Blue skies and warming temperatures have us over at SIXTY‘s New York City HQ yearning cocktails al fresco. When spring and summer hit, the bars you want are the bars with outdoor seating. No ifs, ands, or buts. Whether it’s in an alley, a courtyard, or on top of the proverbial world, if it’s got plenty of fresh oxygen rolling around and any amount of sunshine, it deserves a star in our book. Herewith, we’ve selected some of our favorite rooftop bars around town. Just a note: call in advance to make sure the outside is up and running. While the kinks are getting worked out of spring, some spots may need another week before things kick into high gear.
The Skylark is stunning year-round, with its Mad Men-esque decor of wood-paneled walls and sumptuous velvet. While the town glitters behind glass all winter and fall, in spring and summer, you can get closer to the action with drinks on the terrace. Mixologist Johnny Swet crafts a cheeky menu of hits like the Prince Harry (vodka, pomegranate liqueur, agave, lime juice, ginger beer) and the Tango for two (cognac, crème de cassis, passion fruit puree, simple syrup, lavender bitters, champagne).
200 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
The Met Roof Garden Café & Martini Bar
Reward your cultural romp through the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a cocktail on its rooftop cafe. The space hovers just above Central Park, where a lush view serves as the perfect complement to a strong drink.
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
Speaking of verdant urban pastures. Gallow Green, located above the McKittrick Hotel, home of the long-running Sleep No More, feels almost less a bar and more a garden. Potted plants and creeping vines create little enclaves of privacy. It’s pure romance. If you feel like making your brunch a boozy one, Gallow Green offers weekend brunch starting April 28.
542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
If you’re looking for views of Manhattan (not from), head to Westlight in Williamsburg. Perched on the top of the William Vale, Westlight affords 360-views of the burrough and its surrounds. While its address might be in Brooklyn, Westlight feels pure Manhattan: clean, sleek, and modern with cocktails designed to keep the night going. Try the refreshing Giddy Up, made with celery, gin, yellow chartreuse ginger, lemon, and tonic.
111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Adjacent to the famed Rainbow Room, smack in the middle of Manhattan, Bar SixtyFive boasts some of the best views in the city. You’ll be eye-to-eye with the Empire State Building while you snack on charcuterie and sip on bubbles. A bit on the posh side, Bar SixtyFive has a dress code that forbids athletic wear and flip flops. Consider it a good excuse to look your best.
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor, New York, NY 10112
The reincarnation of Tiki Tabu, Make Believe is the latest rooftop concept to come to SIXTY LES. The theme is absolute escapism. From the global sounds to the outrageous decor, Make Believe is designed to transport its guests to another realm. The cocktail menu takes its cues from the flavors of Japan, with hints of yuzu, ponzu, jasmine, and more than enough sake to go around.
190 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Photo courtesy of Michael Discenza