With the warm weather finally gracing the city, we know you’re looking to find the best outdoor watering holes. Head up to these NYC rooftops for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, trendy scenes and strong libations, where you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world this summer. By Sarah M. Shaker.
Sonny's Soda Shoppe
Welcome Sonny’s Soda Shoppe, the 360-degree penthouse cocktail bar and gelateria at Mondrian SoHo. Formerly known as Soaked, this recently renovated space brings the glamour and tastes of the Italian coast with authentic pizza, snacks, rosé and cocktails atop SoHo’s tallest rooftop. Kickback this season at downtown’s hottest place to see and be seen.
Gerber Group's The Roof
If you’re looking for a terrace hot spot overlooking Central Park, head to Viceroy New York. Sip on an expansive collection of small-batch spirits, regionally brewed craft beers, global wine offerings and a selection of classic and modern cocktails that highlight market fresh ingredients. Signature cocktails include the GG Manhattan and Spicy Paloma. Small plates include Artichoke Hummus and Meatball Sliders. For an indoor dining experience, head down to Chef Marc Murphy’s Kingside on the ground floor of the property, making this destination one of our favorite NYC staycations.
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SUSHISAMBA offers a refreshing summer brunch al fresco. Order a la carte or choose from a three course prix-fixe menu for $30 which includes sweet and savory brunch entrées such as the Doce de Leite French Toast with fresh berries and sesame whipped cream or Lobster Eggs Benedict with miso-yuzu hollandaise, chef sushi selection and dessert assortment. Bottomless Prosecco can be added for an additional $25 per person. Recently renovated, SUSHISAMBA’s rooftop is the perfect spot to grab weekend brunch this season. The space has been transformed into a garden oasis with lush greenery and vines encasing an airy dining space with open skylights and a beautiful walnut bar. There is also outdoor seating that overlooks bustling Seventh Avenue in the West Village.
Located on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel, Level R aims to elevate the breathtaking indoor and outdoor space to new heights this summer as the ultimate day-to-night destination. The iconic Empire Hotel sign atop the 12th floor rooftop remains intact, but Level R has unveiled a completely renovated space with two terraces, a retractable roof and indoor and outdoor seating. Enjoy a list of specialty cocktails and a gourmet food menu that includes crispy calamari, mini lobster rolls and goat cheese stuffed dates. In addition to top DJ performances, Level R will also feature an evolving entertainment schedule.
The Skylark Roof Deck, a newly minted 32nd floor rooftop, is complete with hand-crafted cocktails, light fare and unobstructed views of Manhattan. Located in Midtown West, the 1,500-square-foot al fresco space is the perfect place for after-work drinks or pre/post-theater hang out. Seasonal cocktails include Spring Negroni with Nolet’s gin, aperol, carpano, antica served over lavender ice with an orange twist and Ginger Sazerac with templeton rye, canton ginger liquor, absinthe, peychud’s bitters, and garnished with candied ginger. Shareable fare offers an array of plates such as Mac & Cheese Cupcakes, Mushroom asparagus pizzetta and grilled chicken focaccia with brie, ale braised apples, and fennel shallot remoulade.
The Pod Hotel 51
The Pod Hotel boasts two NYC locations with sought after rooftops for summer. Pod 51’s Rooftop Deck offers sunbathers and stargazers a relaxed alternative to the city’s buzzing rooftop scene. Perched 17 floors high, the top of the Pod 39 Hotel reveals a seasonal rooftop oasis with panoramic views of the city from the river to the East, the Freedom Tower to the South, the Empire State Building to the West and the Chrysler Building to the North.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.