With New York City starting to fully reopen, rooftop season could not come at a better time. Fall back in love with the city that never sleeps by sipping an iced cold beverage and taking in some magical views. Plus, with COVID restrictions still in place, most of these bars require a reservation, an upside at those notoriously hard-to-book places. Ahead, find a rooftop watering hole that checks all of the boxes, whether you’re looking for a swanky terrace to impress out-of-towners or a more relaxed seaside bar with views of the Atlantic.
Photo courtesy of Broken Shaker at Freehand New York
23 Lexington Avenue, Gramercy
On top of the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy is a tropical escape offering fresh cocktails and small bites on a wraparound outdoor terrace. As a James Beard Award finalist, Broken Shaker, which also has locations in Miami, Chicago, and L.A., brings its alcoholic beverage A-game, with innovative drinks like “The Taste You Can See” (Cinnamon Toast Crunch infused Wild Turkey Bourbon, Redemption Rye, demerara, tiki bitters, Angostura) and “Per My Last Email,” (Rooibos tea-infused Grey Goose, Chinola passionfruit, ginger, mango, vanilla, lime). Walk-ins and reservations via Opentable are accepted.
Photo courtesy of Berry Park
4 Berry Street, Williamsburg
Berry Park will make both your sports- and skyline-obsessed friends happy. Located just off McCarren Park, the pub features an expansive rooftop with lots of spaced-out seating and impressive views of Manhattan. Soccer matches will play on a big screen, with earlier openings on game day. The bar offers an eclectic mix of drinks on the menu, from frozen Pina Coladas to a long list of German beers.
599 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick
An industrial warehouse turned music venue and bar, Elsewhere offers an eclectic experience much like the neighborhood where it’s located. Prior to the pandemic, the massive, multi-level Bushwick space hosted a wide range of live performances, concerts, and events. When the rooftop bar reopens for the season on April 30, you can expect socially distanced drinks and food, as well as live DJ sets every night. In addition to a limited capacity, the bar has mobile ordering and contactless payment. Make a reservation here.
Photo courtesy of The Ready at Moxy East Village
The Ready at Moxy East Village
112 East 11th Street, East Village
A new rooftop bar conceived by Tao Group Hospitality is opening this month at Moxy East Village. Developed by Rockwell Group and Lightstone, The Ready provides a low-key backyard vibe thanks to its green wall, hand-painted murals, and casual seating. Resembling a house party, the bar even boasts a beer pong table and canned drinks served in table-side coolers. Menu offerings include bar snacks and tacos, frozen drinks, and a decent beer and wine selection.
Credit: Relevent on behalf of Howard Hughes Corporation
The Greens at Pier 17
89 South Street at Pier 17, South Street Seaport
The Greens will return to the rooftop of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport on May 3. Debuting last summer as a creative social-distancing solution, the experience features 32 mini lawns that are equipped with lounge chairs, an umbrella, beverage coolers, and USB ports. Each lawn has a QR code for contactless ordering. Guests will be able to enjoy live-streamed sports, live music, and DJ sets, all while munching on seasonal snacks and yummy cocktails. Reservations can be made here. Additional dates to book will become available every Monday morning starting May 10.
Courtesy of Cantina Rooftop
605 West 48th Street, Hell’s Kitchen
With a retractable glass rooftop, Cantina Rooftop offers a fun dining experience all year round. With executive chef Saul Montie at the helm, the restaurant serves up modern Mexican cuisine, including a snapshot-worthy 15-pound burrito. Wash it down with one of the many margaritas, Pina Coladas, or mojitos on the menu.
Courtesy of Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
1150 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Even those who have never ventured this far north in Brooklyn will have no trouble spotting the Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. On top of its sprawling outdoor roof deck is a green glass water tower sculpture designed by Tom Fruin. Expect lots of craft beer options that go well with the Belgian fries, Bavarian pretzels, and Bratwurst and Nashville hot chicken sandwiches on the food menu.
Courtesy of The Standard, High Line
Le Bain at The Standard, High Line
848 Washington Street, Meatpacking District
If you’re looking for a more swanky rooftop experience, head to Le Bain, the trendy bar located at The Standard High Line hotel. The outdoor area features a grass-covered terrace and wraparound glass barriers, allowing for stunning Hudson River views. Le Bain’s spring menu includes shrimp spring rolls, Korean fried chicken bites, fish tacos, and crepes, as well as an extensive drink list. You can make a reservation here.
180 Orchard Street, Lower East Side
Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, Mr. Purple has two outdoor terraces for plenty of distanced socializing and an incredible panorama of the skyline. There’s even a small swimming pool to enjoy during the warmer months. The menu offers both specialty and classic cocktails with lots of beers on tap and wines by the half bottle.
Photo courtesy of Eataly
SERRA by Birreria
200 5th Avenue, Flatiron
The constantly evolving rooftop bar of Eataly is another fun option for elevated dining. SERRA by Birreria changes with the seasons, with its latest iteration a blooming greenhouse. As 6sqft reported, the menu will include an all-new selection of Spiedini (or “skewers”) and seasonal pasta dishes. Guests can also enjoy a brand new drink menu that focuses on botanicals, including cocktails made using Italian bitters, natural and biodynamic wines, and Italian IPAs with floral flavors. Book a table here.
The Heights Bar & Grill
2867 Broadway, Morningside Heights
With a retractable roof, the Heights Bar & Grill in Morningside Heights makes for a great rainy day outdoor dining option. Since opening in 1997, the neighborhood staple has served a mix of Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex cuisines alongside a wide range of beverages, including a whole section dedicated to tequila.
Photo courtesy of Social Food & Drink
Social Drink & Food
570 10th Avenue, Midtown West
At Social Drink & Food, the rooftop bar of the stylish Yotel hotel, every Thursday night is movie-musical night, appropriate due to its Theater District location. Film showings include The Wiz, Hairspray, Memphis, Chicago, and West Side Story, and Cabaret, and movie-goers have plenty of space to spread out and get comfortable. Tickets are $20, which includes a $10 food and beverage credit. Tasty snacks, drinks, and a brunch menu round out the rooftop’s offerings. Reserve a table here.
Photo of A.R.T. NoMad courtesy of Arlo Hotels
231 Hudson Street, Soho
11 East 31st Street, Nomad
At both of Arlo Hotels’ New York City locations, the rooftops are a major draw. Recently opened A.R.T. NoMad sits 31 stories in the sky and offers panoramic views of the Empire State Building, signature cocktails, and Middle Eastern-inspired snacks. The seasonal space also features the “sky walk,” a glass floor installation that will test your fear of heights. Book a spot on Resy.
Downtown, A.R.T. Soho is open all year round and features both indoor and outdoor space, which comes in the form of a massive patio. Take in the view of the Hudson River and the Freedom Tower, all while munching on a wide range of snacks and sides and sipping one of the many beverages on the bar’s menu.
Photo by Kyle Knodell, courtesy of The Rockaway Hotel
The Rockaway Hotel
108-10 Rockaway Beach Drive, Rockaway Beach
Few things are better than an iced cold drink by the beach. At the Rockaway Hotel, which opened last summer, guests and beachgoers alike can enjoy a 6,000-square-foot light-filled rooftop that boasts views of the Atlantic Ocean, Jamaica Bay, and the Manhattan skyline. Drinks are reasonably priced, with cocktails starting at $14 and beers at $6. For food, menu items include snacks, sharable plates like charcuterie and ceviche, classic sandwiches, and raw bar options. Make a reservation here.
299 Sands Street, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Definitely among the most unique options on the list is Rooftop Reds, the first commercially viable rooftop vineyard in the world. Taking up 14,800 square feet at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the urban winery produces between 20 to 25 cases of wine per year at the site, with most of the wine they serve hailing from the vineyards in the Finger Lakes. In addition to its extensive wine list (they offer more than just red!), Rooftop Reds sells beer, cider, and some non-alcoholic options. While food is limited to chips or a cheese and cracker spread, local pizzeria Il Porto will deliver a pie right to your table. Reservations are required for the rooftop and there is a $15 cover charge per person.
Credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge
60 Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights
If you want to impress out-of-towners with the magic of New York City, take them to Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge. The spacious bar sits on the 10th floor and rooftop of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on the waterfront in Brooklyn Heights and has some of the best views of any watering hole. Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and fresh, seasonal snacks, all with a pretty spectacular backdrop of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Book a table here.
Photo credit: Noah Fecks, Dan Kocsis, Thais Aquino & Andrew Boyle
Westlight at The William Vale
111 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Found on the 22nd-floor of The William Vale, Westlight, with its unparalleled skyline and water views, is a perfect special occasions bar. Expect refreshing cocktails, an extensive wine and bubbly list, and tasty bites. In pre-pandemic times, the long line to get into the bar was notorious. But now, you can make a reservation online to secure a slot for both the outdoor terrace and the indoor dining room.
Photo courtesy of Vista Sky Lounge
Vista Sky Lounge
27-05 39th Avenue, Long Island City
For a different perspective of the Manhattan skyline, head to Long Island City’s Vista Sky Lounge. Located on the roof of the Four Points by Sheraton, this hotel bar features covered outdoor seating with views that appear endless. The Sky Lounge offers relatively affordable menu items and craft cocktails, which start at $16. Reservations can be made via OpenTable or by calling 347-536-3640.
Zona De Cuba
558 Grand Concourse, South Bronx
With its live music and island vibe, Zona De Cuba brings the Caribbean to the Bronx. The huge outdoor terrace is decked out with potted palms and the seats are spaced out and covered by umbrellas. The restaurant is open for weekend brunch and dinner, with delicious fruity cocktails available by the pitcher. Online reservations are encouraged and can be made here.
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