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10 non-douchey rooftop bars

Photograph: Courtesy Tavern 29
Tavern 29

We all love a good rooftop bar, what with the breeze, the booze and that picture-perfect sunset glow that renders Instagram filters functionless. But nothing ruins a night out or a nice bit of rooftop day drinking like an obnoxious crowd. You know the kind—the Beckys and Chads of the world. Lucky for us, non-douchey rooftop bars actually do exist. Here are 10 of the best ones for you to check out, asshole-free™.

1. Northern Territory in Greenpoint

Photograph: Evelyn Derico

Aussie-born co-owner Jamie Toll couldn't take all those kangaroo attacks (we kid) so he brought a little bit of Down Under to Brooklyn. There's Australian cuisine (meat pies, skewered shrimp on the barbie), plus authentic Oz-bred beers at this pub created by the same folks that brought you Berry Park.

2. Roof at Park South in Flatiron

Photograph: Filip Wolak

A cocktail bar without a cocky 'tude. Along with the first-rate quaffs, this rooftop number from Tim and Nancy Cushman (the husband-and-wife team behind Boston critical darling O Ya) offers sublime views—you can see the lower Manhattan skyline from here.

3. Empire Hotel Rooftop in Columbus Circle

You can pretend you're a successful business tycoon as you stare from the top of the Empire Hotel at all the little people below before marveling at the amazing sunset. Then you can buy me a drink because you can afford it.  

4. The Heights Bar & Grill in Upper West Side


Expect over-stuffed burritos and frozen margaritas at this friendly uptown bar. If you're not at least happily tipsy when you leave here, you're not doing it right.

5. The Rock Shop in Gowanus

Photograph: Jessica Lin

This is the least ostentatious rooftop bar in all of Brooklyn, in that there's a small patio, an even smaller bar and...that's about it. But the lack of amenities means that there'll be room for you to get in the entire skyline, unobstructed, without fear of paying $15 for a mixed drink.

6. Rooftop Lounge at Pod 39 in Midtown East

Don't let the bro-heavy nabe fool you—with terra cotta columns, Mexican-tiled tables and top-notch tacos from Salvation Taco, this is a festive, easygoing space to throw back some tequila. 

7. Cantina Rooftop in Hell's Kitchen

Courtesy of Cantina Rooftop

Recently opened atop Stage 48 this year-round Mexican hang puts a premium on margaritas. Hoist a mezcal-spiked cup to the bright, cheerful digs and views that never get old.      

8. Tavern 29 in Gramercy

Photograph: Courtesy Tavern 29

Perched at the top floor of this tri-level midtown bar is a laidback rooftop beer garden, rigged with communal picnic tables, 30-plus craft brews and a giant TV for sports-watching. 

9. Night of Joy in Williamsburg

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Oh, joy! Here's a bar that straddles the line between divey and Victorian so well, you'll think you're relaxing in a modern-day version of an Oscar Wilde novel.

10. L'isola in Williamsburg

Photograph: Courtesy ACMB Photography

This place does chill the Italian way—food and drinks for days. Plus, there's pizza. On a rooftop. Heaven. 

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George F
George F

ROOF AT PARK SOUTH--is that where that poor girl jumped to her death last month & everybody there kept right on partying? Can't get any "douchier" than that!

Louise F
Louise F

Would love to share this article on my "NYC eats and drinks" board on Pinterest. Somehow, though, "non-douchey" is a bit juvenile...

Charlie A
Charlie A

So, I get the feeling that if some of us act on these recommendations, the douchiness must follow. Better to screen us readers in advance, before you make the douche-free promise.


This is awesome! We may have to move one Tequila Friday from Joynture to Rooftop Lounge at Pod 39 in Midtown East one Friday this summer! #DoGreatThings