There's nothing quite like summer in New York City. Yes, the days can be sweltering, but when the sun starts to dip down in the horizon and you find yourself sipping a cocktail at a rooftop bar with views of the skyline on a Friday afternoon, it's truly magical.
There only happen to be, oh, you know, about a million bars in the Big Apple, so we did the hard work and narrowed it down to 10 of our favorites. From panoramic views of downtown at Public Hotel's The Roof to the jaw-dropping sunset scene at The William Vale's Westlight, these are the best rooftop bars in NYC you can't miss. The lines might be long and the wait at the bar might be tedious, but trust us: It's absolutely worth it.
The Hoxton Williamsburg might only be a few weeks old, but its rooftop bar, Summerly, is already gaining attention. The space is decorated with refined plush sofas and feels a bit more up-market than its neighbors. Bonus: Its newcomer status means there's no queue to get in. Make the most of it while it lasts.
97 Wythe Ave
Public Hotel's rooftop is one of the buzziest spots in the city. Inside, the vast space has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can soak up the view from the comfort of a plush sofa; outside, the terrace has a 360-degree panoramic view of downtown, making it a stellar place to watch the sunset.
215 Chrystie St.
Williamsburg has one of the best vantage points of Manhattan and Westlight, the highest bar in the neighborhood, is the unrefuted star. Perched atop The William Vale hotel, the bar has an incredible wrap-around terrace with uninterrupted views of the city skyline. The lines are painstakingly long on Friday and Saturday nights—book a table to skip to the front of the queue.
111 North 12th St.
JIMMY AT THE JAMES
What Jimmy at the James lacks in size it makes up for in character. Visit the SoHo rooftop bar in summer and you'll find the outdoor area swarming with locals and visitors, jostling for a coveted spot by the swimming pool.
15 Thompson St.
Jimmy at the James
Located at the top of the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, Gallow Green is as close to resembling The Secret Garden as a rooftop bar in New York City can get. Ivy-covered arches and twinkling lights make for a magical experience while sipping craft cocktails.
542 W. 27th St.
It's pretty hard to beat the combination of sunset view, cool-kid appeal, and crazy-good drinks found at this Wythe Hotel bar in Williamsburg. Come 7 p.m., the patio is teaming with indie types, creatives, and foreign visitors who've been tipped off by their most in-the-know NYC friends. The cocktail menu offers innovative takes on classics. Our pick: The Sixth Floor Sling, which combines gin, apricot, cherry, and lime sherbet.
80 Wythe Ave.
The Ides Bar
There's one reason people go to Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at Conrad Hotel, and it's a good one: popsicles served in glasses of prosecco and rosé. It seems like such a simple concept, yet no one else is doing it. To be honest, we spent a solid amount of time just scrolling through the Instagram geotag for the restaurant, drooling over photos of popsicles dunked in wine glasses. Flavors include Blueberry Peach and Strawberry Lemongrass.
102 North End Ave.
There's a lot of hype around Broken Shaker at the moment—Eater went so far as to call it "NYC's best rooftop bar right now." The vibrant bar sits atop the Freehand Hotel, a Miami outpost known for its affordable, well-designed rooms.
If you only get a chance to go to one rooftop bar while in NYC, this is the one to pick, thanks to its insane views and a fairly literal interpretation of concrete jungle. It's the largest rooftop garden and enclosed penthouse in the city, and it boasts a direct view of the Empire State Building.
230 Fifth Ave.
TOP OF THE STANDARD
This hip bar at the top of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District offers, of course, beautiful views, and sunset jazz nights in the summer, which are exactly what they sound like: sipping cocktails as the sun sets to the soothing sound of live jazz. Be sure to check out their other rooftop bar, Le Bain, while you're there.
848 Washington St.
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