Get us in your inbox

Search
The terrace at Electric Lemon
Photograph: Courtesy Electric Lemon

The 10 best rooftop restaurants in NYC

Eat and drink in the NYC skyline this season at these venues with food, beer, wine, cocktails and absolutely stunning views.

Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
Advertising

New York City has plenty of places to look at stuff. Our museums are marvelous, our streets are superb, our new skyscrapers are nail-biting and even our subway has things to see. But none of the above offer food and drinks with a view like our city’s rooftop restaurants. So ready your Instagram filters and set your cocktail-sipping smile: these spots are your ticket to the top. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do on NYC rooftops

Best rooftop restaurants in NYC

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

This is the one you don’t want anybody to know about. It isn’t too expensive as these things go, the drinks are strong and expertly prepared (even the frozen margaritas, which isn’t always a given) and—at just two flights up—the view of lower Manhattan is a dazzler. Try not to lean too far into the people seated in the picture window banquettes when you snap that shot, and add the arroz con queso to every order. 

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

Once you exit the elevator onto the 24th floor of the Equinox Hotel, Electric Lemon is beautiful inside and out. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the dining room stage whisper about the view outside, but the beautiful landscape, especially of the Hudson River to the west, doesn’t really announce itself until you step out onto the sprawling terrace. Almost every inch of the place is photogenic, with water features, carefully considered lighting, and art throughout. Selections from the brief wine, beer and cocktail menu aren't bad either, and a nice Sancerre paired with chilled oysters will make you feel like the king of the gym. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Financial District

Like Alma, this is a much lower rooftop than many in the genre, but The Greens’ skyline, bridge and water views rank it much higher than many restaurants that tower above it. Summery menu items like lobster rolls, soft shell crab and s’mores match the decor, which is made up of dozens of mini-lawns. Reservation fees for 90 minutes on a slice of green that can accommodate eight go up to $40 depending on the time you dine, but “a portion” benefits a different charity each month. 

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Williamsburg

Weekend rooftop happy hours are a rarity, but East Hae runs ‘em on Friday and Saturday evenings. From 4 to 6pm, fries and wings are half-off, pilsner’s $5 and select cocktails are $10. The deal is also available on weekend junior, or, “Thursday.” There’s a bar right up on the roof so you can get your liquor quicker, and the space is illuminated by golden hour rays while they last, and string lights ‘til close.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Flatiron

One of NYC’s shape-shiftiest rooftop spots, Serra by Birreria changes with the seasons. This round’s iteration is fashioned after a greenhouse, festooned with leaves and flowers from the ceiling to the cocktails. Tipples are topped with botanicals and even the Italian IPAs are fragrant with hop flower. It’s springtime on the menu, too, where you’ll find local produce, grass-fed beef, and ingredients just as fresh as what you’ll find downstairs at Eataly, no shopping cart required. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 3 of 4

Yes, the RH stands for Restoration Hardware, the spendy furniture store. And a long, long time ago this type of retail restaurant was viewed askew. But now it seems like every seller’s in the game, and RH Rooftop is a particularly good page in the catalog. Its showroom-topping restaurant is lined with greenery, and tables are topped with avocado toast, kale Caesar salads and ribeye steak at brunch, lunch and dinner. Rosé is, as you might expect, all day. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

New to the skyline-dining scene, Sushi Lab’s spot atop the Sanctuary Hotel has a $60 omakase that includes 10 pieces of sushi and a hand roll. À la carte options are available too, along with sake, Japanese whiskey, sochu, beer, wine and cocktails. The space has a smattering of (soon-to-be-less) socially distanced tables, as well as eight seats at the chef’s counter. 

Upstairs at the Kimberly
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Midtown East
  • price 3 of 4

You want a candid of you and the Chrysler building in the still-recognizable distance, and you’re gonna get a candid of you and the Chrysler building in the still-recognizable distance! There’s even a cocktail named for the occasion, along with a half-dozen “martinis,” two each of low and no-ABV options, and plenty more vaguely Midtown-themed libations. Sweet and savory plates like Benedict takes and blueberry pancakes are available at brunch, and small plates include steak tartare, satay, sliders, and cheese and charcuterie boards for ascending groups. 

Advertising
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 3 of 4

The 24th floor of the Gansevoort Meatpacking is recently renovated and open for business with a brighter, more verdant look even in its enclosed area, 360-degree views of NYC, a demonstratively studied cocktail lineup, and an-all day menu that includes a few flatbreads, a trio of skewers, a couple burgers and small plates like spicy prawns and guacamole. 

Ainslie
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Williamsburg

Remember day drinking with people outside of your household? In sanctioned restaurants and bars, rather than with clandestine wine in the park? Sure, it was fun, but try getting everyone to agree on what to eat in less than a few taps in the group chat. That’s what Ainslie’s casual roof deck is for. It has pizza, it has pasta, it has eggs many ways, it has meat for many palates and it has a few salads. It also has another blast from the past: all-you-can-drink brunch on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4pm. It’s been a while. Pace yourself. 

Want to hang outside?

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising