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Photography: Courtesy of Eataly USA

The 15 best rooftop restaurants in NYC

From crispy Peking duck to Peruvian-inspired bar snacks, here are the best rooftop restaurants NYC to check out

By Bao Ong and Time Out New York contributors

Among your favorite things to do in spring, eating and drinking sky rockets to the top of the list. Luckily, elevated dining takes on a new meaning at the best rooftop restaurants NYC has to offer. While these restaurants may fall into the best rooftop bars in NYC category, some also have the best pools in NYC or simply serve the most thirst-quenching summer drinks to complement the food.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do on NYC rooftops

Best rooftop restaurants in NYC

Photography: Courtesy of Emily Andrews

1. Manhatta

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary American Financial District

The breathtaking views from Manhatta’s 60th floor perch alone is enough reason to book a table at Danny Meyer’s latest downtown hit. Not to be missed is the food under the direction of Jason Pfeifer. While the menu feels grounded in French influences, the seasonal greenmarket influences are present in dishes ranging from an expertly-constructed French onion burger available during lunch to mushroom risotto at dinner.

Photography: Courtesy of Llama Inn

2. El Techo at Llama Inn

Bars Williamsburg

Peruvian-inspired cuisine, at least how its prepared at Llama Inn, is not yet common in New York. At El Techo, the restaurant’s rooftop bar, the food and drink menu is available in an intimate space. This season a slew of Peruvian tiki cocktails can be paired with the restaurant’s favorite dishes.

Photography: Courtesy of DaDong

3. DaDong NY

2 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Chinese Midtown West

Did you really go to DaDong if you didn’t order the roast duck? The Peking duck is always a pro move order here, but the 150-seat garden terrace with its own outdoor bar is worth heading to this Chinese hotspot. The impressive raw bar or the sesame ribs are perfect for pairing with adult libations.

Photography: Courtesy of Eataly USA

4. Serra Fiorita at Eataly Flatiron

Restaurants Italian Flatiron

Eataly’s Flatiron location turned its seasonal rooftop into an Instagrammer’s dream with the  opening of Serra Fiorita. Once you’re done oohing and aahing over the all the florals, you’ll want to order a spritz, a charcuterie spread and pesto gnocchi that fits perfectly into your lush surroundings.

Photography: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

5. Cantor Roof Garden Bar at The Met

A summer evening on the rooftop of The Met is one of those quintessential New York activities. On the fifth floor of this institution is the Cantor Roof Garden Bar with views of Central Park and downtown Manhattan. A new menu features such as classic lobster rolls and fun, boozy popsicles.

Photography: Courtesy of Noah Fecks

6. The Polynesian

3 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Hell's Kitchen

Tiki cocktails take center stage at The Polynesian but that doesn’t mean food is an afterthought. A Smokin’ Sarong or a Reggae Bus pairs perfectly with tuna poke and coconut shrimp, among other disheswhether you decide to hang out in the lounge or terrace.

Refinery Rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Trisa T.

7. Refinery Rooftop

Restaurants American 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. 

8. El Cortez

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Snack bars East Williamsburg

The popular dive bar takes it rooftop vibes south of the border with a twist on Tex-Mex that actually works: think Mission-style burritos, nachos topped with three types of salsa, deep-fried chimichangas. Local DJs keep the fun going until late during the weekends.


9. Gallow Green

Bars Cocktail bars 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. 

Standard High Line
Photograph: Courtesy Standard High Line

10. Top of the Standard

Restaurants American 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.

Photography: Courtesy of the Gerber Group

11. The Roof

Bars Cocktail bars Midtown West

It’s always a happening scene at the Viceroy, whether you’re in the hotel lobby or on The Roof, which offers a spacious lounge and outdoor terrace that gives you a handsome view of Central Park from the south end. A glass of rosé or a cocktail in hand with a bunch of small plates is the way to go.

12. Alma

Restaurants Mexican 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.

Photograph: Teddy Wolff

13. Ophelia

Bars Cocktail bars 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. 

Photography: Courtesy of Catch Hospitality Group

14. Catch

Restaurants Seafood Meatpacking District

Rooftop restaurants can sometimes pose a challenge: they’re too small for your party or the food becomes an afterthought to the cocktail menu. At Catch, you can find an actual table for your group of friends as easily as you can order an impressive seafood tower. For good measure, order the Pineapple Trainwreck cocktail as you dine al fresco on the sprawling indoor-outdoor penthouse.

Social Drink and Food
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Tulipan

15. Social Drink and Food

Bars Hotel bars 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.

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