Barges, Rooftops, and Gardens: The 18 Best Outdoor Bars for Summertime Cocktails in NYC
As the weather heats up, nothing’s better than enjoying a cold beverage in a nice outdoor space.
New York’s bar scene is one of the most varied in the world. With speakeasies, bars for the competitive set, and those serving up world-class cocktails, the options are seemingly endless. But once the summer hits, the best drink pairing is the great outdoors. These are our picks for the best rooftops, gardens, and waterfront spots to get your sip on.
1. Gallow Green
This Chelsea bar features a hidden rooftop garden that will transport you out of the concrete hustle of Manhattan. With beautiful views and fun drink options, it’s the perfect way to escape without ever leaving the city.
Gallow Green is located at 542 W 27th Street.
Atop the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, this bar offers a two for one Ñ you can view world-famous art and enjoy a drink upstairs when youÕre done. Nestled into the east side of Central Park, the rooftop offers a spectacular view of the parkÕs greenery and the Midtown skyline beyond. ItÕs only open during museum hours, and we recommend visiting during lunchtime to beat the postwork crowds.
The Met Rooftop Bar is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
This rooftop bar has a glass floor section where you can see straight down to the street. If that makes you a little nervous, distract yourself with a slice of Detroit-style pizza and enjoy the ambiance at this trendy spot.
The Heights at Arlo Nomad is located at 11 E 31st Street.
4. 230 Fifth
This bar turns into a trendy club at night, but offers fantastic views and happy hour specials for a more low-key daytime outing. High above Madison Square Park, the rooftop is situated between the landmark buildings of Midtown and offers an indoor area as well.
230 Fifth is located at (you guessed it) 230 Fifth Avenue.
5. Loopy Doopy
If you’re a foodgrammer, this lower Manhattan rooftop bar with its social media-friendly popsicle drinks will be your personal heaven. The spectacular view of the Financial District skyscrapers and water beyond makes the perfect backdrop for your picture-perfect gram.
Loopy Doopy is located at 102 North End Avenue.
This Midtown rooftop feels like the perfect neighborhood spot. With atmospheric string lighting and amazing views of neighboring buildings, you can enjoy the bar’s signature cocktails in style.
Refinery Rooftop is located at 63 W 38th Street.
7. Rare View
Located atop Affinia’s very own Shelburne NYC, Rare View was named one of NYC’s best rooftop bars. Rare View offers amazing 360-degree views and unique seasonal drinks in addition to their signature spicy mango margarita, they offer a cocktail menu that changes every year.
Rare View is located at 303 Lexington Avenue.
Smack in the middle of the Meatpacking District and below the High Line, this German-style beer garden is the place to see and be seen on summer nights. Get there early to beat the wait and you’ll be met with a menu of beers and a selection of German bites.
The Standard Beer Garden is located at 848 Washington Street.
9. The Jeffrey
This low-key bar, which offers a massive menu of beer and snacks, may just be the pinnacle of the outdoor drinking experience. The back deck is the perfect place for a summer meet up or celebration, and its location on the border of Midtown East and the Upper East Side means you can escape the crowds of downtown Manhattan.
The Jeffrey is located at 311 E 60th Street.
Over in the East Village, The Standard’s other Manhattan location serves up a quieter vibe in this backyard eatery. Perfect for happy hour or a light meal, the menu is chock full of fresh ingredients that pair perfectly with Narcissa’s light and airy atmosphere.
Narcissa is located at 25 Cooper Square.
Enjoy a drink at one of two outdoor patios connected to this recently revamped New York institution. Nestled right into the greenery of the west side of Central Park, Tavern on the Green offers visitors a one-of-a-kind view.
Tavern on the Green is located at Central Park West at 67th Street.
12. Stone Street
If you find yourself downtown, summer is the perfect time to check out Stone Street. Hidden a stone’s throw from Wall Street, it’s a pedestrian-only cobblestone alley lined with pubs, restaurants, and outdoor tables. The buzzy energy of Stone Street provides the perfect backdrop for a post-work drink.
Stone Street is located between Whitehall and Broad Streets.
On the Water
13. The Frying Pan
Come aboard this docked ship for a drink and a bite. With beautiful views of Manhattan and a full bar and restaurant, it’s a great place to camp out for a few hours and enjoy the sea breeze. If you’re a seafood lover, we recommend the mussels with a side of seasoned fries.
The Frying Pan is located at Pier 66 at 26th St. in Hudson River Park.
14. Boat Basin Cafe
With a typical bar food menu, Boat Basin Cafe on the Upper West Side provides comfort food with an unbeatable view of the Hudson River. Drink, eat and watch the sailboats go by we recommend visiting at sunset. When you’ve finished your drink, take a stroll through adjacent Riverside Park.
Boat Basin Cafe is located at West 79th Street.
15. The Crow’s Nest
The Crow’s Nest is part of The Water Club overlooking the East River. With good music and a lively vibe, this unpretentious spot offers casual dining and drinking from afternoon to evening. Note: It’s closed on Mondays.
The Crow’s Nest is located at E 30th Street at the East River.
At the southernmost tip of Manhattan, enjoy a picnic table drink and a stunning view of what’s beyond the borough. Watch the ferries go by and see the sun set behind the Statue of Liberty while you enjoy a drink or two at this designated NYC landmark.
Pier A Harbor House is located at 22 Battery Place.
17. Grand Banks
When you board this boat bar floating off Hudson River Park in Tribeca, you’ll be instantly transported back in time. Everything’s sea-themed on this shiny wooden boat, whose look was inspired by the oyster barges of yore. Grand Banks boasts nautical-themed cocktails and sustainably harvested oysters, with a pretty fantastic view to boot.
Grand Banks is located at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park.
18. Brooklyn Barge
Finally, if you want to see Manhattan from another perspective, escape the borough and enjoy upscale comfort food and drinks at this Greenpoint establishment. Tacos, shared plates, and refreshing cocktails perfect for summer are all on the menu at this open air barge, which offers amazing views of lower Manhattan.
The Brooklyn Barge is located at 3 Milton Street, Brooklyn.
Taking a summer trip to the Big Apple? Affinia’s Free Nights offer at select hotels is a perfect excuse to extend your stay. Stay four nights in any room type for the price of three, or stay three nights in one of our spacious suites for the price of two!