Rooftops in Manhattan are a strange breed. Entirely forgotten in winter months, they come alive in the spring to the point where scoring a coveted spot from which to admire a Manhattanhenge sunset becomes near impossible. But that's part of the appeal. Walk up to a NYC rooftop on any given summer day or night, and you'll be greeted with a happy crowd of sunset enthusiasts all with a tiki cocktail and a beef slider in hand.
In a way, rooftops in New York City are like the frosé of restaurants. Don't expect high cuisine (except for in rare occasions). Don't even expect a table—as real estate is limited, you may have to enjoy your lobster roll sans chair. But what NYC rooftops lack in gourmet fare and personal space, they more than make up for in handcrafted cocktails and unparalleled views.
Are you in the mood for tacos and a mezcal cocktail overlooking the Hudson River? How about countryside Italian and biodynamic wines in the heart of Flatiron? Or maybe you'd prefer your small bites and margarita overlooking the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn? Whatever you're in the mood for, we have the perfect rooftop restaurants in New York City for you.
Head to the Arlo Soho rooftop for unbeatable views of the Hudson River, craft beers, cocktails, and small plates in a laid-back atmosphere. It's the perfect spot to sit down for a happy hour drink and small bites and watch the sunset.
Eat and Drink: Guac and chips with a St. Germain elderflower spritz
As if plucked off the streets of Old Havana, Hotel Hugo's Azul rooftop restaurant and bar channels a Cuban cantina vibe against the backdrop of magnificent panoramic city views. Here, enjoy frozen drinks and tacos with the occasional live music act.
Eat and Drink: Pan-seared tuna tacos and an El Tapatio cocktail
Jimmy at The James
New Yorkers have long been going to Jimmy at The James in SoHo for the unbeatable 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. In this 18th-story cocktail lounge, sit by the fireplace (in winter) or by the pool (in summer) and soak in the views with a drink in hand.
Eat and Drink: An all-American burger and a classic mint julep
If you have a coveted Soho House membership (or have a friend that does), run to Dumbo House's rooftop where you run the chance of brushing shoulders with Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin. The Brooklyn hot spot has unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn bridge and serves up the best in food and drinks in true Soho House fashion.
Eat and Drink: Murray's Burrata and a house rosé
One of the hottest new rooftops to hit Manhattan this year, the Broken Shaker is a Miami outpost known for its incredible handcrafted cocktails in a laid-back rooftop oasis atmosphere. In Miami, Broken Shaker was a James Beard Award semifinalist and winner of Tales of the Cocktail's Best American Hotel Bar, so you know you're in good hands.
Eat and Drink: A shrimp ceviche with a cocoa puff old-fashioned
The new Made Hotel's 18th-floor lounge with panoramic views of New York City offers tiki-inspired cocktails, craft beers, and batch cocktails for sharing. Good Behavior doesn't serve dinner, but the hotel's restaurant, Ferris, can more than make up for your food cravings, should you get peckish throughout the evening.
Eat and Drink: A mai tai and a lobster toast (at Ferris)
Neighborhood: Midtown West
Perched atop the iconic Beekman Tower, Ophelia Lounge is a newly revamped restaurant and bar sporting plush banquettes, cocktails, and East River views. The wraparound patio is not for the faint of heart—the high-altitude atop the 26th floor is enough to make heads spin—but the interiors boast a quaint old New York intimacy.
Eat and Drink: Ahi tuna tartare and an Ophelia's Ascension to drink
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Like most high-altitude Manhattan spots, Refinery Rooftop serves up craft cocktails and a light fare in an industrial-chic atmosphere with dramatic views. It's the perfect spot for a happy hour drink, but beware: Every other New Yorker working in Midtown probably had the same idea, so it's safer to reserve a table.
Eat and Drink: A margherita flatbread and a rooftop spritz
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Head over to DUMBO and you'll find the best views of the Manhattan skyline, especially at sunset. At the newly opened 1 Hotel rooftop, eat and drink poolside on a Saturday afternoon—you'll never feel the need to escape the city in summer months.
Eat and Drink: A lobster roll with a white sangria
If the after-work crowd of Manhattan rooftop bars isn't quite your thing, escape to Northern Territory in Greenpoint, where the rooftop feels more like a local tavern than a tourist hotspot. This cozy Australian-themed bar offers Aussie fare, beers, and cocktails in woody industrial surrounds.
Eat and Drink: Fish and chips with a Cooper's Pale Ale
If dinner and a live show is your idea of a good time, try Chelsea's iconic Sleep No More experiential theatre, followed by a drink and a meal at Gallow Green. Or skip the show and go straight to the rooftop. Either way, you'll be delighted by this rooftop bar's leafy environs that feels as though you're miles away from the concrete jungle.
Eat and Drink: Watermelon salad and margherita pizza with a White Widow cocktail
Serra by Birreria
If great food is more important to you than the view, head over to Serra by Birreria at Eataly, an Italian countryside respite in the heart of Manhattan. Sit down at one of the rustic tables in the shade, and share down-to-earth dishes made with simple quality ingredients and a bottle of biodynamic wine.
Eat and Drink: Casarecce con pesto alla Genovese and a glass of Barbaresco
Boom Boom Room
The Standard's Boom Boom Room is probably more known for its glitzy club crowds than its food, but the top of the Standard does serve a light fare that's worth a try. Here, take in the Hudson River views in a shiny opulent interior by Roman & Williams.
Eat and Drink: English pea ravioli, a glass of champagne, and (why not?) a side of caviar
The Roof at the Viceroy
The Roof at the Viceroy Hotel by Central Park is known to have some of the city's best views. This alluring lounge and outdoor terrace offers an expansive collection of small-batch spirits, regionally brewed craft beers, global wine offerings, and a rotating selection of modern cocktails and small bites.
Eat and Drink: Grass-fed beef sliders and a Midtown martini.
Last but certainly not least, one of Williamsburg's latest hot spots is Westlight on the roof of The William Vale. The rooftop bar with panoramic skyline views serves up handcrafted cocktails and small bites—in true rooftop fashion.
Eat and Drink: Shrimp cocktail dumplings and a Mirrorstone cocktail
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