The Best Rooftop Bars in NYC

Z Hotel Rooftop Long Island City New York
Photo: Courtesy of Z Hotel

Whether you want to gaze at Manhattan’s skyscrapers while enjoying a rooftop brunch or watch their shimmering lights under the stars, New York City has the best rooftop bars for any time of the day. These spots have more to offer than great views and clever libations — although that would be enough to make most of us happy. Music, games, comfy furniture, tantalizing treats to go with your drinks, a fireplace for chilly nights and a pool for warmer ones, create inviting options for a rooftop happy hour, date night, or partying with pals. Can’t get away for a weekend escape? Your respite is just an elevator ride away to a resort-like scene around the pool at Jimmy or Mr. Purple. If a lush garden with flowers and greenery is your perfect setting, visit Gallow Green for an after-work cocktail or Sunday brunch. Use a bit of imagination and head to the tropics as you sit under a palm tree at 230 Fifth or sample Mexican snacks at Pod 39. If fun, games, music, and a bit of whimsy are your idea of a holiday, drop in to Magic Hour. From casual rooftop bars to rooftop restaurants, and from downtown to midtown rooftop bars, NYC has it all. While there’s something about summer that gets us thinking about the fresh air, starry nights, and warm breezes of NYC rooftop bars, most of these spots let you enjoy the views in comfort all year long. Tropical cocktails might give way to warming toddies, but the escape from the day works just as well when it’s cold outside. And if anything can enhance the looks of Manhattan’s glass-clad giants, it’s the warm colors of sunset and a cocktail in your hand.

01 of 21

The Polynesian, Pod Hotel 42: Hell's Kitchen

The Polynesian rooftop bar NYC
Courtesy of Major Food Group

Just opened this spring, The Polynesian has already gained a steady following thanks to its inventive tropical cocktails, perfect-for-sharing rum punch bowls, tempting bites, and tiki bar vibes. The vibrant space is an ode to the South Pacific inside and out, from the teak doors and pirate portraits to the lava stone bar and the flaming Vaya Kon Tiki drink served in a skull. Grab a table inside for dinner or just hang out by the expansive bar on the deck for happy hour or late-night drinks under the twinkling lights.

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02 of 21

The Press Lounge, Kimpton Ink48 Hotel: Hell's Kitchen

The Press Lounge Kimpton Ink48 Hotel New York
Courtesy of The Press Lounge/Kimpton Ink48 Hotel

This 16th-floor Hell's Kitchen location, surrounded by glass walls, offers Hudson River and city views. Elegant décor and classy cocktails give it a swanky feel, and the outdoor area with reflecting pool, fireplace, and cushioned rattan sofas make for comfortable surroundings in all seasons. Enjoy small plate snacks with cocktails or a full dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Print.

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03 of 21

Broadway Lounge & Terrace, New York Marriott Marquis: Times Square

Marriott Marquis Broadway Lounge New York
Courtesy of Marriott

Eight stories above exciting Times Square, guests enjoy stunning views of Midtown Manhattan and snacks from their extensive menu. Two new outdoor terraces are ready for summer, and the lounge is open from noon until midnight for both afternoon and evening fun. Friday Jazz & Gin Cocktail Hour features music from jazz trios, special gin cocktails, and choice of appetizers.

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04 of 21

Living Room Bar and Terrace, W New York Downtown: Financial District

W Hotel Downtown Living Room Terrace New York
Courtesy of W Hotels

Not your ordinary living room, this fifth floor lounge features unobstructed views of Manhattan and the One World Observatory through floor-to-ceiling windows. The view inside is just as spectacular, with thousands of lights reflecting from ceiling to floor and a wraparound terrace covered by a glowing canopy. Music, plush furniture, small plates, and inventive cocktails make this all-season lounge the place to be in the Financial District.

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05 of 21

Monarch Rooftop Bar, Courtyard by Marriott Herald Square: Midtown

Monarch Rooftop Bar Lounge Herald Square New York
Courtesy of Addison Hospitality Group

Guests enjoy views of the Empire State Building and midtown Manhattan from this 5,000-square-foot, 18th-floor penthouse lounge. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to an outdoor heated patio, and inside the creative décor includes vintage brick, custom Terrazzo tile, raw iron columns, and plush sofas. Flatbreads, tacos, a “skinny” lobster roll, short rib sliders, boneless wings, and more are served starting at 2 p.m. for a tempting late lunch and cocktail.

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06 of 21

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge, Moxy NYC: Times Square

Magic Hour Moxy New York
Courtesy of Moxy Hotels

With five distinct environments in the 18th-floor indoor/outdoor lounge, the city’s largest, guests can choose their favorite vibe and view. The east side outdoor area, an elegant garden party scene, overlooks the Empire State Building, while the west is done up carnival style with a rotating antique carousel. Games, mini-golf, whimsical animal sculptures, and entertainment from DJs and artists, along with a menu of snack and small plates, create an “urban amusement park.”

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07 of 21

The Crown, Hotel 50 Bowery: Chinatown

Hotel 50 Bowery The Crown Rooftop New York
Courtesy of The Crown/Hotel 50 Bowery

On the hotel’s 21st floor, two outdoor terraces provide views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey. Cushy lounges outside and inside, along with floor-to-ceiling windows, make this location ideal whatever the weather. Order Asian-inspired cocktails and small bites at The Crown or head to the first floor restaurant, Rice & Gold, serving globally-influenced cuisine in a hip space featuring colorful graffiti art.

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08 of 21

Gallow Green, McKittrick Hotel: Chelsea

McKittrick Hotel Gallow Green Rooftop
Courtesy of The McKittrick Hotel

This rooftop bar offers not only city views, but the atmosphere of a lush garden with flowered trellises, fairy lights, wooden tables, and even an antique train car with shabby-chic décor. A full dinner menu includes pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. Their Sunday brunch offerings include an omelet station, hot and cold buffets, and a selection of pastries. Live music and theater performances attract loyal fans to this venue, so be sure to call ahead for a reservation.

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09 of 21

230 Fifth: Flatiron

230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop New York
Courtesy of 230 Fifth

Enjoy the rooftop garden with huge umbrellas, greenery, and palm trees or a glamorous indoor penthouse, all with prime views of the Empire State Building. Open year-round with inflatable igloos in winter and heat lamps for chilly spring and summer evenings, the lounge offers a happy hour on weekdays from 2-7 p.m. with special beverage and appetizer prices. An expansive buffet brunch is served on weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Music and theatrical entertainment add to the experience.

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10 of 21

Westlight, The William Vale: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Westlight The William Vale Hotel Williamsburg New York
Courtesy of Westlight/The William Vale

This trendy hotel boasts two great ways to enjoy the New York City views. Their 22nd-floor rooftop bar, Westlight, offers unobstructed vistas along with street food-inspired bar snacks and cocktails, wines, beer, and spirits. Vale Pool, the longest outdoor hotel pool in Brooklyn, also provides city views, and Vale Terrace on the same level is an expansive outdoor seating area where guests can enjoy poolside snacks and beverages.

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11 of 21

Pod 39 Rooftop, Pod 39 Hotel: Midtown East

Pod 39 Hotels Rooftop New York
Courtesy of Pod Hotels

The atmosphere and menu are Mexican style in this rooftop bar, with tacos, guacamole, margaritas, colorful tiles, and brick archways. Views of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings remind you that you’re still in the Big Apple, but the flavors are definitely tropical. Fruity drinks, tequila, and creative tortilla-wrapped specialties by Salvation Taco continue the South of the Border theme. It’s truly an open-air rooftop lounge, so check the weather before you go.

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Refinery Rooftop, Refinery Hotel: Midtown West

Refinery Hotel Rooftop New York
Courtesy of Refinery Hotel

This spacious rooftop lounge welcomes guests all year long, with its cozy wood and brick interior section, outdoor terrace, and indoor/outdoor area covered by a retractable glass roof. Views of the Empire State Building enhance the rooftop experience both night and day. An extensive lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and appetizers, while the focus in the evening is on their signature cocktails based on creative combinations of natural ingredients.

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13 of 21

Jimmy, The James Hotel: SoHo

Jimmy The James Hotel Soho New York
Courtesy of JIMMY at The James

This year-round destination on the hotel’s 18th floor affords panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan, the Financial District, and the Hudson and East Rivers. The inside bar area is ideal in chilly weather when guests enjoy the cozy yet luxurious interior. When warm weather arrives, the outdoor deck, with a rooftop pool, is the place to be for the best views. Their menu includes pizza, mini lobster rolls, wontons, cheeseburger sliders, and more, as well as specialty cocktails, wine, beer, and cider.

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Le Bain, The Standard: Meatpacking District

Le Bain The Standard High Line New York
NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

This rooftop lounge includes a penthouse discotheque and an outdoor bar with a plunge pool on the dance floor. Casual chairs and grass underfoot create a summery feel when the weather is right. Open from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, the rooftop lounge opens at 2 p.m. on weekends. DJ music and fabulous views are the entertainment in this trendy spot where doormen determine who will be admitted for the fun.

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Z Roof, Z Hotel NYC: Long Island City, Queens

Z Hotel Rooftop Long Island City New York
Courtesy of Z Hotel

One of the best views of Manhattan is yours from this rooftop lounge, where you can sip one of their signature cocktails as you take it all in. This outdoor space is closed in winter and during unfavorable weather, so plan your visit for a balmy summer evening when both the view and the atmosphere will be perfection.

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1 Rooftop Garden & Bar, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Brooklyn Heights

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park New York
Courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and lower Manhattan make this rooftop bar a popular weekend spot for cocktails and snacks. Open daily from noon until 12 a.m., visitors enjoy the sunset and then city lights as the sky darkens. Check the weather before you go as it’s an outdoor area, and keep in mind that cooling down in the rooftop plunge pool is also an option from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. if you're a hotel guest.

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Salon de Ning, The Peninsula New York: Midtown

The Peninsula New York Salong De Ning Rooftop
Courtesy of The Peninsula New York

Overlooking Midtown Manhattan and Fifth Avenue and providing lovely city views from the 23rd floor of the exclusive Peninsula Hotel, this glamorous lounge features two outdoor terraces and an intimate interior bar. The style is 1930s Shanghai and the décor includes Chinese screens, paintings, and photographs. There’s music, specialty cocktails (think Ning Sling and Ning-groni), and small plates to enjoy while taking in the view.

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18 of 21

The Ides Bar, Wythe Hotel: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Wythe Hotel The Ides Rooftop Bar Williamsburg New York
Matthew Williams/Courtesy of Wythe Hotel

This indoor and outdoor space on the hotel’s sixth floor boasts views of Manhattan from the both areas, so choose your place on an indoor banquette or outside on the terrace. A bit more casual than some rooftop lounges, The Ides opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 2 p.m. on Fridays for those who want to get a jump on the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the bar opens at noon, and a menu of small plates is available until 10 p.m.

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Penthouse 808, Ravel Hotel: Long Island City, Queens

Penthouse 808 Ravel Hotel Long Island City Queens New York
Courtesy of the Ravel Hotel

Get an up-close view of the Queensboro Bridge, East River, and Manhattan skyline along with dinner from this Asian-inspired bistro and lounge. It’s climate-controlled for year-round dining, and the retractable rooftop opens an outdoor cocktail area with panoramic views when the weather is warm. Later, it gives off nightclub vibes with DJs and dance music. Their outdoor Estate Garden Grill offers a selection of draft beers and summer cocktails.

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Mr. Purple, Hotel Indigo: Lower East Side

Mr Purple rooftop bar at the Indigo Hotel, New York City
Courtesy of the Gerber Group

Expansive views of downtown from the 15th floor let you choose to look eastward or westward from one of their inviting terraces. On the west side, lounges or casual tables near the pool provide a casual vibe, and indoor spaces let you enjoy the scenery in any weather. Sit at the bar for one of their specialty cocktails, craft beers, or wine and you can gaze at the unobstructed view through huge windows and the thoughtfully arranged bottles and clear pendant lights.

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The Skylark: Midtown West

Skylark Rooftop New York
Courtesy of The Skylark

Way up on the 30th floor, the Midtown views are spectacular from the open-air rooftop or the multi-level indoor space. Plush furnishings, warm lighting, and artful décor create a classy vibe inside, with a more casual feel on the open rooftop, equipped with glass walls and variety of seating. Enjoy small plates and clever cocktails amid views of the Empire State Building, Hudson River, Times Square, and Hudson Yards.

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