There’s something wonderful about riding the elevator up to a building’s rooftop, knowing you’re about to step into an experience in the sky, hopefully with a drink in hand.
New York’s sheer verticality offers dozens of impressive rooftop bars, ranging from ultra-exclusive and luxurious, to simple and chic, to downright lush, full of plants, and wild feeling.
Found atop the Art Deco Beekman Tower along the East River, Ophelia includes a wraparound terrace with a 360-degree view of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The space pays homage to its Art Deco roots with plenty of classic cocktails and reinventions of old favorites. On weekends, DJs spin hits to make the space feel more like a downtown lounge than an uptown cocktail joint.
3 Mitchell Place, 26th Floor, ophelia.com
Reservations are required at this 41st-floor, retro-chic boîte, so don’t miss out. As Manhattan’s highest open-air hotel bar and lounge, Dear Irving on Hudson has creative cocktails, a sommelier-crafted wine list, and plenty of tasty small plates, like filet mignon bites.
310 West 40th Street, dearirving.com
Beast & Butterflies
Far above Times Square’s noise, Beast & Butterflies offers small bites and cocktails within the M Social Hotel. The space features a wraparound terrace, offering a unique vantage point of the neon glow below. The space boasts two different menus of craft cocktails—appropriately named Beast & Butterfly, respectively—so you can order to suit your mood.
226 West 52nd Street, milleniumhotels.com
Located on the 27th floor of the Civilian Hotel, this rooftop bar offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The inclusion of bottle service and caviar options matches the posh, upscale design of the space. For those looking to make a late night of it, the menu includes an entire section devoted to espresso martinis—including the Scorch, made with habanero, Reposado tequila, and coconut cold brew.
305 West 48th Street, starchildrooftop.com
Notable chef Andrew Carmellini brought his talents to a Williamsburg rooftop when he opened Westlight in 2016. Set on the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel, the bar is the ideal place to take in an iconic NYC summer sunset—with a cocktail in hand.
111 North 12th Street, westlightnyc.com
There’s never a dull moment at Somewhere Nowhere, a rooftop hotspot on the top of the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel. With various events, happy hours, and top-class DJs, it’s a great place to gather friends for a night out—and there’s even a pool.
112 West 25th Street, somewherenowherenyc.com
This intimate rooftop bar in the Grayson Hotel is mere steps away from Bryant Park and boasts views of the East and Hudson Rivers and many nearby skyscrapers. In addition to an expansive list of drinks made with authentic Mexican ingredients developed in collaboration with certified mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf, Bar Cima has a luxurious, polished Mexican ambience with velvet jewel-toned seating and custom-made stone tables.
30 West 39th Street, barcimanyc.com
Cozy Castell is steps from Times Square, but it feels worlds away once you’re tucked away next to its fireplace or granite bar. The menu evokes a timeless feel by focusing mainly on classics with a twist, like a Negroni infused with strawberry Aperol. Next time you want a night out, Mad Men-style, embrace the sophistication of Castell.
260 West 40th Street, castellnyc.com
Atop the Sixty LES Hotel, Make Believe has stunning city views and a great outdoor patio for lounging on warm nights. The lush, green décor is right at home with the bar’s tiki-inspired menu, while DJs worldwide regularly come to perform.
190 Allen Street, sixtyhotels.com
Le Jardin at Baccarat Hotel New York
Take in the lush scenery—tall trees, manicured topiaries, vibrant blooms, and a treillage wall cloaked in ivy—at this lavish rooftop bar in the Baccarat Hotel. While drinking high-end cocktails from beautiful Baccarat glasses in the garden-themed space, you can also sample lauded chef Gabriel Kreuther’s mouthwatering dishes and small bites.
28 West 53rd Street, baccarathotels.com
Photos are via Esquire and © their respective photographers.