168 Delancey St., at Clinton St.; 212-254-9920
Once again, the Lower East Side's standby rock club and goth hangout puts on a happy face by opening its roof deck for, among other things, $5 all-you-can-eat barbecues on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (along with two-for-one drinks). Grab a burger and sit next to a central fountain surrounded by benches and foliage.
The View: A clear shot of the Williamsburg Bridge
The Menu: The margarita machine churns out frozen blends for $8 apiece. Meanwhile, bottled beer and well drinks run a reasonable $6.
The Hours: Daily (5 p.m.–4 a.m.)
Living Room Terrace
W New York - Downtown, 123 Washington St., nr. Carlisle St.; 646-826-8646
The fifth-floor lounge at the newest W New York overlooks ground zero and the Hudson, with a retro feel. The LED lights reflect off the glass-shiny white floor, and old board games tone down the formality of the venue.
The View: Ground zero, the Hudson River, and Jersey City
The Menu: Light fare from BLT Bar & Grill
The Hours: M–W (4 p.m.–midnight), Th–S (4 p.m.–2 a.m.), Su (6 p.m.–midnight)
Opening August 16, 2010
A6 at Six Columbus
6 Columbus, 6 Columbus Cir., nr., Eighth Ave.; 212-204-3000
This retro-style, hotel guest- and members-only rooftop lounge boasts fourteenth-floor views and enclosed waterfalls. In the case of a real waterfall, a retractable roof hangs overhead so you can booze with views, rain or shine.
The View: Columbus Circle and Central Park
The Menu: A bar menu of summer cocktails from Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
The Hours: T–S (6 p.m.–2 a.m.), Su–M (closed)
Top of the Strand
The Strand Hotel, 33 W. 37th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-448-1024
Designer Lydia Marks picked up on the retractable-roof trend this year and put it into effect this winter at the Top of the Strand. Panels will slide open during the bar's inaugural summer to let the breeze in. Unfortunately, the hotel's restaurant opening has been pushed back to mid-to-late summer, so if bar snacks will be available, you'll have to wait until July.
The View: If you love the Empire State building, the view doesn't get any better.
The Menu: No food is currently available.
The Hours: M–Th (5 p.m.–midnight), F–Su (5 p.m.–2 a.m.)
Gansevoort Park Rooftop
420 Park Ave. S., at 29th St.; 212-317-2900
Provocateur owners Mike Satsky and Brian Gefter bring us a tri-level indoor/outdoor rooftop with dramatic views of the city's sky scape, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows twenty stories above the ground.
The View: 360 views and a bonus mosaic of a forties pin-up temptress at the bottom of the pool (which is guest-only by day).
The Menu: Expensive drinks with the tip included in the bill
The Hours: Daily (5 p.m.–1 a.m.)
Rare View Chelsea
Fashion26, 152 W. 26th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-807-7273
Cocktails are the draw here. Bright, modern décor in the bar contrasts the classic Old New York view from Chelsea, overlooking the lights of Broadway and the Empire State Building.
The View: Midtown Manhattan in all its glory
The Menu: Small plates from the hotel's Rare Bar & Grill
The Hours: Daily (5 p.m.–1 a.m.)
26 Little W. 12th St., nr., Ninth Ave.; 646-624-2444
STK is taking their meatpacking energy upstairs with a rooftop café. Sip on a strawberry cobbler cocktail at the bar and hang on lounge furniture that is sure to be more of a scene than the restaurant itself.
The View: meatpacking in all its grandeur, including the clientele.
The Menu: An abridged version of the regular menu, with lighter grill and seafood additions.
The Hours:M (3:30 p.m.11 p.m.), TW (3:30 p.m.midnight), ThF (3:30 p.m.12:30 a.m.), S (noonmidnight), Su (noon9:30 p.m.)
Trump SoHo, 246 Spring St., nr. Varick St.; 212-842-5500
Located on the seventh-floor deck, Bar d'Eau's views aren't as spectacular as some of its midtown competition, but the bar itself keeps the atmosphere just as swank. A tile-lined pool—this one is for swimming—complete with waterfall, and a Bocce court keep the evening exciting. Private cabanas provide a perfect spot for a tête-à-tête.
The View: Soho's surrounding buildings. And the eye-candy lounging by the pool.
The Menu: Basic bar snacks
The Hours: Daily (4 p.m.–midnight)
251 W. 48th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-956-1300
Formerly the bi-level Highbar, this spot has been reconfigured with an airy "Miami meets Versailles" aesthetic, a gilded movie projection screen (mounted on an AstroTurf wall), electric candles on giant tentacles, fireplaces, and multiple bars.
The View: The bar, on the sixteenth floor, provides some serious ganders at the Hudson River.
The Menu: Light cocktails, like the rum and Champagne Airmail or the vodka and mint Ivy Fizz, with small plates and a selection of meats and cheeses
The Hours: M–F (5 p.m.–2 a.m.), S–Su (noon–2 a.m.)
621 W. 46th St., nr. Eleventh Ave.; 212-315-9400
This elegant space is not too crowded (yet), perhaps owing to the fact that it's only on the third floor. Daily two-for-one drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. include a potent Brazilian lemonade.
The View: Lovely New Jersey, plus a bird’s-eye look at the Intrepid
The Menu: Mini-Kobe burgers and pineapple mojitos
The Hours: T–F (5 p.m.–4 a.m.), S (10 p.m.–4 a.m.), Su (2 p.m.–9 p.m.) M (closed)
Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Ave., at 21st St.; 212-920-3300
Like the downstairs Rose Bar, the indoor space takes its cues from a Renaissance palace; add to that an outdoor space that resembles a tropical greenhouse and you have one of the most coveted hangouts in the city.
The View: A Blade Runner–inspired light installation plus paintings by Andy Warhol and designer Damien Hirst are as alluring as the panorama of Manhattan.
The Menu: Signature cocktails and light fare
The Hours: M–F (6:30 a.m.–2 a.m.), S–Su (7 a.m.–2 a.m.) Cocktails are served 5 p.m. to close.
60 Thompson Hotel, 60 Thompson St., nr. Broome St.; 877-431-0400
This hangout favored by the Varvatos–Phillip Lim set is members-only and plays host to scads of fashion-industry events. Haven't received your card this year? Try telling the doorman it got lost in the mail.
The View: The thirteenth-floor terrace showcases the skylines of midtown and lower Manhattan.
The Menu: Mixed drinks with fresh exotic fruits run $12 to $15, while the spicy Thai hors d'oeuvre are similarly priced at $10 to $12.
The Hours: Daily (5 p.m.–1 a.m.), through Labor Day
The Cabanas at the Maritime Hotel
Maritime Hotel, 363 W. 16th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-242-4300
Heat lamps keep Amy Sacco's airy eatery open year-round, but it's best visited in the summer, when jet-setters in from L.A. come here to pretend they never left.
The View: Sean Penn, Sam Rockwell, and the sisters Hilton have been sighted in the past.
The Menu: Wine is $12, cocktails range between $14 and $16, and beer is $8.
The Hours: South Cabana: M (6 p.m.–10 p.m.), T–W (6 p.m.–11 p.m.), Th (6 p.m.–midnight), F–S (9 p.m.–4 a.m.), Su (5 p.m.–midnight) North Cabana: F–S (9 p.m.–4 a.m.), Su (5 p.m.–midnight), M–Th (closed)
The Rooftop at Patroon
160 E. 46th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-883-7373
It'd be easy to mistake this i-banker go-to for a Hamptons patio if not for the view.
The View: Buildings rising above the third-floor terrace remind drinkers they have to get back to the office to finish those P&Ls.
The Menu: Flame-grilled sliders can be paired with $14 martinis like the Gibson (made with house-pickled onions instead of olives).
The Hours: M–F (noon–midnight), S–Su (closed)
Shelburne Murray Hill, 303 Lexington Ave., at 37th St.; 212-481-1999
The Murray Hill summer staple above hamburger joint Rare has doubled in size, meaning there are now ten bed-style loungers, including (take note, birthday revelers) five of them in a VIP area that's obscured by bamboo trees.
The View: A sixteenth-floor bar with outstanding midtown views, including one of the Chrysler Building
The Menu: $13 mango margaritas and blood-orange Cosmos
The Hours: M–S (4:30 p.m.–11 p.m.), Su (closed)
The Pool Deck
Empire Hotel, 44 W. 63rd St., nr. Broadway; 212-265-7400
The Empire Hotel's rooftop pool bar technically accommodates a maximum of 150 hotel guests, but if you have the know-how to reach the Hudson Hotel’s Sky Terrace rooftop sans room key, we’re thinking you can do the same here.
The View: Lincoln Center and Central Park's western border frame the hotel.
The Menu: Small plates and cocktails
The Hours: Daily (10 a.m.–10 p.m.)
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
641 W. 51st St., at Twelfth Ave.; 212-247-2460
The vision of the West Side Highway from this new "adult rooftop" wouldn't inspire anyone to propose to his girlfriend, but that's just fine for the cigar puffers who aren't thinking of marriage when they're staring at the busty barmaid.
The View: Banker wankers killing bills on silicone sisters
Menu: The Hustler hasn't served food for a while, so make do with a beer or cocktail.
The Hours: M–F (6 p.m.–4 a.m., $20 cover), S (8 p.m.–4 a.m., $25), Su (8 p.m.–2 a.m., free)
411 Third Ave., at 29th St.; 212-683-7090
If you can make it past the throngs of Stern schoolers, up three flights of stairs, and beyond the bouncer, you'll be rewarded by a rooftop scene that's slightly less of a crush than the Top 40–fueled maelstrom downstairs.
The View: The Empire State Building and a bunch of Murray Hill condos.
Menu: Four types of steak, Asian wok-seared salmon, veggie burgers, fried ice cream, and just about every imaginable variety of pub grub your heart desires.
The Hours: Daily (11 a.m.–4 a.m.; closing time is flexible)