When I think of New York City in the summer the first thing that comes to mind is rooftop bars (that says a lot about my priorities lol). I remember wanting so badly to find all the coolest, most trendy spots the summer I first moved here, and being stuck when I began trying to search. Any Pinterest result was super basic, touristy, or obviously sponsored with opinions that were clearly not honest. I wanted to create a better resource for people visiting and those new to the city alike.
So, welcome to my thoroughly researched and heavily backed-by-booze guide to NYC rooftops! All of these I have been to BY CHOICE, enjoyed, and had friends join and agree with me. Each bar guide will include level of crowdiness, price, atmosphere, and location. Hope you find this helpful on your boozy adventures!
Things to Rememeber: THIS IS NYC! Everything is expensive no matter where you go. My judgement of prices is based off someone who lives here and has become normalized to it. Reviews for every rooftop are always bad as people can’t be nice and expect the world at their feet when going to an insanely crowded venue, which just isn’t possible. In the summer the city gets miserably hot, up on a rooftop that can get even worse during prime sunny hours. But if you’re willing to spend some cash and get a little sweaty, all of these are worth it.
Amazing, warm atmosphere and decor. Lots of brick and a bit less of a modern vibe than most rooftops. My favorite part here is that it HAS AC!!! On a Saturday afternoon there was not a terrrible wait, but I would suggest reservations. Lots of bar space to grab a drink while you wait if you come without one, however.
63 W 38th St in Midtown at Refinery Hotel
Serra at La Birreria
So fun and gorgeous. This is Insta Pic city! Their decor changes with each season and I went in Spring while the flowers were endless and to die for. Staff is slow, but they have fun and sort of different cocktails that were less expensive than I expected with how hyped up it is. Pretty hot in the summer heat. Absolutely need reservations a few days in adavance for the weekends.
200 5th Ave Floor 14 in Flatiron. Located inside Eataly, head to very back left side and look for a blue wall of plates, then see the staff behind the counter.
Much more of a hip, cool vibe. Very modern and lots of trendy people are throwing parties up here evrytime I’ve gone. Killer Empire State views. Food not so great, eat before hand. Got there right at 2pm on Saturday before without reservation and was seated, but fills up quickly. Pretty packed after work on weekdays, but able to get seats still.
$16-18 cocktails and all have fun, hip names!
71 W 35th St Floor 18 in Midtown (they have a special elevator with a staff member who will let you up)
Restoration Hardware Rooftop
Who doesn’t love drinking on top of a fancy furniture store? The decor here is *obviously* killer and the views aren’t bad either. They don’t take reservations but while you wait you can sit outside under umbrellas and enjoy the view of both the terrace itself and the city. Much fancier vibe, and a bit on the pricier side, than the previously mentioned bars, but a delicious brunch spot.
9 9th Ave in Meatpacking District, 5th Floor of Restoration Hardware
Time Out Market Rooftop
This is such a hidden gem. I’m not exactly sure how this rooftop was so empty in the middle of a Saturday, but I’m so excited I decided to stop by. The market on the first floor of an old Dumbo warehouse is incredible and stocked full of NYC’s best food spots, all in one place. Then, the fifth floor gives you to-die-for views of the skyline and both bridges, all while enjoying a refreshing original cocktail.
55 Water Street in DUMBO in Brooklyn, 5th floor
My personal favorite rooftop for a nice view and a causal night in the city. I adore this place as it to me, is much more of a hidden gem and tends to be much less crowded. You can easily walk in on the weeknights and get a spot. The ambiance is so nice and there is a great view of the Empire State Building.
6 Times Square Floor 17 in Midtown in The Knickerbocker Hotel
I am only listing this for an option if you are visiting and if you’re looking to party, (the only time I personally would be going here). Much more of a club-like vibe, it’s VERY packed on weekend nights. Insane views of Time Square and the decoration is breathtaking. A little snooty on weeknights and by far the most expensive on my list.
210 W 55th St in Midtown at Dream Hotel