The Top 10 Hottest NYC Rooftop Bars: Rated by Dating Professionals

08 Jul

Whether you’re on a first date or several dates in, there are few better ways to invigorate the mood with romance than drinks overlooking the cinematic views of New York City.

Vida Explores the Best Rooftop Bars NYC has to Offer

Whether you’re on a first date or several dates in, there are few better ways to invigorate the mood with romance than drinks overlooking the cinematic views of New York City. Grabbing a quick beverage after work or settling in for an evening of flirtation over a martini, you can be sure there’s no finer spot in the world to be falling in love.

Today we give you the lowdown on our top 10 rooftop bars in NYC.

1) Last Light at Sister City, Lower East Side

sister city date bar locationOn the 11th floor of the Sister City hotel sits the brand new rooftop bar from the creative studio behind The Ace Hotel. An array of exciting cocktails and fantastic bar snacks such as razor clams casino, ricotta ramps toast and black bass ceviche are served with a side order of panoramic views of the Lower East Side. The bar, known as Last Light, is no stranger to quirky cocktails either, the “glow stick” in particular stands out; a drink made with cachaca, sherry, and mixed berries. Josh Hanover, who has previously worked at ABC Cocina and ABC Kitchen, is the mastermind behind the drinks menu.

Although located in a hotel, Last Light harbors its own unique space and is fast becoming a popular neighborhood hangout. With a 200-seat space and two outdoor decks (which open in warmer temperatures), it’s a great space to relax with friends or a date and breathe in the stunning views.

The Views: Great panoramic views of the city, not as high as other rooftop bars in NYC but has marked itself as one of the best rooftop bars in NYC summer season.

Perfect for: evening dating or socializing with friends, Last Light caters for both

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 7.5

2) Summerly at The Hoxton, Williamsburg

summerly cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of Summerly

Opening on May 15th this year, Summerly lets you escape the circus of the city below and head to the beach, with lobster rolls and clam pie served up in the soothing pastel interiors and mesmerizing sky-high views of the East River. Summerly adopts a New England coastal dining vibe, offering a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Williamsburg. It’s soothing, pastel interior also serves to complement the beach style theme they’re going for. If you’re looking for a rooftop bar with a British twist, I’d recommend Summerly.

The Views: high up views over the East River are exceptional. The beach-style design whisks you away from the metropolis below, a definite contender for the best summer rooftop bar.

Perfect for: summer night dating overlooking the East River.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8

3) The Fleur Room, Chelsea

the fleur room cockctail bar
Image Courtesy of The Fleur Room

Drawing inspiration from the nearby Flower District, The Fleur Room implements an Old Hollywood floral-forward aesthetic, complementing sweeping views of the Empire State Building. Lush botanicals abound in an interior heavily based on van Gogh’s Vase mit rosen. Even the resin tables have flowers encapsulated therein. The interior design of The Fleur Room combines cool, brass and leather features with plush floral furniture, producing a sophisticated and suave atmosphere.

This glass-encased longue on Moxy’s 35th floor offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, capturing the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Designed by the Rockwell Group and coupled with the Feroce Ristorante menu, wining and dining does not get more sophisticated than this.

The Views: at the touch of a button, the glass walls of the lounge retract and unveil the astounding cityscape, transforming The Fleur Room in an alfresco sky veranda.

Perfect for: date nights and talking long into the night.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 9

4) The Water Tower, Williamsburg

the water tower cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of The Water Tower

Can you get any more stereotypically New York? This cylindrical structure rises above the pool of the Williamsburg Hotel, with glorious views of both Manhattan and the East River from the steel-encased, floor-to-ceiling windows. With interiors decked out with velvet couches and chaises and a back wall entirely covered in murals, this is not one to miss. Described as ‘the summit of New York City nightlife’, combines a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline with a finely curated cocktail menu. The Water Tower also regularly hosts popular DJs, making itself a popular location for models and influences.

The food and drink menu is impressive, the seafood options, in particular, stood out, with caviar service ranging from $95 to $525. The Water Tower offers a quirky yet luxurious rooftop experience and pays homage to the iconic water towers dotted around Brooklyn rooftops.

The Views: The Water Tower offers panoramic views across Manhattan, but it’s the abstract architecture and location that really steals the show.

Perfect for: after work socializing and attending celebrity events.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 7

5) Roof at Park South, Gramercy & Flatiron

roof at park south
Image Courtesy of Roof at Park South

Perched atop Gramercy’s Park South Hotel, this superb cocktail haunts boasts stunning views of the Chrysler. The copper-sided lounge is decked out with cantilevered banquettes, sunset-orange canopies, and a crackling glass-front fireplace. Snag a seat near the hearth to keep you toasty on a breezy summer night – if the flowing negronis (fortified with fruit-forward grappa) haven’t warmed you up already. The bar vaunts an enviable small-plates operation, offering up truffle-parmesan fries, achiote-marinated shrimp skewers and wagyu cheeseburgers crowned with dashi pickles.

The al fresco layout is warm and comforting, even during the colder months. Roof caters for both casual after work drinks and date nights in NYC.

The Views: there’s something very calm and relaxing about the views from Roof. The city is silenced by the rooftop atmosphere and while it may not be as grand as The Fleur Room, it offers a cozy view of Manhattan that doesn’t disappoint.

Perfect for: after work socializing, date nights and work events.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8

6) Ophelia, Midtown East

ophelia cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of Ophelia

Ophelia is mysterious, enigmatic, the kind of place you’d go to read Hemmingway or share a secret with that special someone. Fashioned with soaring cathedral windows overlooking the East River, jewel-tone blue walls and glass showcases filled with vintage oddities, Ophelia is hands-down one of the most elegant rooftop experiences NYC has to offer.

Perched in the Beekman Tower, Ophelia offers stunning views over Queens

The Views: stunning views over Queens makes Ophelia an urban delight – it also transforms into a giant snow globe for the Christmas season, allowing for some even more impressive views nighttime views.

Perfect for: after work drinks and date nights.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 7.5

7) Westlight, Williamsburg

Take the dedicated elevator 22 stories up to this industrial yet suave space, a stylish glass box set with black-and-white check floors, bright globe lights, and a beamed ceiling. Experience a hotel bar with its own unique charm and sophisticated goods to be a standalone cocktail den unto itself.

The menu is headlined by Chef Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo Hospitality Group and offers a dynamic menu of original and classic cocktails to enjoy while you gaze over the cityscape. Their small plate menu has a unique focus on global street food, I’d personally recommend pairing the Rock Shrimp with the Wanamaker cocktail.

The Views: a cozy setting surrounds Westlight, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan from 22 stories up. I’d recommend visiting Westlight at night to get the best rooftop experience because it quickly becomes one of the best rooftop bars in midtown NYC.

Perfect for: evening wining and dining, date nights and after work drinks

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8

8) Castell Rooftop Lounge, Midtown West

castell rooftop cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of Castell Rooftop Lounge

Oddly named after the Catalonian tradition of human-stacking acrobatics, Castell offers a rooftop space that somehow makes Times Square seem peaceful, if only for a few hours. The bar gives a nod to its namesake by opening every night with a tower of cava glasses and a toast to collaboration.

Castell Rooftop Lounge shares many similarities with The Fleur Room, as both are inspired by contemporary decor and are situated a few blocks from each other. Castell claims their cocktails are ‘re-imagined’ but ‘part throwback’ – their concoctions speak directly to New York’s past, putting a specific focus on their iconic martini. Combine their classic cocktail infusions with some small bites from their fantastic menu.

The Views: once you have taken in the stunning artwork, meander outside to breathe in the hustle and bustle of NYC below. This also ranks highly as one of the beast heated rooftop bars NYC has to offer thanks to its glass hearth.

Perfect for: date nights, celebrity hang-outs and fine wining and dining.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8.5

9) Broken Shaker, Kips Bay

broken shaker cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of Broken Shaker

Still one of the only truly cool places for drinks in the whole of Gramercy. The 18th-story terrace is an incredible place to blow off steam, especially in the company of your date and a couple of Broken Shaker’s signature tropical cocktails. And with a newly rolled-out brunch program, you may find the pair of you just cannot leave.

It is located in the Freehand Hotel, but don’t let that trick you. Broken Shaker distances itself from its contemporaries. Instead of adopting the glass-based architectures commonly used in the majority of NYC’s rooftop bars, Broken Shaker looks and feels traditionally urban and unashamedly so. Downstairs you will find expert Pastry Chef Zoe Kanan, who headlines the in-hotel restaurant, Simon & The Whale.

The Views: it’s a refreshing change from other rooftop bars in NYC whose architecture leans towards glass-based designs. The original brickwork found on the terrace is a welcoming urban addition and is truly authentic.

Perfect for: lunch-time drinks, after work socializing and date nights, this is an all-around winner

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8.5

10) Gallow Green, Chelsea

gallow green cocktail bar
Image Courtesy of Gallow Green

Imagine throwing a garden party at an abandoned farm and you’re pretty much imagining Gallow Green. With ironical fairy lights and tattered flags hanging between verdant trellises and bartenders slinging cocktails served by staff in ghostly whites, Gallow Green is an experience like no other.

The best seats in the house at this rooftop bar, though, are inside an artfully ruined antique railcar, whose empty windows are hung with destroyed lace curtains. Like Broken Shaker, Gallow Green steps away from the newer, contemporary rooftop designs, instead choosing to dive into New York’s urban roots. This is a quirky gem located in the heart of Chelsea and one of the best rooftop bars in downtown NYC.

The Views: overlooking Chelsea and the Hudson River is Gallow Green’s main selling point, and the ambiance is made even more special thanks to its greenery and distinctly urban surroundings.

Perfect for: after work drinks, entertainment evenings and fun date nights.

Vida Rooftop Bar Rating: 8

Why Not Take a Date to One (or more) of these Rooftop Bars in NYC?

Whether you’re on a first date or you’re several dates in, NYC’s rooftop bars, with their magnificent, world-renowned panoramas, are a surefire way to turn up the heat. Here at The Vida Consultancy, not only do we help people find love but also help them get the ball rolling with our unrivaled knowledge of the city’s finest date spots.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about a few of the best rooftop bars in NYC (with a view) and if you’d like to know more about what we do here at Vida, get in touch with our team today.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida MacLynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation. Rachel also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Matchmaking Institute.More by this author

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