May-Oct: Sun and Tue-Thu, 10am-4:30pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-8pm; Mon, closed; Nov-Apr: daily, closed
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
One of Manhattan's great little-known drinking spots, this sculpture-littered terrace offers an unsurpassed view of Central Park. The "bar" is really just a concession stand that serves alcohol, from mixed drinks and daiquiris to margaritas and mojitos, as well as sandwiches and desserts, like brownies. Shady spots underneath the wisteria-laced trellis are highly prized and competitively guarded. Head to the west side, and you'll see Cleopatra's Needle as only the people who have to clean it normally do. And, if so inclined, you can explore the roof garden's best secret (that only Met employees seem to know): This is one of the finest pick-up spots in Manhattan. The roof garden is accessible by the southwest elevators on the ground floor, just outside the twentieth-century art gallery. Skip the big marble stairs at the pay entrance and go straight back all the way west and hang a left.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.