Visiting a New York City rooftop is a great way to experience the city’s nightlife without the blaring music of a crowded nightclub. While some rooftop bars have live music and dancing, most of these venues have a more laid-back vibe. In other words, going to one of these roof lounges and bars is the best thing to do in New York City to unwind with friends.
Consider treating yourself to an evening at one of the best rooftop bars in New York City, perhaps after a dinner at one of NYC’s top restaurants. Alternatively, many of these bars also serve shareable appetizers and tapas, so if you visit just before dusk, you can enjoy some sunset dining.
To help you choose which of NYC’s rooftop restaurants and bars to visit, I’m sharing the 15 best roof decks in the city. They all provide stunning views, so I know you’ll find one that has just the vibe and atmosphere you’re looking for.
1. Mr. Purple, one of the best rooftops in New York City for cocktails
The first Manhattan rooftop you should consider is Mr. Purple. It’s on the 15th floor of the Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, offering beautiful views of the city. Its lively environment makes it a great place to meet up with friends over craft beers and shareable appetizers.
You can also enjoy specialty wines, modern cocktails, and other drinks at this rooftop bar over New York City, as well as the small rooftop pool. While this hangout spot boasts a nice, artsy vibe, it’s best known for its cocktails. Enjoy a lychee martini or hibiscus lemonade during the summer months, or sip on a banana-apple whiskey or jalapeño mezcal to warm up in the winter.
2. 230 Fifth, a popular NYC rooftop with an igloo bar
230 Fifth is one of our favorite rooftop bars in New York City, thanks to its impressive views, delicious cocktails, and igloo bar. Visiting 230 Fifth is one of the best things to do in NYC at night with friends or as a couple, so if you love the nightlife, don’t miss it.
The multi-level venue has an enclosed lounge on the 20th floor and an open-air bar on the 21st floor, so you can enjoy the views year-round. This rooftop lounge in NYC offers amazing views of the Empire State Building, and nothing beats admiring the sunset while sipping on a frozen cocktail in the summer.
Regardless of when you go, you can enjoy the extensive menu with beer, wine, cocktails, and sushi. The igloo bar is a unique feature that you won’t find anywhere else, and the swanky indoor area is perfect for hosting private events. 230 Fifth serves bottomless brunch on weekends and live music at night, although there is a $20 cover charge starting at 8 pm.
3. The Crown, a beautiful indoor and outdoor rooftop bar in NYC
Over in the Bowery, The Crown is a stylish bar and lounge on the 21st floor of the Hotel 50 Bowery. With its live DJs and beautiful aesthetic, it’s one of the best rooftop bars in Manhattan for art and music lovers.
Vibe to hip-hop beats and sip on seasonal cocktails while taking in beautiful views of the city skyline. The Crown serves some of the tastiest Asian-inspired drinks, as well as a good selection of wines and beers. For food, there is a variety of appetizers and small plates.
The Crown’s sexy indoor area features floor-to-ceiling windows so you can admire the view from inside, and the outdoor area has two balconies, so there is room for everyone. Without a doubt, this rooftop lounge in Manhattan could be considered one of the crown jewels of NYC’s nightlife.
4. JIMMY at Modernhaus SoHo, one of the first rooftops in New York City
JIMMY may be one of the city’s first rooftop lounges, but it remains one of the absolute best. Inspired by Picasso’s Blue Period paintings, this dimly-lit and stylish rooftop in downtown NYC is a sexy late-night hangout for friends and couples.
Located on the 18th floor of the Modernhaus SoHo, JIMMY boasts panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building. The indoor lounge features a bar and vintage furniture, where you can sit back and enjoy the functional fireplace. Sample the drink menu, which is full of signature cocktails as well as beer, cider, and wine.
This SoHo roof bar also has an outdoor pool deck that hosts parties and other special events in the summer. Even so, JIMMY is open year-round, so you can always come here for live music, stellar views, and refreshing drinks.
5. Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square, a fun NYC rooftop
Here is one rooftop lounge in NYC that’s definitely magical. Magic Hour at Moxy Times Square stands out for its sparkly decor and top-tier views of one of the busiest parts of Manhattan.
The entire venue is decked out in whimsical crystals, florals, fairy lights, and over-the-top topiaries. Sitting 18 stories above the city, Magic Hour is a stunning lookout point to admire the Empire State Building and the surrounding area. There are indoor and outdoor spots with plenty of seating so you can come here with friends and share cocktails and appetizers.
Also, this 21+ rooftop bar in Times Square has a mini-golf course and serves weekend brunch, so it’s the ultimate adult playground.
6. Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge, a luxurious rooftop bar in NYC for couples
Harriet’s is a laid-back rooftop bar in Brooklyn located on the 10th floor of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. As you can imagine, the views from up here are incredible, spanning the entire borough, the East River, and into Manhattan.
Besides the sweeping city views, Harriet’s has a fully-stocked bar where you can order local beers, seasonal cocktails, and other tasty drinks. For food, you can choose from hot and cold dishes, hors d’oeuvres, and vegetarian options made with sustainable ingredients.
Not only that, but there is a rooftop pool and live music from talented DJs, so it’s one of the best rooftops in Brooklyn if you’re looking for an upbeat atmosphere.
7. Westlight, the best rooftop bar in New York City for panoramic views
Another rooftop bar in Brooklyn that I recommend is Westlight, which is on the 22nd floor of The William Vale. This is one of the top places to watch the sunset in the city, as you can see the gorgeous glow descending over the Manhattan skyline and the East River.
In addition to the beautiful views, Westlight has a delightful menu of beer, wine, and globally-inspired cocktails. You can also order off the food menu, which includes small bites, main courses, and desserts. With its industrial-style decor and colorful drinks, Westlight is an awesome venue for meeting up with friends. Just be aware that it’s a popular place, so you should make reservations.
When you go here, be sure to check out the indoor and outdoor areas, and bring your camera because the panoramic views from this NYC rooftop are unmatched.
8. Azul at Hotel Hugo, one of the best NYC rooftop bars with a restaurant
For a bit of Havana in the Big Apple, head to Azul at Hotel Hugo, one of the top rooftops in NYC. Azul’s vibrant and artistic vibe is reflected in every aspect of the place, from the decor and the dishes to the furniture and the fruity cocktails.
This rooftop bar in NYC’s West Village is teeming with tropical plants and imaginative animal sculptures, creating a Cuban cantina vibe inspired by Old Havana. Of course, the 360° views of Manhattan will remind you that you’re in the urban jungle of New York.
The collage of colors and artwork, combined with the plush seating and hand-crafted cocktails, make this rooftop the perfect place to celebrate with friends or treat your partner to a sunset dinner.
9. Make Believe, the best New York City rooftop bar with live music
Make Believe at the Sixty LES Hotel is another imaginative rooftop in Manhattan where you can experience NYC’s sexy nightlife scene.
Located on the Lower East Side, Make Believe is a rooftop restaurant in Manhattan with a spectacular bar, creative drinks, live music, and incredible views. While marveling at the skyline, sip on a Japanese-inspired cocktail and enjoy the music from that night’s live DJ. The lounge’s bright pink booths not only contrast perfectly with the dimly-lit bar but also provide comfy seating for you and your friends. Take your time soaking in the atmosphere and noshing on sushi rolls and other small plates.
For those who want something more creative and festive, Make Believe is one of the best rooftop bars in NYC, although it doesn’t have as much open-air space.
10. The Ready Rooftop, a vibrant NYC rooftop bar for friends
One of the best rooftop bars in Midtown NYC is The Ready Rooftop, which stands out for its backyard vibe. This venue gives you the best of both worlds – a sophisticated rooftop terrace and a laid-back beer garden.
This playful bar and lounge is a great place to have a fun evening out with friends or relax and unwind after a day of work. Its unique retractable glass roof allows the space to be open year-round, and the patio seating makes it feel like it’s summertime all the time.
The Ready Rooftop hosts weekly happy hours and weekend events, so it’s one of the best NYC rooftop party spots. Here, you can find local beers and typical bar snacks, as well as frozen cocktails and gourmet tacos. While you treat yourself to a delicious snack, you’ll get the added benefit of the lovely Manhattan views.
11. The Press Lounge at Kimpton Hotel, one of the most popular New York City rooftops
A luxurious lounge on the 11th floor of the Kimpton Hotel, The Press Lounge is the best rooftop in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. From up here, you’ll have 360° views of Manhattan, which are especially breathtaking at night. I recommend getting there in time to watch the sunset, then staying for after-dark socializing.
As one of the best rooftop bars at an NYC hotel, The Press Lounge features an elegant yet casual ambiance with indoor and outdoor areas. Inside, you can sprawl on the leather furniture and share classic bar food and charcuterie with friends. Outside, the decorative pool and fire pits create the perfect setting to sip cocktails and gaze at the glittering skyline.
12. Somewhere Nowhere, a swanky NYC rooftop with a pool
Somewhere Nowhere is a two-tier rooftop bar in Chelsea, NYC that’s open day and night. Situated on the 38th and 39th floors of the Renaissance NY Chelsea Hotel, Somewhere Nowhere features a swanky indoor lounge and open-air rooftop. It’s a popular place for after-work drinks and fun nights out, so if you’re looking for something to do in NYC as a couple, put it on your list.
As you walk through the lounge’s arched entrance, you’ll be transported to Somewhere Nowhere’s magical garden landscape. The artful design includes garden gnomes scattered about, as well as elegant accents and panoramic views of Manhattan.
Enjoy the airy rooftop and pool deck or go into the whimsical main lounge to order tapas and cocktails. Somewhere Nowhere hosts international and local DJs and has a cutting-edge sound system, so it’s the best hotel rooftop in NYC for after-dinner drinks and dancing.
13. Monarch Rooftop Bar, a cozy rooftop bar in New York City
For one of the best rooftop views in NYC, go to the Monarch Rooftop Bar. The 18th-floor penthouse lounge features a clean aesthetic with wooden accents, contemporary furniture, colorful art, and tropical plants. Its location in Herald Square, near the flagship Macy’s store, grants patrons gorgeous views of the city, including the imposing Empire State Building.
This indoor and outdoor bar is a popular venue for social events, and during the warmer months, you can sit out on the royal terrace, a glass-enclosed area with bar seating. Order an innovative cocktail made by the in-house mixologist or grab your favorite beer or wine. While you’re at it, treat yourself to the tapas menu, with small plates made from fresh food and quality ingredients.
Along with the best rooftop dining in NYC, Monarch offers expertly-crafted drinks and irresistible views, so you shouldn’t pass it by.
14. The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel, another NYC rooftop with incredible views
The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel is another lively indoor/outdoor bar on the Lower East Side. It’s on the hotel’s 18th floor and provides sweeping 360° views of the city from the outside terrace and the indoor lounge, which has floor-to-ceiling windows. So, no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to capture stunning photos.
What makes this one of the best rooftop cocktail bars in NYC is the beautiful garden-style design and the sexy indoor lounge. Together, they create the ideal place to spend a few hours, whether at sunset or late at night. However, the later it gets, the more crowded it is, so it’s best to make a reservation.
Overall, The Roof is one of the coolest rooftop bars in NYC, especially for those who want great music and cocktails.
15. Bar 54 at Hyatt Centric Times Square, a beautiful rooftop in NYC’s Theatre District
Last but not least, Bar 54 at the Hyatt Centric Times Square is the place to go for some of the best rooftop drinks in NYC. Sitting 54 stories above the bustling crowds of Times Square, this bar offers amazing sunset views, particularly of the Chrysler Building and the Hudson River.
You’ll want to stay after dark to enjoy the sociable outdoor terrace, which has dining tables and couches where you can lounge with a drink. Bar 54’s menu is full of specialty cocktails, signature drinks, and gourmet bar food, so you can easily spend hours here soaking up the ambiance.
There is also an indoor space for dining, so it’s a rooftop bar in Times Square that has something for everyone.
That’s it for the best rooftop bars in NYC, and I’m leaving you with a map so you can quickly locate each of these hotspots.
If you have any questions about these NYC rooftops, leave me a comment below and I’ll help you out. Have a great trip!