Having a few cocktails with friends is fun, but when the scenery is spectacular, it is priceless. With the warm weather finally rolling in, we know you’re looking to find the best outdoor watering holes around. Why not head to the roof? A breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, trendy settings and luscious libations are only some of the perks you’ll find while you’re on top of the world.
Foursquare Favorite: Library Hotel
299 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10017
Read all the tips on Foursquare
Literary fiends of all types fall head over heels for this 14th floor rooftop bar at the Library Hotel. In winter, the fireplace and oversized chairs are a draw; in summer, it’s all about the outdoor terrace. Head to Foursquare to sort users’ tips by these tastes:
One Foursquare user called it the “best themed bar in the city,” while Ann-Mary says:
Salon de Ning
You will feel like you’ve stepped into 1930′s Shanghai when you walk into this stylish lounge overlooking Fifth Avenue in Midtown. Chic and sophisticated, the East meets West decor is sure to impress the most discerning guest, whether a date, spouse, client–you get the picture. You’ll feel as cool as a cucumber as you sip on the cocktail of the same name or the signature Nina Sling.
This nightlife hotspot is known for large crowds and loud music. The vibe is a bit different on Wednesdays, however, when Hudson Terrace hosts “Wine Down Wednesday,” a selection of 6 wines from various vineyards.
This massive 22,000 square foot rooftop garden has its own enclosed penthouse lounge and an amazing view of the Empire State Building from several different angles. Misting fans are there to keep you cool in the summer, and heat lamps to keep you warm in the cooler months. Share a large plate, or choose something from the extensive bar menu that has everything from sliders to “longtong” vegetarian rice cakes (Herbal sri racha, crispy shallots, garlic and pickled ginger.) Open to the public from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. 365 days a year, reservations are not necessary since the lounge can seat 1,000 patrons at a time. Despite its size, however, this place gets packed.
The Brass Monkey
It may be the homey Irish fare or the 90 draft and bottled beers to choose from that make the Brass Monkey a local fave, but we think it’s the perfectly poured Guinness that keeps patrons coming back to this Meatpacking District bar. We recommend sipping that perfect pint of Guinness outside while taking in a view of the city. We picked this as one of our favorites because the food is good and the drinks are a lot less pricey than many of the rooftop bars on this list.
The Crow’s Nest at the Water Club
Located on the upper deck of The Water Club, The Crow’s Nest offers a casual outdoor setting with spectacular views of Manhattan and the East River. The outdoor menu offers a decent beer, wine and cocktail selection in addition to pitchers of Sangria and Hawaiians (Malibu & Myer’s rum punch). If you’re hungry, snack on various casual bites, from raw bar items, lobster sliders, chicken and vegetable “buzzitos” (organic tortilla, poblano & red peppers, herbs & spices, pepper jack cheese and Spanish onions), to burgers.
A 60 Thompson Hotel
This ultra-trendy, super chic terrace atop the Sixty Thompson in SoHo is only open to hotel guests, private parties and invited guests or members. If you’re lucky enough to make it to the top, you’ll find yourself among the rich and famous. A 60 is a fave among A-listers including actress Kirsten Dunst.
Upstairs at the Kimberly
You may think you’re in Heaven if you find yourself stargazing 30 stories above the Kimberly Hotel at their penthouse lounge. Three separate indoor/outdoor atmospheres complete the 3,000 square foot venue making it possible to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the iconic Chrysler Building in both winter and summer. Eclectic cocktails (including ‘the Electrolyte,’ new for this season) and small plates are served nightly.
The Sky Terrace at the Hudson Hotel
Part of the ultra-hip Morgans Hotel group, this private landscaped oasis (complete with deck chairs, a hammock and tons of plants) provides an away from the city with sweeping views of the city and the Hudson River. Sky Terrace is for hotel guests or by invite only.
Kimpton Hotels are known for their impeccable service and attention to detail, and the Press Lounge on the 16th floor of their Ink48 property in Hell’s Kitchen is no exception. In addition to spectacular views of the NYC skyline, there is a captivating reflecting pool, a glass-enclosed lounge and seating for more than 100 guests. The drink prices are reasonable and the light fare (including goat cheese gnocci to die for!) make this a must-do if you’re a guest staying at the hotel.
Pool Lounge at The Dream Downtown
The latest luxury project from the Chatwal family, The Dream Downtown Hotel and its pool lounge are expected to soft-open on June 15. Operated by TAO Strategic Group (Lavo, Avenue, Marquee), expect a strict door policy before your dreams come true. Promising a South of France vibe, the pool includes a real sand beach and a translucent bottom which can be viewed from the lobby. Look for the rooftop club, PhD, to open soon.
Gansevoort Park Rooftop
Bringing a touch of Miami to Park Avenue, the Gansevoort Park Rooftop is officially open for parties this summer. The tri-level roof features an indoor/outdoor pool deck, lounge areas and outdoor balconies with stunning views of the Empire State Building. Operated by Provocateur owners Mike Satsky and Brian Gefter, expect a hot lineup of DJs and a tight velvet rope to get past before you join the fun upstairs.
Jimmy at The James Hotel
Sporting teak deck chairs, cotton chaise lounges and a wading pool, Jimmy has a 360-degree view of Soho that stretches to the Brooklyn Bridge. An intimate indoor bar also offers plenty of plush seating. Enjoy drinks like the Mexican Honey Bee (reposado tequila, orange flower, honey, mezcal, lemon and lavender bitters) and prime people-watching.