Guide to NYC Things to Do

Round-Up of NYC Rooftop Restaurants & Bars

September 18, 2019

There is nothing quite like that carefree feeling of sitting on an open-air rooftop, maybe watching some live music, and having drinks with friends or that special someone. And here in New York, there is no shortage of places to do that. What better way to spend a cool autumn night than atop the NYC skyline. Get out, go up, and feel carefree again at some of these stellar NYC rooftops.

Arlo

231 Hudson Street New York, NY 10013

Comfy couches and string lights line this cozy rooftop lounge. It has the feel of a friend’s backyard soiree – but elevated. Year-round, rain or shine, A.R.T. (Arlo Roof Top) SoHo presents spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Freedom Tower Skyline, craft cocktails and beers, and grilled snacks and small plates. Try a Jackson Pollock (Beefeater Gin, blueberry, clove, plum, St. Germain, lemon) with some Fried Olives and an Herb Salad; or a Pablo Picasso (Absolut Vodka, honeydew, lavender, honey, lemon) with some Crispy Artichokes and Ahi Tuna Tacos, and call it a perfect date.

Magic Hour

485 7th Avenue (at 36th) New York, NY 10018

From the intimate, backyard-esque Arlo to the capacious, Carnival-like Magic Hour, welcome to the most apropos rooftop for Times Square. Magic Hour is NYC’s largest rooftop bar and lounge, with five distinct environments, all of them of an adult nature. Begin at the entrance hall, where topiary animals display in whimsical, naughty positions. Proceed to an interior lounge with a sexy, industrial vibe, and then out to the exterior decks. The East side has stunning views of the Empire State Building, while the West side is designed like a carnival, including a seating area which slowly rotates like an antique carousel. Perhaps the most memorable space of Magic Hour is the miniature putt-putt golf course, with colossal-sized animals in flirty postures. Magic Hour is open late (until 4 am on the weekends), features Saturday and Sunday brunch, and hosts a myriad of special events like Flip Fridays (where you flip a coin for a possible free drink) and Sunday Bubbles (featuring bands, beers, and, of course, bubbles).

230 Fifth Rooftop

230 Fifth Avenue (Corner of 27th) New York, NY 10001

From the largest rooftop bar and lounge, venture over to 230 Fifth in the Flatiron, which boasts New York’s largest outdoor rooftop garden. This open-to-the-sky rooftop garden has staggering views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, giving the feel of an open-air party on top of the city. 230 Fifth hosts plenty of events to support that party feel. There’s International Empire Thursdays, an all-night dance party featuring international DJ’s and performers; VIP Fridays and Saturdays, where $40 lets you skip the line, have drinks, and dance all night; and the forthcoming New Year’s Eve party, with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres until 1 am and two DJ’s and two dancefloors until the wee hours. During the cold months, from November until May, 230 Fifth offers igloos for your eating, drinking, and viewing pleasure. They’re heated and transparent, so you stay cozy and you don’t miss a thing.

Penthouse 808

8-08 Queens Plaza S Queens, NY 11101

From the Flatiron to the waterfront, enjoy breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Queensboro Bridge as you drink and dine along the East River. Long Island City presents Penthouse 808, the 9,500-square-foot rooftop restaurant, lounge, and event space. As a restaurant, Executive Chef Seth Levine, whose career took off after appearing on “Hell’s Kitchen: Season 5”, serves up Asian and South American-influenced fare a la BBQ Octopus, Vegetarian Futomaki, or Fritto Misto (crispy shrimp, calamari, scallops, lobster, rocoto, and aji verde sauce). Nightlife kicks off at the Penthouse after 9 pm “till close” with DJ’s, dancing, and adult beverages including craft cocktails and sake. And as an event space, Penthouse 808 has in-house event planners to craft your special event, be it luncheon, seminar, or wedding.

From the heights to the hidden, if these rooftops leave you with a taste for more adventure, check out Manhattan’s best speakeasies. Or just spend the rest of the summer on a rooftop.

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