New York Rooftop Bars:

10 Drinks on Top of the World

Besides being beloved films, Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong, and Rear Window all have one thing in common: they're proof that in New York City, the most exciting things often happen above street-level. Luckily, New York's countless rooftop watering holes offer a birds-eye-view of the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, making them a must-hit destination for out-of-towners looking to take in the twinkling skyline, to locals looking to elevate their typical bar experience.
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#1

Le Bain 848 Washington Street

Meatpacking District: A-Lister Playground

Up a graffiti-adorned staircase–-and away from the topless models swimming in hot tubs downstairs––Le Bain's rooftop bar offers another kind of eye candy. Stunning views of Manhattan and the Hudson await guests reclining on pink waterbeds or in white lawn chairs atop Astroturf. Still missing the ladies? Peer through planted binoculars to ogle a close-up of the Statue of Liberty.

#2

Night of Joy 667 Lorimer Street

Greenpoint: Artisanal Cocktails

Flanked by the BQE and surrounding billboards, Night of Joy doesn’t attract patrons for its views. Instead, the bar draws flocks of lively drinkers to its rooftop patio for its frozen margaritas and clever artisanal cocktails—such as a cilantro bloody mary or jalapeno and black current tequila.

#3

230 Fifth 230 5th Avenue

5th Avenue: Secret Garden

The palm trees might evoke an LA-vibe, but the view is pure Manhattan. An elevator ride to this 20th-floor rooftop terrace finds patrons surrounded on all sides by the Empire State Building, the Met Life building, and the not-so-far-off New Jersey skyline. Complimentary robes keep the party warm on chilly evenings.

Decked out in stylish, sweat-inducing leather getups, guests climb up to The Eagle's roof to cool off in the night air. Seated on multi-level benches, these brawny bar-goers marvel at the river and sparkling cityscape, while the grill serves summer staples such as hot dogs and burgers.

#5

Vu Bar 17 West 32nd Street

Koreatown: Beneath the Shadow of the Empire State Building

A white picket fence encloses the patio of this laid-back 14th-story joint, blocking out views of surrounding Koreatown. Deprived of people-watching opportunities, guests sip their cocktails, then tilt their head upwards instead, ogling the towering majesty that is the Empire State Building.

Once chilly winds begin to blow, many rooftop bars are forced to close for the season. Not so with La Piscine—a glass ceiling shields this open-air eatery from the cold and it's pool transforms into a hot tub. Even the menu changes—seafood and margaritas are replaced with fondue and hot sake.

#7

The Heights Bar and Grill 867 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Morningside Heights: Burritos over Broadway

Guests don't have to climb too many stairs to reach this bar's third-floor rooftop, but once they do they're rewarded all the same. Twice daily happy hours keep glasses filled inexpensively from 3–7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-close. Between sips, guests sup on Mexican-inspired eats, including burritos and pulled pork enchiladas, while lounging on reclining sofas.

#8

Berry Park 4 Berry Street

Greenpoint: Unpretentious Rooftop Bar

After putting up with exclusive guest lists and $16 cocktails at other rooftop bars, a visit to Berry Park is like a breath of fresh air. There’s room for everyone on their 3,000 square foot terrace, where the atmosphere is boisterous, the tables are communal, and the draft beers top out at $9.

As internationally renowned indie bands whoop and howl below, audience members take a break from bobbing their heads on the dance floor and venture upstairs where a jukebox takes center stage. Perched on blue wooden benches, patrons can use their laps to balance plates of barbeque, plucked fresh from the grill.

#10

Brooklyn Crab 24 Reed Street

Red Hook: Seafood Stay-cation

Picnic tables, mouthfuls of steamed crab, and views of the ships entering and leaving New York Harbor help this Brooklyn seafood shine feel like it belongs in Florida or along the coast of Maine. If there's a wait, work up an appetite with a round of mini-golf or Ping-Pong downstairs.

Deal or no deal, our editors strongly recommend these businesses based on their reputation, popularity, and quality of service.

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