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

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Ava Lounge

  • Price band: 4/4

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.

  1. 210 W 55th St between Broadway and Seventh Ave
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Bar 13

  • Price band: 2/4

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).

  1. 35 E 13th St at University Pl
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Berry Park

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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).

  1. 4 Berry St at North 14th St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
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Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel

  • Price band: 4/4

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.

  1. 299 Madison Ave at 41st St, 14th floor
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The Delancey

  • Price band: 1/4

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.

  1. 168 Delancey St between Attorney and Clinton Sts
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The Eagle

  • Price band: 2/4

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.

  1. 554 W 28th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
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Empire Hotel Rooftop

  • Price band: 4/4

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.

  1. 44 W 63rd St between Broadway and Columbus Ave
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Gallow Green

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 530 W 27th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves), 10001
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Hudson Terrace

  • Price band: 4/4

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.

  1. 621 W 46th St between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves
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The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 80 Wythe Ave, (at North 11th St), 11249
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Juliette

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 135 North 5th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St
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Htel Americano

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

  1. 518 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves

La Birreria

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 200 Fifth Ave, (at 23rd St), 10010
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Le Bain

  • Price band: 2/4

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).

  1. 444 W 13th St at Washington St
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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.

  1. 145 E 39th St, (between Lexington and Third Aves)
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mad46 rooftop lounge

mad46 rooftop lounge

Atop the 19th floor of the Roosevelt Hotel, you’ll find the usual luxe environs with cabanas reserved for bottle service (upon request) and a spectacular vista of midtown buildings. Watch for the return of the summer movie series, that pairs crowd-pleasing movies with drinks specials. Apr–May Wed–Fri 5–10pm; May–Oct Mon–Sat 5pm–midnight. 212-885-6095, mad46.com

  1. 45 E 46th St at Madison Ave

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café

  • Price band: 4/4

The Met’s roof-bar-cum-gallery offers some of the city’s best views of Central Park. But you’re not there just to peek over the side: This year’s installation is by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi, who covered the roof in large swaths of red paint—some of it used to depict foliage, some applied as messy splotches. A selection of this year’s cocktails are informed by the artist’s home country: Try the gola ganda ($6–$14), a traditional Pakistani shaved-ice concoction, with your choice of rosewater, mango or pomegranate syrup. (You can request a shot of vodka for an added kick.)

  1. 1000 Fifth Ave, (at 82nd St)
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Night of Joy

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You’ll find this eclectic Williamsburg watering hole on an unassuming corner beneath the BQE.  Make your way around the antique furniture in the dim lower-level bar and head upstairs to the buzzing rooftop patio, lined with mesh lanterns and box planters. Once you’ve settled in, peruse the handwritten list of cocktails, made using all-natural ingredients such as fresh fruit and herbs: We liked the jalapeño-and-black-currant tequila ($9); its spicy kick comes from a base of hot-pepper-infused Milagro Silver.

  1. 667 Lorimer St at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
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Penthouse808

  • Price band: 2/4

Tucked under the Queensboro Bridge, this bar atop Long Island City boutique hotel the Ravel offers a stunning vista of New York’s most famous borough. Relax and enjoy the view during the day while swigging frozen drinks ($12–$14), but if you go in the evening, be prepared for a party atmosphere and bottle service.

  1. 8-08 Queens Plaza South at Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens
Book online
Photograph: Sean Ellingson

The Press Lounge

Apropos its minimalist, modern ideal, this upscale spread’s pièce de résistance is a glowing 70-foot-long reflecting pool. Translation: Skip the flip-flops if you want to fit in with the midtown crowd that congregates here to watch the sun set after work. You won’t be disappointed with the 16th floor’s 360-degree vistas either. There’s plenty of space to lounge on the generously sized deck, and there’s also a glass-enclosed lounge where you can grab a beer or a cocktail. Mon, Tue 5pm–1am; Wed, Thu 5pm–2am; Fri, Sat 5pm–3am; Sun 5pm–midnight. Open year-round. 212-757-2224, pressloungenyc.com

  1. 653 Eleventh Ave between 47th and 48th Sts

Plunge

  • Price band: 4/4

Satisfy yourself with the excellent views of the Meatpacking District at this rooftop lounge at the Gansevoort. Unless you want to flash the cash for bottle service or cram into the back garden on the bumping weekend evenings, we recommend going midweek to enjoy the vista in peace while nursing a $15 cocktail.

  1. Hotel Gansevoort, 18 Ninth Ave at 13th St
Book online

Rare View at Fashion 26 Hotel

  • Price band: 2/4

This spot draws an after-work crowd with DJs and dancing every night. This location atop Chelsea’s Hilton Fashion District Hotel boasts a retractable roof for all-weather viewing of the Empire State Building. Mon–Fri 4:30pm–1am; Sat 2pm–1am; Sun 2pm–1am. 212-807-7273, rarebarandgrill.com.

  1. 152 W 26th St , (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
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The Rock Shop

  • Price band: 1/4

This bi-level Park Slope bar is best known for concerts—hence the name—but the hidden gem is the roof deck, a welcome respite from the overpriced elevated perches you’ll find throughout Manhattan. The no-frills space, which has views of such landmarks as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower and One World Trade Center, attracts a laid-back crowd. Friendly bartenders chat up the regulars and pour local brews like Brooklyn Summer Ale ($6), as well as daily happy-hour specials ($4 Stoli drinks on Wednesdays, $6 beer-and-a-shot combos on Fridays).

  1. 249 Fourth Ave, (between Carroll and President Sts), 11215
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Salon de Ning

  • Price band: 4/4

You’ll find well-heeled types at this refined, Asian-inspired roof bar—and prices to match—but that does afford one elbow room at a table plus views of Fifth Avenue. To make a day of it, hold out for the three-course prix-fixe summer brunch menu ($45) on Sundays, then take your Bloody Mary buzz to one of the Chinese daybeds.

  1. 700 Fifth Ave at 55th St
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Sheltering Sky at McCarren Hotel and Pool

This newly opened rooftop bar and lounge sits atop Williamsburg's fancypants answer to the nearby public McCarren Park pool. Buy a pass and spend the day poolside, sipping drinks and eating grub from Paul Liebrandt's The Elm, then head up to the eighth floor to gawk at the hipsters below while boogying to a rotating roster of international DJs. 

  1. 160 North 12th St, eighth floor, (between Bedford Ave and Berry St )
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Sky Room

  • Price band: 2/4

This open-air destination is way up on the 33rd and 34th floors of the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Times Square. The 7,500-square-foot lounge takes inspiration from its location; check out the ceiling’s LED lighting display, which mimics the blaze of Times Square; you can compare it with the real deal from the north terrace. Or lounge in the south terrace, where you’ll find cabanas and illuminated furniture and floor tiles. No matter where you end up, enjoy the aptly named Mile-High cocktail ($15), with Bombay Sapphire gin, peach liqueur, Chambord and prosecco.

  1. 330 W 40th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves
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Top of the Strand

  • Price band: 4/4

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 (e-mail ddunn@thestrandnyc.com) and don’t worry about the weather, a retractable glass roof ensures a warm viewing platform safe from the elements.

  1. 33 W 37th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
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230 Fifth

  • Price band: 2/4

It’ll take you a while to get into 230 Fifth's massive rooftop garden and bar—not because of the door policy (it’s surprisingly lenient, just don’t dress for the Jersey Shore), but because of its popularity. Despite this, you’ve got a good chance of bagging a seat on one of the many wooden benches under yellow-and-white canopies. You could stare at the Empire State, MetLife and Chrysler Buildings, but you may find your eyes drawn to the hordes of prowling hotties instead.

  1. 230 Fifth Ave between 26th and 27th Sts
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Upstairs

  • Price band: 2/4

This 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar on the 30th floor of the Kimberly Hotel features ivy-covered walls, old-fashioned globe street lamps and a retractable roof that makes it possible to enjoy the 360-degree views year-round. It’s best experienced at night, when the web of lightbulbs above the terrace gives a sparkling ambiance in which to appreciate the view of the Chrysler Building. In addition to signature cocktails ($18), drinkers can choose from a selection of bottled beer and wines. Booze-friendly foods include grilled calamari ($16) and crispy baby artichokes ($15).

  1. 145 E 50th St between Lexington and Third Aves
More info
Vu Bar

Vu Bar

Among the swanky midtown rooftop set, Vu Bar (formerly Mé Bar) is a refreshing oddity, serving reasonably priced drinks on a plain patio above the La Quinta hotel with no doorman to negotiate. There’s no wide-open vista here, but the Empire State Building towering above you certainly makes an impression. Mon–Thu, Sun 5pm–1am; Fri, Sat 5pm–2am. Open year-round. 212-991-8842, vunyc.com

  1. 17 W 32nd St between Fifth Ave and Broadway, 14th floor

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Users say

13 comments
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

Agent Justin Homes
Agent Justin Homes

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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 :)

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