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Photograph: The William Vale

10 restaurants and bars with amazing views of NYC

These viewstaurants serve food and drinks with an amuse-bouche for the eyes.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Many of the best views in NYC are free. The best Statue of Liberty lookout is from a grocery store parking lot in Red Hook, the vantage point from the Staten Island Ferry is breathtaking and Astoria Park’s outlooks are unprecedented. But looking at stuff can also work up an appetite, so having some food and drinks to accompany the landscape is a must.

Luckily, NYC’s best viewstaurants don’t just dine out on their looks. They also carefully consider their cocktails, curate their wine lists and create plates to rival their spectacular backdrops. Whether they're sky-high, on the water or beachside, these excellent restaurants and bars give you plenty to peep besides your phone–but don't forget to snap a pic, too!

The 10 best views from restaurants and bars in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

Your personal metaphor mileage will vary, but the rooftop at Electric Lemon makes us feel like we’re in the not-too-distant future, or the nicer parts of the 2001 Jason Lee film Vanilla Sky. The view across the Hudson River seems to go on forever, even though it actually stops at New Jersey, and cocktails like the Spicy Sunset (tequila, blood orange, agave, rosemary, habañero) bring the whole theme into focus. 

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Financial District

The first time we walked up Pier 17 toward The Fulton, we stopped in our tracks. A Greetings from New York postcard come to life, The Fulton looks out on the length of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River. Its patio is the place to be on the nicest days when the breeze hits the water in the loveliest way and the sun sparkles over the waves like your glass of prosecco. 

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

If you are the sort of person who bristles at even the air of a velvet rope, the view from the 21st floor of the Hotel 50 Bowery will still take your breath away. Its clubby vibe is like what a teenager in a 90s rom-com might dream of, but it has alcohol and it’s our top downtown destination for showing visitors what the NYC skyline’s made of. 

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

The 22nd Floor of The William Vale hotel has plenty of space inside, a terrace with room to roam, and exceptional NYC views from practically every seat in the house. Its cocktails are a little more interesting than your typical rooftop options, and at $18 a pop, they’re a few bucks cheaper than the ones across the river, too. 

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

Sometimes you must slay the day from inside the belly of the beast, and NYC’s geographical equivalent is Dear Irving on Hudson in Times Square. Its beautiful après Mad Men mid-century design and Midtown tableau through floor to ceiling windows are indeed transportive from the tangle forty floors below.

Pilot
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Turn summer into a verb on a historic schooner docked at the Southern end of coastal Brooklyn Bridge Park. Spring for the $69 caviar service, order a little bubbly and pose like the boat is your very own. 

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