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.
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 get an omakase at the chef’s counter (10 courses for $60 or 15 for $100) or order à la carte at a table. Unless you like caviar and edible gold on everything, we recommend the latter. In a rare plot twist, the specialty rolls are some of the best things on the menu.
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.
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.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
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 coconut curry chicken, and there are also some creative takes on familiar rooftop fare (tune tartare in flaky puffs, fried fish in buns instead of tacos, etc.). Celebrate a birthday here, or bring tourist who just wants to stare at the Manhattan skyline. They’ll be impressed.
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—with a taco bar in the summertime and a pizza-centric menu the rest of the year—but the juicy burger and well-cooked steak frites are always on the menu. Stop by for dinner, drinks, or a serve-yourself brunch.
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 it serves a decadent 12-ish course Moroccan-influenced tasting menu for $295 per person. You’ll likely remember the setting more clearly than the food, but if you 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.
Zona De Cuba
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. If you want a little bit of privacy, they also have individual pods you can reserve for groups.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
RH Rooftop Restaurant
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 food at RH is from the owner of Au Cheval in Tribeca who delivers 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: Liz Clayman
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 yuzu crab, 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.
The second floor of Republica, a three-story Dominican restaurant on Dykman, is windowless with purple strobe lights and thumping bachata. As you can imagine, brunch upstairs on the colorful covered rooftop is also a party. For $45 each, you can get two hours of bottomless mimosas or sangria and two brunch entrees per person. While the food is decent, it definitely has a bigger purpose—and that purpose is to give you enough sustenance to keep pouring drinks. You’re going to see a lot of birthdays, but you'll see just as many people dancing in their seats celebrating Saturday. Maximize the fun by coming with a group.
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.
The wall of sky you see in front of you when you eat and drink at Peak is truly something. It's one of the best views in the city. So if that's what you're looking for, this place is worth it. The food is just as attractive as the view, and it's all cooked nicely—although the New American flavors are ultimately pretty basic. It's not the most imaginative cooking, but the aesthetically 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 out-of-towner or important client.