Hankering for a view from the top to check out the expanse of our beloved New York City? Trust us, it’s a lot more fun with a margarita in hand. Here are some spots where you can do both. Note that several of these rooftop havens are open all year round.
Birreria—This rooftop restaurant, open year round with a glass-enclosed roof, is perched atop the sprawling Italian market, Eataly near Madison Square Park. A worthy option for beer lovers, the eatery boasts several varieties of the bubbly beverage brewed onsite. Patrons also might enjoy a number of Italian dishes influenced by Austria and Germany, including house-made sausage, cheeses and hearty entrées. The View: This is the perfect perch for awe-inspiring views of The Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building, the latter of which is basically right across the street.
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, visitors will feel as if they’ve stepped into a chill Parisian café in the bustling City of Light without ever leaving NYC’s hipster capital at Juliette—a lively space decked out with Parisian fixtures, furnishings and tons of greenery. The relaxed atmosphere extends to the eatery’s open-air rooftop terrace, where folks can enjoy a Michelada, with Vida Mezcal, agave, fresh lime, Clamato, Maggi Seasoning, Corona and a Sriracha Salt Rim for good measure; and the Mediterranean Breeze, a creative concoction of Beefeater gin, Aperol, fresh watermelon, lemon and cane syrup. The View: Take in views of the surrounding northern Brooklyn enclave.
McCarren Rooftop Bar
In Brooklyn’s ever-popular Williamsburg neighborhood, the Rooftop Bar and lounge area is located on the 8th floor of McCarren Hotel & Pool. While there, enjoy snacks, cocktails and beats by a rotating series of local and international DJs. The View: The space overlooks the hotel’s namesake McCarren Park and has lovely views of the Manhattan skyline.
Night of Joy
Bohemians feel at home at Night of Joy, another Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hidden gem. Downstairs, there’s a Victorian vibe (granny’s lace, Persian rugs, ornate molding), while the charmingly casual roof, all stringed lights and graffiti, is a good perch for beet- and dill-infused vodka (the rooftop bar is open seasonally in spring, summer and fall). Trust us, you won’t leave wondering how the place got its name. The View: Feel at home while checking out views of this industrial-style northern Brooklyn ‘hood.
Pod 39 Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Looking for a good margarita or mojito to complement the nice weather? Head to Pod 39 Rooftop Lounge & Bar at Pod 39 Hotel. The Midtown East venue includes an eclectic mix of modern touches—from the black-and-white awning over the cabana bar—to dashes of Greek architecture, including Corinthian columns throughout the perimeter of the space. If you need something to nosh on, there is a Taco cart in the space where foodies can find different types of tacos (naturally) plus tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. The View: Midtown East office buildings—including the iconic Chrysler Building from certain points, as well as One World Trade Center to the south.
The Press Lounge
In Manhattan’s western reaches, hugging 11th Avenue and West 48th Street in Midtown, The Press Lounge at Ink48 – A Kimpton Hotel is a swanky spot where patrons can enjoy creative cocktails, an extensive wine list and bites that won’t ruin your diet (think salami and cheese plates, marinated olives and mixed nuts). Take in the rays, or hangout in the glass-walled interior space. The View: When taking a break from people watching, catch a Kodak-worthy panoramic gander at Manhattan’s west side, as well as the awe-inspiring Hudson River.
The Roof at Viceroy New York
At Viceroy New York in Midtown West, Gerber Group’s The Roof is a sophisticated indoor and outdoor lounge and deck that resembles a luxury yacht—complete with brass details, custom walnut-and-leather sofas, and ethereal photos of the sky, sea and clouds. If you fancy some food, the venue’s diverse menu, provided by the hotel’s restaurant Kingside, includes everything from house-made kettle chips and crispy artichokes to French fries and grilled cheese with fancy fixins like smoked ham or roasted tomatoes. Wash it all down with one of Gerber Group’s many cocktails. The View: picturesque vistas of Central Park.
Roof Garden Café & Martini Bar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A hidden gem located at one of NYC’s most venerable institutions is the Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar, perched atop the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. While sipping a glass of wine or champagne from the venue’s intimate bar, visitors are also treated to popular exhibits, which are often housed in the bird’s-eye space. Besides works from a rotating collection of artists, museumgoers are treated to picturesque Views of: Central Park. (The rooftop venue is usually open from May thru October).
Sometimes a weeknight drink is what we all need. The Skylark, in Midtown West, is a sleek, modern go-to (open to the public Mon-Fri only, and open year round). Mixologist Johnny Swet crafted the cocktails (The Skylark, with Hendrick’s Gin, Zu Vodka, St Germain liqueur, blue curacao, fresh lemon and brandied cherry; and Mexican Rose, a refreshing mix of Casamigos Reposado tequila, strawberry purée, lime juice, agave and cilantro), which are accompanied by bar bites, including mac & cheese cupcakes, charred edamame and more. There’s a billiard table, with Hudson River views giving you a nice excuse as to why you missed that eight ball. The View: Expansive vistas of the Hudson River, the Empire State Building and Midtown Manhattan.
Sunsets at The Jane
The “in” crowd flocks to The Jane, a West Village hotel—just like survivors of the ill-fated Titanic did in 1912. Sunsets—open to the public on Sundays from 5 p.m. on—occupies an elegant octagonal room on the sixth floor (that once housed drag diva RuPaul), with chipped walls, a tux-clad taxidermy baboon, velvet sofas and a chandelier draped in Edison bulbs. The open-air area is of modest size, but the View is anything but: The Hudson shimmers, inviting you to raise a glass to the Statue of Liberty.
Top of the Strand
For so-close-you-can-almost-touch-it views of one of the city’s world-famous landmarks, look no further than Midtown’s Top of the Strand, located atop The Strand Hotel. Great for a few drinks and nibbles at the end of a long day spent sightseeing, and, with a retractable roof open year round, the venue offers commanding Views of the Empire State Building, which is only three blocks away.
VU Rooftop Bar
In Manhattan’s Koreatown—or K-Town, as locals know it—VU Rooftop Bar rests on the 14th floor of La Quinta Inn & Suites Manhattan. Open all year, the space exudes a super casual vibe (no dress code or cover charge). The enclosed section of the venue has couches and TVs and you can save a few bucks on drinks during the daily happy hour. On the food front, fare of the edamame, meat and cheese platter and flatbread pizza variety is available. The View: Amazing up-close views of the Empire State Building, which is only two blocks north of VU.
More tropical lounge than Midtown bar, the rooftop at 230 Fifth feels like a Caribbean paradise, with palm trees and potted flowers, white peach bellinis and mojitos. Appealing fare includes beef sliders, crab cakes and spring rolls. Open virtually year round, the roof is partially heated in cold nights. The View: Stellar views of the Empire State Building, plus 360-degree views of the entire island.
Across the East River in Long Island City, Queens, Z Roof, the 5,000-square-foot rooftop lounge at Z Hotel, is a favorite neighborhood spot for Long Island City residents. Of course, a wide array of signature cocktails is available for imbibing, but the best part about this space has to be The View: An awe-inspiring gander at the skyline of Manhattan from the East Side, including glimpses of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, 601 Lexington and its slanted roof, the new Bloomberg tower and its changing light scheme, and of course the United Nations.
Dress to impress when you head downtown to Zerzura at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC. The sprawling space includes an indoor area with a DJ booth, plus folks will find wraparound balconies, cosmopolitan cocktails and American bistro-style cuisine. If you’re a guest of the hotel, also feel free to jump into the calming rooftop pool. The View: 360-degree view of the NYC skyline and the Hudson River.