Food & Drink

14 Rooftop Bars That Will Make You Remember Why You Love NYC

Take in the views and have your movie moment.

Pier 17
The Greens at Pier 17 | Pier 17
The Greens at Pier 17 | Pier 17

Getting out of the city may be a stretch for many of us this summer, but getting on top of it all is as easy as pressing an elevator button (we recommend using a knuckle when possible for sanitary reasons).

Rooftop bars have become ubiquitous with summer in the city because of their skyline views, revitalizing breezes, and respite from crowded streets (and apartments). And now with outdoor dining as our only communal drinking option, rooftop bars are both more necessary and more enjoyable than ever -- a fantastic reminder of why we’re living in the greatest city in the world and also a well-deserved mini-vacation from the shoddy cocktails we’ve been making at home since March.

So mask up, and head up to these excellent rooftops serving socially distant escapes all summer long.

Summerly rooftop dining area at dusk
Courtesy of Summerly

Summerly

Williamsburg
For those of us who can’t flee to Maine this summer, the Hoxton’s New England-themed rooftop bar is here to ease our pain with lobster rolls, spritzes and tropical cocktails. The panoramic views over the East River are easy to stare at for hours, and reservations are accepted to ensure you can pre-plan for socially distant sips outside.
How to book: Via Resy

Serra Fiorita by Birreria
Serra Fiorita by Birreria | Courtesy of Eataly

Serra Fiorita by Birreria

Flatiron
A countryside escape to Italy awaits atop the rooftop of Eataly Flatiron with Serra Fiorita, a rebrand of the previous space, Birreria. A colorful dining area made vibrant with flowers inspired from a 3D paper book, the al fresco seating makes for easy social distancing. Pair floral-infused drinks made with Italian gin along with spritzes, frozen cocktails, and wine with seasonal plates that include fried bites, antipasti, entrées, and more.
How to book: Via OpenTable

The Greens rooftop seating at Pier 17
The Greens at Pier 17 | Pier 17

The Greens at Pier 17

South Street Seaport
Outdoor space isn’t cheap in Manhattan, but a special project with the help of corporate sponsors allows New Yorkers to rent 14’ by 14’ rooftop lawns adorned with cabana-style lounge chairs, sun umbrellas, and a built-in Yeti cooler, all for a $1, which is donated to Bowery Mission. Space books up quickly, so add yourself to the waitlist if spending some socially distant time outside, ordering from a menu of cocktails, sweets, and snacks, sounds like your perfect summer day.
How to book: Via website

Time Out New York Market rooftop
Time Out Market New York | Tom Hislop

Time Out Market New York

DUMBO
One of New York’s newest food halls reopened with over 10,150-square-feet of outdoor space on the Dumbo waterfront. A bar is located on the first floor rooftop and also the fifth floor rooftop, which offers space to indulge in offerings from various eateries inside the market that are opening in stages to support social distancing (including Fish Cheeks, Bessou, and Ice & Vice). Ordering is available via app, and check out their daily happy hour from 4-7PM which offers $8 cocktails, $7 wine and $5 beers.
How to book: Via Time Out Market app on Apple or Google Play

Broken Shaker

Flatiron
Perched atop the Freehand hotel, New York’s Broken Shaker is just one of the outposts of the Miami-based, backyard pool party-inspired bar (also in Chicago and Los Angeles). Cocktails are creative, cheekily named, and come complete with tasting notes, like a Coco Puff Old Fashioned made with cereal-infused Wild Turkey bourbon that tastes like “you replaced milk with whiskey in your breakfast.” Food options are equally lovable, like baby corn elote and fries with guava ketchup.
How to book: Via website

Harriet's rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge | Courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Harriet’s 

DUMBO
Socially distant seating gets hyper stylish at this 10th floor lounge atop the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge overlooking one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Cocktails start at $18, so sip frozé and Aperol spritzes at your leisure while you take in the views. To eat, summer favorites like burgers, a club sandwich, and parmesan coated shoestring fries are all on the menu.
How to book: Via Sevenrooms

Westlight
Westlight | Noah Fecks

Westlight

Williamsburg
Twenty-two floors above the William Vale hotel, this chic rooftop bar and restaurant by Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo hospitality has been a seasonal must-visit since it opened in 2016, adding a new sheen to the then-tired rooftop concept. Now, panoramic views are worth the trek up, and while $18 cocktails may be pricey, they’re worth the splurge. Cold bites like burrata with tomato jam and watermelon salad drizzled with a smokey vinaigrette add to the summery vibes.
How to book: Via website

Top of The Box

Greenpoint
The Box House Hotel’s rooftop, typically only used for private events like luxe weddings, has rebranded this summer as a socially distant lounge with unobstructed 360-degree views. Reservations are accepted for the enormous tropical-themed space, which serves frozen cocktails, classics by the pitcher, as well as bottle service for the rooftop high rollers.
How to book: Via website

Rooftop Reds

Brooklyn Navy Yard
Who needs the North Fork when you can tour a vineyard and enjoy a socially distant wine tasting without leaving the city? Rooftop Reds’ experimental yet highly successful urban vineyard and winery has reopened to the public for wine drinking, outdoor movie nights, an upcoming fried chicken party on August 21, plus a new sushi pop-up, Roselle.
How to book: Via Eventbrite

The Crown

Lower East Side
The rare downtown rooftop that’s actually chill (and has great food!), The Crown is a gem atop Hotel 50 Bowery. The cocktail list focuses on classics done right with top-notch ingredients, like a Casamigos margarita and Negroni stirred with Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari and Dolin Rouge vermouth. Finger food is eclectic but satisfying, including hummus, empanadas, and fried chicken dumplings.
How to book: Via Sevenrooms

A.R.T. SoHo

SoHo 
The Arlo Rooftop’s cute abbreviation (art!) for its artsy, airy bar makes it easy to remember, and highly sought after for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Book a reservation to seep in city views, sip frozen drinks, and share cocktail pitchers. The food menu is extensive, with light bites, sandwiches, pizza and grilled items, plus sides like herb-crusted macaroni and cheese, and chicken bites.
How to book: Via OpenTable

Zona De Cuba

The Bronx
Reservations are highly encouraged for this popular Cuban rooftop that’s always a party -- even now, with ample sanitizing and distancing. Palm trees and umbrellas offer plenty of shade for day drinking, which Zona’s slew of light beers and fruit cocktails were designed for. To eat, an extensive Cuban menu of small bites, like empanadas, croquetes and ceviches, as well as hearty dishes, like hot stews and seared seafood, will fill you up enough to embark on another round of mojitos.
How to book: Via website

mr. purple
Courtesy of Mr. Purple

Mr. Purple

Lower East Side 
Fifteen floors above the Indigo Hotel, Mr. Purple is a party rooftop with excellent views and plenty of space. Specialty cocktails are easy to drink on hot days, like a cold brew martini, vodka lemonade, and frozen margaritas. To eat, a similarly Millennial-friendly menu includes chips and guac, kale salad, and Melt’s artisanal ice cream sandwiches.
How to book: Via Sevenrooms

230 Fifth

Midtown East
Catering mostly to a crowd of visitors, this Midtown hub for rooftop drinking is perhaps best known for its outdoor winter igloos. In nicer weather, however, the expansive bar offers plenty of seating. See someone you want to chat with up in the sky? 230 Fifth has an app to facilitate hitting on strangers, somewhat safely, as you flirt at a social distance.
How to book: Walk-ins only

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Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner is a Thrillist contributor.