Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
Located atop Williamsburg’s flashy William Vale hotel, Westlight offers perfect skyline views (which can be admired from tables outside or plush couches inside) alongside pricy drinks (that are actually worth the money) from Anne Robinson, previously of PDT and Booker & Dax. Opt for the New Kind of Kick (with Scotch, Fernet, Suze, and orgeat) and pair it with duck carnitas tacos and a dry-aged burger from Chef Andrew Carmellini.
Chef Dale Talde and the Three Kings Group’s latest addition to the Arlo NoMad hotel boasts excellent Empire State Building views and warm-weather appropriate drinks like boozy slushies, but the real draw is the Detroit-style pizzas from the team’s downstairs restaurant, Massoni.
Brick architectural details, romantic lights, and colorful, Latin American-leaning décor make this drinking destination feel more "street fair" than Midtown Manhattan. But look to your right and there's the Empire State Building, and over there -- there's the Chrysler Building. The rooftop bar here is escapism at its finest, and the Latin American-flavor-focused cocktails certainly help. Try something different, like the Chilean sangria; or bring friends and go classic with a pitcher of margaritas.
Another rooftop bar from Dale Talde/Three Kings Restaurant Group, The Crown sits atop Chinatown’s brand-new Hotel 50 Bowery and offers unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, along with Asian-inspired cocktails (like the East India with gin, Pimm's, lemongrass, ginger, cucumber, and lime), and global street food-inspired bites.
Since this unpretentious Aussie bar and restaurant lies in a low-foot-traffic section of Greenpoint, chances are high you'll be able to snag a seat at the cabana-esque bar -- a rare feat at most rooftop-drinking locations. Post up there for a pear cider or spicy paloma, or see if you can settle in at the raised corner table, which offers a view of lower Manhattan that can hardly be beat.
You’ll have to elbow past tourists, navigate through aisles of imported Italian goods, and travel up a claustrophobic elevator to get to Eataly’s rooftop, but none of that matters when you've got views of the Flatiron Building from one angle and the Empire State Building from another. That's not to mention the extensive wine list, the unique house-brewed cask ales, and the knowledgeable bar staff.
If The Secret Garden were a cocktail bar, it'd be Gallow Green. While the view isn't particularly noteworthy, there's a little bit of magic at this Chelsea spot atop the McKittrick Hotel. Perhaps it's the abundant greenery, the romantic lighting, or the sense of mystery exuded by the hotel and its signature production, Sleep No More.
It was only recently that the cocktail den atop the Jane opened to the public, and rooftop drinkers looking for a little getaway should be glad it did: It's the perfect way to escape the New York City of present. The striking interior rooftop bar is like stepping back in time with its faux-watermarked walls and elegant oak bar -- but instead of bellying up, we suggest you grab a Hemingway daiquiri, journey outside to the nautically themed open-air patio, and gaze upon the Hudson River.
If you're looking to avoid the typical rooftop-bar scene, stop into this unassuming lounge, where the space may be full but not elbow-in-your-ribs packed. Cozy up to the fire pit with a Sazerac, or go Tiki with a frozen overproof piña colada. And don't be shy about asking for help: Cocktails here are expertly prepared by bartenders from acclaimed spots like The NoMad -- so while you might find yourself paying $30 for a drink (and that one, in particular, is a martini garnished with caviar), you know your booze is in good hands.
This rooftop bar is about as no-frills as they come. Here you'll find stunning views of a parking lot, zero signature cocktails, and TVs screening various sporting events as the primary décor. But that's fine if all you want is a can of Founders All Day IPA and a sunny place where you can drink it. Even better: The Rock Shop serves as a music venue most nights of the week, so your outdoor-drinking experience will likely be accompanied by a live soundtrack.
Save for the sound of passing cars, you wouldn't know the BQE is just blocks from Night of Joy's whimsical rooftop. Drinkers are separated from the outside world by a fence laced with greenery, and the overall vibe here is convivial -- more "backyard party" than "highway-adjacent bar." That's certainly helped by its daily happy hour: From 5-8pm, signature drinks, including frozen margaritas, are just $6.
If the line that extends down the sidewalk next to the Wythe doesn't scare you away and you actually find yourself with a coveted place atop the hyped Williamsburg hotel, you're privy to one of the best views of Manhattan. The indoor bar is a sight to be seen as well: a sleek, streamlined beauty, where you can sip on the bar's selection of well-made classic and classic-leaning concoctions.
Long Island City
Would you like your view with a side of sushi? While it's true that this spot atop the Ravel Hotel functions as both a restaurant and bar, the reason to be here is the view. The bar is adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge -- a sight that, in this case, might just trump the Manhattan skyline.
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