My first night out in New York City was at a rooftop bar — Mr. Purple at the Hotel Indigo, to be specific — and I was so goddamn enchanted it would be embarrassing if it weren’t the purest form of joy I’ve ever experienced.
I was brand new to the city — not just New York, but to any city, anywhere — and, being newly 21, also relatively new to drinking, or at least the kind of drinking you can do at swanky hotel bars in Manhattan. It had never even occurred to me that drinking on a roof was a thing you could do, and I was absolutely blown away by the concept.
There are a lot of things a New Yorker will inevitably start to take for granted after a while, (there was a time when just the ease with which I could get to a Starbucks or a CVS was enough to blow my rural-born mind) but drinking on a rooftop will never be one of them for me. Every year when the weather warms up and it’s time for New Yorkers to take our drinking outside to the roofs of some of the city’s sexiest hotels, I’m just as enchanted as I was my first night in the city, just as convinced that life — or at least life in New York — might actually be impossibly beautiful.
To help you make the most of the sacred summer pastime that is drinking on a roof, we’ve put together a list of the best rooftop bars in New York City. Cheers to summer in the city, good vibes, better views and taking it all in like it’s the first time, every time.
Perched atop Le Meridien on 57th Street, Life Rooftop boasts some of the best Central Park views in the city. The airy outdoor terrace offers a classy yet relaxed atmosphere perfect for unwinding with refreshing cocktails and killer views, while an indoor lounge provides a reprieve from any uncooperative weather. Guests can enjoy the views and vibes with a side of bar bites curated by executive chef Anastacia Song, in addition to the bar’s extensive list of craft cocktails.
120 West 57th Street
Long Island City
If you’re looking to party this summer, The Summer Club is the only place to do it. Located just outside Manhattan on the third-floor terrace of LIC’s Ravel Hotel, this high energy oasis feels like a summer vacation from the city, without actually having to leave town. The sprawling outdoor space features a pool, lounge chairs and plenty of cabanas where guests can enjoy frozen cocktails and a menu of refreshing summer bites like tuna tartare tacos, lobster roll sliders and sushi. Bringing night club energy to an outdoor venue, a talented lineup of live entertainment and nightlife legends are set to keep the party going all summer long.
8-08 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City
Lower East Side
As previously mentioned, Mr. Purple will always hold a special place in my heart. Located on the 15th floor of the trendy Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, Mr. Purple boasts panoramic city views, craft cocktails and low key glam vibes. A little bit sceney, a little bit sexy, a little bit glitzy and little bit gritty, this Orchard Street hotspot is LES nightlife at its best.
180 Orchard Street
The rooftop bar at Brooklyn’s Wythe hotel, Bar Blondeau offers French-inspired elegance with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. The seasonal outdoor terrace invites guests to soak up the views and vibes al-fresco, while enjoying a seafood-forward menu paired with natural wines and signature cocktails.
80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn
Above the Sanctuary Hotel, Haven rooftop provides an escape from the heart of Midtown hustle with airy cabanas and breathtaking city views. Just north of Times Square, this oasis offers French-inspired bites like tuna tartare and steak au poivre paired with craft cocktails and seasonal drink specials. Because Midtown is best experienced from above, ideally with a summer sangria in hand.
132 West 47th Street
Brooklyn Navy Yard
New York’s first rooftop vineyard, Rooftop Reds is situated above the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The sprawling, 15,000 square foot space boasts nearly 200 grapevines. Guests can sip wine and enjoy small bites surrounded by string lights and views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. Vineyard vibes, city views and house made wines combine for a relaxing summer escape just outside Manhattan.
299 Sands Street, Brooklyn
A two-level rooftop lounge atop the Renaissance NY Chelsea, Somewhere Nowhere boasts an indoor lounge and an open-air rooftop pool. Clubby vibes meet airy, outdoor elegance, and a regular schedule of weekly events, like Wednesday’s Gotham Jazz Nights, keeps the party going all summer long.
112 West 25th Street
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