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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 dishes—whether you decide to hang out in the lounge or terrace.
Venue says The Polynesian is unprecedented in ambition and scope, honoring Tiki’s past and reinvigorating it for generations to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.