For the beer-geek dad:
The Roof at Whole Foods
214 3rd St., at Third Ave., Gowanus; 718-907-3622
Gaze at Gowanus’s industry from your perch on the second-floor deck at this cafeteria-bar hybrid. Beers are reasonably priced ($6 to $8)—the bar is in a grocery, after all—and include offerings from Uinta, Sixpoint, and Evil Twin breweries. There’s a food menu, too, that features the requisite kale Caesar. Grocery-shop before you booze or risk a drunken organic-produce bender.
For the downtowner stuck in Midtown:
200 W. 39th St., nr. Seventh Ave., 30th fl.; 212-257-4577
At this 1,500-square-foot outdoor behemoth, swanky revelers come practically face-to-face with the Empire State Building. Cocktails are by Johnny Swet of Jimmy at the James New York, and don’t expect anyone to push bottle service on you: “Our door policy is ‘Look nice, act nice,’ ” says partner David Rubin.
For the boat-shoed after-worker:
The Roof at the Viceroy New York
124 W. 57th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-707-8008
The Gerber Group’s 29th-floor indoor-outdoor rooftop was designed by Roman and Williams to evoke the feel of a luxury yacht suspended in the sky. The views of Central Park’s tumbling lawns are unobstructed and protected by air rights. Expect $16 classic cocktails, and on the weekends DJs like Michael Cavadias spin soul and indie rock for a cashed-up crowd well into the night.
For the top–of–the Standard reject:
71 W. 35th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-630-9993
The 18th-floor deck has electric views of Times Square and a Scandinavian-design aesthetic; bottle service comes with zany accoutrements (think sparklers), and cocktails are aerial-themed (try the Skyline Chill, with gin, grapefruit, and basil). There’s a democratic door policy, so expect strong after-work crowds.
For the post–If/Then set:
The Hyatt Times Square, 135 W. 45th St., nr. Sixth Ave., 54th fl. 646-364-1234
A well-trained staff doles out cocktail maven Julie Reiner’s pretty, well-crafted drinks in an area starved for such; the quiet crowd’s a mix of hotel guests, theatergoers, and Times Square refugees seeking the New York–on–TV experience. Nab seats outside or near windows to catch dramatic views that span the rivers.
For the low-key Australiaphile:
12 Franklin St., at Meserole St., Greenpoint; 347-689-4065
The team behind Berry Park has glammed up waterfront Brooklyn with their sparkling new brick-and-Mason-jar-outfitted drinking hole. The rooftop has a full bar and plenty of reveling Aussies soaking up misty views of Manhattan while nursing frosty glasses of Antipodean beer (it’s named for Australia’s desert state, and one of the owners, an expat, is eagerly spreading the word among “his people”). An outdoor grill is coming soon.
For the edge-dweller:
Upper Elm at King and Grove
160 N. 12th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-218-7500
At this reclaimed-wood-bedecked hotel rooftop, recline on lounge chairs and gaze at Manhattan’s skyline (or bikini-clad tourists) over chilled bottles of Moët and snacks by Paul Liebrandt. Music comes courtesy of a rotating crew of DJs, and there are themed daytime events like reggae Sundays. It opens May 15.