The Best Rooftop Bars in New York City
Once the weather warms up, it’s officially rooftop season in New York. Whether you’re craving inventive, Instagram-worthy cocktails (perhaps with a popsicle, or complete with a side of a movie night with epic views) there are rooftop locales for every type of adventure. If you don’t feel like making the journey all the way to a hotel for your waterfront or cityscape photos, check out one of these ultra-glam rooftops, found all across New York City.
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Venture to Midtown West for this rooftop, perched on the 27th story of the Civilian Hotel. Starchild is outfitted with a convenient retractable roof, so you can take in the views even if the weather is misbehaving—it also allows this spot to be open year-round, so you don’t have to wait for summer weather. One big standout at Starchild is the music; on weekends, DJs play house, funk, soul and disco. Grab cocktails at this Hell’s Kitchen establishment before you head to a Broadway show or unwind at happy hour.
The beloved Chinatown speakeasy-style bar Apotheke opened up a new location in NoMad last summer, complete with a year-round rooftop terrace. A private elevator leads up to this penthouse lounge, where you can take in views of a wall composed of stained glass windows, which were designed by the late Christopher Tierney. Then, make your way out to the rooftop terrace, where there’s a garden full of plants and herbs that you can personally sample in your drink, thanks to the inventive “Garden-to-Glass” cocktail menu. There’s also a raw bar serving up sustainable caviar, making it a chic locale for your next date night.
This buzzy, celebrity-favorite Meatpacking seafood restaurant, which also has locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Aspen, boasts a glassed-in penthouse lounge and rooftop terrace. The restaurant’s outdoor dining is back just in time for summer with seasonal specials; stop by for cocktails or come during the day to enjoy the $28 per person prix fixe brunch on the roof while taking in panoramic views of the city.
Studio Bar at The Whitney Museum
For a little culture with your cocktails, head to the Whitney’s rooftop for impeccable views and, yes, drinks. The famous art museum stays open late on Friday nights from 7 pm to 10 pm, and allows visitors to view new and old exhibits before hitting the bar, which has an indoor-outdoor set-up in case of inclement weather. Whether you’re a tourist or a local looking for more excitement, this makes for the perfect summer evening out.
Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar, on the 16th floor of the Conrad New York Downtown hotel, went viral for its Instagram-famous “poptails,” which took the city by storm when the outlet first opened over a decade ago. The buzz has only grown in the years since; the boozy, artisanal ice pops are served in Prosecco or Rose that’s on tap, and the flavors change monthly—past options include the Raspberry Moscow Mule and Lemon-Jasmine Gin. This downtown bar also gives folks dreamy views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, for the ultimate photo-ready moment. Walk-ins are also welcome here, making it an ideal spot for post-work sunset cocktails.
Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown
If you’re hoping for photo-worthy city views but are also craving an activity, you’re in luck, because this Midtown movie club is finally open for business. Clueless, Selena, Dirty Dancing and American Psycho are among the films including in this summer’s line-up, so you can enjoy cocktails while taking in the views *and* watching a mix of blockbuster and cult classic movies, using wireless headphones. Food (and obviously popcorn) is also available.
Soho House New York and Dumbo House
This private members’ club in Meatpacking is famous for its star-studded rooftop pool, which received a full-on makeover last year, and now boasts two fully renovated bars. If you’re a member (or just know someone who is), you can lounge poolside while sipping custom cocktails. For those who are ready to get out of Manhattan, head over to Dumbo House, the latest New York City Soho House offshoot, which offers epic views of the Brooklyn waterfront. Take in the skyline from the rooftop pool or the sundeck, or head directly to the bar if you don’t feel like wearing a bathing suit. Enjoy the all-day club menu (and cocktails, of course) on the outdoor terrace.
The Highlight Room
This garden in the sky is 16 stories high at the Moxy Lower East Side, towering over the intersection of Broome and Bowery. The Tao Group bar is the perfect spot to start your big night out on the LES, and offers specialty cocktails like the “Sorry I’m Not Sorry” (made with hibiscus and rhubarb), which you can sip while taking in views of the Empire State Building. You can also enjoy snacks like sweet potato waffle fries and spicy tuna tartar. Definitely meet friends for happy hour here, as the Highlight Room offers after-work cocktail specials from Wednesday through Saturday, from 5 pm to 9 pm.
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