Rooftop restaurants in New York City

New York City is known for many things, from its fast-paced lifestyle to its amazing fine dining scene. If you’d like to combine a great meal with an amazing view, these are the best rooftop restaurants in NYC you need to know about.

Enjoy a bird's eye view of New York City at Manhatta. Image credit: Emily Andrews
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of New York City at Manhatta. Image credit: Emily Andrews

A visit to New York City comes with the opportunity for many exciting adventures, from strolling in Central Park to take in the stunning skyline to sipping drinks at some of the trendiest bars around the globe.

A rooftop restaurant provides the best of both worlds, giving diners a way to see the sights while enjoying the culinary mastery for which the city is known. These are the top rooftop restaurants in NYC for foodies.

SERRA – A gem at Eataly’s Flatiron location

The interior at Serra Fiorita. Image credit: Eataly USA
The interior at Serra Fiorita. Image credit: Eataly USA

Eataly’s several city outposts are known as top destinations for high-end Italian meats, cheeses, and specialty groceries, but the Flatiron location has something the others don’t – a beautiful rooftop restaurant. This Italian spot is inspired by a greenhouse and offers city views amid a floral oasis.

Located on the 14th-floor rooftop, SERRA, like the entire Eataly brand, is headed by Joe Bastianich of MasterChef fame and his mother Linda Bastianich, an acclaimed restaurateur. Food is sourced locally and sustainably whenever possible and all herbs are grown in the restaurant’s unique vertical hydroponic herb farm. 

While the menu changes from time to time, offerings have included summertime favorites like basil pesto gnocchi and the restaurant’s specialty: lucaniga—a seared pork sausage served in a spiral shape ideal for large groups. The drink menu features an array of wines as well as cocktails featuring Aperol Spritz, the restaurant’s chosen partner in spirits.

In addition to the seasonal lunch and dinner menus, SERRA also offers special events, including Aperol cocktail tastings, live DJs, and an annual event known as Summerfest. From the delicious food to the chance to partake in special nights throughout the summer, this is a rooftop restaurant New York loves.

Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar – Combine great food with great art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known colloquially as the Met, is one of the best art museums in the world, holding treasures by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas. In addition to having one of the most breathtaking art collections anywhere, the Met is also home to a lovely garden bar on the roof. Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy small plates after a day of exploring some of the most legendary artists of all time.

With a location on the Upper East Side along the edge of Central Park, the Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar offers views of Central Park as well as the skyline of Midtown, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. 

While a delicious array of tapas-style plates are available, this spot is beloved primarily for its craft cocktails, bottled classic cocktails, and even alcoholic popsicles served with prosecco. 

On Fridays and Saturdays, the bar turns into a speciality martini lounge, serving up fan favorites and creative twists on the iconic drink. A place to see and be seen in the art crowd and among the Upper East Siders who live along 5th Avenue, this beautiful bar is a great place to spend a night in New York.

Manhatta – Year-round views and fine dining dishes

Soak up NYC's glittering skyline with dinner at Manhatta. Image credit: Emily Andrews
Soak up NYC’s glittering skyline with dinner at Manhatta. Image credit: Emily Andrews

While most rooftop restaurants offer fresh air and sunshine, restaurateur Danny Meyer’s sky-high top-floor venue Manhatta is entirely enclosed, providing great views in every season. When the weather is nice, diners can also enjoy sundrenched seating via the skylights in the ceiling.

Meyer is known for his attention to detail and experimental style throughout the city – his Union Square Hospitality Group is behind numerous top dining destinations, including Gramercy Tavern, Bay Room, and The Modern – and the Manhatta is no different. Manhatta provides binoculars for guests who want to explore the view and even has mirrors hanging around the restaurant so that guests seated with their backs to the windows can still take in the skyline of Lower Manhattan.

The Financial District sights are amazing, but they don’t outshine the food. As one of Meyer’s best, this dining destination is known for its flexible and ever-changing prix fixe menu, including bottomless bread and three specially curated courses in ideal portions. The food itself isn’t revolutionary but the flavor profiles are on point and the dishes are as delicious as fans of the hospitality group have come to expect.

Gallow Green – Train station-inspired luxury in Chelsea

Gallow Green's Archway. Image credit: Noah Fecks for The McKittrick Hotel
Gallow Green’s Archway. Image credit: Noah Fecks for The McKittrick Hotel

Lush and luxurious with a throwback, train station-inspired look covered top to bottom in foliage, Gallow Green is one of the most unique rooftop spots in the city. Located in Chelsea on the West Side of Manhattan atop the McKittrick Hotel, this space offers lovely Hudson River views in addition to a look at the island’s iconic skyline.

Brunch is the most popular meal at this hot spot, with cold and hot buffet lines, an omelet station, and an assortment of pastries and sweets. Dinner is available as well, with a laid back American vibe and an expressive cocktail list. Diners can snack on oysters from the raw bar, dig into inventive salads and personal pizzas, or try the beloved McKittrick Burger.

In addition to the plant-laden environment of Gallow Green, the hotel is also home to one of the city’s most desirable performances: the interactive “Sleep No More” theater experience. A twist on “Macbeth” in which the attendees become a part of the show, this award-winning production is spread across multiple floors and is a choose-your-own-adventure experience. Gallow Green is a popular spot for a pre or post-show drink for show attendees to swap stories about their theater-going experiences.

Mr. Purple – A swanky hotspot on the Lower East Side

The Lower East Side is one of Manhattan’s most transformed neighborhoods in recent years, with culinary hot spots dotting the remaining vestiges of old New York grit. Those who want to take in the skyline while visiting some of these gems should consider Mr. Purple – a chic spot on top of Hotel Indigo.

This trendy destination intends to capture the artistic nature of the LES with upscale design and indoor and outdoor seating. From the 3,000 square foot interior space to the two terraces – one 5,000 square feet and the other an intimate 750 – there’s plenty of room to spread out and relax with friends or family while enjoying a great meal. This rooftop spot also comes with a pool for a summertime dip during cocktail hour.

Like many New York City hotspots, brunch is a priority at Mr. Purple. Diners rave about the buttermilk fried chicken sliders and the aged gruyere grilled cheese; for afternoon and evening guests, the prosciutto flatbread pizza is a hit. Both specialty and classic cocktails are available as well as beer, wine, and bottle service. The restaurant focuses on seasonal flavors, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Alma – Visit Cobble Hill for upscale Mexican favorites

Visitors to the city may not take as much time to appreciate Brooklyn as they do attractions like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty but locals know there’s more to NYC than the isle of Manhattan. The up-and-coming neighborhood of Copple Hill has a lot to offer, including the swanky Alma on Columbia Street’s restaurant row.

A three-story structure with views of Lower Manhattan, Alma is known for its upscale Mexican food in a decidedly relaxed environment. The rooftop patio is open year-round with an enclosure erected in the colder seasons to prove a little fresh air and sunshine in the depths of New York’s icy winters.

The food is where Alma truly shines, from the house-made salsa with a hefty dose of cilantro to the red snapper ceviche and rock shrimp tacos. Every plate is constructed under the watchful eye of Chef Francisco Lopez, the successor of the restaurant’s original chef, the acclaimed Gary Jacobson.

Top of the Standard – A year-round enclosed rooftop space

The Standard, High Line Hudson Studio. Image credit: The Standard
The Standard, High Line Hudson Studio. Image credit: The Standard

If luxury is your goal, Top of the Standard is the place to be. Located on the top of the Meatpacking District’s Standard Hotel, this venue is a hotspot for visitors coming to the city for business and pleasure alike. Top of the Standard provides a luxe penthouse experience with an emphasis on gold accents. From the ceiling tiles to the bar itself, this restaurant positively glitters as the sunlight shines in.

Afternoon dining at Top of the Standard is dominated by tea and drinks, which is swapped out for tapas-style small plates and some of the city’s best mixed drinks as the sun sinks. Opening at 4 p.m., the real experience at Top of the Standard starts after dark. This is a place to see and be seen. After hours, the club becomes members-only with many of New York City’s celebrities making an appearance. Top of the Standard is also known for hosting high-end events, including after-parties for the Met Gala.

Only styles adhering to the dining destination’s smart casual attire dress code are permitted inside, so come dressed to impress to ensure entrance.

Westlight – Explore Williamsburg’s best rooftop spot

Westlight Patio. Image credit NoahFecks
Westlight Patio. Image credit NoahFecks

Williamsburg in Brooklyn is now one of New York’s hottest neighborhoods, with luxury apartment buildings and plenty of trendy spots to hang out. One of these spots is the beloved Westlight, an indoor and outdoor rooftop space on top of the William Vale Hotel.

Located 22 stores above street level, Westlight is sleek and modern, with cozy bench seating and both low and high tables. The indoor area is dark and moody, with marble tables lit by candlelight for added ambiance. The outdoor patio space is expansive with amazing Manhattan skyline views and even yellow binocular stands for a closer look.

Chef Andrew Carmellini’s menu is cocktail-driven with a dozen different custom creations. The food menu is whimsical and thoughtful, with dishes like duck carnitas tacos, shrimp cocktail dumplings, and Kurobuta baby back ribs. For those with a sweet tooth, the root beer float can’t be missed.

Juliette – Feast on the finest French cuisine in Williamsburg

Williamsburg may be known for its wealthy hipster crowd – and you won’t avoid them by visiting Juliette – but the food at this French spot is too good to pass up. A tirelessly authentic menu keeps residents and visitors coming back time and time again, and the gorgeous rooftop patio is another reason to love this cozy spot.

The philosophy at Juliette is simple: minimally-handled high-quality French favorites for a genuine experience. The kitchen staff expect ingredients to speak for themselves through a menu of classic French favorites with a few modern twists. The succulent and juicy duck confit is a fan favorite, as is the escargot in anise butter, garlic, and parsley. Cheese lovers will adore the rotating specials at Juliette, with daily offerings of regional and local cheese tempting even the pickiest eaters.

While Juliette does have a main dining room, the spacious outdoor terrace is this gem’s main draw. With all the appearance of a classic French bistro, the plant-laden open-air patio transports diners to a European restaurant without having to leave the comforts of home.

NYC has a lot to offer, including some of the finest restaurants anywhere in the world, but nothing is better than a rooftop bar or restaurant in the summer. Book a professional Blacklane car service today to start your trip to rooftop restaurants in NYC on the right foot.