre B
Andre B

@ivona Poyntz Really ?  Bored. Horrible people with little to say. 

Lila
Lila

Roof top bars in NYQ

Gladys
Gladys

Check these out.

Howardhantine
Howardhantine

hi gary if your still knoking around this is there web address and some info , they have a wealth of knowledge , mention Howard told you to ring

Jaehee
Jaehee

best Rooftop bars in NYC

Martha
Martha

Brooklyn Terrace is amazing!!! You should add it to your list!!!!!

Tsk
Tsk

Eventi hotel rooftop

Neha K
Neha K

@Tsk thats press and its there :)

phyllis kay
phyllis kay

visited the upstairs at the kimberly and it was delightful! wonderful space, views are terrific and and the food, series of tastings was quite good. In summer the top comes down and the sky is included in your view. Fall/winter, there is an outdoor fireplace to enjoy. loved it.

John
John

Tim...Yes they did. It's called Le Bain. You were probably in Boom Boom room....