NYC's best rooftop bars

Have a cocktail high above the city and take in spectacular views at one of the best elevated bars in NYC

Empire Hotel Rooftop east terrace

From trendy Midtown clubs to laid-back Park Slope hidden gems, Time Out has found the best rooftop bars in NYC. Read on for our guide to the city’s 30 coolest elevated drinkeries, and find out where you can sip a cocktail or a beer with a gorgeous view of the city surrounding you.

RECOMMENDED: Best summer drinks in NYC

Ava Lounge

You’ll need to make yourself presentable to gain entry to the roof terrace of the Dream Hotel—no hats, sneakers or ripped jeans here; you’d only ruin the chic, palm-tree-studded decor. Come for sunset and gaze at the neon dream of Times Square.

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Midtown West

Bar 13

Above two floors of NYU students boogying to nightly DJs and the occasional live act is a concrete-floored roof deck sprinkled with palm trees. It may sound a bit grim, but the space transforms at night when the light panels in the walls emit a warm orange hue, although they do restrict the view of the surrounding university buildings. Still, you won’t be complaining when you’re three rounds deep into the daily two-for-one happy hour (5–9pm).

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Greenwich Village

Berry Park

Critics' pick

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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Williamsburg

Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel

Dig out your cravat when hitting this year-round 14th-floor lounge. You’ll want to look the part when quoting Dostoyevsky in one of two greenhouses or on the outdoor terrace at this upscale, literary-themed bar. Order the Hemingway cocktail, with aged rum, lime juice, mint and champagne ($15.50); dig into the book collection; and let your imagination soar like the midtown buildings around you.

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Midtown East

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

The Eagle

This popular gay leather bar can be a bit intimidating for the uninitiated—you don’t want to show up for Wednesday’s Jock Strap Night unprepared. But on Sundays, a friendly (mostly male, mostly burly) crowd assembles on the surprisingly lovely roof deck for a beer blast (5pm–midnight) featuring $3 draft beers, $5 shots of Jägermeister and Jose Cuervo, and DJ Nikko. Check the website for announcements about seasonal parties.

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Chelsea

Empire Hotel Rooftop

This rooftop lounge features 3,000 square feet of outdoor space and private couch-equipped cabanas. Three separate terraces offer views of Lincoln Center and Central Park, and an appropriately sleek bar—constructed of stacked metal pipes—dispenses specialty cocktails.

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Upper West Side

Gallow Green

Critics' pick

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

Hudson Terrace

Uninterrupted views of the Hudson, cabanas, food from the grill and AC to fight the humidity put this plush deck with a retractable cover in the upper echelons of Manhattan’s high-class roof bars. Check its website for updates on programming—last year featured a visiting brewery every Friday—or start the season early with DJs and bottle service on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Midtown West

The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

Critics' pick

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

Critics' pick

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 Piscine at the Americano

Sufferers of vertigo beware: Access to Hôtel Americano’s rooftop pool bar on the 10th floor is by an external glass elevator. Those who brave that ride, however, get to appreciate a view of Chelsea—including the High Line—while sipping specialty cocktails. Keep cool by dipping your toes in the four-feet-deep pool. Keep an eye on the website for announcements about live music and deejayed parties in the summer. Mon–Thu 6pm–midnight, Fri–Sun noon–midnight. 212-525-0000, hotel-americano.com

La Birreria

Critics' pick

High atop the culinary wonderland of Eataly sits this 8,000-square-foot beer spot, a collaborative effort between lead brewer Peter Hepp Jr., Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, and two Italian brewmasters, Teo Musso (Baladin) and Leonardo Di Vincenzo (Birra Del Borgo). Belly up to the bar and try one of the three house brews—two year-round offerings, and one seasonal—such as Patrizia ($10), an American dry stout brewed with Wellfleet oysters. Take your pint to one of the tables in the 15th-floor space overlooking midtown.

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Gramercy & Flatiron

Le Bain

Getting past the doorman can be tough work at the rooftop bar of the still-trendy Standard Hotel, but your trials will be rewarded with stunning views of the Hudson River and downtown Manhattan. The bi-level boîte boasts an artificial-turfed alfresco bar with garden chairs and large, round pouf ottomans that can easily accommodate upward of three reclining friends. Don’t just bypass the lower-level room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a Jacuzzi—it plays host to appropriately hip parties with top-notch DJs, like the weekly Nouveau York bash (Sun 9pm–3am; free).

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Meatpacking District

Lounge at Pod 39 Hotel

In balmy weather, midtown partygoers and backpack-lugging budget travelers alike can be found atop this Murray Hill hotel. Red brick and lofty arches lend Spanish flair to the outdoor terrace, which boasts spectacular views of the Empire State Building. Bar nibbles from April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco, such as gazpacho ($8) or chips and fresh guac ($11), are also available. Sip a Salvation Margarita ($13), a mix of Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and Combier triple sec, rimmed with a zingy guajillo chili salt; or opt for a Devil’s Plaything ($8), a citrusy IPA produced exclusively for the eatery by Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

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Midtown East

Comments

14 comments
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.


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

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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....

Neha K
Neha K

@Tsk thats press and its there :)