The 15 best rooftop restaurants in NYC

From alfresco pizza to Vietnamese pub grub with a view, look up to find the best rooftop restaurants NYC has to offer
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
By Christina Izzo and Time Out New York contributors |
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In New York City, everyday activities can be elevated, literally, on the city’s many public rooftops—just take the best rooftop restaurants in NYC for proof. Whether it's taking a break at one of the city's best garden terraces, grabbing a bite at one of its amazing outdoor bars, or having a sky-high drink at some of the best rooftop bars in NYC. It's hard not to have a good time when you're surrounded by stunning skyline views. From Williamsburg to Chelsea, eat your heart out at the best rooftop restaurants NYC has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do on NYC rooftops

Best rooftop restaurants in NYC

1
Refinery Rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Trisa T.
Restaurants, American

Refinery Rooftop

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Head to the top of the Refinery Hotel near Bryant Park to soak in the city views under twinkling lights while noshing on savory flatbreads, sliders and sandwiches. 

2
Restaurants, Mexican

Alma

icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens

A popular destination on Columbia Street’s restaurant row, the three-story Alma serves fancy regional Mexican food in a giddy, casual atmosphere. Although the ground-floor bar and midlevel dining room are pleasant, diners clamor for a seat on the rooftop patio (open year-round) for inspiring views of the Manhattan skyline and the glittering, accidental beauty of cargo-loaders below. The food ranges from old standards (fresh, cilantro-heavy salsa and creamily addictive guac) to sophisticated dishes like bone-in grilled pork chop marinated in an ancho chile sauce, which is as bold and dramatic as the view.

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3
Juliette
Restaurants, French

Juliette

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Bearing all the hallmarks of the nouveau bistro—rust-dappled mirrors, tiny tables, insanely good-looking diners, a noise level that exceeds a racket—Juliette still manages a few pleasant surprises. The wine list is crammed with bargains, and the kitchen pulls off some pretty neat tricks, too. But we recommend you head straight to Juliette's pretty roof deck to enjoy dishes like crispy duck confit and grilled hanger steak.

4
Gallow Green
Bars, Cocktail bars

Gallow Green

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This dreamy, overgrown rooftop restaurant and bar just south of Hell’s Kitchen sits atop a warehouse that operates as the McKittrick Hotel for the trailblazing theater performance Sleep No More. In the early evening, the height affords a regal view of gleaming West Side buildings that serve as the backdrop for an indulgent daytime brunch or summery dinner with pizzas, lobster rolls and steak skewers. 

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5
Mr. Purple
Photograph: Noah Fecks
Bars, Cocktail bars

Mr. Purple

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

The Gerber Group’s latest project is this 15th-floor gastropub that crowns the Hotel Indigo. From the kitchen, offerings have ranged from a crispy gruyere-and-cheddar panini to a trio of flatbread options. The space is fitted with rows of communal tables, reclaimed-wood rafters and industrial pipes. During warm months, revelry sprawls across two terraces sporting a swimming pool and 6,000 square feet of panoramic outdoor space.

6
Standard High Line
Photograph: Courtesy Standard High Line
Restaurants, American

Top of the Standard

icon-location-pin Meatpacking District

Hotel maven André Balazs has opened a series of upper-level venues in his trendy Meatpacking hotel, The Standard, High Line. This one, on the 18th floor, offers 360-degree views (a sunken bar and banquette seating allow for nearly unobstructed sight lines), along with two outdoor terraces, one of which has a glass floor that looks down to the street below. Note to the hungry: Along with cocktails and tea, a menu of small bites is served all day.

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7
Cantina Rooftop
Restaurants, Mexican

Cantina Rooftop

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

Nosh on inventive Mexican dishes while overlooking the Hudson River on the rooftop of Stage 48. Sip margaritas and try the ceviche, tostaditas and tacos offered in the bright space in Hell's Kitchen.

8
Ophelia
Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Bars, Cocktail bars

Ophelia

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Once you reach the 26th floor of Beekman Tower, you’re instantly welcomed into a decadent barroom fashioned with soaring cathedral windows, jewel-tone blue walls and sweeping views of Midtown East (yep, you hauled your ass over to First Avenue and 49th Street). While the cocktail are lovely, you can pad them with high-low combos of four-cheese grilled cheese, beef sliders, foie gras and caviar service. 

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9
Salvation Taco
Restaurants, Mexican

Salvation Taco

icon-location-pin Murray Hill

After you’ve sat on a roof and eaten April Bloomfield’s cult-favorite tacos, you can basically die happy. For the full experience, order from the to-go menu on the ground floor, where Salvation’s main dining room is, and then head up to the 17th-floor terrace. The deck is narrow and cozy, with plenty of warm redbrick and a whimsical black-and-white–striped awning over the bar. Heaven.

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11
Social Drink and Food
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Tulipan
Bars, Hotel bars

Social Drink and Food

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

On top of midtown’s neon-purple–lit Yotel Hotel comes this equally colorful rooftop bar, a 1960s-inspired lounge fitted with rainbow-hued circle chairs, exotic dragon trees and a yarn installation from Brooklyn-based artist London Kaye. Guests can sink into basket-weave sofas on the 7,000-square-foot terrace for globally flitting cocktails. The street-food snacks follow in global suit—spiced Moroccan nuts, marinated Mediterranean olives—with larger plates like tempura-battered fish and chips with caramelized lemon, and steak frites with chimichurri sauce and rosemary fries.

12
Bia Bar
Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello
Restaurants, Vietnamese

Bia

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This 55-seat bar-restaurant, tucked under the Williamsburg Bridge, is named after the Vietnamese word for "beer," as eight taps pour draft beers and tap wines. Dig into Vietnamese plates—such as com suon nuong (grilled pork chop with rice, fried egg and cucumbers) and bo kho duoi bo (oxtail stew)—on the rooftop deck or at the 18-foot-long communal wood table indoors. The space, a former auto-repair shop, retains industrial furnishings, like oil-drum tables and old auto-shop signs, as well as an upright piano in the corner.

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13
KIMOTO ROOFTOP BAR tranquility cocktail
Bars, Beer bars

Kimoto Rooftop Beer Garden

icon-location-pin Downtown Brooklyn

The rooftop bar perched atop Downtown Brooklyn’s Aloft Hotel has a definite Asian influence, with an indoor rock garden, spiky bonsai trees and minimalist aesthetic. The bar offers a full dinner menu. Think appetizers like a spicy tuna pizza and yuzu shrimp ceviche and specialty sushi rolls like the Mermaid roll with shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber topped with more shrimp, caviar, eel sauce and spicy mayo. Larger plates have included vegetable jap chae, jumbo blue crab fried rice and a Kobe beef burger topped with gochujang barbecue sauce, kimchi slaw, white truffle oil and sprouts.

14
Asiate
Restaurants, Pan-Asian

Asiate

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

The first treat is the view—sweeping vistas down Central Park South and over the park itself—the second is the food, a prix-fixe menu of dressed-up, French-accented Asian fare. The kitchen tantalizes monied tourists and expense-accounters with an amuse-bouche of upscale plates for the picky palates. 

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15
Photograph: Jena Cumbo
Bars, Gastropubs

Tavern29

icon-location-pin Midtown

Twenty-four taps pour craft beers at this bi-level gastropub's copper-topped bar. Downstairs, patrons can settle into a dark-leather booth to nosh on inventive bistro fare such as a Buffalo fried chicken cobb salad, panko-crusted calamari and a Cajun chicken quesadilla, but the magic happens up on the roof at Tavern29's German beer garden.

Want to hang outside?

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