eating / NYC Guide

9 rooftops to check during winter in New York

One of my favorite things to do over the summer in New York is having a drink at some of the many rooftops of the city. With incredible views, these places are perfect for a Happy Hour, always entitled to a sunset breathtaking. Not to mention that it is very nice to be outside in the summer, right? But, when it is cold, this scenario changes completely … it’s not easy to stay outside during the freezing months. But I know a lot of people come to NYC and also want to have the chance to visit a rooftop. The truth is: the vast majority of rooftops open all year –  and today, I bring a list of them.

Gansevoort Rooftop – located in the Meatpacking district, this rooftop was renovated in 2021 and now open! It’s an escape for hotel guests and downtown locals. Take in the 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River and expect innovative cocktails, light bites, late-night entertainment and the choice of outdoor and indoor spaces with plenty of seating. Plus, Meatpacking is a very charming area! Check the website.

Address: 18 Ninth Avenue.

Refinery Rooftop – with chic industrial aesthetics, Refinery Rooftop has an indoor and outdoor area, plus a retractable glass roof – and, of course, a beautiful view of the Empire State building. They usually have DJ and jazz during the week as well. The place opens every day from late morning until late night – meaning you can have lunch, happy hour or dinner.  The food is really good and they have a great selection of cocktails, beers, and wine. For more details, visit the website.

Address: 63 W 38th St.

The Press Lounge – this bar offers one of the best views in the city. It has an open roof deck for the months of warm weather and the main bar fully enclosed with large windows to enjoy the view. It is open every day! For more details, visit the website.

Address: 653 11th Ave.

Westlight – this rooftop is located at The William Hotel in Williamsburg and has one of the most amazing views I have ever seen here in New York. It is one of my favorite rooftops, featuring an outdoor area and an indoor area. In 2020, they installed an ice rink as well, and they did it again this year. Can you imagine? Skating with a view! Check more info on the website.

Address: 111 North 12th Street – Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel – Located in the Penthouse lounge, 30 stories above the Kimberly Hotel, this rooftop has indoor and outdoor spaces and offers a perfect view of the iconic Chrysler Building, which is the star of the show. With a retractable glass roof, guests can try drinks in three distinct areas. They also offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 16 pm. For more details, visit the website.

Address: 145 East 50th St.

Le Bain – located at the trendy The Standard Hotel, this rooftop has spectacular views of the Hudson River. With indoor area – which features a Jacuzzi – and a lovely outdoor area that is super cool during the summer, this is one of the busiest rooftops of the city. For more details, visit the website.

Address: 444 W 13th St.

Skylark – another rooftop that is among my favorites, Skylark has a privileged view of the Empire State Building, a huge indoor area and a great outdoor space, plus a great spot for perfect photos with the Empire State Bulding. Also, cocktails here are delicious as well as the light bites. For more details, check the website.

Address: 200 W 39th St.

Mr. Purple – located at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, this rooftop has two outdoor terraces with a pool and views of the Manhattan skyline. The loft is decorated with brick walls in sight, wooden tables and lamps. They have beautiful outdoor settings for winter time! For more details, visit the website.

Address: 180 Orchard St. 

Magic Hour Rooftop – from the Tao Group, this rooftop boasts five distinct environments. The gallery-like entrance hall features whimsical topiary animals in naughty positions. A small interior lounge has a sexy urban-industrial vibe, with wire mesh panels riveted to the ceiling and walls. There are two separate outdoor areas: The east side, overlooking the Empire State Building, has elegant garden-party fixtures, while the west is more overtly carnival-esque, with one seating area rotating slowly like an antique carousel. Check more info on the website.

Address: 525 Greenwich St.

General tips:

– Rooftops are bars and, here in the US, you can only attend these places if you are 21+ years old. Do not forget to bring an ID  with you. If you have any specific questions about this, please contact directly with the rooftop. Some places have exceptions for day time, but you have to check their website. 

– Rooftops require a dress code – on the websites, you can find the detailed specifications, but, in general, these places don’t accept people wearing sneakers, tank tops and sportswear. Don’t insist: if you are not dressed appropriately, they do not let you in.

– I know many people want to visit the rooftops only because of the views – but it’s not ok to visit a rooftop and not purchase anything. Rooftops are not observatories decks. Order at least one drink.

– Some of the rooftops accept online reservations – you will find the information on the websites. Most of them also have an online menu. If it is possible, make a reservation. These places can get very busy. 

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