When I say best, what I really mean is: here are reviews of the five rooftop bars that I’ve been to in New York. But they are pretty damn good, so bear with me!
Since all we can do right now is dine outdoors and bask in the sunshine, a lot of rooftops have begun to open their doors and let the public back in to take those perfect pics for the gram.
I can safely say that for most of the bars mentioned below, I unfortunately do not have any basic pictures of myself at them, but maybe a few.
Here are my favourite rooftop bars in New York:
1. MAGIC HOUR, 7TH AVENUE
A rooftop that we visited post-lockdown, it’s actually part of the Tao Group which is one of those fancy/promoter nightclubs that I never actually went to.
It appears to be very flashy and that you need a booking and a six-figure salary to get in, but most times we’ve rocked up unannounced and been able to get a table.
They do check your temperature before entering and inform you to keep your mask on at all times unless when seated. The drinks are expensive but tasty and it does offer a great view of the Empire State Building.
Plus, there are many places for photo opportunities which we love, right?
2. SAVANNAH, QUEENS
I actually discovered this rooftop on TikTok, believe it or not. Claimed to be one of New York’s ‘best kept secrets’, this rooftop bar is atop an abandoned hotel in the middle of nowhere really.
The warehouses around were used for filming movies and TV shows, but currently don’t have any use. I can’t imagine why anyone would have stayed in this hotel, only for film and TV crew.
The bar is beautiful and the views even better. Out of all the rooftop bars I’ve been to, I think this was the best for views. You can see the entire New York skyline from here.
We sat from sunset until it got dark so got to see the skyline when it was light and dark. I would recommend that you book in advance as we waited around 30 minutes to get a seat.
Another tip, walk to the Pepsi Cola sign afterwards and grab the ferry back to Manhattan.
3. 230 5TH AVENUE
This rooftop bar is basically our local. I grabbed drinks here (mostly frose) from day one when I first arrived in New York and we’ve been back a few times since they reopened after lockdown.
This rooftop is insanely popular with tourists as it offers the best views of the Empire State Building, merchandised drinking cups and huge caskets of frose for $10.
What more could you want?
4. REFINERY ROOFTOP, 38TH STREET
A rooftop that I visited for the first time last weekend, we dined and drank at this smaller rooftop and loved it. The service was excellent and the food was amazing.
It was painfully hot, but luckily we were seated at a table with shade. As the bar is very open-planned, there were tables seated indoors with doors that opened out onto the roof terrace which I guess must be allowed.
A little bit more on the expensive side, but a lovely rooftop bar all the same.
5. ST. CLOUD, TIMES SQUARE
It seems like a lifetime ago that I went here for a drink, but we grabbed a very posh cocktail before heading to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.
It’s definitely somewhere that you would go for one drink just to say you’ve been as it’s very much on the upper-class scale of rooftop bars. Think champagne and fine dining and this bar is what you get.
A very nice treat and offers views of Times Square – a great place to see the ball drop on New Year’s Eve!