NYCGuide

The Best Rooftop Restaurants In NYC

Where to go when you want to impress someone with a bird's-eye view of the city.
The skyline view on the Peak rooftop.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

New York City has plenty of rooftops where you can drink with business people and EDM fans, but it's hard to find one where you can have a nice meal. If that’s what you’re looking for, these are your best options. From a KBBQ spot on top of a building in K-Town to an Israeli grill in Williamsburg, all of these places have impressive views and food that you’ll look forward to on the elevator ride up. Pick one for your next birthday, anniversary, or dinner with out-of-towners who like to stare at buildings.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Israeli

Williamsburg

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightSpecial OccasionsBig GroupsOutdoor/Patio SituationImpressing Out of Towners

On top of the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg, Laser Wolf has a panoramic view of Manhattan that'll make you swear you’ll never leave for any godforsaken town without a skyline like this one. Modeled after the Israeli skewer houses known as shipudiya, this Philly import serves meat and vegetables cooked over an open fire and, famously, a glorious wreath of shareable salatim. The fun, highly spirited food is worth the hassle of getting a reservation, but where they’ve chosen to serve that food makes this place an NYC staple.

We mostly just go to elNico for drinks. The view from the top of the Penny Hotel in Williamsburg is nice, and we’re fans of the Santo Pepino cocktail that a bartender here once accurately described as "spa water that gets you drunk." But there are plenty of tables where you can sit down for a full meal in the plant-filled space, and the Mexican-inspired food is pretty interesting. Start with the chunky guac, then try the tlayuda with caramelized onion and the black sesame fluke aguachile. Reservations are easy to snag, so keep elNico in mind for a last-minute meal with some out-of-towners. They’ll love the terraces, cacti, and comfy green couches.

photo credit: David Mitchell

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night
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At Saishin, couples sit on the same side of the (rather large) outdoor booths, taking in views of the Hudson River from the Gansevoort rooftop in Meatpacking. The small sushi restaurant is tucked away behind the main bar, making it feel quiet and intimate. Views are visible from the sushi counter inside, but you’ll have your back turned to them. Instead, get the fantastic $135 omakase served to you outside, and enjoy the breeze. Afterwards, head to the livelier Gansevoort rooftop bar if you’re ready for more action.

The view from Manhatta makes every other New York City restaurant seem boring. You can see most of Manhattan and Brooklyn from this spot on the 60th floor of a FiDi building, so try to snag a table by one of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu is New American, and, while that might sound boring, the food is actually pretty unique, highlighted by a barbecued freshwater eel with bone marrow and red wine. Choose from three- or four-course menus, and mention that you’re celebrating something (it can’t hurt).

Lala’s Brooklyn Apizza pairs ultra-thin, New Haven-style apizza pies with a rooftop experience you can only find in Brooklyn. On top of Grimm Artisanal Ales in East Williamsburg, the pizzeria has its own bar, plenty of open-air and covered picnic tables, and sweeping views of Brooklyn and Queens against sunsets that deserve their own soundtrack. Grab a group and order a pie per person. The classic red or white clam are good starting points if you’ve never had an apizza before.

RH is named for the fancy furniture store it’s on top of, and if you’re unfamiliar with Restoration Hardware, it’s worth coming here just to walk around and check out couches that cost as much as cars. The menu isn’t super exciting, but they deliver a perfect burrata with grilled tomatoes and a great ribeye sandwich. There’s no hard liquor here, which should be your first indication this isn’t a typical rooftop party restaurant. (Your second indication is that RH closes at 9pm.) Still, this is a good option for fun group dinners when you want to get dressed up.

photo credit: Jeremy Poon

If you want to eat extravagant sushi on a Midtown roof, you might as well do it at Sushi Lab. Both the setting and the food here are visually focused, so this place is a bit of an Instagram trap, but one where the food is actually pretty good. You can either order the omakase menu at the chef’s counter or order a la carte at a table. Unless you like caviar and edible gold on everything, we recommend the latter. And in a rare plot twist, the specialty rolls are some of the best things on the menu.

The wall of sky you see in front of you when you eat and drink at Peak is truly something. At this Hudson Yards restaurant, the food is just as attractive as the view, and it's all nicely cooked—although the New American flavors are ultimately pretty basic. It's not the most imaginative cooking, but the interesting plating fits the high-end experience. The crowd mostly consists of people who work in the area, with a subset that stays after dinner for bottle service at the attached bar Peekaboo. Whether or not that includes you, Peak is a good choice for when you need a view that'll impress an important client.

photo credit: Gaonnuri

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On the 39th floor of a building in Koreatown, Gaonnuri serves nicely marinated cuts of sirloin and pork neck that you can cook at your table with the whole city at your feet. All the meats are good, but we’re partial to the deeply marinated galbi and the pork belly appetizer. You can find similar or even better KBBQ down at street level for a third of the price, but a sky tax should be expected. Ideally, you’re either here celebrating a special occasion, or you have an expense account. Just keep in mind that you can only reserve a table right by the windows if you do their tasting menu.

photo credit: Gallow Green

This laid-back rooftop bar and restaurant on top of the McKittrick Hotel has some quality shrubbery and plenty of places to sit. It’s also one of your best drinking options in Chelsea (especially when you want to hang outdoors), and you can eat a full meal here. The menu changes seasonally, but the juicy burger and well-cooked steak frites are always available. Stop by for dinner, drinks, or a serve-yourself brunch.

photo credit: Liz Clayman

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The team behind Le Crocodile opened this flashy French wine bar six floors above their Williamsburg restaurant on the bottom floor of the Wythe Hotel. Bar Blondeau is full of green velvet banquettes and two-tops where you can snack on tuna tartare, order several rounds of oysters, and take in some great views of the Manhattan skyline. You can also choose a bottle from their natural wine list to enjoy on their large outdoor terrace.

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$$$$Perfect For:BrunchSee And Be Seen

For a restaurant connected to a high-end gym franchise, Electric Lemon is actually pretty great. The food at this rooftop spot in the Equinox Hotel is marketed as healthy-ish, and it sort of is, but it’s also just solid New American fare. Will it blow your mind? Probably not, but everything is going to taste much better than what you'd get at your average influencer haunt. On the outdoor terrace, you'll find some aesthetically pleasing features, like an infinity pool and a fire pit.

Saga is the deluxe sibling of Crown Shy, a New American restaurant on the ground floor of a 1930s building that’s an official New York City landmark. Unlike Crown Shy, Saga is on the 63rd floor and serves decadent Moroccan-influenced food. They only do tasting menus, and the full version costs $298 per person, but you can get a four-course one for $198. You’ll likely remember the setting more clearly than the food, but if all you want is to enjoy a spectacular view and hang out in a carpeted room fit for Bond villains, you can have a very nice time here.

This Caribbean spot in the South Bronx has a live salsa band, tons of palm trees, and a booth made from the back of an old-school Chevy. Whether you decide to sit on the massive outdoor rooftop or in the similarly large and colorful indoor space, make sure to order some mojo-marinated pork chops and plantains stuffed with Cuban spiced beef.

This fancy rooftop bar on top of the even fancier William Vale hotel in Brooklyn feels like something you'd find in Manhattan. That said, Westlight has some of the best views in the city, and the food and drinks are actually pretty good. Large plates range from a smoked cheddar burger to miso salmon, and there are also some creative takes on familiar rooftop fare (hummus in flaky puffs, fried fish in buns instead of tacos, etc.). Celebrate a birthday here, or bring a tourist who just wants to stare at the Manhattan skyline. They’ll be impressed.

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