Nothing compares to the New York skyline, particularly on a hazy summer’s evening. And where better to drink in these views than up high at one of the city’s spectacular rooftop bars with a cocktail in hand.

We’ve rounded up our favourite New York rooftop bars to set the scene for your summer.

The Brass Monkey, Manhattan

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Brass Monkey
Via Brass Monkey

City views come with a side of buffalo wings at this rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District. There’s no shortage of classics to choose from on the menu – think cheeseburger sliders, baked macaroni and mozzarella sticks – as well as glimpses of both the Hudson and New Jersey river from the terrace.

Where: 55 Little West, 12th Street, NY 10014
Best for: laid-back beer lovers

Gallow Green, Manhattan

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Green Gallow at the McKittrick Hotel
Courtesy Of The McKittrick Hotel

Located at the top of the McKittrick Hotel, Gallow Green is surprisingly lush. Plants and creepers surround wooden tables and benches, framing the view from W 27th St. The menu includes pizzas and lobster rolls, as well as a cocktail list with some extra strong absinthe and mezcal options. Head there for the Sunset Sundays, when there’s usually a band playing.

Where: 530 W 27th St, NY 10001
Best for: escaping the busy streets

Lemon’s at the Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Lemon's rooftop bar at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn
Courtesy the Wythe Hotel

The entire Manhattan skyline is on display at this freshly opened Williamsburg rooftop bar, where guests can recline on striped benches and sip signature cocktails. There’s a menu of small plates on offer until 10 pm but the terrace can get busy later in the evening. Full-length windows frame the indoor bar, so you can still see the views on a rainy night.

Where: 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Best for: catching the sunset

Empellón at Pod 39 Hotel, Manhattan

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer:  Hotel Pod 39
Courtesy of Hotel Pod 39

Views of New York’s skyscrapers are framed by brick arches at this ivy-covered bar in Midtown. There’s a small menu of bar snacks on offer, as well as a cocktail list with a focus on mezcal and margaritas. Beers can also be ordered in buckets if you want to make an afternoon of it. This rooftop can get busy, so be prepared for a wait to get one of the coveted tables beneath the columns.

Where: 510 Madison Avenue, NY 10022
Best for: margaritas

Last Light at Sister City, Manhattan

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Last Light at Sister City
Photography: Adrian Gaut

Located in one of New York’s newest hotel openings, this Lower East Side bar has uninterrupted views of the city skyline. There are a few signature cocktails on offer, including the gin, Aperol and coconut Tiki Torch, as well as a daily alcoholic slushy for when the weather heats up. Hungry guests can choose from a menu of small snacks – think crispy artichokes, bass ceviche and razor clams.

Where: 225 Bowery, NY 10002
Best for: evening cocktails

Summerly at The Hoxton, Brooklyn

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Summerly at The Hoxton Hotel
Courtesy Hoxton Hotel

It’s bright and airy up at Summerly, which has something of a seaside vibe thanks to its fringed parasols, loungers, and striped chairs. There’s a New England-style seafood menu to match, including clam pizza and lobster rolls, and a list of suitably fresh cocktails ranging from a Negroni to a cucumber mojito.

Where: 97 Wythe Ave Brooklyn 11249
Best for: hot days

The Water Tower at the Williamsburg Hotel

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: The Water Tower
Via The Water Tower

Located not far from the edge of the East River, this cocktail bar is set in a rooftop water tower that’s been styled to resemble a Manhattan loft. Guests can lounge on velvet sofas and enjoy the night-time views over the water from its full-length windows while enjoying The Water Tower’s $525 caviar tasting menu. Cocktails are equally extravagant, including a $150 mix of tequila and white truffle-infused Aperol.

Where: 96 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Best for: special occasions and club nights

Dumbo House, Brooklyn

8 of our favourite New York rooftop bars this summer: Dumbo House in Brooklyn, Soho House
Photography: Soho House (c)

There’s prime views over the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge from Dumbo House’s 40 ft rooftop swimming pool. On especially hot days, visitors can find shade under the fringed awnings and cool down with a Soho House signature cocktail.

Where: 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Best for: cooling off with a swim

Read next: 6 of the best New York apartments to rent

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