Wondering if New York City really is “the city that never sleeps”? There’s no better way to experience NYC than by having a drink above the fray, especially at night when the beating heart of the city lies below. There are many rooftop bars to choose from — we’ll get you started with these top five. Call ahead, since some are only open seasonally and others close for private parties.
The Press Lounge
This bar on the Upper East Side sounds exclusive, but everyone over the age of 21 is welcome at The Press Lounge, as long as they’re dressed “elegant casual.” (Check the website for more information.) The Press Lounge is located atop the Ink48 Hotel, with amazing views of the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan, as well as the Hudson River and across to New Jersey. As the “sister” venue to the award-winning Print.Restaurant, food and drink options at The Press Lounge feature locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
The Refinery Rooftop
If you’re looking for a mix of nostalgia with modern sensibilities, you’ll find it at the brick-walled Refinery Rooftop, on top of the Refinery Hotel in Midtown. The glass ceiling is retractable, giving patrons a dose of fresh air on clear nights. However, rain or shine, you’ll enjoy your drink with an unparalleled view of the Empire State Building above. Check out the Rooftop Spritz — combining Botanist Gin, thyme, grapefruit, lemon and Wölffer Rosé cider — or ask about the Cocktail Caddies, a shareable four servings of assorted cocktails.
If your desire to visit NYC sprang from watching episodes of “Sex and the City,” you’ll want to visit JIMMY in SoHo, on the roof of The James Hotel. The bar attracts locals and tourists year-round, with floor-to-ceiling 14-foot windows that let you view the city from inside, and an outside deck for warmer weather. JIMMY also hosts a pool party series in the summer — call for more information. If you’ve been a Cosmo drinker, update your style with the “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” cocktail (Tito’s vodka, Pama Pomegranate, agave, lime) or “Brigitte Bardot” (Stolichnaya vodka, Grand Marnier, champagne, strawberry).
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
If you’re visiting New York City in the summer, you’ll love the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge from 1 Rooftop. Overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park and with an unobstructed view of lower Manhattan, this seasonal rooftop bar is the perfect place to watch the sunset with a loved one, or to meet up with friends. While 1 Rooftop offers cocktails and wine, it also offers many local brews; after all, Brooklyn is the home of several well-rated craft breweries.
The Crown offers startling views of lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower and Brooklyn, from its location on top of Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown. Patrons can enjoy the views from two outdoor terraces or a plush, indoor lounge area. Its drink list reflects its location with an Asian-inspired flair: with the signature “The Crown Manhattan” consisting of Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Carpano Antica vermouth, Szechuan tincture and bitters, and “Black Dragon Tea” made with Elyx vodka, oolong tea, green tea and spiced kalamansi (an Asian citrus fruit). The beer list includes mainly Asian beers, such as Pacifico, Two Roads and Hitachino. The Crown is a perfect spot for a nightcap after a meal in Chinatown.