As much as we would like to believe we’re city creatures, sometimes nature’s call is stronger. But that doesn’t mean we should all run into the mountains to answer that call. Oftentimes we don’t even have that luxury, so picking a tiny corner of nature right in the heart of the city will do just fine. Add in some friends and drinks into the mix and that tiny corner of nature could be a lot of fun. Especially if it’s a beer garden on a rooftop in New York City.
Rooftop bars in NYC can be some of the best places to run to when summer arrives. With amazing views around, these spots serve as oases for when we can’t afford going out of the city and into the great outdoors to escape the madness. The elegant decks with their cozy sofas and relaxing sights, plus the appealing cocktails, mojitos and grills will make anyone feel better after a full day of work.
Manhattan’s skyline is best soaked up from a considerable height while sipping a good craft beer or a first class cocktail and having fun with friends, maybe over a game of mini-golf. If that sounds like your style, you should check out the 15 best rooftop bars in NYC:
15. Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge
Situated atop Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the 4,000 square foot venue called Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge will offer some of New York City’s most impressive views, from the Statue of Liberty to the Uptown Manhattan. The bar boasts an industrial look outdoors complete with fire pits, vertical gardens and stadium-like seating from the pine beams of Brooklyn’s original Domino Sugar Factory.
When you go indoors, the bar will amaze you with its fresh take on an old-fashioned cocktail lounge and a refined and charming atmosphere.
14. THE ROOF at PUBLIC Hotel
Slick and fashionable, THE ROOF at PUBLIC Hotel wonderfully reflects NYC’s skyline in its Herzog & de Meuron designed mirrored structure. Offering both indoor and outdoor spaces, this rooftop bar impressed so many during the summer of 2019 and continues to do so even into the 2020.
Upon setting foot in there, you’ll feel like you stepped into a space suspended in the sky, even more so when choosing one of the terrace’s lounge banquettes. When it comes to drinks, you can expect bottled Manhattans and Negronis, or their well known “Frose St. Tropez” vodka, or one of their good wines by the bottle.
13. A.R.T. NoMad
A.R.T. NoMad used to be called “The Heights”. Situated 31 stories high on top of the Arlo NoMad hotel at the 11 East 31st St., the bar is a fresh take on art with its wonderful expansive mural from the WorldPride Mural Project and a space with which New York City prides. It’s one of those places that you have to go to at least once in your lifetime. And if you go once, you’ll definitely want to go back to many more times.
12. Cachet Boutique NYC Hotel
The Cachet Boutique NYC Hotel is not a simple bar. Located just a few blocks from Hudson Yards, it shelters a pseudo-museum which shows works of revolutionary creatives all over its space. Beyond the artistic creations and sipping specialty cocktails like their tequila, grapefruit and lavender superb mix named “Eden’s Paloma”, the bar also offers an open-air terrace, perfect to sit around, relax and soak up the views.
11. The Skylark
The Skylark looks like your classic cocktail lounge and offers plenty of opportunities for you to go there and never feel like leaving. The bar’s amazing flow from indoor to outdoor combined with their elegant servings and small plates make it an ideal place for something more than a good drink.
10. Jimmy at the James New York
With its candlelit tables and velvet couches, an outdoor pool and imposing views on Manhattan’s skyline, Jimmy at the James is a chic bar with an impressive roof deck offering you pleasurable moments you’ll never forget.
9. The Fleur Room
From the 35th floor of the new Moxy Chelsea, the Fleur Room offers splendid 360 degree views of the New York City skyline, allowing sights of the most impressive landmarks of the city through its glass walls. The bar astonishes with a botanical theme and luxe fabrics, a vintage disco ball and a copper-clad bar. The space was well designed by Rockwell Group and is a perfect fit both for some late night dancing and a relaxing sunset sipping a fancy cocktail.
8. Azul on the Rooftop
New York City with an Old Havana vibe? You can find that on the rooftop of Hotel Hugo, in a special place called Azul on the Rooftop. Soaking up views of the Lower Manhattan while drinking sangria and blood orange cosmopolitans and enjoying some grilled fish tacos might just prove to be one of the best things you can do to relax in the Big Apple.
7. The Jane Hotel Rooftop
The Jane Hotel Rooftop comes with a vintage deco atmosphere, with red brick walls and stunning views of the Hudson River. The hotel’s restaurant Old Rose offers some light dining too, making your evening up there as good as it could be.
6. PH-D at The Dream Downtown
PH-D at The Dream Downtown is a luxurious space which blends in the stunning views of the Empire State Building, a fun relaxing atmosphere on the latest DJ musical trends and some fancy drinks.
5. Bar SixtyFive at The Rainbow Room
Located on the 65th floor of the Rockefeller Center, Bar SixtyFive is one of the most gorgeous places from where to admire the impressive New York City skyline. And that’s not all, as the Rainbow Room offers some of the best drinks, among which you’ll find rare scotches and whiskey.
4. A.R.T. SoHo
A.R.T. SoHo is another oasis high in the heart of Manhattan. And when we say high, we mean high atop the Arlo SoHo hotel, a superb location for admiring the sunset on the Hudson River while sipping some interesting cocktail twists in your weekends or when you just escaped work and want to forget it all.
3. Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple is one of those places you never want to miss out on. Located at the 15th floor of the Hotel Indigo in Lower East Side New York, the bar offers a chic space with 360 degree views of Manhattan. Their iconic Mr. Purple is a superb mix of Casamigos tequila, cranberry liqueur, allspice dram, apple and lemon and fits perfectly with some buttermilk fried chicken sliders and fish tacos.
2. Refinery Rooftop
The Refinery Rooftop sets itself apart with a romanticism you can hardly find these days. Combining the modern with warm wood finishes, exposed brick, twinkling braided lights, the atmosphere is warm and cozy. With a retractable glass roof for those rainy days, the Refinery Rooftop is perfect no matter the time of year. Cocktails and other delicious servings out in the sunshine and under the views of the Empire State Building are not something you want to miss out on.
1. Gallow Green
The Gallow Green, at the McKittrick Hotel, is (subjectively) the best rooftop bar in New York City. The design makes perfect use of art to give this space an abandoned feel, with a broken down Scottish train car surrounded by lush, unkempt vegetation and a surreal atmosphere borrowed from the hotel underneath.
But everything you can find there is modern and delicious. Well made drinks, buffet-style brunches, a superb daily dinner menu with only seasonal ingredients, artisanal cheese boards, you’ve got it all. And if you get there on weekends, the live music adds some good old fun in the mix, which, combined with the nice garden setting, makes for a superb experience for those nights when you need to detach yourself from daily life.