Heat got you down? Then head up to a friendly and affordable NYC rooftop bar, and enjoy a brew with a view and a summer breeze. These rooftop bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn won’t melt what’s left of your summer entertainment budget, and don’t charge a cover or minimum.
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Cantina Rooftop has a 5pm to 7pm happy hour, Monday to Thursday, with $6 beer and $8 wines and frozen Margaritas. Bar bites, including tacos, are $6-$12. 605 West 48th St., atop Stage 48. Cantina Rooftop website.
Battery Park, Manhattan
Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar is a crazy name for a great spot, atop the Conrad New York in Battery Park City. Skip your favorite after work beverage in favor of a Boozy Popsicle, a frozen fruit puree popsicle swimming in a wine goblet filled with Prosecco. Summery flavors include white peach, blood orange, mango, strawberry, and mojito.
Northern Territory offers views of the Manhattan skyline along with Australian beers and bar bites, at comfortable wooden-slat booths and tables. At 12 Franklin Street. Reservations accepted for the restaurant, but not for the rooftop bar. Northern Territory website
Sixtyfive is named for the floor its on, atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza, originally known as the RCA Building, then the GE Building, and now the Comcast Building, but which most of us refer to simply as 30 Rock. Okay, this rooftop bar on the wraparound terrace outside the iconic Rainbow Room is a bit outside the budget category of “on the cheap’ – wines and cocktails start at $16 – but the view is spectacular and worth the price, from One World Trade Center to the GW Bridge, and beyond. Note that dress code is business casual, which means you won’t be admitted wearing a tacky t-shirt, sneakers, hoodie, or workout wear. Sixtyfive website.
Supernova isn’t a rooftop bar, but it’s high enough on a terrace of the Novotel Hotel overlooking Times Square to catch both a breeze and a fabulous panoramic view of all the neon lights on Broadway. Guests at this NYC outpost of a popular European hotel chain are overwhelmingly European, so you’ll be sharing the space with chic French, German and Italian tourists.
Want more ideas for best NYC rooftop bars?
- Foursquare list of NYC rooftop bars
- CNN list of NYC rooftop bars
- Time Out New York list of NYC rooftop bars (note that some listings have not been updated since 2012)
- DNAinfo list of NYC rooftop bars
- Gothamist list of rooftop bars
This article was published first in 2015 and is updated and revised annually.