One of the most amazing things about New York City is the skyline and the best way to appreciate it is from a rooftop bar, cocktail in hand. Whether you want to be right in the middle of it all in Manhattan, with the Empire State Building looming dramatically over you, or taking in the views from across the East River in Brooklyn, here are the ultimate places for a memorable night out in the city, multiple selfies included.
The Crown at 50 Bowery
Located atop the Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown, The Crown offers unparalleled views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Freedom Tower. There are only a handful of couches outside, so get to this bar early if you want a prime seat. Order one of the Asian-inspired cocktails (we love the refreshing Thai basil and watermelon margarita) or try a glass of soju, the vodka-like Korean spirit.
This lush and verdant rooftop lounge tops The McKittrick Hotel, which is also home to the theatrical experience “Sleep No More”, as well as The Club Car, a performance venue that hosts live entertainment most nights. See a show then pop up to the roof for a nightcap, or simply start and end your night here. In colder months, the space transforms into the Lodge at Gallow Green, an après-ski hangout where you can warm up with mulled wine and spiced cider amidst pine trees.
If you want a scene along with your scenic view, then head to this flashy lounge at the top of The Standard, High Line hotel in the Meatpacking District. Disco ball? Check. Celebrity DJ? Check. Overpriced cocktail? You know it. But sometimes you need to shell out for a fun night of dancing in N.Y.C. Note: It’s not easy to get past the doorman, so be sure to arrive early to gain entrance.
Westlight at the William Vale
There are a few great rooftop bars in Williamsburg (also see the ones at The Hoxton and Wythe Hotel), but the one at The William Vale is our favorite. Book a table in advance to enjoy nearly 360º views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and be sure to order a few of the street food-inspired snacks from chef Andrew Carmellini along with your cocktails. In summer months, visit the hotel for Turf Club, a 23rd-floor pop-up featuring games like cornhole and foosball, plus weekend movie screenings.
This gorgeous Art Deco-infused lounge is on the 26th floor of the historic Beekman Tower in Midtown East. A 24-foot pewter-cast bar, flanked with stools upholstered in red velvet, takes pride of place here. Order a drink – perhaps the Purple Tuxedo, made with gin, aquavit, vermouth, absinthe and velvet falernum, and topped with a decorative sprinkling of gold flakes – and head out to one of the two open-air terraces to take in the panoramic views of the city.