Memorial Day has passed, summer is officially here, and it’s rooftop season in New York City. With so little open space at ground level, New York summer rooftops become backyards, mini-parks, and party spaces all in one. Many of the city’s best establishments take advantage of their incredible city views with rooftop bars, offering outdoor ambience, delicious drinks, and (usually) a laid-back atmosphere. Here are some of the best of them.
The Refinery Hotel, opening in 2013, was a hat factory back when the Garment District still made garments. True to its origins, the Refinery Rooftop still has a slight industrial vibe, with red brick, abundant glass and steel, and a couple of rustic furnishings. Guests have amazing views of the Empire State Building as they sip cocktails reflecting mixologist Alex Ott’s expertise in biochemistry. The menu features fresh takes on classic summer cocktails like the Rooftop Margarita, made with Cointreau, orange marmalade, and agave.
Ides Rooftop, the Wythe Hotel
Manhattan views are even better if you can get outside of Manhattan, and across the East River in thoroughly gentrified Williamsburg, the Midtown vistas are incredible. Like the Refinery Rooftop, the Wythe Hotel references the industrial past—the hotel is located in a 1901 factory—but the clean, sharp, Art Deco-influenced décor hints at a much classier future for the former industrial neighborhood.
Photo via Huffington Post
Chelsea’s old McKittrick Hotel got off to a bad start. Construction finished in 1939—not the best year to get into tourism—and the building was condemned in the same year. The McKittrick was resurrected as the setting for Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s incredible immersive theater experience. A bar, Gallow Green, has also been added to the rooftop. The morbid name does not reflect the atmosphere—Gallow Green is a verdant space under a canopy with gorgeous views, and a far cry from the unsettling spectacle below.
A refuge from the busy Lower East Side, the Hotel Chantelle rooftop promises that it “transports you to a Parisian garden”. Even better, it’s a Parisian garden where you can eat bacon mac ’n’ cheese, drink—the Beach Cruiser comes highly recommended on hot days—and later in the night, party in the hotel below.
Met Roof Garden Cafe and Martini Bar
You might be knee-deep in tourists, but on Fridays and Saturdays the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art becomes a martini bar with commanding Central Park views. And if you combine a trip to the bar with a visit to the museum, a martini is a natural reward for expanding your mind. Just be mindful that the rooftop is open only during the museum’s opening hours.
Summer doesn’t last forever, so enjoy the rooftops while you can. Cheers!
A version of this article originally appeared on LuxorLimo.com.
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