The warmer weather is a sign that rooftop season is officially here in the city. From the Upper East Side to Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, New Yorkers can head to these rooftops for some memorable views and drinks.
3 Mitchell Place
New York, NY 10017
Nestled atop the historic Beekman Tower, Ophelia is one of the city’s chicest rooftop bars with stunning views of the East River and the skyline. Once you enter the lounge, they will feel transported back to the 1920s and 1930s. From the intimate seating to old photographs and vanity mirrors, the space pays homage to the building’s original architecture. The cocktails are inspired by that era, too, so sit back and relax with The Flapper. The vodka-based libation is made Disaronno, lemon, pineapple, bitters and topped with champagne. Another option is the Top of the Tower, which is made with sherry, Campari, plum bitters and prosecco. The acclaimed food menu features avocado toast, ahi tuna tartare and a chef’s selection of three cheese from the Hudson Valley.
20 East 76th St.
New York, NY 10021
There is an exclusive lounge atop one of the Upper East Side’s most luxurious hotels. The Surrey is home to the Private Rooftop Garden on the 17th floor boasting views of Central Park and the neighborhood. An oasis from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, the rooftop is open to members of the Patrons Club for light bites and their signature cocktails. This rooftop season The Surrey will display artwork from Jimmie Martin. The London-based design firm created a series of displays entitled “Naughty Angels.” Inspired by the 2018 Met Gala, the installation features hand painted pieces and others made of crushed stone. While some of the artwork is playful others reflect on figures in the fashion industry, including Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour. In honor of the new installation, visitors can also sip on the “Feeling Naughty” made with scotch, candied ginger, club soda, and ginger ale.
Make Believe at Sixty LES
190 Allen St.
New York, NY 10002
There is a new rooftop bar atop the Hotel Sixty LES. Make Believe exudes a fun atmosphere full of bright lights, palm trees and a disco ball. The cocktail menu features Asian-inspired drinks, including the Crazy 88 made with gin, shiso leaf, lime and aloe. You can also try some drinks from their marcha bar. Make Believe serves the Matcha Julep with vodka, sake and matcha or the mezcal-based Bumble Buzz. Continuing with the Asian-inspired menu, the rooftop offers edamame, shisito peppers and pork shumai.
525 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
The vibrant energy of Old Havana is an elevator ride away at Hotel Hugo. The trendy SoHo hotel is home to the Azul Rooftop. Boasting breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan, the rooftop exudes a cantina atmosphere full of Cuban artwork and decor. Sip on various frozen cocktails, including the passion fruit mojito or try a glass of their signature sangria. All of the libations complement the menu, which features delicious latin dishes. There is a homemade pico de gallo, guacamole and three types of tacos, including chicken, steak and fish. Of course, a visit to a Cuban eatery would not be complete without ordering a Cuban Sandwich. The roasted pork loin and maple ham sandwich is served with gruyere, dill pickles and spicy Dijon on a baguette.
180 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002
The vibrant spirit of the Lower East Side can be found at Mr. Purple. Whether you choose to sit outside or indoors, you will to get see the entire Manhattan skyline at the expansive rooftop. The stylish rooftop serves elevated bar bites, including kale and endive salad, fish tacos and prosciutto flatbread. There is also an expansive cocktail menu to pair with dishes. Try the classic cocktails and their signature drinks like Mr. Purple, Grand Spritz or some creation bottles libations.
111 North 12th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
New Yorkers looking for the best view of the Manhattan skyline can head to Westlight. The Williamsburg rooftop is located on the 22nd floor of The William Vale. There is a new cocktail menu for the warmer weather, including the In Bloom. The spring-inspired cocktail is made with beets, Cynar, lemon flavor vodka, mint and cava. Unwind and enjoy the night at this chic lounge that boasts a wraparound balcony and stunning views of the skyline.
John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.