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The 35 best rooftop bars in NYC

Raise a glass to spectacular views and elevated libations at the city's best rooftop bars.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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In New York City, “underground” is good. Speakeasy-themed bars. Hidden streets. Secret gardens. The actual underground. But sometimes you want to soar above it all, sipping effervescent libations among the clouds like some kind of fancy bird with an expense account. You want to be uplifted. 

In the city that never stops sprawling, upward expansion has also reached great heights. Many incredible eating and drinking destinations are poised in the sky like treehouses with cover charges. Among these rooftop bars are old New York throwbacks, party destinations and seaside terraces practically fashioned for Instagram. They each offer booze, some kind of view and an invitation for you to get high. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in NYC

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The best of the city

  • Restaurants
  • DUMBO

We curated every last detail at the Time Out Market: the food, the cultural experiences, the drinks, the space—everything including the breathtaking view, which is the perfect backdrop for the “best in New York City” experience. Whether you decide on takeout or to dine outdoors, Time Out Market gives you a taste of why New York's culinary scene is the world renowned.

Best rooftop bars in NYC

  • Bars
  • Financial District

Now approaching its first anniversary high in the sky downtown, Overstory is still a tough reservation to come by, but space can be had with a little patience and a lot of advance planning. Coordinate and you’ll be rewarded with truly out of sight skyline tableaus that even a hot air balloon pilot would admire. Overstory also allegedly accepts walk-ins, and the bar at Crown Shy downstairs is a lovely place to wait.  

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Midtown West

A dedicated martini menu, unlimited chicken salt seaweed popcorn, plush upholstered seats inside and a lovely terrace beyond make Daintree a premier midtown perch. The colorful 29th-floor spot has some terrific style notes for those so-not-candid, ‘How’d the Empire State Building get there?’ snapshots. 

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

Westlight is a stylish glass box capping the neighborhood’s tallest skyscraper. Take the dedicated elevator 22 stories up to the industrial yet swank space—set with black-and-white tiled floors, bright globe lights and a beamed ceiling—to experience a hotel rooftop bar that has all the goods to be a standalone New York cocktail den, not just another hotel bar.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Red Hook
  • price 2 of 4

Laid back and relaxed, Red Hook’s Brooklyn Crab has three levels of good times, and our favorite is the rooftop. The supersized shack is very on-brand, with nautical decor, buckets of beer, tons of cocktails, fishbowl drinks and a menu overflowing with all manner of oysters, shrimp, lobster, and, of course, crab. It also boasts one of our lowkey favorite views across the East River that’s as enticing as a seafood tower. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 3 of 4

The 2019 follow-up to Dear Irving, this bi-level cocktail bar offers an “Ode to The Empire State” with spirits made in New York. And its surprisingly chic given its Times Square location. Velvet couches, brass finishes and rounded doorways seem straight out of the set design for a 1960’s James Bond movie. And after a couple of drinks, you might just get into your own espionage.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Midtown East
  • price 3 of 4

Rather than a destination for screaming Saturday night revelry, Ophelia is the kind of place you’d go to trade conversation and maybe a few secrets. Fashioned with soaring cathedral windows that look out onto the East River and jewel-toned blue walls, this is one of the most elegant rooftop experiences New York City has to offer.

  • Things to do
  • Coney Island

Beloved local minor league baseball team The Brooklyn Cyclones just introduced rooftop brunch on their Coney Island stadium’s rooftop during Sunday games for day drinking with the pretense of an activity. Service starts at 1:30pm (games are at 2) and $49 tickets include fruit, yogurt, baked goods, sliders and unlimited bloody Marys, mimosas and beer. You’ll also glimpse the Atlantic ocean, Luna Park, and, of course, the game. 

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  • Bars
  • East Williamsburg

Although it's only on the 4th floor, LLohi’s panorama stretches wide over surrounding East Williamsburg. Its twinkling backdrop is more understated than some corporate behemoths in the rooftop category, giving the space an incidentally beautiful feel. The “rooftop tax” that tends to inflate prices elsewhere is absent here, too, and LLoHi’s beer, wine and cocktails are a few bucks cheaper than you’ll find at many Manhattan counterparts. 

 

  • Restaurants
  • East Village

New to the top floor of the Moxy East Village, The Ready has polished DIY-house party vibes. String lights glow and beer cans chill in coolers, but more elaborate cocktails and a retractable roof for those unseasonably cooler nights remind you this is no place like home. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 1 of 4

In addition to its two lowkey dining rooms, each with Manhattan views, Alma has a small bar area on its top floor. Sidle up to sip its standout margaritas, frozen or otherwise and often available in fruity varieties. 

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

Gallow Green, The McKittrick Hotel’s very own secret garden, reopened last year. Sip the Sleep No More (pea flower-infused vodka, elderflower, and rosé cider) and Gallow Green (bourbon, blue curaçao, citrus, and ginger) beneath blooms and vines that feel far afield from the West Side Highway not too far away. 

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  • Hotels
  • Rockaways

The sixth floor of The Rockaway Hotel has views of the Atlantic ocean and the NYC skyline, plus it’s close to the beach. Take it all in over large format margaritas or mezcalomas with pals, or order standard sizes to sip on your own. Big and small snacks like charcuterie, ceviche and raw bar platters are also on the menu. 

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Williamsburg
  • price 3 of 4

The new iteration of the McCarren Hotel’s rooftop bar aims to approximate a Hawaiian vacation. Order up a few of Talk Story’s tropically-inspired cocktails, sip under a leafy potted plant and dream about the sand and surf. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Kips Bay
  • price 3 of 4

This Broken Shaker follows the Miami original, and it’s still one of the best places in Gramercy for rooftop drinks. In addition to its indoor bar, the 18th floor terrace area is one of our favorite places to sip tropical cocktails in town. 

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Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel
  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Midtown East
  • price 4 of 4

Another Midtown beauty peacefully perched above the frenetic city, Bookmarks’ aesthetic competes with the majestic New York Public Library a stone’s throw below. Part of the Library Hotel, the literary theme is strong with this one. Grab a book and find a nook, or break out the Moleskine, follow the old adage “write drunk, edit sober,” and get to work on your own short story. 

The Secret Side at The Tillary Hotel
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Downtown Brooklyn

Formerly known as The Distillery, The Secret Side is in Downtown Brooklyn’s Tillary Hotel near the Brooklyn Bridge and courts. With drinks, snacks and a beer garden atmosphere, it's a great plave to wind down after a walk from Manhattan or a long day of jury duty. 

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Bungalow Bar
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Rockaways
  • price 2 of 4

After an early surf in the Rockaways or a cold walk on the water's edge, take a breather at Bungalow Bar, which is open all four seasons. Brunch fare, bar food and plenty of seafood plates are joined by beer, wine and cocktails on the menu. 

  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

You don’t go to Our Wicked Lady for fancy cocktails or even a stunning view. But it’s still fun to hang out on its 1,300 square foot rooftop, where you can add well or premium booze floaters to your spicy margaritas. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • The Bronx

Although it simply makes sense that The Bronx would offer some of NYC’s best views, this was the city’s first rooftop restaurant when it opened in 2019. Visit for brunch, dinner and of course drinks in the large, verdant outdoor space. 

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The Crown
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chinatown
  • price 3 of 4

If it took a little bit longer to get up to the 21st floor of Hotel 50 Bowery and if the crowd at the bar is a few more people deep than you’re used to after the past year and change, The Crown’s best-in-class view will remind you why you picked this bar, and this city, the moment it comes into focus. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Mr. Purple has occupied the 15th floor of the Hotel Indigo since 2015. It has a lot of square footage including interior space with floor-to-ceiling windows, and familiar cocktails, frozen drinks, beer and wine. 

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  • Bars
  • Lower East Side

Located on the 21st floor of the CitizenM Hotel on Bowery, CloudM offers some of the finest views of the Lower East Side, not to mention delicious cocktails and ample outdoor space. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Inspired by Old Havana, this Cuban cantina in the Hotel Hugo has 360 degree views of Lower Manhattan. You needn't even be an overnight guest to have an entrée into the action.

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

The recently-renovated rooftop at the ModernHaus hotel is open year-round, and it's especially festive this time of year. Up on the 18th floor, you’ll find poolisde seats and cocktails like the grilled pineapple mojito and raspberry fizz. 

  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Downtown Brooklyn
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This real-deal vineyard right in the Brooklyn Navy Yard just reopened for 2022. Vines thrive in dozens of planters across the rooftop’s nearly 15,000-square feet, soaking in the sunshine before fulfilling their destiny as your wine. Beer and cider are also available, but red, white, orange and sparkling wines on tap and by the glass and carafe are the wise move here.

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

This is not the kind of place we suggest for a casual pop in, but it does have its place in NYC nightlife as a Going Out destination. Expect wrap-around windows that spotlight the New York City skyline like it’s an enormous museum exhibit alongside celebritish sightings and late-night dancing. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Flushing

The vista from this Flushing, Queens rooftop lounge is a must-snap for skyline photo collectors. Not only is it positioned for one of the widest shots of the Manhattan skyline you’ll get without a drone, Citi Field appears in the near distance to really put an exclamation point on NYC. 

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A.R.T. SoHo (Arlo Rooftop)
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • West Village

On the much lower-key end of the spectrum, the Arlo hotel's rooftop is an easy place to swing by for after work drinks in the outdoors. Plenty of shareable snacks are available, too. 

 

Want to drink at rooftop bars in other cities?

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