19 Best Rooftop Bars in NYC You Need to Visit

Written by | Things to Do

azul rooptop deck

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There’s nothing like a room with a view in New York City. Better yet, an outdoor space where you can bask in the sun and drink in the city at night. One glimpse of the skyline from high above the streets will help you decompress. Here are 19 rooftop bars in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to consider (and if you see one you like, go ahead and reserve a spot!).

Salon de Ning

Located on the 23rd floor of The Peninsula in Midtown, Salon de Ning takes its design cues from 1930s Shanghai. Rest and relax on its two outdoor terraces full of lounge seating and umbrella-topped tables. Sip a Ning Sling, and share some expensive Poke on this sizeable and sophisticated rooftop near the Museum of Modern Art. 700 5th Ave., 212-903-3097, peninsula.com

Bar SixtyFive

Combine the Top of the Rock experience with a lingering drink at Bar SixtyFive. Part of The Rainbow Room at 30 Rock, Bar SixtyFive is located only 5 floors below the actual roof and offers a no less breathtaking view of the entire city. Food and drink are well-executed and understandably pricey; try a signature bubbly cocktail and New American plates like Kobe Pigs in a Blanket. Reservations recommended, and outdoor table reservations require a $65 minimum tab. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-632-5000, rainbowroom.com/bar-sixty-five

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Ophelia

Beekman Tower is located on the far-east side of Midtown, but you’ll be rewarded for traveling here when you see Ophelia’s effortless glamour. Located on the 26th floor of this antique structure, Ophelia leans into a 20s aesthetic with black-and-white tiling, velvet seating, and Deco-inspired windows—which, incidentally, surround all 360 degrees of this indoor space. Come here for dependable mixology and yummy (albeit pricey) bites, and you’ll feel like Greta Garbo in no time. 3 Mitchell Pl., 212-980-4796, opheliany.com

Magic Hour

Mini-golf with booze and a view? It can be done. Come to Magic Hour for the delightful hedonism of carousel seating, mojito jello shots, ice cream sandwiches, and dancing. Erotic animal topiaries also appear at this 18th-floor vantage near Times Square. Reservations recommended. Open year-round. 485 7th Ave., 212-268-0188, marriott.com

Refinery Rooftop

The Empire State Building looms over the retractable glass roof at Refinery Rooftop. This attractive Garment District space wins at its stylishly cozy vibe and expert menus year-round. Come here for brunch, lunch, or late-night, and you’ll see why this place is constantly crowded. Reservations recommended. 63 W 38th St., 646-664-0374, refineryhotelnewyork.com

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The Heights

A tasteful rooftop at the Arlo NoMad, this laid-back spot is perfect for lounging with a boozy slushie during a hot summer day. Dare to step on the glass floor section, and snap a pic of the city streets beneath your feet. Above, you’ll see a rainbow lighting up the Empire State Building. 11 E 31st St., 212-806-7000, arlohotels.com

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Roof at Park South

Another NoMad gem, The Roof at Park South is similar to The Heights in that it serves alcoholic slushies and excellent bar food. This one, larger than The Heights, is a popular pick for the after-work crowd and contains a fireplace. The cocktail menu is not messing around, with some stronger tipples labeled Limit two per guest. Chef Tim Cushman furnishes a menu of upscale bar fare like the jumbo soft pretzel with beer-cheddar fondue. Open seasonally. 125 E 27th St., 212-204-5222, roofatparksouth.com

Gallow Green

Gallow Green leans into its abandoned farmhouse aesthetic, which can be polarizing but also makes for great photos. The rooftop space of the McKittrick Hotel doesn’t board guests but does host the smash-hit immersive play Sleep No More. That’s also the name of an amazing cocktail on the menu at Gallow Green made with pea flower-infused vodka, elderflower liqueur, citrus and rosé cider. Gallow Green also serves substantial bar food and weekend brunch. Be sure to make a reservation for this popular year-round rooftop space. 542 W 27th St., 212-904-1883, mckittrickhotel.com

Broken Shaker

It’s not often that you’ll find trendy spots in Murray Hill, but the Freehand Hotel is a welcome exception. Come to its tropical rooftop bar on the 18th floor, The Broken Shaker, which provides a spacious interior full of mai tai-happy clientele and a smaller terrace with a few coveted seats. No reservations available, so come ready for a wait at this popular east-side oasis. 23 Lexington Ave., 212-475-1920, freehandhotels.com

Le Bain

Count your blessings if you find yourself sunning on a coveted chaise atop The Standard Hotel. This ultra-sceney spot is for the very lucky and/or very patient, as lines run long for entry to this popular Meatpacking District destination. Le Bain boasts a pool surrounded by Astroturf, fruity cocktails by the pitcher, and a crepe stand for refueling. Inside, there’s dancing under the disco ball. Pro tip: come in the afternoon to beat the crowd and take a dip in the jacuzzi. 848 Washington St., 212-645-4646, standardhotels.com

Azul

Hotel Hugo has two rooftop spaces to entice anyone looking for a view. While Bar Hugo is a fairly standard affair, Azul gets the edge for its larger outdoor space, blood-orange cosmos, and tacos. Both, however, offer wondrous views of the Hudson River from this West Village location. Azul is open seasonally. 525 Greenwich St., 212-608-4848, azulrooftop.com

Mr. Purple

Bars are a dime a dozen in the Lower East Side, but rooftops are certainly not. Come to the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side for a drink and/or meal on one of its two terraces. Beware that these spaces fill up quickly. 180 Orchard St., 212-237-1790, mrpurplenyc.com

The Crown

If it’s too crowded at Mr. Purple, come to The Crown. At the 21st floor of 50 Bowery in Chinatown, there are photo opps galore at this combination indoor/outdoor space. Come early for a breezy vibe and manageable crowd. The Crown has some great seasonal offerings on its “Royal Summer” themed cocktails and food menu. Keep an eye out for temptations like lobster rolls, tequila-lime chicken tacos, and the “Resting Peach Face” cocktail with peach, strawberry, lime, and Bombay Sapphire gin. 50 Bowery, 646-630-8057, thecrownnyc.com

One Mix

After your trip to the sky at One World Observatory, hold onto the view at One Mix. This bar inside the Freedom Tower serves beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as New American cuisine like burgers and other sandwiches. Relish these reasonably priced drinks and snacks as you gaze at the city from the 6th tallest building in the world. 285 Fulton St., 212-602-4075, oneworldobservatory.com

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The William Vale

The New York skyline has met its match at the William Vale hotel. This relatively new addition to Williamsburg, Brooklyn excels in jaw-dropping views across the East River, accompanied by tasteful decor, hip crowds, and thoughtful food and drink from chef Andrew Carmellini. The Westlight, located on the 22nd floor, is an indoor/outdoor space with views of three boroughs and serves exceptional food and drink. Though the 23rd floor space, TurfClub, charges a $20 cover, it’s a small price to pay toward your booze, sun-bathing, Foosball, cornhole, and the simple joy of horsing around on a rooftop. There’s also a pool on the 7th floor (day passes start at $150) and a kitschy AirStream trailer called Mister Dips on the second-floor terrace, where you can get a very good burger, fries, and dipped ice cream cones. 111 N 12th St., 718-307-7100, thewilliamvale.com

Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge

It’s an open secret that Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge in Dumbo provides one of the best vistas in the city. This bar atop the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge gets more and more crowded every time summer returns, so we recommend planting your flag as early as possible. While you’re here, drink a beer, and eat a few fish tacos as you savor views of the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower, and the splendor of New York Harbor. A $20 cover applies. Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge is open daily. 60 Furman St., 347-696-2505,

Rooftop Reds

For some of us, summer means a glass of red wine in a hammock. If that’s you, you just found your Xanadu at Rooftop Reds. This rooftop vineyard doubles as a bar serving regional reds and games of cornhole for fun-loving oenophiles. There are also movie screenings, viticulture classes, and yoga at this 14,800-square-foot space over Brooklyn Navy Yard. Reservations required. Open seasonally. Building 275 at Brooklyn Navy Yard, 299 Sands St., 703-582-8609, http://www.rooftopreds.com/

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Berry Park

A rooftop biergarten, Berry Park is a boon for anyone staying in Greenpoint during WorldPride (or anyone willing to take the G there). Enjoy a craft brew and a burger (grass-fed beef or chickpea patty), plus pretty impressive views across the East River. 4 Berry St., 718-782-2829, berryparkbk.com

Z Roof

Visitors don’t always think of Queens for nightlife. But if you’re thinking rooftops, consider Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood closest to the East River and offering some of the best skyline-gazing you can get. The Z Roof has 5,000 square feet and lounge seating for a luxurious rooftop experience. Better yet, you’ll have less velvet-rope nonsense to deal with than other spots on this list. Open April through October. 11-01 43rd Ave., 212-319-7000, zhotelny.com/the-z-rooftop/

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Last modified: August 22, 2019