Rooftop getaways

Drink in skyline vistas and specialty cocktails at these open-air spots.

  • Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo

  • Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo

  • Gramercy Park Hotel Private Roof Club

  • Mercat Negre

  • Mercat Negre

  • Night of Joy

  • Press Lounge

  • Press Lounge

Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo

Berry Park
With unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, 16 beers on tap and just-right breezes, this beer garden is a good place to unwind. The expansive space—the rooftop is 3,000 square feet—is filled with the requisite biergarten communal tables and frequently features DJs and live music, including acoustic bands on Sundays. Expect an affable crew from all over the city, specifically the type who will make the most of the dartboards. What's more, unlike at other neighborhood locales, hipsters are sparse here—so are attitudes, creating an optimal spot for kicking back with an ale. 4 Berry St between Nassau Ave and North 14th St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-782-2829,

Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo
The bar name is quite literal here: The perimeter of the 20-story rooftop is lined with glowing glass walls and is topped by a retractable glass roof when Mother Nature calls for it. Expect specialty cocktails like the Spicy Rita (Jose Cuervo, triple sec, jalapeo syrup and fresh lime; $17) and the Blu Martini (vodka infused with blueberries and oranges, St. Germain, triple sec and lime; $12), along with the stunning scenery of Chelsea. Stop by on Mondays from 8 to 10pm to catch jazz music performed by the Michael Fredo Orchestra. There's no real dance floor, but that doesn't stop the mix of patrons—some tourists, more locals—from showing off their moves. 127 W 28th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-973-9000,

Gramercy Park Hotel Private Roof Club
Those hankering to feel like an insider should look no further than the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop. Though the club is open to both hotel guests and nonpatrons, you'll need a reservation and a staffer to unlock the penthouse elevator for you. As soon as you arrive at the 18th floor, you'll be surrounded by beautiful people and A-list celebs—Drew Barrymore, Jack White and Sofia Coppola have been spotted at the bar. But don't let the crowd distract you from the transporting bohemian decor: Take in the secret-garden-style open patio, and feel the stress just melt away. 2 Lexington Ave between Gramercy Park North and 22nd St (212-920-3300,

Lucy's Cantina Royale
Thanks to surfboard-inspired tables and bait and anchors adorning the walls, you can practically hear the ocean in this Baja-surf-themed cantina. Climb the steps to the roof deck, where you can observe the hubbub of Penn Station while sipping on a passion fruit, guava, pomegranate or blood orange margarita (inside $9; outside, cruelly, $11). The food isn't stellar, but what the venue lacks in culinary excellence, it makes up for in convenience, delivering a quick after-work escape. 1 Penn Plaza at 34th St (212-643-1270,

Mercat Negre
This Spanish restaurant has a secret weapon rooftop. Your Death in Spain cocktail (cava, orgeat, mint and Pernod; $11) will taste especially refreshing up there, paired with a view of the Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan and the open sky. Settle into the sophisticated decor—white tiles and brown wood tables—and alternate sips with snacks, including fried yukon patatas bravas ($5) and croquettes (three for $7). If the food feels familiar, it's because this newer locale has a sister restaurant, Mercat, in Noho. 65 Grand St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-223-4599,

Night of Joy
You know the type of rich but quirky great-aunt who's always featured in BBC Victorian dramas? This bar might remind you of her flat. Tiles made to resemble worn-in rugs, plus gold-leaf-embellished furniture and antique-looking light fixtures give it a retro feel, but head to the rooftop patio and you'll find the thoughtful decor replaced with a less-is-more style, offering only a few tables and chairs. The cocktails are the pride of the bar, so sample the orange-blossom rum lemonade ($9) or the jalapeo tequila with black currant and lime juice ($9) while watching cars whiz by on the BQE. But don't fret, non-cocktail-consumers: There's a swell wine and beer list, too. Once you've had your alfresco fill, you can shoot a round of pool downstairs. 667 Lorimer St at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-8693)

Penthouse 808
In the eternal words of Will Smith, "Welcome to Miami." Cabanas and frozen fruity drinks scream South Florida, but that skyline is unmistakably New York. Tucked under the Queensboro Bridge, this Long Island City boutique hotel has DJs spinning the latest tracks, providing an essential musical backdrop. Admire our most famous borough while swigging seasonal cocktails like the Summer Splash (Absolut Citron and Mandarin vodkas, fresh strawberries and orange wedges; $12) and the Pineapple Jalapeo margarita ($13). 8-08 Queens Plaza South at 43rd Ave, Long Island City, Queens (347-472-0362,

Press Lounge
Apropos to its minimalist, modern ideal, this upscale spread's pice de rsistance 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. The generously sized deck seats more than 170 people, and there's also a glass-enclosed lounge where you can grab a beer, a cocktail or a glass of sake. 653 Eleventh Ave between 47th and 48th Sts (212-757-2224,

Sky Room
Brand spanking new—it opens Friday 18—this open-air destination is way up on the 33rd and 34th floors of the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Times Square. The 5,000-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. There are four other distinct sections of the bar; don't miss 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. 330 W 40th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-380-1195,

Top of the Strand
Reach out and you can almost touch the Empire State Building from the top of the Strand Hotel. Designed by Sex and the City's set decorator, Lydia Marks, the rooftop bar and lounge looks like it belongs in an episode of the HBO series. That's due in no small part to the plush banquettes fit for a tropical palace, a variety of shrubbery and the warm earth tones of the decor. Similarly design-focused, the cocktail list is divided into four categories: classic, modern, vanguard and exotic. Sample the eponymous Top of the Strand Martini, with crme de violette, Veev Aai Spirit, maraschino liqueur and fresh lime juice ($14). 33 W 37th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-448-1024,