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Photograph: The William Vale

The best rooftop bars in Williamsburg

Don’t miss Williamsburg’s rooftop bars with views of the Manhattan skyline and the waterfront.

Written by Julien Levy
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There are a lot of cool places to hang out on the streets of New York City’s perennial cool-kids-table, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But once the sun goes down, what figuratively and quite literally elevates the cool factor is taking things above street level. Three words: Williamsburg rooftop bars. Yes, friends, if you know where to go and play your cards right, you and your squad can win summer by dancing, drinking, and/or vibing out amid rooftop breezes and vistas.

And while New York City has seemingly no shortage of truly world-class rooftop establishments across its five boroughs, what you’ll find below are the coolest sky-facing bars within Williamsburg’s densely-packed 2 square miles. If you’re looking for breezy fun with ready-made photo ops of NYC’s iconic skyline, we’ve got you covered. So double-check the weather forecast and the L train’s status, without further ado, here are our top picks for Williamsburg’s rooftop bars

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in NYC

Best rooftop bars in Williamsburg

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

Night of Joy is an atmospheric, cool, sexy bar perfect for a date. Know what else is perfect for a date? Opening an unmarked door in the back and ascending to a gorgeous rooftop patio. Upstairs you’ll find plenty of seating, a mural by a local artist, string lights, and trellised walls crawling with lush plants. The actual bar upstairs is only open weekends, but no big deal. Any night of the week (except Mondays when the entire bar is closed) you’re welcome to snag a wine, beer, or herbal cocktail downstairs and head right up.

  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

At 22 stories up, a glass-encased cocktail destination crowns the William Vale Hotel. The sky’s the limit atop this bonafide skyscraper, where a wraparound terrace presents guests with nearly 360 degrees of astonishing views–an experience that may just be unparalleled on this list. The food on offer may be a no-surprises affair and beer does take a back seat, but there is a nice wine selection and the expert bartenders can whip up virtually anything. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

This latest iteration of the Wythe Hotel’s rooftop food & bev amenity is as beautiful as the last. It’s a chic restaurant featuring seafood-focused Euro fare, but the spirit, cocktail, and wine offerings are bountiful, plus there are eight beers on tap. The decor is elegant but the ambiance is casual with ample seating. Lounge outdoors basking in an array of impressive vantages or park yourself at the indoor bar boasting a glorious view of its own.

  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

The 10-seat bar is first-come, first-serve; otherwise, you’ll need a table reservation. Once you get upstairs, you’ll understand. Few images are as dramatic as Manhattan silhouetted by sunset and few establishments offer it so gamely. The kitchen serves Israeli snacks, grilled proteins, and brown-butter soft-serve ice cream. Drink-wise, there are nods to its Mideast provenance, but the menu is fairly standard. More restaurant than bar, it’s a dazzling place to inaugurate an evening before heading elsewhere.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Williamsburg
  • price 3 of 4

You want NYC Instagram fodder? How about a rooftop bar inside of a massive water tower perched above a swank hotel’s rooftop pool? The decor inside of this Rael Petit cocktail bar feels like a grown-up Urban Outfitters with vintage velvet seating and dangling lights and murals by local artists. But you’re here for the view, and on the breathtaking wrap-around deck, that’s exactly what you’ll get. On weekend nights, DJs descend and things turn clubby. 

6. Creatures of All Kind at McCarren Hotel & Pool

This brand new, simple yet vibey, Balinese-inspired lounge sports a mostly north-facing view whose main feature is sky accented by the Kosciuszko Bridge. There are small bites if you’re feeling peckish, and the cocktail-centric drink menu is rounded out by a half-dozen wines and a handful of canned drinks. DJs spin all weekend long when reservations are more than a good idea. If your plans include taking a dip, keep in mind, the dress code precludes bathing suits.

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

This cavernous 3,500-square-foot beer hall sits on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border. Befitting the picnic-table-lined space, all 15 taps are dedicated to imported brews–mostly of (surprise!) German and Belgian origins. There’s plenty of bar food to be had, and sitting downstairs presents soccer fans an opportunity to get their footie fix on a big projection screen. The rest of us can mosey upstairs to take in some fresh air and truly lovely skyline views from the fittingly sprawling rooftop. 

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

In addition to the plant-filled garden oasis downstairs, this nouveau bistro boasts a second-floor roof deck that serves a special terrace brunch on the weekends during warmer months. Snag a spot beneath one of the shady umbrellas and toss back a few mimosas, or opt for one of the local draft beers, then kick back and enjoy the birds-eye people-watching on North 5th.

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9. NoOri Rooftop at East Hae

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A post shared by East Hae (@easthae)

Loungy rooftop bar newcomer, NoOri has a ton to offer. Located a floor above East Hae, a gastropub where Korean and Japanese favorites are fused to American bar food staples, this drinkers’ aerie offers the downstairs’ full food menu; a selection of soju, sake, and wine, plus its very own rooftop menu of Korean-inspired cocktails. There are no beer taps or bottles, but give even the fussiest hop-head some bulgogi and set them loose on NoOri’s can selection and happiness is all but guaranteed. 

Want more views? Check out NYC’s best rooftops.

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