It’s common knowledge among New Yorkers that the best moments of summer in the city tend to take place on a rooftop. Amid our usual urban claustrophobia, there’s something incredibly freeing about the breezy, open space of a rooftop garden, or the view of the Manhattan skyline from a 17th-story bar. So this summer, when you feel like you need a little elevation, check out one of these incredible top-floor destinations:
542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Gallow Green is located on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel, which is home to “Sleep No More,” New York’s most famous interactive theatre show. This restaurant and bar are similarly theatrical, with an enchanting garden, and white-uniformed waitstaff who take your order in faux-British accents. As you sit beneath the endless rows of Christmas lights, you can gaze out at the city’s beautiful West Side. Pro tip: If you get there early enough, you can even enjoy the bar’s VIP seating — inside an antique railcar!
The Ides at the Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
It’s often said that the summer skyline of Manhattan is best viewed from North Brooklyn with a cool drink in hand — at least, it’s said by anybody who’s ever enjoyed one of the cool drinks at the Wythe Hotel’s rooftop bar, The Ides. Guests can relax on the indoor red-velvet booths or linger on the bar’s breezy outdoor terrace. Specialty beverages come with a typical Williamsburg price tag of $10-$12, but judging from the wait-line that always extends through the hotel lobby, the experience is more than worth it.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
44 Eagle Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222
With 6,000 square feet of organic greenery, Eagle Street’s Greenpoint rooftop farm offers nature-lovers a haven from claustrophobic city life. On the last Sunday of each month at 1PM, Eagle Street opens its doors to the public, and veggie-lovers from near and far can help harvest the latest crops.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Art-lovers flock to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year. With an awe-inspiring view of the Upper East Side and Central Park, this rooftop terrace is a cultural destination all its own. Covered in greenery, the rooftop displays seasonal, site-specific exhibits by talented artists. Museum-goers who need a little pick-me-up can stop by the Met Roof Garden Cafe & Martini Bar, which serves sandwiches, snacks and drinks.
Night of Joy
667 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
Night of Joy’s rooftop bar is a casual terrace decorated with patio furniture, and surrounded by Williamsburg’s colorful graffiti. Guests can enjoy a view over the BQE as they sip on delicious drinks made with botanical ingredients. A daily happy hour from 5pm-8pm only further sells the experience. If it gets too sunny or crowded on the roof, you can venture down to the bar’s cozy interior, which is decorated like your great-aunt’s living room — complete with bird-cages, old television sets, and flowered wall paper.
JIMMY at the James Hotel
15 Thompson Street, Manhattan, NY 10013
On the 18th floor of the luxurious James Hotel in Soho, you’ll find JIMMY, the year-long roof-top bar that immediately conjures up images of 1970’s New York. The bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows make sure you don’t miss a single inch of the view of Wall Street and the East River. If the summertime heat is getting to you, go ahead and take a dive into the bar’s outdoor pool. Afterwards, you can enjoy one of the bar’s warm-weather delights, like the “Slushie du Jour,” or the “Grilled Pineapple Mojito,” and nosh on snacks like guacamole and hummus.
145 E 39th Street, New York, NY 10016
This Murray Hill taco spot is a feast for the senses. Located on the 17th-floor of the Pod 39 Hotel, Salvation Taco offers an outdoor patio framed by brick archways and lush greenery. Though the indoor restaurant features many inventive tacos, the rooftop menu is limited to basic necessities, like Frozen Margaritas, chicken tacos, and chips and salsa. But, believe me, with a view like this one, you won’t be complaining!
Kimoto Rooftop Bar & Lounge
216 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
As the city’s first Asian beer-garden, Kimoto offers the ultimate combination: Twenty different kinds of craft beers for those who like to drink, a modern, playful Asian-fusion menu, and a Brooklyn rooftop location. With a minimalist, Zen-inspired design, Kimoto’s outdoor terrace radiates tranquillity, and reveals a prime view of the Statue of Liberty. The restaurant has a very earthy feel, with over 300 different kinds of plants sprinkled throughout.
This summer, don’t settle for a bar on the ground floor. Instead, savor your time in the sun on any of these rooftop hangouts!