New York’s skyline is one of the more impressive in the world, and viewing the city from a height is always a wise investment of your time. But, rather than just travel to the top of the Empire State Building with the crowds, why not take some time out and relax with a drink in one of the city’s many rooftop bars?
Berry Park in Brooklyn regular makes the top lists for rooftop bars in New York, and with good reason. With its retractable glass roof the venue remains a top viewing spot in both summer and when the winter chill comes, and has an interesting array of beers on offer, with many from Belgium and Germany, and a variety of cocktails, including one known as The Ron Burgundy for any fan of the Anchorman movies. Berry Park is also a good venue for brunch, with neat little spins on dishes such as a kale omelette and an avocado BLT on the menu.
La Birreria, as you might guess from the name, takes its beer very seriously. Cask ales are served direct from the traditional hand pumps, and make an excellent addition to the food. Part of the Eataly chain, the menu focuses on Italian dishes, but allows room for other European influences such as German and Austrian fare. This is highest brewery in New York, and with its glass roof offers some great views from its Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street location.
Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge
Based in the lavish Library Hotel on Madison Avenue, the Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge is a decadent cocktail bar on the 14th Floor. The drinks are typically created from various literary inspirations (eg ‘The Pulitzer’, ‘Tea S. Eliot’), and features such as The Poetry Garden and The Writer’s Den, the bar’s outdoors and snug respectively, give the venue a unique feel that sets it apart from its peers.
Empire Hotel Roof
Right next to Central Park is the Empire Hotel Roof, a bar with three separate terraces to look out on the city from. The bar gets very busy in the evenings, with in-house DJs on hand on most nights to add a youthful, upbeat atmosphere to proceedings. Be aware that you’ll need to pay an entrance fee on top of your drinks, so this is one for when you’re prepared to spend a bit of money and get a little dressed up for the evening. A good bar to visit for a pre- or post- dinner or show drink.
The Press Lounge
16 stories up in The Press Lounge, a large rooftop bar situated directly above the attached restaurant on the ground floor, PRINT, on 11th Avenue. The glass-walled bar allows you a view out over Manhattan from your seat, where you can enjoy a Dauphin cocktail or perhaps a Greenpoint Stout with your plate of assorted salumi (Italian cold cuts). Be aware of the dress-code, which is described as ‘elegant casual’ – so you can stay relaxed, but leave the flip-flops and tank-tops at home.