A fantastic rooftop lounge is an essential part of any New York City summer, for visitors and locals alike. After all, in a crowded urban jungle, there’s no better place to bask in the sun and take in stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
Whether you’re visiting for a leisurely brunch or enjoying sunset cocktails (that just might lead into a night of “rooftop hopping”), you can’t go wrong at one of these hotspots.
Mondrian Terrace, Nomad Neighborhood
On top of Mondrian Park Avenue, this sleek lounge in the heart of the Nomad neighborhood offers a sophisticated retreat high above the city. With craft cocktails, tasty light bites, and twinkling views of the downtown skyline, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after an afternoon of exploring the city or enjoy a nightcap after dinner at Cleo.
230 Fifth, Flatiron District
At the always-buzzy 230 Fifth, cocktails are served in the shadow of the nearby Empire State Building — and it doesn’t get much more Manhattan chic than that. In the summer, the rooftop garden is dotted with lush green plants (and plenty of nightlife seekers), and in the winter, you can stay cozy over hot toddies in one of the venue’s famous rooftop igloos.
Gallow Green at McKittrick Hotel, Chelsea
Photo: Noah Fecks
Gallow Green is the crown jewel of the misleadingly named McKittrick Hotel, which isn’t a hotel—rather, it’s the venue that plays host to the famed performance piece Sleep No More. When you step off the elevator and onto this rooftop paradise, you’ll be greeted by charming string lights and an abundance of plants that seem to grow right out of the concrete. After a few minutes here, you’ll nearly forget that you’re in the middle of Manhattan. (Don’t forget to try the punch, too.)
Hudson Terrace, Midtown West
From its perch on the far edge of Manhattan, Hudson Terrace provides unparalleled views of the beautiful Hudson River. This nightlife spot is the perfect place to let off steam and dance the night away, and its retractable roof makes it an all-weather adventure.
Dear Irving on Hudson, Hell’s Kitchen
Photo: Noah Fecks
This romantic two-story space boasts a rooftop lounge that towers 41 stories above New York City. Here, the atmosphere is everything: You’ll find hints of Art Deco and James Bond-inspired decor and an air of old-school glamour. They’re known for their particularly creative cocktails, so don’t be afraid to order an unusual libation you’ve never tried before.
Photo: Courtesy of Monarch
This massive bar and event venue has a little something for everyone — and, like any top-notch rooftop spot, it offers breathtaking views of the city. Set in a sprawling 18th-floor penthouse, Monarch is a great place to enjoy happy hour while watching the sun set over the skyline. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even book out the space for a private event.
Mr. Purple, Lower East Side
This Lower East Side restaurant and bar pulls out all the stops with its very own swimming pool. (And in New York, an accessible pool is worth its weight in gold.) The hip, artistic atmosphere is complete with chaise lounges and chic communal seating spaces. If you’re looking to dine, you’ll love the menu’s heavy focus on locally sourced ingredients — and if you’re here for happy hour, their unique cocktails are worth the visit on their own.
Brass Monkey, Meatpacking District
Photo: Courtesy of Brass Monkey
This low-key hangout in the heart of the trendy Meatpacking District was a local fixture long before hip boutiques and studios began popping up in the neighborhood. Brass Monkey’s cozy, yet light-filled roof terrace is the perfect place to indulge in weekend brunch or fill up on a no-frills burger and beer in the evening.
Featured Photo: Mondrian Terrace
- Story by Claire Hannum