These bars are destinations in their own right.
New York City has always been a place that rewards those who aspire to move onward and upward. And that expansive philosophy also holds true for the city’s bar scene, which is as vibrant dozens of stories in the air as it is at street level.
Today’s rooftop bars are no longer the stuffy happy hour haunts or tourist traps of days gone by. Instead, the loftiest watering holes in town offer creative cocktails, the chicest settings, and world-class skyline views. If you want to take your New York City bar game up a level (or 60), check out one of the following rooftop bars.
The Fleur Room
Moxy hotels know how to do rooftop bars, and the Fleur Room at the Chelsea property proves that expertise. Located on the 35th floor, the Fleur Room is encased in glass walls, showcasing 360-degree views spanning all the way from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, which magically open to transform the space into an airy veranda. A sophisticated botanical theme, including an enchanting hanging garden, pays homage to the nearby Flower District.
Located on the 18th floor of Graduate Roosevelt Island, the stunning Panorama Room is reason enough to visit this narrow island wedged between the Upper East Side and Queens. Tubular acrylic chandeliers meet vintage-inspired velvet furniture in the interior lounge, while the outdoor patio offers some of the best views of three New York City boroughs. The bar is open Wednesday through Sunday and there’s a dress code (elevated chic), so prepare accordingly. The cocktail menu—which features refreshing takes on classic drinks like lychee martinis and Long Island iced teas served in Italian and Swedish glassware—will be more than worth your trouble.
Westlight—located at The William Vale in Williamsburg—hovers 16 stories above the surrounding buildings. The design plays into the views, offering a sweeping look at all five boroughs. Inside, you’ll find low-slung leather couches and velvet banquettes in front of floor-to-ceiling windows, while outside, the wraparound terrace features a plexiglass railing and bright-yellow viewfinders for people-watching from above. Reservations are recommended, especially for a visit timed around the sunset.
Catapult an impressive 64 stories into the sky to land at Overstory, a Financial District treasure with a large outdoor terrace wrapping all the way around the building. A seat at this bar isn’t an easy reservation to score (and they don’t serve food), but your advance planning will be rewarded with 360-degree views of the city and equally enticing cocktails, like the Easy Money (vodka with coconut, yuzu, lime leaf, and soda). Ground-floor sister spot Crown Shy is a lovely place to wait for your turn on the dedicated Overstory elevator.
The crowd is eclectic, the drink menu is carefully curated, and the photo ops are unparalleled at The Crown, which sits 21 stories high at Chinatown’s Hotel 50 Bowery. Two outdoor spaces offer unobstructed views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center, rivaled only by the menu of classic and seasonal cocktails. On cooler nights, retreat to the chic lounge space inside, where a DJ keeps the party going.
Midtown may not be known for its hip bar scene, but A.R.T. NoMad, located in the shadow of the Empire State Building on the 31st floor of the Arlo NoMad hotel, is changing the neighborhood’s touristy reputation. Sip on creative cocktails like the Girls Just Want to Have Fun (vodka, aloe, mint, cucumber, and lime) and nibble on Middle Eastern–inspired snacks. Don’t miss a visit to the sky-walk glass-floor installation, an Instagram photo op designed for the bravest of visitors.
Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge
Brooklyn industrial chic vibes go airborne at Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge, a 4,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue atop 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge that boasts cinematic views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. Outside you’ll find a generous spread of couches, lounge chairs, and pine-beam stadium seating, along with fire pits and a pool (leave your swimsuit at home; it’s reserved for hotel guests). Inside, the aesthetic is a modern take on an old-fashioned cocktail lounge. Be sure to book your visit in advance and come hungry. Chef Denevin Miranda’s izakaya-inspired menu is almost as tempting as the scenery.