Five Way-Up-High Manhattan Bars

It’s spring—why not elevate your mood at these way-up-high boîtes?
The Sky Terrace, 356 W. 58th Street, Rooftop Bar, Manhattan

356 W. 58th St., NYC, 212-554-6000
Scene: This beautifully decorated terrace on the Hudson Hotel’s 15th floor features whimsically oversize potted plants (courtesy of designer Philippe Starck), chaise longues, and Hudson River views.
Sip: White and red wine sangria, pear limoncello, and kaffir lime sake.
Secret: Acrophobes can have just as much fun at the hotel’s three other lower-level bars: the Library Bar (where you can play chess or pool), Henry, A Liquor Bar (great for live music), and Hudson Common (for sports fanatics).

Bar 54, 135 We. 45th Street, NYC Rooftop Bar, Manhattan

BAR 54
135 W. 45th St., NYC, 646-364-1234

Scene: The 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square hotel, with 360-degree city views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Overseen by one of New York’s most noted mixologists, Julie Reiner.

Sip: For groups of four or more, try one of Bar 54’s signature Punch Bowls, such as the springy Green Submarine, made with Pimm’s, gin, chartreuse, ginger syrup, and soda and served in old-time teacups.

Secret: Of 112 seats, 40 are located outside. Try to snag the ones near the outdoor fireplaces on either end of the terrace.





700 Fifth Ave., NYC, 212-903-3097
Scene: The grande dame of tippling aeries, the Peninsula Hotel’s Salon de Ning still attracts a young crowd of business titans and tyros alike. The sexy 1930s- Shanghai interiors never go out of style.
Sip: A Ning Sling (Absolut Mandarin, Soho Lychee Liqueur, fresh mint, and lychee and passion fruit juices).
Secret: For upwardly mobile people on the prowl, this is prime hunting ground.


Le Bain Rooftop Bar, Manhattan

444 W. 13th St., NYC, 212-645-4646

Scene: The Standard Hotel’s bi-level rooftop bar is a self-billed “penthouse discothèque with world-famous DJs.” The alfresco wrap terrace, covered in artificial grass and decorated with whimsical chairs and circular pink daybeds, is not to be undone by the sexy indoor room, with its Jacuzzi and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Sip: A Coconut Lemonade (vodka, coconut water, fresh lemon juice) or a Rooftop Margarita (tequila, fresh lime, cucumber syrup). 

Secret: Arrive late afternoon to stake your claim and drink your way to the sunset over the Hudson. The door policy is notoriously tough, so dress for success.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar, 1000 Fifth Ave., 212-535-7710
Scene: Staggering views of Central Park give the Met’s art holdings a run for the money among the martini-sipping, sunset-savoring crowd.
Sip: A Gola Ganda (Pakistani shaved ice with pomegranate syrup over vodka), in addition to the trademark gin and vodka martinis.
Secret: Limited hours (call or check the website first) mean that romantic evenings can be fleeting—so step to it.

A version of this article appeared in the May/June 2014 issue of New York Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Views from the Top.