There’s something about the warm weather in New York that makes all the city’s inhabitants gravitate to the nearest rooftop. The ground may suffice for shopping or brunch, but savvy New Yorkers know that a mojito and a tan on a Saturday afternoon cannot be fully enjoyed unless it’s done from a minimum of 10 stories high. For a great view, a quick dip in a pool or a Tuesday evening sangria and sunset combo, the rooftops high above these city streets are constantly packed with people who were hibernating on their couches just a month ago. As the summer sun heats up, and the partygoers prep for another season of outdoor drinking, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of our favorite rooftop bars – for day, or night – in New York City.
Press at the Ink 48 Hotel
653 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
For a bite to eat and a relaxing night 16 floors above the cacophonous city streets, the Press Lounge at the Ink 48 Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen is a great way to let your stressed-out spirit breathe. A new addition to our rooftop repertoire (it just opened last week), Press features 360-degree views of the city and – get this – a wading pool to help cool off your toes and set the mood. While you’ll end up cornered, squished, and dodging uneasy mojitos across the deck at most rooftop venues in NYC, this place boasts an expansive 3,000-square-foot terrace, leaving you enough room to mingle, dance or sneak away with your sweetie to enjoy the view. Leave the bottle service and the too-tight-miniskirt-doting hussies on ground level – Press is for the unpretentious breed, eager to enjoy the summer night and the company of a more laid-back crowd.
45 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
Mad46 took to the skies for the summer season less than a week ago, and although it is high atop the 19th floor of the Roosevelt Hotel, it’s managed to draw a hefty crowd Wednesdays through Fridays. (Note: the rooftop won’t be back in full swing until May). The mere location of the place has revived the faith of midtown nine-to-fivers: instead of staring at a dartboard or that cute scruffy bartender, open your eyes to panoramic views of Times Square and Madison Avenue. The airy outdoor lounge is the perfect happy hour spot to take from after work well into the night – and if Mother nature ends up gracing the city with some spring drizzle, the venue features two vast indoor spaces with the same stunning views. But whether you choose to hang in the air conditioned indoor space or out on the roofdeck, order a Mad Mojito, complete with shaved coconut and a white chocolate-stick. You can thank us later.
621 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10022
An oldie but a goodie, Hudson Terrace has held its ground as one of the best rooftop bars in the city – and if you don’t know why, just check out the photo on the right. We love the bright flowers, light wood and tiered leveling of this venue – all features which give it a classy vibe while remaining fun and uplifting. Although this place is a fan favorite, one we’re constantly speaking highly about, there’s one downside: seems as though everyone in the city has caught on to this trend. If you plan on heading to Hudson Terrace on a Saturday night be prepared to elbow your way through the crowd or just do what we do and drink until the people around you stop being a nuisance and start becoming your best friends.
Rooftop at The Rivington Hotel
107 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
The last time we ventured to the tippy top of the Rivington Hotel, we saw Ashton and Demi, a hot tub filled with champagne-toting girls in bikinis and one of the most intense, in-your-face views of New York City around (and this was just an average Friday night for the Rivington). CV, and the other floors of the hotel act like tasty tiers of a cake, with the roof deck, like a cherry on top of it all. The people are gorgeous, the view is probably the best in the city, and the parties can get pretty wild. If you’re looking for a mellow night and a romantic view, this is not your spot.
Top of the Strand
33 West 37th Street
New York, NY 11101
The Strand has all the makings of a signature stylish NYC hotel – sleek décor, prime location, and a swank rooftop lounge. The trademark characteristic of The Top of the Strand is the outstanding view of the Empire State Building. I mean, if you got any closer to it, you could easily pick up some extra cash as a window washer (and maybe that could help pay for your tab after a few rounds of $14 drinks). With pricey drinks and a killer view, you’d assume the rope outside was impenetrable – but in fact, it’s a lot easier to cross than expected. An upscale rooftop lounge without all the ridiculous name-dropping hassles? Done and done.
Click here to check out some other rooftop bars we’re fond of.