Summer is almost here, and it’s finally that special time when native New Yorkers and visitors alike are getting ready to soak up all the excitement of the city. Spending as few hours indoors as possible is high on everyone’s lists, and rooftop hangouts are just the place to do it. Here, we've put together some of the best rooftop hideaways and hotspots to capture the magic of the season.
Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden
Located on the second floor of the Sixty LES Hotel at the back of Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, this summer Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden debuts a new menu of unique Asian-inspired tacos, street food, and beverages perfect for post-work pit-stops. Guests can choose from Peking duck tacos served with hot mustard and topped with scallions, radish and duck cracklings, cheeseburger tacos topped with special sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and habanero cucumbers, and fried shrimp tacos with guacamole and tomatillo ponzu (among other delicacies). Drink specials include frosé, frozen Kirin Ichiban, and plenty of other Japanese beers and sakes to choose from.
Arlo Roof Top in SoHo
This past May, Arlo SoHo relaunched its new outdoor space under the name Arlo Roof Top (A.R.T) to much fanfare. Featuring panoramic views of the Hudson River, it also includes new lounge seating, refinished outdoor bar, and VIP area decked out with twinkle lights, creating the perfect urban oasis. The rooftop is also introducing an entirely new cocktail menu curated by Employees Only's Milos Zica, with signature drinks such as the Arlo Picante (mezcal, grapefruit juice, spiced bitters) and the West Side (citrus vodka, fresh mint, soda and a touch of sweet) on offer.
With 360-degree views of the East River and Manhattan skyline, Ophelia is the newest and hottest rooftop lounge, located on the 26th floor of The Beekman Tower. Built in the 1920s, the building formerly served as a Panhellenic Tower and residence for working women during the flapper-era. Designed to resemble an "illuminated jewel box", Ophelia features restored elements from its original architecture, and thoughtfully layers design elements from the 1920s and 30s. Enjoy the summer breeze over signature cocktails, many inspired by the building's colorful history, and curiosities from former residents displayed throughout the lounge ranging from old photographs and matchbooks to vanity mirrors and much more.
SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill
Located under the Manhattan Bridge along the East River, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill is the ultimate al fresco dining spot. For their opening season, the team offers sprawling patio seating and globally inspired small plates right on the Dumbo waterfront in BK, with beautiful views of Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the East River.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square
Perched 18 floors above the city, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge boasts five carnival-themed environments and is the largest indoor/outdoor all-season hotel rooftop in New York City. The gallery-like entrance hall features whimsical topiary animals in naughty positions, and the small interior lounge gives off a sexy urban-industrial vibe with its wire mesh panels riveted to the ceiling and walls. There are also two separate outdoor areas: the east side overlooks the Empire State Building with an elegant garden-party atmosphere, while the west is more overtly carnival-esque, offering a rotating carousel for seating.
The Beach at Dream Downtown
Channeling the glamour of the Côte d’Azur in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Beach at Dream Downtown is the largest hotel pool in the city, boasting a 4,800 square foot beach and glass bottom swimming pool looking right onto the hotel lobby. The Beach includes real Hamptons-imported sand and private cabanas that come complete with flat-screen TVs and lounges. Groups can order from a menu of large-scale cocktails, some served right inside fresh fruit, like the watermelon keg with Herradura Blanco, fresh watermelon, habanero pepper, and fresh lime.
Located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, Llama Inn is New York City’s destination for cutting-edge, modern Peruvian cuisine. Part hotel, part urban hacienda, part barrio bar, it's led by Peruvian-American Chef Erik Ramirez, a veteran of top kitchens like Eleven Madison Park, in partnership with Juan Correa, a Peruvian native and former financier, and cocktails created by noted mixologist Lynnette Marrero. Llama Inn also offers a definitive selection of Pisco, Peru’s national spirit.
The Polynesian, newly opened this past spring, is an ultimate ode to Tiki. Led by Brian Miller, a veteran craft bartender of more than two decades, The Polynesian is unprecedented in ambition and scope, honoring Tiki’s past and reinvigorating it for generations to come. Located in Midtown West’s new Pod Times Square Hotel, The Polynesian accommodates 200 guests split equally between its indoor space and outdoor terrace, each with its own full-sized bar. The terrace also offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Azul At Hotel Hugo
Step out of the hustle and bustle of New York City and into Old Havana at Azul at Hotel Hugo. The Rooftop channels a Cuban cantina vibe against the backdrop of magnificent 360-degree views of Lower Manhattan.
The Knickerbocker Hotel’s St. Cloud Rooftop is located high above 42nd Street and Broadway overlooking Times Square. With three plush "sky pods", indoor and outdoor seating options, and lush living walls of greenery, St. Cloud is the ultimate rooftop bar in NYC. Named for the late-19th-century hotel that originally occupied the site, St. Cloud offers a progressive cocktail menu, craft bottled beers and an upscale, seasonally-focused small plates menu by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer.