It’s officially rooftop bar season in NYC. Well, ok, so the ‘season’ is more of an idea conjured up by bar and resto owners than an actual thing but the Observer is not quibbling. There are many more rooftop bars than you might imagine, so no matter where you are, particularly around midtown, there is always somewhere high with a breeze, to relax. Beat out the crowds on the first “Summer Friday” of the season this week, Friday 23rd May, and choose from the fabulous selection here.
Gansevoort Park Rooftop
Address: 420 Park Avenue South at 29th Street
Your favorite summer Friday happy hour just became your go-to weekend brunch escape. Now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, patrons can escape the sidewalk crowds and head up to the roof for an extensive menu with drink specials complete with a Park Avenue view. While the indoor/outdoor swimming pool is for guests only, the Sundeck space is open to the public. Enjoy a complimentary popcorn serving while sipping on a signature Ginger Park cocktail and soaking in the rays.
Pod 39 Rooftop
Address: 145 East 39th Street
Perched 17 floors high, the top of the Pod 39 Hotel reveals a seasonal rooftop oasis. With panoramic views of the city from the river to the East, the Freedom Tower to the South, the Empire State Building to the West and the Chrysler Building to the North, this two-story open roof space is the ultimate gathering place for after-work or evening out. The buzzing bar scene features tequila-inspired cocktails by mixologist Sam Anderson from Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco.
VU Rooftop Bar
Address: 17 West 32 Street
For the social media savvy young adults who want to Tweet their trip pics including some astonishing skylines, opt for an alternative to the pricey Top of the Rock Observation Center. The recently renovated La Quinta Manhattan, best known for its indoor/outdoor rooftop VU bar, offers stunning views of Manhattan. The $25 you would have spent on a Top of the Rock ticket can go toward enjoying a drink and earning “likes” on your newly posted, close-up shot of the Empire State building. This non-pretentious rooftop bar is open all year and offers a daily happy hour from 5-7pm on weekdays and all day on Sundays.
Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge
Address: 18 Ninth Avenue at 13th Street
A perennial favorite, the recently refreshed rooftop at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC is the original in the neighborhood (celebrating 10 years this summer!) and offers 360-degree views of the Hudson River and Manhattan complete with indoor/outdoor terrace seating and a back garden cabana. This season, enjoy made-to-order skewers from the outdoor grill service while you sip on the signature Mango Lime Rickey cocktail and reminisce with friends over sweeping city views.
Address: 63 West 38th Street
Discover artisanal cocktails like the Uptown Girl or Perfect Pear and selective wines to 3,500 square feet of cinematic views of Manhattan and the Empire State Building. A retractable glass roof enhances city sunsets over the indoor-outdoor section, which is paved with vintage French terracotta floors. Inside, a fountain and fireplace give comfort and flair to a lounge with wooden ceilings constructed out of wood salvaged from the original building’s water tank. The best part? It’s located right under your nose in the Garment District!
Pod 51 Rooftop Deck
Address: 230 East 51st Street
Pod 51’s Rooftop Deck offers sun-bathers and star-gazers a more-relaxed alternative to the NYC buzzing rooftop scene. Adorned with oversized lounge benches, colorful Adirondack chairs and a 12-foot long picnic table, this is the perfect spot to gather for a DIY picnic. Visitors can bring up their own wine, homemade dishes or menu items from the ground floor’s new craft beer gastropub, Pop @ Pod.