24 NYC Rooftop Bars with Spectacular Views

Take in the panorama of the Big Apple skyline and have your main-character moment.

Harriet’s at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Harriet’s at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge | Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Harriet’s at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge | Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Between basement apartments, the subway underground, and city sidewalks, life in NYC (for most of us anyway) is a ground-floor level experience. But the warmer weather has us looking up to the sky for some much needed vitamin D and inspiration on where to grab a drink next.

Because on top of the best speakeasies, singles bars, and new bars in town, rooftop bar season has arrived—and it’s perfectly acceptable to admit that sipping on a cocktail at a sky-high watering hole with unparalleled city views just feels right. Along with outdoor spring activities from our list of Actually Cool events, tackle rooftop bars next for more open-air adventures within the five boroughs. Here’s our list of the best rooftop bars with spectacular views.

Darling
Darling | Photo by Michael Kleinberg

Darling

Central Park South

Sweeping views of Central Park South and the city skyline are reason enough to visit the famed Park Lane New York hotel’s newest rooftop bar, Darling. Perched on the 47th floor, the spot’s swanky penthouse-apartment aesthetic along with a specialty cocktail program and weekly DJ sets add a little extra something. Specialty drinks include the New Wave Paloma (mezcal, shishito pepper-infused liqueur, grapefruit) and Japanese Boulevardier (whiskey, plum liqueur, dry vermouth). For small bites, options include Bluefin Tuna Tartare (avocado, sesame); Botan Ebi Ceviche (Japanese prawn, blood orange wasabi, shiso); and Basil Arancini (crispy risotto, parmesan, basil).

Available for Reservations
Panorama Room
Panorama Room | Photo by Noah Fecks

Panorama Room

Roosevelt Island

Most of us tend to not meander over to Roosevelt Island on the regular, but the Graduate Hotel’s latest addition definitely provides motivation for hopping on the tramway or subway for a quick trip out there. Sporting a cool aesthetic of neon lights melded with vintage velvet touches, the 168-seat rooftop bar and lounge serves up a dramatic look with panoramic views of Queens, Manhattan, and the Queensborough Bridge to match. Drinks-wise, there’s a lengthy list of options including The Looking Glass (gin, Pink Lady apple, white vermouth, lime) to accompany raw bar offerings like oysters or the Seafood Tower. After your sunset beverage, travel downstairs to the restaurant Anything At All for a more filling meal or night cap.

Available for Reservations
Daintree
Daintree | Photo by Alexandro Loayza

Daintree

Midtown

Flora-, botanical-, and velvet-covered Daintree is Hotel Hendricks’ answer to a flirty rooftop space. The 70-seat terrace touts south-facing views of the Empire State Building along with five martini variations and cheekily-named drink combos like the Indecent Proposal (champagne paired with half a dozen oysters). Keep your eye out for the summer debut of Treetop Rooftop, which is the hotel's upcoming al fresco natural wine bar.

Available for Reservations

Alma

Columbia Street Waterfront District

Stave off the impending heat with one of Alma’s specialty margaritas (a choice between original, skinny, mezcal, spicy, flavored or frozen). The Brooklyn roof deck boasts spectacular views of the Downtown Manhattan skyline, where you can snack from their pan-regional Mexican fare (emphasis on the Short Rib Enchiladas topped with gouda cheese). Head downstairs to the cantina for a more casual dining experience and Trivia Night every Thursday from 7 pm-9 pm.

Available for Reservations
Ampia
Ampia | Photo by Travis Keyes for Ampia Rooftop

Ampia

Financial District

Escape to the Mediterranean without leaving the island of Manhattan at Ampia. Seasonal cocktails at this expansive FiDi rooftop oasis include offerings like the Tickled Pink Sangria or the Lady Verde (gin, St. Germaine, fresh lime juice, pineapple and sage). Pair your drinks with homemade pizza or craveworthy gnocchi and snag an IG moment in front of their new floral-centric art installations courtesy of street artist OGMillie and Floratorium.

Available for Reservations
A.R.T NoMad (Arlo Roof Top)
A.R.T. NoMad | Photo by Nikki Vanco

Recently reopened for the season, the Arlo NoMad’s rooftop is a sought-after spot to hit for a sociable afternoon or evening hang out. Perched high up on the 31st floor, the space is known for its glass floor installation, bird’s eye city views, and Middle Eastern-influenced bites like Labneh (yogurt, mint, Persian lime powder). A rotating frozen cocktail of the day accompanies house specials like Stairway to Heaven (rye, bitters, white grape, orange, basil) and New York State-sourced ales from breweries like Coney Island Brewery.

Available for Reservations

Berry Park

Williamsburg

After grazing the day away in McCarren Park, cross the street to Berry Park’s beer garden rooftop. Now that the weather’s taking a turn for the better, the spot has begun rooftop-screening sport games (mostly soccer) with three large projectors. Even the most seasoned beer drinker will be impressed by the extensive list of German and Belgian beers (ask about the seasonal specials). Complement your lager or Frozen Piña Colada with an order of Fried Pickles or a Bavarian Pretzel.
How to book: Walk-in, first come first serve basis

Broken Shaker

Flatiron District

Freehand Hotel’s Broken Shaker has all the rooftop revelry minus the chaos. Along with spectacular views of Midtown and beyond, try one of their expertly concocted cocktails which contain a mixture of elixirs, infusions, and fresh-pressed juices. Special attention to the humorously (albeit somewhat traumatically) named Per My Last Email, with Rooibos tea infused vodka and passion fruit liqueur.

Available for Reservations

On the 25th floor of a nondescript building near Bryant Park sits a lavish penthouse bar: Elsie Rooftop. This ornately adorned 1920s-themed bar is designed in the image of Elsie de Wolfe, a world famous interior decorator. This spot exudes a hightone vibe and gives us a reason to throw on a fancy fit and try their seasonally focused menu and expert cocktails. Chase your $21 truffled grilled cheese with an Earl Gray Old Fashioned while basking in the luxury of it all.

Available for Reservations
Glass Ceiling Nomad
Glass Ceiling Nomad | Photo courtesy of Glass Ceiling Nomad

We obviously love views of the Empire State Building and retractable roofs over both an indoor space and patio. But, The Glass Ceiling Nomad gives us even more reason to applaud, courtesy of their deeper purpose: to empower all people and celebrate everyone’s individual experiences while highlighting brands and events led by women and marginalized groups. Complete with unique seating and a botanical modern-comfort vibe, enjoy Champagne Cucumber Mojitos along with dishes like Crispy Rice with tuna and wasabi caviar.

Available for Reservations

The calling card for Greenpoint’s resident small batch brewery is a widely recognizable stained-glass water tower which sits atop the building, almost like a beacon for beer lovers. Overall, the Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. is known for its non-rowdy crowd of regulars who sip on specialty ales and lagers within the 2,000-square-foot picnic bench-scattered rooftop. Classic bar bites include Frickles (Southern-fried pickles) and a Giant Bavarian Pretzel. Also, stay tuned for upcoming projector screenings of everything from sporting events to award shows via the website.

Harriet’s
Harriet’s | Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Harriet’s

Brooklyn Bridge Park

For those ever-so classic Brooklyn Bridge views, the 1 Hotel Brooklyn’s rooftop is a sure bet. Overlooking the iconic River Cafe and touting panoramic Manhattan views, the industrial aesthetic includes a spread of couches, wide brimmed umbrellas, lounge chairs, and an open-air bar. A menu of specialty cocktails (floral garnishes are a recurring theme) and small bites from chef Denevin Miranda make it a favorite among hotel guests and visitors alike. Take note, a big draw here is the pool, so keep an eye out for its slated reopening.

JIMMY

SoHo

A longtime NYC favorite, Modernhaus Soho Hotel’s 18th floor rooftop covers all the essentials: long bar, pool deck, craft cocktails, and global fare small bites. One of the main draws for JIMMY is that it’s not season-based, instead the establishment opts to be open year-round with working fireplaces and intimate indoor seating. Now that it’s starting to heat up, swimsuits and sundresses will become the regular dress code. Sidle up for the Golden Hour (gin, pear, ginger, prosecco) to pair with a Chicken Taco or two, while you enjoy the celebratory shedding of layers.

Available for Reservations
LoHi
Llohi | Photo courtesy of Llohi

LoHi

East Williamsburg

East Williamsburg’s LoHi is a pretense-free spot to hit for landscape views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. With happy hour from 5 pm–close on Thursdays and 5 pm–7 pm on Fridays, you can catch a fiscally-responsible buzz sipping on $5 draft lagers or $8 house cocktails (a crowd favorite is Lavender Lane: spiked lemonade, butterfly pea infused vodka and lavender). Be sure to keep tabs on their new four-course chef-driven dinner series that’s held monthly.

Make Believe

Lower East Side

Looking for a boozy night as the sun sets over the city? Located on the roof of Sixty Hotel is the tropical-themed haven, Make Believe. Slide into one of the vibrantly pink booths and order the table a round of signature matcha or sake cocktails before meandering to one of the two terraces or the dance floor for a live DJ set. You can expect this rooftop to reach full capacity early on weekend nights, so reservations are recommended.

Available for Reservations
Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple | Photo courtesy of Mr. Purple

Mr. Purple

Lower East Side

The popular destination on Hotel Indigo’s rooftop, Mr. Purple, provides both a buzzy and laid-back atmosphere. Two terraces allow a choice between either a more intimate lounging space or a lively rooftop pool and bar with communal tables and a wide variety of banquettes. Pair your Espresso Martini or Spiked Lemonade with an order of Truffles Fries, finishing out with a Melt’s ice cream sandwich.

The Ready Rooftop Bar
The Ready at Moxy East Village | Photo courtesy of The Ready at Moxy East Village

The Ready

East Village

Channeling vibes of the East Village, this spot is designed to emulate a chill backyard garden that’s poppin’ with your liveliest friends. While scooping locally brewed beers from the coolers, work up an appetite for made-to-order tacos at the beer pong table. Alternatively, hit up $1 taco and $5 margarita happy hour from 4 pm–6 pm Wednesday to Friday and 12 pm–3 pm Saturday and Sunday. All the while, top hits and ‘90s to 2000s throwbacks provide ample opportunity for singing your heart out.

Available for Reservations
Rooftop Reds
Rooftop Reds | Photo by Thomas Shomaker

Rooftop Reds

Brooklyn Navy Yard

Hidden among warehouses and construction sites sits Rooftop Reds, an urban vineyard and winery. Best laid plan: grab a glass or bottle (there’s beer available as well) from the wine bar and settle into one of the hammocks for an idyllic night. As an added bonus, Thursday movie nights are back which includes a rotating selection of films along with two slices of pizza and popcorn.

SERRA by Birreria

Flatiron District

Located atop the Eataly Flatiron rooftop, the greenhouse-themed decor here makes for an idyllic recharge after a long winter season. Amidst the blooms, order botanical-infused cocktails like the Tequila All’alba (tequila, tangerine juice, red wine) and Guardie e Ladri (bourbon, amaretto, almond) alongside Italian countryside-inspired dishes. Complete your al fresco experience with the Genziana Per Tre, a flight of three gentian root bitters from different regions of Italy.

Available for Reservations
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Photo courtesy of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Opened last year and a part of our Ultimate NYC City Guide, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s observation deck melds art installations, a lounge, and rooftop terrace and has been especially popular for uploading onto social media. After you’ve challenged your fear of heights post-glass sky box jaunt, take the edge off with a drink from the Nordic-inspired Après bar by Danny Meyer (Ci Siamo, Manhatta) followed by a turn around the wraparound open-air Summit Terrace. Also, the Spring Series just launched with Thursday night DJ sets and happy hour beverages of $7 beers and $10 prosecco.

Top Of The Box

Greenpoint

Boasting panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, the Box House Hotel’s 10,000 square-foot rooftop offers an oasis rain or shine (courtesy of a retractable roof). Send out that mass group chat text for those nights where cocktails a la carte just won’t do, and you’re in the mood for classics by the pitcher or bottle service.

Available for Reservations
Westlight
Westlight | Photo by Noak Fecks

Westlight

Williamsburg

Westlight is one of those famously popular rooftops everyone has to experience firsthand. Take in the 360-degree views of all five boroughs while sipping on a signature cocktail like The Layover (white rum, cantaloupe-coconut syrup) or The Four Winds (whiskey, bourbon, chai, black walnut). Keep up your strength under the sunshine with global street food-inspired small bites like Coconut Curry Cashews or Burrata.

Zona De Cuba

The Bronx

If you’re looking for a wildly entertaining time, this Cuban rooftop in the Bronx is the place to be. Shade yourself under a palm tree, with a light beer or fruit cocktail like the Mama Trago (pear-infused vodka, mango puree, agave, prosecco), while listening to a live salsa band. Don’t leave without trying the handmade empanadas or the popular Shrimp Ceviche. Reservations are highly encouraged.

230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge
230 Fifth Rooftop | Photo courtesy of 230 Fifth

230 Fifth

Midtown East

With a focal point as prevalent as the Empire State Building, it’s hard to miss 230 Fifth when thinking of Manhattan rooftops. The extensive rooftop patio is capable of seating about 1,000 people and flaunts a contemporary beach vibe that is a favorite of New York visitors. Sample some sashimi from the sushi menu to, take in the Midtown views, and chat with any cuties at nearby tables with the 230 Fifth app, while sipping on a house cocktail like a 230 Mai Tai (coconut rum, grenadine, pineapple, orange) or Raspberry Mojito (rum with muddled mint and raspberry).

Izzy Baskette is a Staff Writer for Thrillist New York. Find her on Instagram.