Our Fave's: Rooftop Bars with Awesome Views
Urban rooftops are seeing a heyday of sorts, with all manner of upstarts planning camping expeditions and water-tower speakeasies. For trendy hotels, too, no amenity is as sweet (or as touted) as a pool, bar, or restaurant on high. And since it's New York we're talking about, all of these venues have mind boggling views, too, allowing visitors to scope out the city from a whole new angle. As New Yorker's we really enjoy stargazing, people watching and capturing the views from a new spot. Recommendations are:
Hudson Cafeteria 356 West 58th Street 10019 212 554 6000
The Hudson Lodge and Library Bar are quite nice but we love the Sky Terrace's chaise lounges and unobstructed views of the Hudson River all the way to the Statue of Liberty. It's opened until 10:00. Tequila Park is funky outdoor space with Mexican eats & drinks.
Pod 39 145 E 39th Street 10016 (212) 865-5700
Beautiful rooftop with arches & a quirky, offbeat bar & lounge.Sunset at a colorful tiled tables along the bar's perimeter, which is lined with atmospheric red-brick archways and rust-colored column, all overhung with casual-cool strands of light bulbs is memorable .
Hotel Americano : 518 W 27th Street 10001 (212) 216-0000
This West Chelsea hot spot is unabashedly contemporary. Find a bar, grill, and outdoor pool on its top, so whether you're after cocktails in a cabana, a snack on a daybed, or a quick dip, you can have it all in ridiculously modern, Latin-infused surroundings with a stellar view. opened until 1:00 AM
Gansevoort 18 9th Ave Meatpacking District (212) 660-6736
The rooftop pool is for guests only but the buzzing bar and terraces have views that cover the entire city. Forget about the hotel's dramatic history this is a real happening, opened until 1 AM
Gansevoort 420 Park Ave South (646) 380-5391
This is Kim Kardashian's hotel of choice. It's relaxation at the lounger-laden rooftop pool and the loud parties at the two-floor bar and lounge. The hotel recently made headlines when it was slapped with an invoice by nearby residents for the hours of sleep they allegedly lost due to the rooftop's noisy weekend parties.
Le Parker Meridien 19 West 56th Street, 10019 (212) 245-5000
Its enclosed 42nd-floor pool with an outdoor sundeck has views of Central Park and the skyline, offers a full food and drink menu, and sells membership and day passes for those who aren't hotel guests. Dive in until 10:30
Dream New York 355 W 16th St, 10011 (212) 229-2511
Ava rooftop terraces and bar have wonderful panoramic views of the Hudson River, the lights of Times Square, and New York City's famous skyline.
Empire Hotel 44 W 63rd St, 10023 (212) 956-3313
Stellar outdoor space basking in the glow of the Empire State Building on the pool deck's lounge chairs. Happy Hour from 5 until 8. Some neighbors complain about the noise,this is a happening place until 2 AM
The Hotel on Rivington 107 Rivington St, Lower East Side 10002 (212) 475-2600
Nordically nicknamed THOR, in the penthouse of the love-it-or-hate-it Blue Blue-ish Building (no, not that infamous one) on the Lower East Side is a huge event space with three floors, 360-degree views, and a 900-square-foot open-air area. Opened until 11 weekdays and 4 AM Friday & Saturday nights.
The Standard, High Line 848 Washington St (212) 645-4646
It doesn't get trendier than Le Bain at The Standard, High Line. Perch in one of the yellow chairs set atop the astroturf and take in the stellar views from the far West Side. In the summer, a plunge pool and creperie ratchet with a discotheque ambiance.
The NoMad 1170 Broadway Flatiron 10001 (347) 472-5660
The indoor/outdoor space atop one of the city's most hip hotels, is difficult to get into but worth it.
Ink48 53 11th Avenue at West 48th Street 10036 (212) 757-2224
Appropriately enough for a hotel located in a former printing house, Ink48 has got The Press Lounge at its apex. This Midtown nightspot doesn't take reservations, so get there early to secure a spot amid the sexy, slender narrow pool, pod-like chairs, and rattan couches.
Hilton New York Fashion District:
At Rare View atop this Hilton outpost in Chelsea, you'll be surrounded by a wooden fence and ensconced in plush red-and-black seats amid a smattering of plants. Tres classy, even if Hiltons aren't always.
Gramercy Park Hotel
What is it with this place? First it's one of the New York's most essential places to stay, then that it's got a beautifully designed lobby, and now we're telling you the rooftop is baller. Well, it is. Check out Gramercy Terrace for a sophisticated mix of tropical greenery and modern art by the likes of Warhol and Hirst.
The James New York
Eighteen floors above Soho's streets, indulge at Jimmy, The James's poolside bar. We've got another 360-degree view right here, and if you get sick of the classic leather, wood, and fireplaces, just try to cool off in the outdoor showers. That's right, we dare you. [previously]
This rooftop bar and grill is also called Rare View?is a naming war with the Hilton afoot? Extensive pillow menu aside, just be grateful you're not among the plebes and collegiate types roaming the streets of Murray Hill below. Amen to that.
W New York Downtown
W hotels are generally failsafe when it comes to cool, and this one is no exception—whether it's mounting a fake ice-skating rink or serving as home to Jeremy Lin. Though it's not on the rooftop per se, the sleek 5th-floor Living Room Bar & Terrace does allow you to ogle the newly topped off One World Trade Center in all its glory. Plus, Terrace Fest!
The apparently Miami-themed restaurant-slash-bar-slash-dance hall, Penthouse 808 atop the Ravel Hotel, welcomes all visitors to the fair land of Long Island City. Based on the events lineup, expect lots of thumping DJ sets.
King & Grove
As befits a hotel housing an outdoor saltwater pool with $45 day passes, there's also a rooftop bar in the picture. Williamsburg bastion of chic Upper Elm has snacks, cocktails, and music with a kickass view. Fancy. [previously]
Trump Hotel Soho
Though its luscious pool is only open to hotel guests and condo residents, you can imbibe and pack away some grub on the deck at Bar D'Eau. Or just jump in when no one's looking and hide under the waterfall.
This very, very new boutique hotel on 38th Street with steampunk-ish bent has a rooftop enclave, too. The Refinery Rooftop has vintage terracotta floors, artisanal cocktails, and indoor and outdoor spaces to accomodate all seasons. A fountain and a fireplace, too.
Holiday Inn West 57th Street:
We shall leave you with a mission. Google Maps' aerial view provided us with the image above, and we confirmed on its website that this fairly standard-issue chain hotel in Midtown has a rooftop pool. The hotel appears rather secretive about its hidden gem. Do they serve drinks? Food? Allow non-guests for a fee? We say go crash it and report back.
Salon de Ning The Peninsula Hotel 700 5th Avenue 10019 212-956-2888·
1930′s Shanghai stylish lounge overlooking Fifth Avenue in Midtown, amazing views.
230 Fifth 230 Fifth Avenue 10001 (212)725-4300
A massive 22,000 square foot rooftop garden with an enclosed penthouse lounge and an amazing view of the Empire State Building from several different angles. Misting fans are there to keep you cool in the summer, and heat lamps to keep you warm in the cooler months. Extensive bar menu that has everything from sliders to “longtong” vegetarian rice cakes. Open to the public from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. 365 days a year, reservations are not necessary since the lounge can seat 1,000 patrons at a time. Despite its size, however, this place gets packed.
The Brass Monkey 55 Little West 12th Street Meatpacking District 10014 212-675-6686
Irish fare and almost a hundred draft and bottled beers to choose from that make the Brass Monkey a local fave
Upstairs at the Kimberly The Kimberly Hotel 145 East 50th Street 10022 (212)888-1220
Thirty stories above the Kimberly Hotel at their penthouse lounge are 3 separate indoor/outdoor atmospheres complete the 3,000 square foot venue with a bird’s eye view of the Chrysler Building in both winter and summer. Eclectic cocktails (including ‘the Electrolyte,’ new for this season) and small plates are served nightly.
Four at Yotel 570 10th Ave. 10036 (646) 449-7700
This futuristic Japanese hotel features the largest outdoor hotel space in the city, with capacity for 400. Two large bars, DJ's, cabanas, fire pit, & lounge chairs. Although you’re only on the fourth floor, you can still enjoy the fact that you’re high above the throngs of Times Square West.
Wythe Hotel 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (718) 460-8000
Brooklyn's hottest new hotel has The Ides, a rooftop bar. The decor outside is pretty minimal, with simple metal tables on a gray-tiled deck, but that's not deterring the crowds, and it offers no distraction to the views of Manhattan, which are, naturally, the main attraction. Opened until 2 with happy hours during the week.
Z NYC Hotel 11-01 43rd Ave, Long Island City, Queens 11101 (212) 319-7000
The best way to ogle Manhattan's skyline, of course, is to get out of Manhattan and go to Queens. The Z Roof Rooftop Bar, a 5,000-square-foot venue that hasa 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Expect the Queensboro Bridge, up close and personal. Plus, the hotel has just started hosting yoga/fitness classes as well as a concert series on the roof, so that means QT up in the air. We've found the appetizers disappointing.
Dress Code: Casual to dressy. We often bring our folding tripod too!Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Brooklyn pub: Homely pub
We found this place with google at 3.rd night before leaving home. Too bad, it was quite close to our hotel and it had most friendly staff we met in NY. When they asked how our day has been, and what we have done, it felt they actually wanted to hear the answer.
When they asked why we choosed to come to their place, and we told we were searching places with local and/or craft beers, they got intereted and asked where are we from etc. We told we are share holders of small craft brewery in Finland, they sent Brooklyn brewerys member to our table (they had theme night of Brooklyn brewery) and we got a big (0,75L) bottle of their special 25th anniversary beer.
Only negative thing was, that there could have been a little more people. At friday we thought we would stay quite long, but we left since it looked like all the others were friends of the owner, and we thought they are waiting for us to go, so they can shut for the day. Even though they asked, if we wanted something more. I understood they have moved a while ago. I hope the people will find to new place. It was told to be oldest pub in Brooklyn anyway.
They have some snackfood there. We ate some fries and mozzarella stick and such.
Dress Code: NoneRelated to:
- Beer Tasting
Tasting board available: Pacific Standard
We thought it would have been a brewery, sice we found it with google search "carft brewery, brooklyn" and their page made us belive they have their own beers, Sadly it isn´t so.
But at least they had a tasting borad again, so we could taste some "never seen" beers again. It was in the middle of the week, and quite quiet night. Maybe busier at weekend, but because of the freezing wind at nights, we didn´t visit here again later.
Staff first didn´t feel as friendly as usually, but after my husband started to ask about different beers they were very helpfull.
Dress Code: None!Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Jules: Live Jazz
A rare retro-feeling, bistrot corner in East Village
It is small so it is usually packed, both inside and outside at the small yard - better go on week nights
There is freelive jazz music to travel you in different parts of the worlds and in old and modern times...
- I guess that is one of the feelings New York City has to offer: the feeling that you can be everywhere in time and place, just being here -
oh, and you can eat , too - and have a great, affordable meal !
Dress Code: CasualRelated to:
- Food and Dining
Cherry Lane Theater: What's Old is New
This is quite a historic sight in Greenwich Village. Since 1924 the Cherry Lane Theater has been bringing locals and visitors groundbreaking theatrical entertainment.
From F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clifford Odets,Gertrude Stein to Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, and David Mamet the Cherry Lane Theater has showcased creative talent that have become household names.
Check out its web site for the current production.
Dress Code: Casual, but dress nicely.Related to:
- Theater Travel
- Historical Travel
The Half Pint
This is a popular place where you can drink and eat. This time, at The Half Pint we scheduled our Sunday brunch and unofficial VT meeting which was included margaritas as much as you wish :)
Oh dear, that Sunday went by very quick... hic.
Bill's Bar & Burger
This is another pub and restaurant that I was only use it for drinking and therefore it is listed here.
Bill's Bar & Burger have few in New York and this one was near Rockefeller Center. We met here few friends from around US and the world, so it was convenience location for all for few drinks.
This is a pub and restaurant, it can easily be in the restaurants list but as I only had beer here I am listing it as night tip. The Heartland Brewery is a regional brewery and I notice they have few pubs around the city. This one was most convenience, it the 5th Ave by the Empire State Building, so you cannot miss this one.
Rooftop bar at La Quinta Inn: Up on the Roof
Update 2012: this night spot that used to be called Me Bar when we were there is now called VU Bar so I've updated the material.
This is a terrific little rooftop bar for a couple of bumps under the sun or the stars. It's also a good spot for people who can do without the attitude of NYC nightclubs. VU Bar is hidden away on the 14th floor of the La Quinta Inn and feels like it's practically up against the side of the Empire State Building. The interior bar and outside terrace are tiny but cheerful, the bartender was friendly, tunes were good and drink prices reasonable for Manhattan. No dress code, no cover, no velvet rope. There also wasn't any table service but the bar is only steps away so not an issue. The terrace is open almost all year - even in the winter - with heaters to take the chill off. Nice.
It's crowded on the weekends and they can only let so many people up to the postage stamp-sized lounge and terrace at a time so your best bet for grabbing a seat without a wait is on weekday evenings or at opening hour on the weekends. Take the elevators, that are straight ahead of you when you enter the hotel, to the 14th floor and exit to the right. Go up a few stairs and into the cozy, glass-sided interior bar. This was the perfect low-key venue for escaping the street and resting our pavement-weary heels. It's also one heck of a view up the face of the ESB from the terrace!
Dress Code: Shirt, shoes, the usual.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Wicked Willy's: Best Bar in the Area!
I always visit Wicked Willy's when I'm in town. The bar has great specials every day, awesome bartenders, and attracts a fun crowd. The pirate memorabilia is so cool to look at while playing beer pong and hanging out with friends. Make sure to pay a visit!
Dress Code: Dress to impress.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Top of the Rock at night: Unbeatable views
There’s a very good reason why the Top of the Rock stays open until midnight (last ride up at 11.00 PM) – the views of the city from here, stunning as they are by day, are absolutely magical by night!
On our early morning visit we’d opted for the Sunrise and Sunset ticket, which allowed us to make two visits on the same day. So later that day (about 6.00 PM) we returned for our second visit. Although it was a little busier than in the morning, we didn’t need to queue to buy tickets, and on showing the one purchased earlier were able to progress quickly through the exhibition and after only a five minute wait, back up to the roof terraces. We’d timed it perfectly. Although still light, the sun was starting to dip in the sky, and after a brief walk around the terrace we settled on a good spot from where we could watch it set. We were soon pleased that we’d done this, as the roof started to fill up and later arrivals had to settle for looking over the shoulders of others.
Once the sun had gone we remained, taking photos (far too many photos!) of the lights as they came on all over Manhattan and beyond. The solid stone pillars that support the retaining wall make great impromptu tripods so you should be able to get decent shots even on a fairly basic camera. On returning home I had a go at creating a panorama from some of mine which I’m quite pleased with (it's in a separate travelogue if you want to check it out). As in the morning, we stayed a good hour and a half, making this experience one of the best we had on the trip and good value for the $30 we’d paid for the two visits (a simple one visit ticket would have been $20).
For general information about the Top of the Rock experience please see my Things to Do tip.
Dress Code: It may be warm and sunny when you ascend but take a warm sweater as it can get pretty chilly up there after dark.
Guestlist to the best NYC nightclubs
parties in the city with local NYC crowd, places like 1OAK, SL, Tenjune, Kiss&Fly and more in the Meat packing district area, if you want to enjoy some F-R-E-E vodka cranberries at my table..
Text me :347 822 2175 and ill get you on the guest list
Along the Hudson River--12th Avenue: 4th of July Fireworks
Not surprisingly, NYC has one of the grandest 4th of July Fireworks displays in the USA. Actually, it has several displays, but the largest is along the Hudson River. I learned that 59th street and 12th avenue was a good place to go, but I also found problems with this location. The good part was ease of access by a short walk from Central Park, but the bad part was the sunset view of the river was blocked by the elevated parkway. I recommend that NYC consider removing this eyesore freeway and to open up a view of the river. Anyways, the fireworks were launched high over the river, so they were nevertheless easy to see. NYC had six launch sites in a row, maybe six times the show of most major cities in the USA.Related to:
- Family Travel
Pete's Tavern: A Pint of Pete's
McSorley's rival for longest continually operating NYC pub, Pete's has been open since 1864 and had its share of notable patrons. O. Henry was a regular and wrote my favorite of his short stories, "Gift of the Magi", at a booth near the door. Painter/author Ludwig Bemelmans created his first story of a petite mademoiselle "in an old house in Paris that was covered with vines..." here and "Madeline", first published in 1939, has been delighting little girls for 50 years. Strange to think of a children's book being penned in a saloon!
Pete's is a bit more tidy than McSorley's but still retains most of the original furnishings - including an enormous, 30-ft. rosewood bar. The establishment has taken a bow in several films and TV shows - such as Sex in the City, Seinfeld and Ragtime - as well as in advertising campaigns. It has its own ale too, cleverly named "Pete's Ale". Guess they didn't spend much on focus groups in the 1800's?
Unlike its rival, Pete's has the usual array of bottled and tapped brews, a full bar and a restaurant with an Italian/American menu but reviews of the food is, well, mixed at best so come here for a pint of Pete's and a look at the other of NYC's oldest surviving pubs.
Dress Code: Very casualRelated to:
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
The Trash Bar, Brooklyn: Music & Trash
I went there one night to listen to my guitar teacher's performance. And Suke did well! Besides that, the place is trash and the local beer (Pabst) reminded me of the US-beer / s** in a canoe - joke...
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