According to the US News and World Report, New York is the fourth most diverse city in the United States. This spectacular diversity has forged a unique culinary culture all its own, many of it staged on some of the most stunning rooftops in the world.
Perhaps most tourists don’t have New York’s food in mind when planning their trip, but once they begin to explore New York’s variegated gastronomy, the topic of “where should we eat next?” is a hot one. In this list, I’ll be going into the best of the best in New York City: brilliant food that you can eat perched on a rooftop overlooking the city.
When looking at rooftop bars, my first criteria was the food. Is the food good? Second, the location has to be nice. There are plenty of NYC rooftop bars, but a roof bar is essentially pointless if your highrise is situated around three other, taller highrises.
Finally, I tried to pick and choose roof bars from all across NYC, from Greenpoint to Washington Heights, from the Bronx to Harlem. Because a big part of New York’s charm is its stunning diversity, I tried to incorporate a wide variety of culinary traditions in this list as well.
Best Rooftop Bars in NYC
- Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
- The Ready Rooftop Bar
- Mr. Purple
- JIMMY SoHo Rooftop Lounge & Bar
- Broken Shaker at Freehand New York
- ART NoMad (Arlo Rooftop)
- SERRA by Birreria
- Rooftop Reds
- Top of the Box NYC
- Make Believe
- The Crown NYC
- 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
- Elsie Rooftop
- Harriet’s Rooftop
- Cantina Rooftop
- Gallow Green
- Le Bain
- Night of Joy Bar
- Berry Park
- cloudM New York Bowery
- Ampia Rooftop Restaurant
- Zona De Cuba
- The Greens
- Glass Ceiling Nomad
- Refinery Rooftop Bar in NYC
- Monarch Rooftop
- Bookmarks Rooftop
- Sushi Lab
- Runaway Rooftop
- ART SoHo (Arlo Roof Top)
- Dear Irving on Hudson
- Upstairs at the Kimberly
- The Roof
- Azul Rooftop
- Salon de Ning
- Pod 39
- Spyglass Rooftop Bar
- Cachet Boutique Hotel NYC
- Social Drink & Food
- Haven Rooftop
- Somewhere Nowhere NYC
- PHD Rooftop Lounge at The Dream Downtown
- St. Cloud Social Rooftop Bar
- Gansevoort Rooftop
- RH Rooftop Restaurant New York
- Mondrian Terrace
111 N 12th St 22nd floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Chef Andrew Carmellini and the NoHo Hospitality Group lead the charge at Westin’s beautiful and scenic rooftop restaurant located atop the William Vale in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg.
Westlight’s chill vibe is brought together by an industrial yet chic design. Outdoor seating is comfortable and for reclining: sit back with the unforgettable Lavender Lake Cocktail and watch the world as it spins.
Carmellini’s menu at Westlight is inspired by street food from across the globe. Small, shareable plates make up the bulk of the menu, though the dry-aged beef burger with smoked cheddar and a secret schmear is big enough for one person to have a light dinner.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
485 7th Ave 18th floor, New York, NY 10018
The rooftop bar with a magical name deserves the high praise it’s currently receiving.
The Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge, perched high above the Moxy Times Square, is an amusement-themed bar with everything from luxury cocktails to mini-golf. Yes, you read right—rooftop mini-golf. Check out Magic Hour later in the year, as occasionally, this rooftop bar transforms into the Pink Rose Garden.
One thing to keep in mind is that Magic Hour does have a dress code: no shorts or sandals after 9 pm, and you must be 21+ to visit. What to eat there? Magic Hour presents small plates that are ideal as snacks to go with your drinks, though you can certainly fill up with a few orders of the fish tacos.
The Ready Rooftop Bar
112 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003
The Ready Rooftop Bar, set in the always classy East Village, is a restaurant by Tao Hospitality Group seated majestically atop the Moxy East Village. Described as having a collegial atmosphere that is nevertheless refined, the Ready Rooftop Bar is an excellent place to grab drinks before a concert or simply to escape from the daily rigamarole of NYC life.
In the style of a backyard gathering, the furniture on the Ready Rooftop Bar is hodgepodge, and the food and drinks reflect this. Think craft beer in cans and string lighting.
The made-to-order tacos are some of my favorite tacos in the whole city, and you can’t go wrong mixing some barbacoa with one of their many tequila-based cocktails.
180 Orchard St 15th floor, New York, NY 10002
The artists and visionaries residing on the Lower East Side tend to flock to Mr. Purple, a rooftop bar bespeaking the vibrant interconnectivity of New York’s intelligentsia. Mr. Purple is operated with style by the Gerber Group. Their other innovative cocktail bars in New York, DC, and Atlanta are known for their elegant cocktails with fresh ingredients.
From its vantage on the Lower East Side, the views from Mr. Purple are some of the best in the city. Sit back with a glass of fine wine or the delightful Smoke After Passion (made with, yes, you guessed it, Mezcal) and an order of the unforgettable truffle waffle fries and observe a New York Sunset from up on high.
JIMMY SoHo Rooftop Lounge & Bar
15 Thompson St, New York, NY 10013
With a name like Jimmy, you might expect the JIMMY SoHo Rooftop Lounge & Bar to have a feeling of backyard revelry and the casuistry of college nights spent with good company. In fact, JIMMY brings this energy while simultaneously offering a very classy decor inspired by Picasso’s Blue Period.
With panoramic views of New York from its ideal location in SoHo, visitors can observe the elbow-bumping of Wall Street, the flurry of movement around Midtown, and the picturesque views around the Hudson River.
With a simple menu of snacks and excellent cocktails, the views of JIMMY are best with a fine cocktail and their rosemary french fries.
599 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
We’re always dreaming of Elsewhere, aren’t we? Elsewhere, located in Brooklyn’s always hip Bushwick, that dream of elsewhere is finally realized. Experience an otherworldly music venue with live musicians who represent the front line of America’s 21st-century relationship with music.
Elsewhere exists with a simple dream: people that vibe together thrive together. The dream of Elsewhere is a fully Democratized NYC, one based on community values and experiences.
Don’t come here expecting ties and high heels — come ready to vibe (but be sure to enjoy some craft beer or a cocktail while you’re at it).
Broken Shaker at Freehand New York
23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
The Broken Shaker, sitting atop the Freehand Hotel in New York, presumably gets its name from the excellent work of the mixologists’ mind-blowingly good cocktails. Cocktails as fine as these could only come from years and years of experimentation: in short, a broken shaker or two.
A semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award, the Broken Shaker offers excellent views of New York City while offering some of the best small bites and cocktails around.
Exotic ingredients, fresh juices, and brand-new recipes come together beautifully in The Broken Shaker’s cocktails. Try the empanadas for a delightful treat along with the drink of your choice.
ART NoMad (Arlo Roof Top)
11 E 31st St, New York, NY 10016
The Arlo, located smack dab in Manhattan, has long been known for its high-class rooms and a wonderful view of downtown. With the ART (Arlo Roof Top) NoMad, visitors from all over have come to really get a good look at New York’s skyline while enjoying a nice cocktail.
The ART NoMad has a comfortable lounge atmosphere, but the “skywalk” glass walkway can have the stomachs of the faint-hearted churn.
Don’t expect burgers and fries here: the ART NoMad is mostly for drinks, although their dips (served with tortilla chips) are quite lovely. The tahini is especially nice. To drink, dream of summer with the Sweet Dreams cocktail made with Coconut Cartel Rum.
SERRA by Birreria
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
The seasonal SERRA bar transforms to fit the time of year. At the time of writing, in early Fall, beautiful orange, red, and yellow leaves line the columns and hang over your heads in an outstanding installation.
Located near Union Square, this 14th-floor restaurant is designed as an Italian Greenhouse, changing with the seasons even as fresh ingredients are constantly brought in from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.
With food by Eataly, you will experience the true decadence of Italian cooking. For a recipe that is mind-blowingly flavorful and yet simple as can be, try the trout and a glass of fine Italian white wine.
299 Sands St Building 275 Suite 202, Brooklyn, NY 11201
With a name like Rooftop Reds, I think many of my readers can already guess what this bar is known for. Begun in 2016, Rooftop Reds is New York City’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard. Rooftop Reds, whose ambitious mission was to bring viticulture to Brooklyn’s urban landscape, has now created a vintage that is totally Brooklyn (and totally tasty).
My recommendation when going to Rooftop Reds is to keep it simple. Get a glass of the Rooftop Reds blend for a tasty medium-bodied red, or go for the Riesling if you don’t like red wine. To eat, get a pizza crafted by Il Porto.
One thing to note: Rooftop Reds doesn’t have a kitchen, but Il Porto brings the pizzas to Rooftop Red. You must simply call them once you have a table and order the pizza direct to the Rooftop.
Top of the Box NYC
77 Box St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
In Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, Greenpoint, Top of the Box (appropriately located on the top floor of the Box House Hotel) is a boutique eatery with a quiet neighborhood feeling that nevertheless finds you just minutes from the commerce and commotion of downtown Manhattan.
Closed in by sliding glass doors on all sides, Top of the Box is an all-inclusive, all-seasons event space that has been the location of countless weddings, concerts, and nights out drinking.
The wrap-around marble bar is perfect for enjoying a drink out with friends, and the views of the river are to die for.
190 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
The artistic vision of Pao Lopez is realized in the straight-from-a-dream social club Make Believe. From on top of the SIXTY LES hotel, Make Believe is an excellent venue for everything from workday meetings (with exceptional hand-crafted coffee beverages) to Summer Nights spent basking in the revelation of youthfulness.
Like a film by Miyazaki, the cocktail list in Make Believe is inspired by the hills, valleys, and secrets of Japan’s pristine wilderness. These cocktails are reflected in the fauna-filled decor in Make Believe.
Sit back with your cocktail as you enjoy DJs from all over the world spinning and scratching their vision into being.
The Crown NYC
50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
In Lower Manhattan, one of the crown jewels of NYC’s rooftop bars lies in wait. The Crown NYC is the perfect venue for a sun-baked afternoon with craft beers or to prepare for a night out in some of the excellent music venues located in the neighborhood.
With cocktails crafted and perfected by The Gerber Group (whose genius is behind Mr. Purple, also on this list), the Crown has something for everyone. Seasonal cocktails and small-batch spirits are their specialties.
For the perfect Summer night, try the Summertime Lemonade (with vodka). If you’re hungry, try the pork bao (you won’t regret it!).
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001
230 Fifth is an outdoor and indoor events space located in downtown Manhattan. The rooftop bar is a great place to relax or begin and end a big evening out on the town.
Located just a block from Madison Square Park, 230 Fifth has an unparalleled view of the Empire State Building, as well as the various other sights and attractions on 5th Ave.
During the summertime, 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar’s brunch is a must-try. Picture it: rashers and hash, eggs, endless coffee, and bottomless Mimosas. There’s no better way to celebrate the deeply American brunch tradition than at 230 Fifth’s unique rooftop location.
1412 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
The Elsie Rooftop, named after renowned actress and interior designer Elsie de Wolfe, is a venue that pays homage to the roaring twenties that Elsie de Wolfe lived and worked in. Located smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, the Elsie Rooftop brings the glitz and glamour of interwar Parisian life to our 21st-century sensibilities.
High-quality American (read: international) fare graces the menu, with my personal favorite dish being the double slider burgers. For vegetarians, the Portobello Mushroom Sliders are also a choice pick. The cocktails are hand-crafted, original, and delicious.
Be sure to make a reservation before you arrive.
60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Harriet’s Rooftop, located a stone’s throw from Brooklyn Bridge, is one of Brooklyn Heights’ hottest joints. Whether you’re just coming from a performance at the nearby St. Ann’s Warehouse or you’re gearing up to watch a concert at the Barclays Center, Harriet’s rooftop is the ideal place for an evening in Brooklyn.
Daytime views from the rooftop are also nice. My favorite dish, possibly in all of New York, is available at Harriet’s rooftop. The Lobster Bao is absolutely to die for (and many lobsters have). To drink, try the signature Harriet’s Margarita.
Oh, and in the summertime, don’t forget to check out the rooftop pool — you’re welcome.
605 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036
Cantina Rooftop may not be in Mexico, but if you close your eyes, you might be fooled. There’s something to the energy on Cantina Rooftop: excitement lingers in the air. Of course, that might just be hunger.
Cantina Rooftop offers excellent views of NYC from its midtown location while offering classy street fare-style tacos. The dress code is casual, and the vibe is laidback.
If you go to Cantina, make sure to get the guac dip and, my personal weakness, the Sangria. The tacos are all good: the queso frito taco is especially delectable. Prices are pretty good for this part of New York, with most meals costing under $20. There is one pricey item on the menu, and I’ve never dared to order it. The $80 “Big Ass Taco” has always given me pause.
542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Gallow Green and the hotel upon which it’s perched — the McKittrick — is no ordinary rooftop bar. Something of magic and mystery lingers in the air: as the barman looks out at you behind sunken eyes, the atmosphere is thick with the uncanny feeling of unspoken betrayals — of guilt, jealousy, and bloodshed.
Indeed, Gallow Green sits above one of New York City’s most beloved (and longest-lived) theater events: Sleep No More.
Many guests check in to the McKittrick Hotel for the three-hour performance before heading upstairs to the ever-mystifying Gallow Green Rooftop Bar, though non-theater-goers are also welcome. Enjoy fresh greens, Scotch, and the smell of heather in this 1930s Scotland-themed bar experience.
The Standard, High Line, 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
Le Bain, located along New York’s legendary High Line, is one of the most exciting nightlife spots in all of the Big Apple. Located in the hip party district that is Chelsea, the former meatpacking district is now home to killer parties and some of New York’s most important nightlife names. Susanne Bartsch, an icon of New York nightlife, has regular shows in Le Bain.
Le Bain is best enjoyed for its parties — it isn’t a sit-down and chill kind of place. Enjoy quality drinks, fine wine, and the always-flowing champagne, but make sure you eat dinner before hitting the dance floor at Le Bain!
Night of Joy Bar
667 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Cocktails. Joy. What more could you ask for? Situated about halfway between the center of Williamsburg and the middle of Greenpoint, Night of Joy Bar is a seasonal rooftop location with a real indy backyard vibe.
The view from the rooftop location isn’t much to write home about, but what Night of Joy lacks in sweeping skyline views it more than makes up for with a warm staff atmosphere, fine cocktails, and string lights upon string lights.
Open every day of the week, Night of Joy is probably most remembered by locals for its fun and inventive take on the margarita. Their nightly ode to Mexico’s favorite drink is available in different flavors each day, while their herbal cocktails infused with natural ingredients remain available whenever the weather’s nice enough for a rooftop party.
525 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
Located right where the party’s starting, in SoHo, the Azul Rooftop is a Cuban Cantina with 360-degree views of the ever-beautiful lower Manhattan. Seated gracefully atop the Hotel Hugo, the owners of Azul Rooftop say it best: it’s like Old Havana came to life on a New York City rooftop.
With great music and good service, Azul Rooftop is always a recommendation I make when I want to have a chill night out with friends.
My favorite thing to eat here is the simplest: the crispy, freshly-made pita dipped in rich homemade hummus.
4 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Located just north of Greenpoint’s McCarren Park (and situated with a fine view of the tennis courts), Berry Park is a ski lodge that meets college backyard and brilliant mixology.
With the eclectic and understated vibe here at Berry Park, it’s not a surprise that several celebrities have been reported as frequenters of the establishment. Jonah Hill, Rachel McAdams, and Zack Galifinakis have been seen getting drinks at Berry Park, to name a few.
You can eat well here, but the feeling is heartwarming and comfortable, not refined dining elegance. The chickpea burger is surprisingly moist, and in the early morning or afternoon (or, let’s face it, dinner time), I like getting the always familiar Steak & Eggs.
cloudM New York Bowery
189 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
As they say at cloudM, it’s time you got “the right kind of dizzy.” cloudM, the rooftop bar located atop the unforgettable Citizen M hotel, is your perfect castle in the cloud to impress your guests. With a decor bespeaking luxury and sprawling views of New York, cloudM is decadence manifest.
The mixologists at cloudM are clearly having fun, and they seem to be constantly inventing new drinks and taking fresh takes on old standards. Though cloudM is no place for a sit-down meal, you can pick one of their tasty snacks and enjoy a cocktail with your view.
Ampia Rooftop Restaurant
100 Broad Street, 2nd Fl Entrance on Bridge Street b/t Broad St and, Whitehall St, New York, 10004
Chefs Michelle and Anisa Iuliana, the husband and wife team behind some of New York’s most beloved Italian eateries, including Gnoccheria, founded Ampia just months before Covid hit the world in October of 2019. Ampia is located atop an old bank clearinghouse in the heart of the financial district.
Now open again to vaccinated restaurant-goers, guests can experience the Mediterranean magic of Ampia.
As the Iulianas are best known for their fine cooking, I recommend either a two-course salad with pasta or a three-course salad, gnocchi, and main course. The salmon at Ampia is cooked to perfection, while the gnocchi is as good as it gets.
Zona De Cuba
558 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
Located in the always authentic Bronx, Zona De Cuba is a tour de force of a Cuban restaurant.
When I first went to Zona De Cuba, it was evening, and a three-piece jazz band was playing some sweet Afro-Cuban jazz. We were out for drinks, but I got the Muerdeme Mis Masitas: deep-fried pork chunks served with garlic mojito.
Zona De Cuba is an all-weather rooftop restaurant with indoor seating when it’s cold and outdoor seating when it is warm. Live music is the highlight of their evenings, and their perfectly-made mojitos have the regulars coming back every time.
89 South St, New York, NY 10038
Located in Seaport right near the Financial District, The Greens is a rooftop bar on a pier shooting out onto the East River.
With this prime location, the views of the city and the water are magnificent. Set up as mini, socially distanced lawns, The Greens is like a bunch of different backyard parties happening simultaneously.
I recommend the Gyro to eat, although the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich is also a pretty tasty dish. The drinks are all fine at The Greens, and typically when I’m here (in the heat of Summer), I go for the beer.
Glass Ceiling Nomad
1204, 10001 Broadway 5TH FLOOR, New York, NY
Though the glass ceiling is quickly evaporating, the physical glass ceiling of the Glass Ceiling Nomad is sticking around in case the weather’s bad. With a botanical theme and a decor that highlights that naturalness.
Glass Ceiling is an appropriate name for this restaurant because their community outreach programs work to destroy the invisible barriers that prevent women and other non-male-identifying people from the highest levels of career success.
By enjoying an afternoon at Glass Ceiling Nomad with one of their excellent cocktails, you appreciate life to the fullest while helping out a good cause.
Refinery Rooftop Bar in NYC
63 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
Sitting atop the Refinery Hotel in NoMad, the Refinery Rooftop Bar was rated America’s number 1 rooftop bar for three years in a row by USA Today.
With an industrial-chic design that is the hangout spot of fashion professionals and socialite elites, Refinery Hotel is nevertheless an approachable venue with friendly staff and great cocktails. The dress code is casual comfort chic.
If you’re stopping in for lunch, I would highly recommend the Octopus Salad or the Brick Chicken. If you’re showing up for a night of revelry, be sure to try one of Refinery’s signature cocktails. These drinks are made specially by Refinery’s mixologists, and every single one I’ve tried was incredible.
314 Scholes St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Self-stylized as a chill spot with vibes of endless Summer, the Llohi Rooftop Bar is a place to hang low, drink good drinks, and laugh with your closest friends. There is a covered area on the roof, but in the wintertime and stormy moments of the season, you’re best off looking somewhere else.
Llohi is a nighttime bar, with the party going on until deep into the pale morning, but the kitchen does serve up some really nice food. I especially recommend the tots if you’re just a bit peckish, although the BBQ Pork Sliders hit the spot after a long day at the office.
71 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
Located in Harold Square, the Monarch Rooftop has an appropriate name. With a view fit for a king, you might think that only royalty would be permitted to gather on this rooftop bar. But this is not the case.
The atmosphere is an interesting mix of corporate workers and socializing college students. With great table service and friendly staff, any group will feel at home here.
Monarch Rooftop has some delicious bites, but their cocktails are what keep them in business. The Glo Up is a favorite of mine: this botanical peach and orange blossom-flavored cocktail is mixed with vanilla and passion fruit before being topped with prosecco. Your mind and heart will definitely be glowing after a few sips of Glo Up.
299 Madison Ave #14, New York, NY 10017
Before the age of computers and smartphones, the coffee house was the center of intellectual life and activity.
Indeed, some of the greatest thinkers of the enlightenment developed their theories in conversations in coffee shops. Bookmarks Rooftop, situated just a hop and a skip away from the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal, pays homage to the golden age of coffee shops and libraries.
With literary-inspired cocktails and lovely views of midtown Manhattan, Bookmarks is a wonderful first-stop-in-New-York place. I’ll come here and warm myself with a hot cocktail by the fire in the writer’s den in the winter months.
132 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
New York’s Theater District. A rooftop view. Awesome sushi. Is there anything more that needs to be said? Then again, Sushi Lab doesn’t just serve any old sushi. The sushi chefs at Sushi Lab are artisans and craftspeople pushing the front lines of sushi creation. Their unique sushi dishes are definitely worth a try. Equally impressive is their cocktail menu.
Sashimi is said to be the test of a sushi chef. There’s nothing to hide behind: it’s just the quality of the fish. Nigiri is similar. I’ll give you a piece of advice: I’ve never had better Nigiri in my life than at Sushi Lab. This place is great before seeing a Broadway show.
321 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Inspired by the feeling of a picnic, the Runaway Rooftop is a place to escape the monotony of city life and live the high life – literally.
Runaway Rooftop is a hidden treasure of Buschwick, and its unparalleled chillness is perfect for a breezy summer day. In fact, Runaway Rooftop and its building are two separate bars, each with its own atmosphere: Runaway Rooftop The Wild and Pinkys. Which will you choose?
At Runaway Rooftop, I highly suggest trying one of their cocktails, though the canned craft IPAs are also quite tasty. If you’re looking for food, you can go to the diner located in the same building, called simply “Runaway Diner.”
ART SoHo (Arlo Rooftop)
231 Hudson St 11th Floor, New York, NY 10013
From the magical minds of those behind ART SoHo comes another Arlo Rooftop experience, this time in SoHo. The ART SoHo is a year-round bar with indoor and outdoor seating depending on the weather. The indoors are nice, with lovely industrial designs, but I have to recommend going to the Arlo when the weather’s nice enough to sit outside.
In terms of eating, don’t expect a seven-course meal. Small plates make up the fare here, so I’d recommend coming well-fed or, at most, peckish.
The ART SoHo offers a fantastic view of the Hudson River and the Freedom Tower. My recommendation is to show up an hour or so before sunset to get a cocktail, find a seat, and watch the sun fall and lights flicker on in this incredible city.
Dear Irving on Hudson
310 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
The Dear Irving on Hudson is an all-weather indoor rooftop bar located right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The cocktail selection here is inspired by New York-made cocktails like, of course, the Manhattan.
The decor in Dear Irving is warm, with reds and wooden hues that remind one of an earlier New York.
To eat, The Dear Irving on Hudson doesn’t have big dishes, though I would definitely recommend the Croque Monsieur. For a cocktail, I recommend any of my whiskey lovers out there to try the Nomadic Old-Fashioned.
Upstairs at the Kimberly
145 E 50th St, New York, NY 10022
Midtown’s most aesthetic location, as Upstairs at the Kimberly self-stylizes itself, is an awesome midtown brunch spot with great photo ops of a skyline with the Empire State Building front and center. The Kimberly is open year-round in a greenhouse-style covered porch/balcony.
I’d definitely recommend a brunch (the blueberry pancakes are killer!). At nighttime, I’d recommend making a reservation. The Watson, a gin-based cucumber martini, is really nice, though the simple and refreshing Electrolyte (with Watermelon Vodka) is brilliant on a hot Summer day.
215 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
The Roof, on top of the Public Hotel in Manhattan, is a catch-all location with a sexy vibe all year round. Stunning 360-degree views of Manhattan are accented by a see-through floor that makes you feel like you’re walking on air.
During the daytime, you can chill out here and unwind, while at nighttime, some of the city’s hottest DJs come here and spin their tracks.
All the cocktails are great at The Roof: the key thing is to vibe it out! I most recommend this as a nightlife location.
Salon de Ning
700 5th Ave Floor 23, New York, NY 10019
Salon de Ning is something of a shapeshifter. Its domed-ceiling rooftop rooms transform based on the season. This winter, Salon de Ning becomes Château de Ning, inspired by ski culture, the Swiss Alps, and snow-covered mountains viewed from your wooden chalet.
The dress code at Salon de Ning is smart casual: I wouldn’t recommend wearing sandals or flip-flops. Show up in something nice if you want to start your evening here.
As far as the signature cocktails go, I recommend trying a sip of the Au Pear, a wonderful and creative blend of Grey Goose Vodka and pear flavoring.
145 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016
Pod 39, located on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, is an awesome place to unpack your bags for a stay in New York. This place is budget-friendly and has an “everyone is welcome” vibe. Like the rooms, the rooftop bar is chic and budget-friendly.
There is no retractable roof at Pod 39, so I’d recommend coming here in the warmer months. This rooftop bar is a great place to start your evening, with a chill and relaxed atmosphere that anyone can warm up in. I love their selection of craft beers, but I’ll also sometimes just get the always good whiskey sour.
Spyglass Rooftop Bar
47 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
Spyglass Rooftop Bar is a favorite photo op in New York and a local favorite for fine cocktails with a front-and-center view of the Empire State Building. Spyglass takes its name from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Like the everyman portrayed in this film, being on Spyglass Rooftop Bar is to have a detached, observational insight into the bustling New York City world below.
As far as food goes, Spyglass offers a number of tasty nibbles. The charcuterie board is nice and feels very elegant amidst the “other-era” warmth of this establishment.
In short, with a name like Spyglass and an elegance like out of a James Bond film, I recommend this roof bar for a classy night out with friends.
218 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
VERSA is a rooftop bar that brings two disparate worlds together. Located smack dab between Madison Square Garden and the Garment District, VERSA is an elevated experience that celebrates all that is decadent and luxurious about a New York lifestyle.
The cuisine at VERSA is some of the best on this list. Their chefs were inspired by the melting pot nature of New York City and the flavors and aromas that float through the various neighborhoods of Manhattan.
Cachet Boutique Hotel NYC
510 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Right near Times Square, the Cachet Boutique Hotel NYC is an ideal place to kick off a weekend in New York right.
Located just minutes from every Broadway theater and shopping locations like Hudson Yards, Cachet Boutique could stand alone without its fantastic rooftop restaurant, Treadwell Park.
Treadwell Park, atop the Cachet Boutique, is a love for fine craft beer and good food made manifest in restaurant form. The best of the best NYC beer is on full display here, drinks that pair perfectly with the tasty treats the restaurant serves. If you want just a snack, I’d highly recommend the giant soft pretzel.
Social Drink & Food
570 10th Ave #3001, New York, NY 10036
Social Drink & Food is New York’s largest hotel rooftop bar and is a place celebrated by rat racers and out-of-towners alike for its fun, chill vibe and its excellent cocktails.
Located around the Lower West Side but creeping up towards Hell’s Kitchen, Social Drink & Food is appropriately placed for its name. All sorts of workers, students, and tourists meet and commingle here on this rooftop bar.
For those of us with a love of British cooking, you can’t go wrong with the fish and chips here on a sunny day (but be forewarned: the chips are actually potato chips, American style).
132 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
Haven Rooftop on top of the Sanctuary Hotel (get the theme here?) is a wonderful place to hide away amidst the hurlyburly of Midtown.
Located right in the Theater District, I often go here before I see a play on Broadway. The Haven is a place to check out the views of Manhattan’s incredible architecture while relaxing in the cool air of a fall evening.
The dress code at Haven is business casual. Guests won’t be permitted with beachwear, gym gear, jean shorts, or headgear. For dinner, start with the Shrimp Cocktail. If you’re really in the New York mood, try the New York Steak — you won’t regret it.
Somewhere Nowhere NYC
112 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001
Drinks and appetizers are the fare at Somewhere Nowhere NYC, located in Chelsea atop the Renaissance New York Chelsea hotel. See lovely views of the Empire State Building and, on a nice summer day, dip your feet in the rooftop pool.
In the evenings, some of NYC’s most talked-about musical acts play their jams. In the evenings, you’ll need to make a reservation to get a table.
My favorite cocktail is the Arcadia: the lemon and basil infusion in this cocktail really makes one imagine long-lost British Summers in white playing lawn tennis in a remote village.
PHD Rooftop Lounge at The Dream Downtown
355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011
The PHD Rooftop Lounge in the heart of downtown Manhattan may have an academic name, but The Dream Downtown’s rooftop bar is much more lively and youthful than the stuffy halls of academia.
Offering excellent views of the Hudson River and the Empire State Building, with Italian Stucco designs and a retractable awning, the PHD Rooftop Lounge is the party heart of downtown.
With two full-service bars and live DJs, PHD Rooftop Lounge is where New York’s elite come to let go. Enjoy a cocktail as you dance the night away or, when weather permits, take a table outside and converse until the wee hours on topics vague and grand.
St. Cloud Social Rooftop Bar
6 Times Square 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036
Three plush corner Sky Pods overlook Times Square, where men and women with cocktails and fancy attire observe the goings-on of America’s most popular center of commerce. This is St. Cloud Social Rooftop Bar. Another project by the Tao Hospitality Group, St. Cloud offers grand views of Times Square and lovely outdoor seating.
Master Chef Charlie Palmer is behind the incredibly diverse menu at St. Cloud, and every single dish is its own statement of fine dining. At Charlie Palmer At The Knick, market-driven ingredients and American cooking lead the way to give you an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
18 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
We’ll continue on our tour of bars with a skyline view in New York City with a stop back at the meatpacking district. The Gansevoort Rooftop, atop the Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel NYC, is a nightlife-driven rooftop bar with a lounge and great drinks.
Located prominently in the commerce, fashion, and goings-on of lower West Manhattan, the Gansevoort Rooftop offers a great place to begin or end an evening. In addition, guests of the hotel can enjoy a year-round heated pool.
RH Rooftop Restaurant New York
9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Next up is a place called RH Rooftop Restaurant New York and I think you’re going to be blown away by the breathtaking views of NYC when you come here for a drink. They aren’t even just a bar here, either. RH is a full-blown restaurant that also has a delightful selection of drinks.
When you get to RH Rooftop Restaurant New York, I recommend perusing their enormous selection of premium wines that you can order either by the glass or by the bottle. You can also stop here for a boozy brunch full of mimosas and bellinis if you’re in the mood.
444 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016
Lastly, we arrive at Mondrian Terrace over off of Park Avenue inside the 5-star Mondrian New York Park Avenue hotel, just north of Madison Square Park. The view from this NYC rooftop bar is unbeatable, especially when you’re got a drink in your hand and a plate of delicious food.
This place is comfortable and inviting with an atmosphere that will make you want to hang out all night long. The only bad news is that they close early at 12:00 AM.
I definitely recommend either a bottle of wine or a craft cocktail from their extensive menu when you go to Mondrian Terrace, but it’s all high-quality, so you’re bound to like whatever you order.
Being such a diverse city, there are several New York City rooftop bars for you to try.
Whether you want to chill with a Summer vibe outdoors like at Runaway Rooftop, or you’re in the mood for classy elegance at Dear Irving on the Hudson, I hope I’ve given you enough options to last you every visit in New York.
There’s a lot of food to love in New York, but if you want to check out some of my favorite spots for brunch, you can click here.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.