Planning a visit to New York City this summer, and want to feel like a local? Or rather do you live here, and want to check out some new and exciting venues throughout Manhattan that have fabulous views, great cocktails, and a stellar ambiance? Well either way, here are my favorite rooftop bars in New York, which are definitely worth taking a trip too, if you are in town.
Press Lounge (653 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036)
- Nestled on the top of the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, and on the quiet 11th avenue and 48th Street, Press Lounge is a rooftop lounge that I have just recently discovered and can not get enough of. Since the location is quite remote on Manhattan’s West Side, the views from the lounge itself are extensive and unparalleled. Essentially it feels as if you are getting a view of the Manhattan skyline from New Jersey, without actually having to hike to that dreaded state.
- If you are a visitor of the hotel, you will enjoy access to the lounge without having to wait in line, which can get quite long especially in the evening.
- Dress Code: Press Lounge dictates that an elegant casual dress code will be enforced, which basically means no shorts, beach wear, flip-flops, caps, or tank-tops will be allowed. Collared shirts such are recommended and preferred for men.
- To my knowledge a happy hour is not offered, and the drinks are quite pricey but the endless views of Manhattan are certainly worth the price.
Le Bain (848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014)
- Located at the top of the Standard Hotel in Manhattans Meatpacking District, Le Bain is both an indoor/outdoor lounge and bar that turns into a disco on some nights. Themed parties, a pool, a crêperie, a more swanky foreign crowd, and unusual music are some of the highlights of going to Le Bain.
- While the drink prices here are also pricey and no happy hour is offered, the rooftop features an AstroTurf green floor and water beds, which gives you breathtaking looks of both the city and the Hudson river.
- Dress Code: elegant but not business, just like the rest of Meatpacking’s bars and clubs. The doorman that works here at nights is quite particular about what you are wearing and if he is going to let you in or not, so dress smart and chic, not like you have just left a business meeting.
- It is recommended to go here later on in the night, if you are looking for a place to that has space to dance.
Monarch Rooftop Lounge (71 W 35th St, New York, NY 10018)
- Monarch boasts the best rooftop views of the Empire State Building by far, compared to any other rooftop bar and lounge I have ever been to in New York City. The outdoor rooftop practically hovers on top the Empire State Building, which makes for gorgeous views and pictures.
- Unlike the other rooftop bars listed, Monarch does offer a happy hour special and is quite popular amongst locals and people who do work in Midtown. Check out their happy hour specials between 4:00-6:00pm. You may want to get there early, as it tends to get a bit crowded, fast.
- Dress Code: Strictly enforced: neat, trendy, and fashionable. Men are recommended to wear collared shirts, shoes, and fitted attire while ladies are expected to wear heels.
Sky Room (330 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018)
- Situated on top of the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Times Square, Sky Room is a two level bar, lounge, and nightclub with breathtaking 360 degree views of Manhattan. The lounge boasts plenty of table space for you and your friends to sit down, and a nice space for dancing as well.
- After work happy hour is offered here starting at 4pm, but the crowd is much more business then the other rooftop bars listed above. During the after work happy hour time frame business attire is more dominant, however for all other times the dress code is the same as the others.
- Enjoy listening to trendy Electro and pop hits at night.
Bookmarks Lounge (299 Madison Ave #14, New York, NY 10017)
- Nestled at the top of the Library Hotel, Bookmarks Lounge is a quick hop away from Grand Central Station. For an experience much different then all of the rest listed and a bit more of an upscale crowd, visit this rooftop lounge where books line the walls of the hotel during the early evening.
- This rooftop lounge is much more calmer and quieter than the rest, despite its central location on Madison Avenue. Head here to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing, or perhaps to catch up and have a conversation with some one, or potentially meet a date here for drinks.
- Dress Code: Smart casual.
- Happy Hour is offered here, step inside to find out more details.
PH-D Rooftop Lounge (355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011)
- Located at the Dream Downtown Hotel.
- Perhaps my least favorite rooftop lounge on this due to lack of space and not the best setup, PH-D is still worth a visit because of the incredible views of the city from the rooftop lounge.
- While drinks are extremely pricey and the dancing area is quite small and cramped at nighttime, I would recommend PH-D for an early evening cocktail or for happy hour (which they do offer). If you feel like having no space and being quite cramped inside, check out PH-D during a Friday or Saturday night.
- Enjoy the outdoor balcony on both sides of the bar which offers stellar views of the New York City skyline, at any time of day.
- Dress Code: (strictly enforced) downtown chic. Button-downs and jackets are suggested for men, and heels for women.
Top of the Strand (33 W 37th St)
- As obvious as the name can apply, the Top of the Strand is located in Midtown essentially in the Empire State Building’s backyard (just like Monarch) at the top of the Strand Hotel.
- Visit this intimate rooftop lounge to catch up with friends, meet a date, enjoy signature cocktails (which the Strand Hotel is known for), and have exclusive views of Midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building.
- Happy Hour is offered here, check online for their current specials.
- Dress Code: Smart casual.
MET Rooftop Garden & Martini Bar (1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028)
- Located at the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (find the special elevators that indicate they are running to the rooftop garden and bar), this location adds something very special to the list that the other bars could not. Enjoy a Martini or coffee overlooking Central Park and the New York City Skyline while indulging in a changing rooftop art on display.
- Enjoy views that the other bars can not offer, which make this location unique. Perhaps spend half a day touring the MET and stop here for a drink to unwind after viewing some art.
- Happy Hour is not offered here.
- Dress Code: Smart casual, able to enter an art museum.
Let me know what you think about my favorite rooftop bars around my home city! Can’t wait to see your pictures from these lounges, @theNYCwanderer (instagram). Until next time, XoXo.