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The best rooftop gardens and urban farms in NYC

Find some peace and quiet at one of these stunning rooftop gardens and farms hidden inside the concrete jungle

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Gallow Green

New York City might not have too many wide open spaces, but you can still find plenty of ways to bring nature into your everyday life. Plan a picnic in one of the best NYC parks, hit up outdoor summer parties all season long and take day trips from NYC when you really need an escape. You might even be able to find some sweet oasis right here in the city if you know where to look: several stories up to the the rooftop gardens and farms. Check out some of the prettiest ones we've got here, from trendy rooftop bars to urban farms.

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Best rooftop gardens and farms in NYC

Bell Book & Candle

This Greenwich Village eatery gets more than half of its produce from its seasonal aeroponic rooftop tower garden, the fruits of which dictate the revolving menu. Recent menu items include house-made burrata with grilled ramps and English peas, an arugula salad topped with crisp pork belly, apple and fennel and a patty melt topped with a rooftop pickle.

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West Village

Brooklyn Grange

Installed in 2012 and operated by Brooklyn Grange, the Navy Yard Farm covers a mammoth 65,000 square feet, making it the largest rooftop soil farm in the world. Visit the Brooklyn Grange website to register for one of the farm’s weekly Wednesday tours or find out about its LIC sister location, Flagship Farm, plus grab tickets to awesome events like botanical soap-making workshops and sunset yoga. Aspiring urban farmers can even sign up for a five-day Sustainable Farming Certificate Program at the rooftop run by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Various times and prices

Photograph: Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm / ©Anastasia Cole Plakias

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Long Island City
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

Hosted by production company Broadway Stages and perched atop its soundstage in Greenpoint, Eagle Street boasts a killer view of Manhattan, not to mention 6,000 square feet of leafy green goodness. Every last Sunday of the month at 1pm, folks are invited to grab some farm-fresh veggies from the on-site market and help with planting and harvesting. Free

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Gallow Green

Head to the roof of the McKittrick Hotel, the home of Sleep No More, and enjoy live music, craft cocktails and an unlimited sweet-and-savory buffet at Gallow Green’s weekend brunch. Don’t worry, there’s some actual gardening going on: In 2014, the restaurant’s aeroponic farm produced 4,000 heads of lettuce. Youll taste the fresh herbs and vegetables in many of the dishes and cocktails. Brunch Saturdays and Sundays 11:30am–4pm; $38

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Chelsea

Gotham Greens at Whole Foods Market

Gotham Greens set up shop atop Brooklyn's Whole Foods in 2014, opening a commercial-scale, 20,000-square-foot greenhouse. The space produces 200,000 pounds of leafy greens, tomatoes and herbs each year that get sold downstairs in the adjoining market and other grocery stores around the city. Though the garden is usually closed to the public due to food safety laws, Gotham Greens offers free tours of its nearby rooftop deck every Wednesday at 6pm. 

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Gowanus
Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project

Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project

Granted, it’s a stretch to call a bunch of dirt-filled kiddie pools a farm, but considering the positive impact that this volunteer-run project is having on Hell’s Kitchen, we’ll let it slide. The veggies grown on the roof of the Metro Baptist Church are distributed through a local food pantry and CSA. Green-fingered volunteers are welcome every Thursday and Saturday, from 10am to 1pm. hkfp.org; free

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar

Perched on top of one of the world's finest museums is one of the citys finest vantage points—from both a sightseeing and cultural perspective. The museum recruits a new rooftop art installation every summer, like this year’s The Theater of Disappearance, an assortment of surreal sculptures by Adrián Villar Rojas. Visitors can sip cocktails while examining the art and taking in spectacular views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. 

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Central Park

Riverpark Farm at Alexandria Center

Riverpark, the farm-to-table restaurant from Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio and Gramercy Tavern alum Sisha Ortuzar, is serious about locally sourced produce. So serious, that in 2011, it started its own temporary garden in milk crates at the stalled construction site next door. When building started up again a year later, Riverpark simply moved the portable garden to the north side of the plaza. The menu changes seasonally, and dishes like pasta with lamb, fava beans and mint highlight produce from Riverpark Farm and local greenmarkets. Opt to sit outside on the patio for picturesque views of both the East River and the thriving garden next door. 

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Kips Bay

Farm.One at the Institute of Culinary Education

Though Farm.One isn’t on a rooftop, you would be hard-pressed to find a more ground-breaking urban farm. (See what we did there?) This hydroponic farm inside the Institute of Culinary Education cultivates more than 250 different crops, including rare herbs, edible flours and microgreens. Hourlong tasting tours of the space run every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and budding farmers can also register for classes on indoor farming, hydroponics and plant care. Prices vary

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Battery Park City
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By: Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Comments

2 comments
Alisha F
Alisha F

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Hannan A
Hannan A

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