Best Rooftop Bars in NYC

It’s that time of year, when drinking rosé indoors just doesn’t cut it. That’s right – it’s rooftop season. Make sure to put on some sort of makeup setting spray and hit up happy hour at these picture perfect spots. (Expect updates throughout the summer.) Last Updated: July 10th

WestlightThe William Vale (Williamsburg)

I went on a Wednesday night (not my best call), but I was with a guy from London (one of my better calls). The crowd is mixed. There was a table of collared-shirted men, who were ill advised on where to chant like ex-frat boys, and a couple of people on dates scattered amongst the tables. My companion told me that, although advertised, there is rarely a DJ, even on weekends (I don’t know if I believe him). Looking around the space, there is also no indoor area to even attempt to watch white boys dance, and the outside is windy and cold at night. During the day, especially on a weekend, expect a long line. I don’t know if it was an off night, when I went, but I might come again to find out.

Loopy Doopy – Conrad New York (TriBeCa)

Definitely get a Boozy Icepop cocktail – you’ve seen them all over Instagram, so why not splurge the $23+ to hold a pretty drink? I went last August with work friends, before peak HH (happy hour) time, so it was easy to grab a prime table with a view. A friend of a friend was given a drink with a bee in it, but I wouldn’t let that define the place. The people that go are women in Revole summer dresses and finance bros, because it is near FiDi.

Refinery – Refinery Hotel (Midtown West)

When I say that every female had a glass of rosé in her hand at this place, I mean it. Last month, I gave in to the peer pressure and had a glass of pink wine in my hand by the end of the night. It gets crowded during HH, so do yourself a favor and ask for a table – the wait is worth it, and you can grab a drink while you wait. I don’t know if it was because I was hungry when I went, but the food looked good, so you might want to extend HH into dinner. If you want a great photo of the Empire State Building, because why not?, then this is the place for you.

Jimmy – James Hotel (SoHo)

I went on a date with a French guy here, so you could say that I have fond memories of the place. There is a bouncer, who has a bit of an ego issue for a rooftop, but it’s not hard to get in. While I was here, I did see someone I knew (not in a good way), so you could say they let anyone in. The giant, red “LOVE” sign is by the pool outside, so if you want an Instagram take it quick, because it starts to look like a line at Disneyland if you’re there too long. Also, if you need the bathroom (or want to take a picture, like me), go to the one on the far left, because there’s a really pretty view.

McCarren Rooftop BarMcCarren Hotel & Pool (Williamsburg)

If you can’t get into The William Vale’s rooftop, because waiting in lines is not your thing, then walk a couple of blocks to the McCarren Hotel. On a sunny Saturday, the pool will be booked solid, so if you haven’t purchased a pool pass head up to the rooftop. The crowd is… relaxed, so if you’re looking to party or be seen, #1 check yourself #2 this is not your place. I personally recommend coming here to down a mojito after visiting Smorgasburg.

Salvation Taco RooftopPod 39 Hotel (Murray Hill)

Come to this aesthetically pleasing rooftop if you’re in the mood for tacos, margs, and afterwork bros with backpacks. Actually, the age range at the top is pretty vast, as I definitely asked a 50+ year old man to move so I could get water, but he was like #saltandpepper. Prices aren’t the best, as with most rooftop bars you end up paying for the view more than the drink. I also learned the hard way that Montauk Watermelon Ale does not taste like the fruit at all…but the can is cute, so I’m not boiling with rage.

Mr. PurpleHotel Indigo (LES)

I have been dying to go to this trendy mofo since summer started. It has it all – a pool, brunch, a cute bar, an amazing view, trendy nightlife, great decor/art, and most importantly a neon sign. I went for Sunday brunch, so it wasn’t as crowded as at night, but it was far from dead. Be a cool kid and go.

PHD TerraceDream Midtown (Midtown)

This might be a one and done type of place. I went with a promoter on a Saturday night, and there were definitely toddlers in tight dresses in attendance. It’s a promoter stomping ground, so downstairs there’s a girl to guy ratio of 30 to 1. The music is faint upstairs, but the crowd is better. Expect collared shirts and club clothes here. Also, I can’t tag PHD Terrace as the location on my Instagram photo, so I’m pretty PO’d about that.

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