New York summer is all about the rooftop experience. Locals and visitors alike love to flock to city roofs for the best parties, impressive views of the skyline, and of course, to taste some of the most innovative cocktails.
The Roof at Public Hotel
When it comes to having unbroken panoramic views The Roof at Public Hotel reigns above them all. Come here to feel the breeze in your hair, listen to great tunes, and take your best sunset photos. Studio 54’s Ian Schrager has made the Public Hotel into a welcoming hotspot that aims to please. The experience begins in the lobby with a wonderful scent and lit up escalators. The mood is set for you to approach the rooftop elevator. For a relaxing experience we recommend you come early. Guests of the hotel can enjoy a complimentary hour of drinks with private seating. Late hours at The Roof are especially fun, especially once you enter the “microclub.” You should know, there are no professional cameras allowed. This is a no distractions zone and we dig it.
Public Hotel, The Roof, 215 Chrystie St (betw E Houston and Stanton St), Lower East Side
Park Lane’s Darling Rooftop
For an old money type of venue, visit Park Lane’s Darling Rooftop on Billionaire’s Row. This enclosed rooftop is whooping 47 stories above Central Park, and provides excellent bird’s eye views on the park. It will be hard to find views like this from any other venue. We appreciate the glamorous decor, real glassware, friendly service, and seating that allows for conversation. It just might be the perfect date spot. For extra privacy, snag yourself a canopy seat and order our favorite cocktail, the “Darling Unlimited.” As is the case with most rooftop bars, come early to avoid the crowds. During early hours this place feels like it’s your own private penthouse. In fact, part of it used to be Leona Helmsley’s penthouse suite.
Park Lane Hotel, Darling Rooftop, 36 Central Park S (betw 6th Ave/Grand Army Plaza), Midtown
Photography courtesy of parklanenewyork.com
Nubeluz at the Ritz-Carlton
If James Bond had to choose a New York City rooftop he would go to Nubeluz at the Ritz-Carlton. This Old Hollywood style rooftop is not just a bar in the sky, it is a destination. Ritz-Carlton is among the newest and best hotels in the city. The hotel’s dining options are all curated by the award-winning Chef, José Andrés. Nubeluz was envisioned as a lightbox in the sky by globally-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly. The vision was brought to life by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio.
Going up to the 50th floor will surely remind you that you are in fact living, or visiting, New York City. Stepping inside, expect onyx bar tops, back-lit panels at the bar, two terraces, 132 mid-century style indoor seats, and 270-degree views of the city. You might be in Nomad, but you can see all the way to the Statue of Liberty. It is hard to say what our favorite part is, the menus are creative (try the Foggy Hill cocktail with an aperol orange-thyme aromatic cloud or the very summery Tin Pan Butterfly), the vibes are impeccable, and we look forward to coming back for more.
Nubeluz, 25 W 28th St (betw Broadway and 6th Ave), Nomad
Photography courtesy of https://www.ritzcarlton.com; Cocktail images via nubeluzbyjose Instagram.
Snagging a reservation to Overstory is still a task, but well worth it. The elegant financial district rooftop is set on the 64th floor of the historic 70 Pine street building, one floor above SAGA Restaurant. When it was built in 1932 it was known as the world’s 3rd largest building. Arriving here is a memorable experience. Before you get whisked up to the rooftop, take notice of the red marble-clad lobby. Overstory reflects the building’s architecture, with glamorous art deco interiors, a wrap-around terrace, and 360° views of the city skyline. Ranked as the 7th best bar in North America, Overstory is a luxury experience that should be saved for a special occasion. Cocktails here come with creative garnishes, like strawberry white chocolate and eucalyptus. If you love Japanese whiskeys, 1930s glamour, and impressive views, this is the place for you. Bring your favorite person, impress a date, or just bring yourself – Overstory views and atmosphere truly live up to the hype.
Overstory, 70 Pine St (betw William and Pearl St), Financial District
ModernHaus Soho Hotel, Jimmy
Located on the 18th Floor of the ModernHaus Soho Hotel, Jimmy rooftop is a well-known downtown hotspot. It is one of the few bars in the city with an outdoor pool, which helps guests feel like they are on vacation. The atmosphere, music, and the drinks, like a Spicy Watermelon Margarita, help you unwind and enjoy the views. Jimmy has some of the best panoramic views of downtown, midtown, and the bridges spanning the East River. Come here to mingle with downtown’s fashionable crowd and to enjoy the delicious menu consisting of summer classics like, margaritas, frozen daiquiris, guacamole, and spicy tuna toast. For a more laid-back atmosphere come early as this place can get crowded in the late hours.
ModernHaus Soho, Jimmy, 15 Thompson St (Corner of Grand St), Soho
Equinox Hotel, Electric Lemon
Rooftops are not just for late night cocktails, Electric Lemon aims to please anyone who enjoys combining their brunch or dinner with a view. The 8,000-square-foot rooftop terrace on top of the five star Equinox Hotel overlooks the Hudson River and features an infinity pool and a human figure sculpture by Jaume Plensa. The space feels like an escape from the hussle and bussle of the city. The restaurant, by Stephen Starr, offers a seasonal American menu celebrating local farmers, growers and artisans of the Mid-Atlantic. Expect classics, like a cheeseburger and pasture raised chicken, but also plenty of veggie-forward dishes. This sleek rooftop is to be reserved for a special occasion.
Equinox Hotel, Electric Lemon, 33 Hudson Yards (betw 10th and 11th Ave), Hudson Yards
Photography courtesy of equinox-hotels.com
The Williamsburg Hotel Bar & Pool
For a laid-back summer vibe, head to Brooklyn. From the music to the menus, The Williamsburg Hotel roof bar and pool can certainly provide an atmosphere that says “vacation.” For a complete vacation experience reserve one of their cabanas or sun-beds. When it comes to summer sunsets, and great margaritas, this rooftop never disappoints. Their iconic water tower bar opens later in the late afternoon, transforming the space into a small club. We love combining our weekend visit to Smorgasburg, with a visit to the Williamsburg Hotel. Our New York summer cannot be complete without seeing this rooftop’s dramatic Brooklyn views.
The Williamsburg Hotel Bar & Pool, 96 Wythe Ave (betw N 10th and 11th St), Brooklyn
Wythe Hotel, Bar Blondeau
Located on the sixth floor of the Wythe Hotel is a hip rooftop with an excellent food menu and stellar views. The new-ish rooftop, Bar Blondeau, has unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline and both indoor and outdoor seating. This European-style rooftop destination was opened by chef partners Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber (Le Crocodile, Chez Ma Tante), which means you might actually come here just for the food.
Bar Blondeau’s dishes, like tuna tartare, pan tumaca and croquetas, are all inspired by French, Spanish and Portuguese cuisines. Bring friends or bring a date, and enjoy the seafood-focused food menu, some of the best natural wines from up-and-coming wine regions, and yes, the city views. We like to think of Bar Blondeau as more of a chic wine bar in the sky.
Wythe Hotel, Bar Blondeau, 80 Wythe Ave (betw N 11 and 12t St), Williamsburg
RH New York, Rooftop Restaurant
If you wish for an elegant, but relaxed rooftop experience that offers lunch or dinner, head to RH New York. RH Rooftop and Restaurant, located on the sixth floor of RH New York, offers fabulous dining in a stylish setting. Decorated with well-groomed greenery and chandeliers, this spot oozes glamour and is perfect for a lunch meeting or date night. The service here is excellent.
We came here for a birthday lunch and ordered the lobster roll, broiled salmon, truffle fries, and they even threw in complimentary birthday cookies. The terrace feels like a royal escape. The good thing about being on the 6th floor is that you can people-watch. While here, do a little home goods shopping. After all, when in the Meatpacking area, combining your rooftop experience with a bit of shopping seems unavailable.
RH New York, Rooftop Restaurant, 9 9th Ave (betw Little West 12th/13th St), Meatpacking District
The Skylark is a sophisticated multi-level rooftop near Times Square. It is known for its lavish events, like weddings, but this is also the most ideal place to grab after-work drinks. The indoor space is a lounge so you can just sink into your seat, sip on your drink, relax and enjoy the view. The outdoor open-air terrace is ideal for photos. They even provide ring lights. Skylark is on the 30th floor, and you can see Hudson Yards, Times Square, Midtown, and the city’s beloved Empire State Building. Come here with your girlfriends and toast with a Peach Blossom Frose. For food options we recommend you order the tuna tacos and beef slides, both are excellent. We enjoy coming here during the colder months, but if you enjoy spending time on the terrace summer is preferable.
Skylark, 200 W 39th St (betw 7th/8th Ave), Midtown South