Did you really even summer in NYC if you didn’t take a picture at every rooftop bar in New York? Indulging in #RooftopSzn is a quintessential part of a New York City summer. Whether you're a full-time New Yorker or just visiting the Big Apple, your NYC experience isn’t complete until you’ve frequented New York’s best rooftop bars. Here I’ve rounded up some of my favorite rooftop bars in the city offering the most refreshing cocktails and best skyline views!
Located at The Dream Downtown in the trendy Meatpacking District, PH-D boasts spectacular views of the Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline. Both the indoor and outdoor terrace are beautifully furnished. If you’re looking to really party NYC style, PH-D is the place to be at night. Come earlier in the evening for a more laidback experience.
Definitely one of the city’s most popular rooftops, this Lower East Side bar attracts the trendiest New Yorkers. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find New York’s “in” crowd snapping selfies and taking cheers-ing boomies of their well-crafted cocktails — and honestly, you can’t even blame them. The 360-degree views of Manhattan, the cozy pool, and the chic decor make Mr. Purple one of the most instagram friendly venues in the 5 boroughs.
Gallow Green is the place to go when you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving. Designed to make you feel like you’re sitting in a magical garden at an abandoned farm, Gallow Green is covered in lush, overgrown greenery that transports you from the concrete jungle to the charming countryside. On weekends, Gallow Green serves an amazing brunch buffet with live music.
Pro-tip: The best seats in the house are inside the antique railcar!
Despite the fact that Le Bain is considered SUPER “basic” and definitely has a more pretentious crowd than I usually prefer, it remains one of my favorite rooftop bars in New York. Whether you want to relax or are in the mood to party, Le Bain offers something for every rooftop-loving New Yorker! Snag one of the pretty pink couches or chairs, sprawl out with your friends on the turf, or hang out by the Jacuzzi inside. A summer day spent sipping on cocktails at Le Bain is a day well spent.
230 Fifth probably makes the list for NYC’s biggest tourist traps — but honestly, it’s for good reason. This swanky two-floor lounge has one of the most iconic views of the Empire State Building and is probably the city’s largest rooftop bar. But be prepared for high prices and a mix of tourists and a pretentious post-work crowd.
Pro-tip: This particular rooftop lounge is open all year round. The seasonal fall/winter decor consists of heated igloo pods and hot spiked cider. 10/10 would recommend!
Sitting pretty on the 65th floor (as its name suggests), Bar SixtyFive is the city’s highest rooftop bar — and the views do not disappoint. Immediately after stepping out of the elevator, I was enamored by the decor and the luxuriousness. Be ready to pay top dollar for your drinks, but it’s totally worth it. There’s something truly incredible about watching the New York skyline from above.
Ophelia will transport you through time back to the 1920s. This elegant rooftop is one of Midtown East’s best kept secrets. With massive cathedral windows and vintage artifacts on display, Ophelia is perfect for a cozy, intimate evening.
You can’t help but fall in love with Pod 39 Rooftop’s enchanting Mexican-inspired decor. Surrounded by brick archways covered in ivy and columned pillars, you’ll feel like you’re in a plaza or square in Spain! The margaritas are delicious and you can even get chili powder and salt on the rim!
If you’re willing to venture out to Williamsburg, the rooftop at The Williamsburg Hotel is the place to be. I love the decor and the incredible pool vibes, the crowd is fun, and the cocktails are amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! There is also a swanky new bar inside the water tower at this rooftop decked out with velvet couches with walls covered in art by local artists — definitely add it to your NYC bucket list!
Floor-to-ceiling windows, magical views, and an outdoor patio with a pool — need I say more? JIMMY at The James offers a stunning 360-degree view of the city where you can see the Freedom Tower, New Jersey skyline, AND the Empire State Building. (yeah, so pretty much everything)
Open year-round, Refinery Rooftop is perfect if you’re looking for a modern/industrial vibe with close up views of the Empire State Building. You’ll really feel like you’re sitting right in the hear of New York City here, and the drinks never disappoint.
Magic Hour Rooftop at The Moxy Hotel markets itself as an adult “urban amusement park,” and it manages to live up to the hype. The large indoor/outdoor terrace has mini-golf, a rotating carousel style sofa, and cool drinks served with the most insta-worthy presentation. It’s a great place to let loose and just have a great time. The weekend brunches here are definitely a highlight, and if you’re ever looking to rage on a Sunday evening, Magic Hour is the place to be!
The Fleur Room draws its inspiration from the nearby Flower District, and seeing stunning floral-inspired decor in juxtaposition with the Empire State is a sight to see!
A rooftop garden bar on top of one of the world’s most iconic museums? SIGN ME UP! Located on the East Side of Central Park, the Rooftop at The Met has breathtaking views of Central Park and the nearby skyscrapers.
SERRA by Birreria is the Summer Installation at Eataly’s Flatiron location — and right now, it’s an explosion of colorful flowers that both you and your Instagram grid will LOVE. The seasonal rooftop restaurant has built an incredible canopy of vibrant flowers under which you can enjoy authentic Italian food and wine! In the winter, this rooftop restaurant transforms into a cozy winter wonderland where you can even sit inside a tiny log cabin. I definitely make it a point to stop by twice a year, whenever I can!
If you want to snag the perfect Insta-picture, Press Lounge is the place to go. The skyline views of Midtown Manhattan are to die for here and the chic, modern decor and reflective pool provide the perfect backdrop. Be prepared to pay over $20 for a cocktail though, after all you’re in one of the world’s most expensive cities enjoying the most breathtaking views!