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What Are the Best Rooftop Bars in NYC?

April 27, 2018 - by City Guide News Desk
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Wondering what are the best rooftop bars in NYC? We've got a baker's dozen of them, perfect for those times when you want to change your attitude with altitude. Get above ground level and enjoy that next happy hour or nightcap in serious style.

Magic Hour (Moxy Times Square) 

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar Moxy Times Square

Photo courtesy Tao Group

In September, 2017, the chic hotel Moxy Times Square opened its doors in Midtown. Patrons, as well as locals, would be remiss not to check out its Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge; it's New York City's largest indoor/outdoor hotel rooftop bar. The entrance alone prepares you for some sort of Alice in Wonderland experience, as you walk down a hall that changes kaleidoscope colors before entering an elevator that takes you up 18 stories high. Highlights of the sprawling 10,000-square-foot rooftop bar and lounge include an "urban amusement park" concept with an adult sensibility and epic Empire State Building skyline views, plus a DJ, carousel seating, an oversized topiary garden, and Foreplay, a miniature putt-putt area, featuring lively looking animals engaging in naughty poses. There are multiple bar and seating areas, each with a distinct vibe and design. 485 Seventh Ave., 212-967-6699, moxy-hotels.marriott.com/hotels/nyc-times-square

PHD Terrace (Dream Midtown)

PHD Terrace

Officially started in early April, the two level PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown is kicking off a weekly “Saturday Mega Mixer” with Owen’s Craft Mixersa daytime party where guests can “DIY” and create their very own signature Moscow Mule (available in three sizes!). PHD has already made a name for itself with its viral video of a 10-pound Moscow Mule. The 15th and 16th floor rooftop has teamed up with BonBon, a newly opened Swedish candy store on the Lower East Side, to offer over 30 different types of candy to use as garnishes such as gummies, sours, novelties, chocolates, and hand-dipped goodies. They're in fun shapes like lips, sneakers, and hearts. At all times enjoy rotatating DJ sets, weekly parties, and special events. 210 W. 55th St., 646-756-2044, phdterrace.com

230 Fifth (Flatiron)

230 Fifth Avenue

This chic penthouse bar is known for its stylish interior and stunning views. It’s open seven days a week, from 4pm to 4am from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4am on Saturday, and from 10am to midnight on Sunday. Prepare for a wait, though. (During the winter months, they're known for their igloo-style seating.) 230 Fifth Ave., 212-246-1000230-fifth.com

The Roof/Viceroy Central Park (Midtown West)

The Roof at Viceroy Central Park

Located on the 29th floor of Viceroy Central Park, The Roof by Gerber Group is a lovely outdoor lounge and terrace that offers elegant yacht decor, with unobstructed views of Central Park. It's a perfect place to grab a cocktail or small bites after work or shopping.  124 W. 57th St., 212-707-8008, theroofny.com

Refinery Rooftop (Midtown West)

Refinery Rooftop

An exposed brick interior and rustic wooden furniture make for a chic-yet-comfortable setting for guests to enjoy their beverages, along with the rotating mix of talent that frequents the lounge. Refinery Hotel, 63 W. 38th St., 646-664-0372, refineryhotelnewyork.com/dine-and-drink/refinery-rooftop/

Ophelia Lounge (Midtown East)

Ophelia Lounge

Ophelia Lounge recently opened in a historic 1920s residence for women, the Beekman Tower. Perched up 26 stories high, it's beautifully decorated in a rich Art Deco style, retaining/restoring much of the original architecture, with seating for 100. Drink to try: Ophelia’s Ascension, with activated charcoal, bourbon, mezcal infused with smoked Jamaican peppers, aromatic bitters, and topped with cedar smoke. There are bites, toooysters; Maine lobster with cauliflower rissotto; seared Hudson Valley foie gras with dried cherries; and beef shank tangine paired with figs and pomegranate. 3 Mitchell Pl., 26th Floor, 212-980-4796, opheliany.com

Northern Territory (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Northern Territory

Okay, it's a slightly longer commute, but day or night, the incredible views of the Manhattan skyline cannot be denied at this popular Australian bar/restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are served. (*Currently closed Mondays and Tuesdayscheck website for an update.) 12 Franklin St., 347-689-4065, northernterritorybk.com

Mr. Purple (Hotel Indigo, LES) 

Mr. Purple

Located 15 stories high at the Lower East Side's Hotel Indigo, Gerber Group's Mr. Purple offers a trio of spaces to take in stunning city views. Indoors is a massive bar with seating; outdoors you'll find two terraces, one of which is decked out with a swimming pool and another full bar. Enjoy tasty bites, too, including proscuitto flatbread and fish tacos. 180 Orchard St., 212-237-1790, mrpurplenyc.com

Azul (Greenwich Village)

azul hugo rooftop nyc

Perched atop the renowned Hotel Hugo downtown, Azul on the Rooftop transports guests to the streets of Old Havana. Its Cuban cantina vibe is set against a backdrop of spectacular panoramic Manhattan and Hudson River views. The rooftop’s bright colors and twinkling festoon lights mingle to create the ideal setting for drinking under the stars. Happy hour is offered Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8pm. Once summer arrives, Azul will present a series of outdoor movie showings on the rooftop on Monday evenings. Its weekly Cuban Night is being held on Sundays and features the sounds of Cuban band Grupo Irek. 525 Greenwich St., 212-608-4848, azulrooftop.com

Cantina Rooftop (Hell's Kitchen)

cantina rooftop manhattan

Cantina Rooftop is Hell’s Kitchen’s colorful, swanky rooftop locale for sipping summery cocktails. Lush greenery surrounds the restaurant, which is flanked with festive, authentic Mexican décor. Newly appointed Executive Chef Saul Montiel offers a contemporary Mexican menu was inspired by old-world Mexican recipes. (He was previously executive chef at La Unica in Hidalgo, Mexico City.) Culinary creations focus on parrillada style bbq/grilling and include dishes such as Mexican street corn, chipotle wings, and guacamole made table-side. Mixologist Miguel Sanchez is the talent behind the bar’s expertly crafted cocktails. The new cocktail menu boasts seasonal ingredients and incorporates premium tequilas and mezcals. 605 W. 48th St., 212-957-1700,  cantinarooftop.com

SkyLawn (Midtown West)

skylawn Embassy Suites

New York's newest rooftop scene is SkyLawn, opening to the public in May. Open-air seating leads provides a garden vibe, contrasting with the energy of urban skylines. Hand-crafted cocktails have been curated by Allen Katz, one of the nation’s leading experts on distilled spirits, with signatures like Dorothy's Ruby Red (Dorothy Parker NY Gin, Maker's Mark bourbon, lemon, and grenadine) and The Thief's Mojito, made with Bacardi 8-Year Rum, lime, mint, bitters, and prosecco. Embassy Suites, 60 W. 37th St., 212-912-0111, embassysuites3.hilton.com

Haven (Midtown West)

haven rooftop

Located atop Midtown’s Sanctuary Hotel is Haven—a rooftop oasis that boasts splendid views and a seasonal menu that includes summery faves such as sesame-crusted tuna, crab cakes, "Havenly" chicken, lobster rolls, and the house’s sliders. The menu pairs well with Haven’s playful drinks, which include star sangria, the Haven mojito, and the Supernova—a fusion of Maker’s Mark, blackberries, mint, vanilla bitters, and lime juice. On Saturdays and Sundays, Haven Rooftop offers brunch. Menu selections include eggs Benedict, brunch pizza, and French toast. Bonus! There’s a bottomless option that entices with mimosas, sangria, or Bloody Marys. 132 W. 47th St., 212-466-9000, havenrooftop.com

Upstairs at the Kimberly (Midtown East)

the Kimberly

Sit 30 stories high above the New York City streets at the Kimberly Hotel’s breathtaking rooftop bar. Upstairs at the Kimberly offers 3,000 square feet of floor space divided up into three separate atmospheres. The interior design is stunning, the retractable glass ceilings are beautifully functional, and the view of the Chrysler Building is picture perfect. The Kimberly, 145 E. 50th St. 31st Fl., 212-888-1220, upstairsnyc.com

—Researched and written by Linda Sheridan, Chelsey Grasso, Regina Molaro, and Nina Furseth.


Looking for more on rooftop bars in New York? Check out The Rooftop Guide, which has a complete guide to dozens of the best rooftop bars in NYC (and the rest of the world as well!).

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