The Manhattan skyline is of course one of the world’s most iconic, an awe-inspiring tribute to human ingenuity and America’s economic success. To see it at night is magical. To see it at night from atop a Manhattan roof — to be part of the skyline, in other words — is more magical still. And to do so with a well-mixed cocktail in one’s hand is an experience simply not to be missed.
The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar & Lounge at The Empire Hotel
The Empire’s 12th-floor rooftop bar is one of the swankiest in town, but the crowd tends to be a little more down-to-earth than one might find at downtown options such as Gansevoort’s Plunge. Expect fancy cocktails, views of Lincoln Center, indoor and outdoor seating, and even a small pool.
Press Lounge at Ink48
With its views of Midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River, Press Lounge at Ink 48 has quickly established itself amongst the ranks of best rooftop bars in New York City. Featuring a wrap-around terrace, indoor seating, and a reflecting pool, Press Lounge encourages late-night partying in style — the lounge is open year-round and doesn’t close its doors until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Rare View at Hilton New York Fashion District Hotel
Rare View, located at sleek Fashion 26, and offers views of the Chrysler Building, Broadway marquees, and the surrounding area of Chelsea. It gets a hopping after-work crowd, and the menu of cocktails offers eclectic and unique concoctions. The signature Fashionista cocktail is worth trying.
Plunge at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
The Gansevoort’s 15th-floor rooftop lounge, called Plunge, has stunning 360-degree views of the city and the Hudson River, and draws a crowd of twenty- and thirty-somethings dressed to kill. It’s open year-round (there’s a retractable translucent roof), and the adjacent 45-foot pool is one of the better spots for a rooftop swim in the city (though the pool is for hotel guests only).
Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel
The 4,000-square-foot Upstairs lounge on the 30th floor boasts spectacular 360-degree views of Midtown Manhattan and the nearby Chrysler Building, a long list of signature cocktails, and tasty small plates such as truffled mac and cheese and crisp baby artichokes. The glass ceilings and walls are retracted during the warmer months.