Cover image courtesy of the Public Hotel
Watching the sunset glimmer off New York City skyscrapers with your favorite drink in hand can be an unforgettable indulgence. Our guide to the best rooftop bars in NYC combines quality drinks with stunning views across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Why not present every attractive angle of the city in each of your sunset selfies? From Public Hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to DUMBO House in Brooklyn, here are the top NYC rooftop bars to catch the sunset and a new perspective.
The Roof at Public Hotel, designed by Ian Schrager, appears to float in the sky with 360-degree panoramic views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows and a posh outdoor terrace. After the sun has set, stick around for the roof’s transformation into one of the city’s finest hotspots, complete with local and international DJs.
The Times Square Edition
Another Ian Schrager creation, The Times Square Edition features a 5,800-square-foot beer garden and event deck overlooking bustling Times Square. Verdant and sophisticated, the rooftop resembles an enchanting oasis, though you’ll never feel too far away from the inescapable energy of the city streets below.
Magic Hour at Moxy
Watch the sun come down as your raise your glass at Magic Hour, Moxy Hotel’s “urban amusement park” perched 18 floors above Times Square. The east side overlooks the Empire State Building and offers a garden party vibe, while the west side transports you to carnival-like setting, complete with a rotating seating area. Along with shareable plates and an impressive list of drinks, the deck also features a miniature putt-putt course called Foreplay.
Though the design is minimalist, the pool intimate and the crowd typically laid-back, don’t underestimate the rooftop at Hotel Americano. Its views are nothing short of spectacular, overlooking both the Empire State Building and the Hudson River while mezcal flows alongside Mexican fare.
The train-station-inspired Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel is a romantic enclave with undisturbed views of the Manhattan’s west side. Reminiscent of a lush country garden you might find upstate, the rooftop deck is as ideal for sunset cocktails as it is for lavish brunches in the sky.
Hotel Hugo’s rooftop duplex bar, Bar Hugo, is 20 stories high and showcases views of such icons as the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower and the Hudson River. With an urban industrial vibe of bronze, concrete, chrome and leather, Bar Hugo mesmerizes guests with both its design and its menu of handcrafted cocktails.
Jimmy at the James
A contemporary take on a 1970s New York vibe, Jimmy at the James features 360-degree, river-to-river views overlooking Midtown, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge and beyond. With indoor and outdoor seating, the rooftop bar offers working fireplaces for year-round warmth and a rooftop pool (complete with outdoor showers) to keeps things cool in the summer heat. Even more, drinks are made with herbs grown in their own chef’s garden.
Top of the Standard
As the sun sets and rooftop guests trade tea for cocktails, Top of the Standard welcomes the night with live jazz music, a small-plate menu and specialty cocktails as the indoor rooftop space transforms into the city's most sophisticated supper lounge. The penthouse-style bar also features an open-air space boasting dramatic views of the city and Hudson below.
RH Rooftop Restaurant
The glamorous RH rooftop restaurant sits upon four floors of showroom space and art installations. Extending from indoors to out, the beautifully landscaped restaurant and bar is inspired by the great classical gardens of Europe. With an elegant wine terrace surrounded by trickling fountains and London plane trees, the space is made all the more refined with its attention to textiles, furniture and lighting on par with the Restoration Hardware brand.
Sometimes there’s no better place to take in Manhattan than Brooklyn. DUMBO House boasts a garden terrace and rooftop pool with views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. But keep in mind this rooftop deck is part of SoHo House, a private members’ club for those in the film, media and creative industries.
Westlight, the 22nd-floor rooftop bar at William Vale in Williamsburg, offers sweeping vistas of Manhattan from Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood. Inspired by street food, its menu of bar snacks perfectly complements its list of handcrafted classic cocktails, rare spirits, beer and wine. Need an even better view? The deck features tower viewers, so you can get an even closer look at the goods. Just don’t point yours at the sun.
Airbnb vs. hotel. No, wait: hostel vs. hotel. The good news is, your options for where to stay when you’re globetrotting are more expansive than ever.