Anna is a New Yorker writing about her globe-trotting, culinary, and healthy living adventures. Plus, she loves sharing beauty finds.
The Best Rooftop Bars
Looking for the hottest nightspots and spectacular views in New York City? Well, look up: New York's party scene isn't just limited to the street level but extends up to the roofs of trendy high-rise hotels. Manhattan's rooftop bars and lounges, some of which even have outdoor pools are really popular amongst locals since they offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets below, have creative cocktail selections, tasty appetizers, and above all, offer breathtaking views of Manhattan that even us locals appreciate. Did I mention that most of them are even open during the winter? And they offer creative ways to keep you toasty warm when the weather isn't. Most rooftop bars and lounges offer bottle service for around $500 to secure a spot for the night to share with friends or you can get a cocktail for around $15 - $20 each. If you're a tourist, you're getting in on a little local secret!
Below is a list of the best rooftop bars and lounges in NYC that will help you enjoy the high life.
Plunge at Gansevoort Hotel
Address: 18 Ninth Ave. (at 13th St.), New York, NY 10014
Phone number: (212) 206-6700
Hours: Daily, noon - 4:00 am
Subway: A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
Neighborhood: Meatpacking District
Gansevoort's rooftop bar is probably the most well-known amongst NYers. There’s usually a long line to get in past bouncers to enter the hotel and once you’re in, you need to take the elevator to the 14th-floor penthouse which lets you out right into the bar area. One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering is the pool, too bad you can’t actually take a ‘plunge’ (pun intended) since it’s for guests only. During the warm months, the bar is open-air but during colder months, it’s covered with a see-through structure. A cocktail at Plunge will set you back around $15. It’s really popular among the college crowd and is usually completely crowded on Thursdays and over the weekend.
Be forewarned, there's usually a long line outside of Gansevoort hotel to get in.
Peninsula Hotel Rooftop Lounge
The rooftop bar and lounge at the ultra-swanky Peninsula Hotel is one of my favorites. The inconspicuous rooftop terrace offers a stunning view of Midtown and over Fifth Avenue. The glamorous interior has fine details such as framed paintings on the ceiling, inspired by the fictional character Madame Ning - a wealthy, eclectic, and well-traveled socialite. Enticing cocktails such as elderflower gimlet and a tiramisu martini with white-chocolate liqueur will set you back $22 and a beer costs $16. This spot isn't just for nightlife, stop by on Sundays from June to September for a three-course prix-fixe brunch, which will set you back $45 - not too bad all things considered!
Address: 700 Fifth Ave. (at W. 55th St.), New York, NY 10019
Phone number: (212) 903-3097
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Hours: Daily, 4 pm - 1 am
Subway: E, V at Fifth Ave. - 53rd St.; N, R, W at Fifth Ave. - 59th St.
230 5th Bar
230 Fifth is another really popular rooftop bar in New York, located on the 20th floor of the former Victoria Hotel. It’s great all year round because during cold months, it’s heated and you can get a cute red robe to stay warm as you sip on your cocktail while sitting on a wooden bench under white canopies amongst a garden and looking out at the Empire State, MetLife and Chrysler buildings.
Address: 230 5th Av. (between 26th and 27th), New York, NY 10001
Phone number: (212) 725-4300
Hours: Mon - Fri 4 pm – 4 am; Sat, Sun 11 am – 4 am
Subway: N, R at 28th St
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel
Located on the 31st floor of the Kimberly Hotel, this swanky rooftop lounge offers a really spectacular view of Midtown that can be enjoyed all year round, with heated wooden floors keeping you warm during cold months. The interior design is really hot, with a punk rock-ish meets classy feel. The New York Magazine has noted that the establishment "should rank among the city's best [venues]." You should check it out yourself!
Address: 145 E. 50th St. (by 3rd Ave), New York, NY 10022
Phone number: 212-702-1685
Hours: Mon - Wed, 5 pm-1 am; Thu - Fri, 5 pm-2 am; Sat, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm (brunch) and 6 pm - 2 am; Sun, 11:30 am-3:30 pm (brunch) and 3:30 pm-11 pm
Subway: 6 at 51st St.; E, V at Fifth Ave. - 53rd St.
Neighborhood: Midtown East
XVI Lounge atop the Hilton Garden Inn
This 16th-floor bar/lounge in the Times Square area is a popular happy hour spot among locals and makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Miami. DJs spin at night whilst a large projection screen shows old movies, and the fireplaces keep you warm (or pretend to). Half the bar is covered with thick glass so no need to worry if it happens to be raining. The signature cocktail drink is the El Diablo, which will set you back $18.
Address: 251 W. 48th St. (by 8th Ave.), New York, NY 10036
Telephone number: (212) 956-1300
Hours: Daily, 5 pm - 2 am
Subway: C, E at 50th St.; N, R, W at 49th St.; 1 at 50th St.
Neighborhood: Midtown West, Theater District
Jimmy Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the James Hotel
A rather small, but cozy rooftop bar with unbelievable 360-degree views of Manhattan from the 18th-floor penthouse. Great view of the future 1 World Trade Center going up, as well as the Empire State Building. And a stunning view of Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges from the women’s bathroom – go in! Drinks cost about $16 and this is one of Manhattan’s rooftop bars that has a pool.
Address: 15 Thompson St. (at Grand St.), New York, NY 10013
Phone number: (212) 201-9118
Hours: Sun-Wed, 5pm - 1 am; Thu - Sat, 5 pm - 2 am
Subway: A and C at Chambers St.; 1, 2, 3 at Chambers St.; R, W at City Hall
Neighborhood: South Village, Tribeca
Bookmarks at the Library Hotel
Located atop the Library Hotel on the 14th floor, Bookmarks is a low-key, small and intimate rooftop lounge. Signature cocktails are around $15, each one named after the lounge’s bookish theme. It’s a great place to have a nice conversation over drinks or maybe come for a drink on a date.
Address: 299 Madison Ave. (at 41st St.), New York, NY 10165
Hours: Mon-Sat, 4 pm-midnight; Closed on Sundays
Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Crystal Room Lounge at the Dream Hotel
Known as Crystal Room during winters when heated and AVA Lounge in summers when you want to be outdoors, this rooftop is located on the 15th floor of the Dream Hotel. Awesome views of the Hudson River and Times Square.
Address: 210 W. 55th St. (on Broadway), New York, NY 10019
Phone number: 212-956-7020
Hours: Mon – Fri, 5pm - 4 am; Sat & Sun, 6 pm – 4 am
Subway: N, Q, R, W at 57th St.; B, D, E at Seventh Ave.
Neighborhood: Midtown West
Eden Rooftop Lounge in Times Square
A great lounge to escape the craziness of Times Square and have a tasty mojito. Go to Eden for happy hour! There’s a $50 credit card minimum and gratuity gets included.
Address: 760 Eighth Ave. (between 46th & 47th St.), New York, NY 10036
Phone number: (212) 398-2188
Hours: Nov-Mar: Mon and Fri - Sat, 9pm - 4 pm; Thu, 5pm - 4am; Sun and Tue - Wed, closed; Apr - Oct: Fri - Sat, 10pm - 4am; Sun - Thu, closed
Subway: 1 at 50th St.; C, E at 50th St.; N, R, W at 49th St.
Neighborhood: Times Square
Mad46 at the Roosevelt Hotel
Located on the 19th floor, Mad46 is open April - October and is a “hidden oasis under the Manhattan skyline”, perfect for a relaxed happy hour during NY’s warm months.
Address: 45 E 45th St., 19th Fl (on Madison Ave.), New York, NY 10017
Phone number: 212-885-6095
Hours: Apr-Oct: Mon-Fri, 5 pm-midnight; Sat, 4 pm-midnight; Sun, closed;
Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.; 7 at Fifth Ave./Bryant Park
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Press Lounge at Ink48
Press, located on the 16th floor of Ink48 Hotel, is an awesome lounge with a large deck and stunning landscape. On the east, you see the Hudson River and on the west, you get a great view of Midtown. As per the lounge itself, there’s lots of comfy seating and a gorgeous 20-foot pool. Great place to come after work and enjoy the sunset.
Address: 653 Eleventh Ave. (on 48th St.), New York, NY 10036
Phone number: (212) 757-2224
Hours: Wed-Sat, 5pm-2am; Sun-Tue, 5pm-1am
Subway: C, E at 50th St.
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
Top of the Strand
Open all year round with the help of a retractable glass roof that keeps patrons warm, Top of the Strand offers a remarkable view of the Empire State Building, located just four blocks away. Drinks such as an Açai cocktail will set you back $14.
Address: 33 W. 37th St. (on 6th Ave.), New York, NY 10018
Telephone number: (212) 448-1024
Hours: Daily, 5 pm-midnight
Subway: B, D, F, V at 42nd St. - Bryant Park; 4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
Neighborhood: Midtown West