10 Hot NYC Rooftop Bars For Every Networking Occasion

10 Hot NYC Rooftop Bars

For Every Networking Occasion

The warm weather is officially here. Gone are the days (hopefully) of overcast, rain-splotched days that have you holed up in your shoe-sized apartment complex. With the arrival of the sunshine season, you can finally dig out your numerous pairs of sandals that have been resting patiently in your closet. This will mean more time spent outside, basking in either the warm sunshine, or enjoying the whispers of the temperate night breeze.

In New York, one of the hottest places to enjoy summer weather is atop a rooftop bar. But why limit your after-work hours to pure entertainment? A true entrepreneur is thinking about business opportunities at all hours, and a trip to the bar can just as easily turn into a networking event. With the calming currents of air rustling through your hair and surrounded by exhilarating views of Manhattan, rooftop bars provide the perfect locale to meet new connections, discuss work ideas, and sign off on business deals. To save you from squandering precious time in your busy schedule, we’ve assembled a list of the top NYC rooftop bars for every type of entrepreneur.

1. RARE View Rooftop Chelsea, Chelsea
Rare View Cocktails Courtesy of Yelp

One of New York City’s rare year-round rooftop bars, Rare View Chelsea offers a panoramic view of New York’s landmark buildings, including the Empire State Building, Met Life Building, and the Freedom Tower. In the summer, revel in the 3,000 sq. ft bar that’s reminiscent of a surf bungalow. In the winter, fret not – the rooftop becomes enclosed and heated, allowing you to still enjoy the sweeping views without falling sick. This makes Rare View Chelsea the go-to business bar meeting spot for any time of the year, for the entrepreneur who loves rooftop scenes with such fervor, they can’t limit it to one season of the year. While you’re here, grab their signature drinks: Swipe Right (rum, guava purée, and jalapeño) and Legs for Days (rye, strawberry purée, topped off with a chocolate straw).

2. Cloud Social Rooftop Bar, Midtown West

For the more laid-back business ventures, devoid of pretentiousness, Cloud Social Rooftop Bar is the spot for you. Heralded as one of the best rooftop bars in Manhattan by major publications, this lounge requires no dress code, but offers a relaxed and refined atmosphere. Grab a spiked peppermint hot chocolate during the cooler months, and a chocolate espresso martini during the warmer seasons, and you’re sure to enjoy a casual-yet-professional meeting with your business partners.

3. The Press Lounge, Midtown West

Boasting beautiful panoramic views of the Hudson river and Midtown Manhattan, this rooftop bar nestled in Hell’s Kitchen is a spot that can’t be missed. Despite its prime locale, The Press Lounge doesn’t require a reservation, making it the perfect spot for those last-minute business gatherings. In addition to the dramatic views, the bar offers seasonally-inspired small plates and unique cocktails, like their Lucida drink – a concoction of vodka, elderflower liqueur, and coconut water, all topped off with prosecco. At the center of the venue rests an elegant, neon-lit shallow pool – sure to light up the faces of you and your business partners.

4. Rooftop 93, Lower East Side

For the frugal entrepreneur who still wants to impress their business associates, Rooftop 93 is the perfect choice. Offering happy hour deals with $8 cocktails, $6 well drinks and $5 beers, this gem in the LES won’t break the bank, and might actually boost your salary after all the successful business negotiations you’re sure to make. Perched on the top two floors of the Wyndham Garden Hotel, the bar consists of a lounge floor with a captivating view of the Empire State Building, as well as their open rooftop, offering a breath-taking view of lower Manhattan.

5. The Skylark, Midtown West

Nestled in the heart of Times Square South, The Skylark is a sleek cocktail lounge delivering sweeping views of the Hudson River, Times Square, and Midtown Manhattan. The decor is understated yet sophisticated, and their menu features a slew of bite-sized delicacies. Try their signature Skylark Beef Sliders, with patties topped with gruyere and onion jam. Paired with their Cold Brew Coffee Swizzle cocktail, you’re sure to be alert all night long while successfully negotiating business deals.

Skylark Bite-Sized Plates Courtesy of Yelp
6. Bar SixtyFive, Midtown West

For the entrepreneur who has a secret affinity for tourist attractions but doesn’t want to wait in interminable lines, Bar SixtyFive will satisfy both needs. Located in the legendary Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza, this lounge is, true to its name, on the 65th floor of the iconic American restaurant. It is the highest outdoor terrace bar in New York City, and  with reservations, you and your associates will be rewarded the spectacular view atop Rockefeller Center, without having endure torturous tourist-filled lines.

7. Refinery Rooftop, Midtown West

For the entrepreneur who yearns to go back to simpler times, Refinery Rooftop offers precisely that, with its exposed brick walls, crackling fire place, and leafy green shrubbery. Their event calendar also displays a host of musical events, featuring talent like Winston McBoogie and Soul Shyne. Enjoy a drink with the tunes, crafted by skilled mixologist Alex Ott, who uses his background in biochemistry to concoct exciting cocktails like the Luster (gin, lime juice, cranberry juice, muddled cucumber, dash of Pimm’s) and the O.D.B. (Jameson Black Barrel, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice).

8. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, Flatiron

Home to the famous igloo-encased outdoor seating areas, 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar is a must-visit for any entrepreneur who enjoys rooftop bars in the colder seasons. It’s also New York’s largest outdoor rooftop garden, which contains a fully enclosed penthouse lounge, and offers brunch buffets on the weekends. Enjoy everything from raspberry mojitos to piña coladas on the sprawling deck, and be sure to get there early – this place fills up super quick.

Winter Igloos Courtesy of 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
9. Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar, Battery Park

If you’re a fan of novelty items and are willing to shell out a few bucks for them, the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar will be a great visit. Their innovative Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktail will tickle your fancy – it is a concoction featuring a fruity People’s Pop ice pop surrounded by chilled Prosecco or Rose. Flavors for the pops range from Blueberry Peach, Strawberry Lemongrass, to Empire Apple, and vary on a monthly basis. At $22-25 a pop, this alcoholic treat won’t come cheap, but will be worth the tantalizingly fun experience it provides. Located 16 floors above Manhattan, this venue offers prime views of the New York Harbor and The Statue of Liberty.

10. Gallow Green, Chelsea
Gallow Green Courtesy of Gallow Green

For brunch-loving networkers, Gallow Green is a must-visit. Nestled on the roof of the Mckittrick Hotel, this rooftop bar and restaurant offers a brunch experience so phenomenal, you’ll have to purchase tickets in advance to secure a spot.  The $35 brunch ticket grants you access to delectable plates of smoked organic salmon, bread & waffles, roasted peewee potatoes, and organic fried chicken. The setting is also spectacular – it features a garden oasis brimming with potted greenery, exuding an enchanting, dreamy ambiance.

This article was first published on 6/17

Kate Chia

Kate Chia is an NYU graduate with a degree in psychology and has a passion for all things writing-related. She has particular interest in writing about psychology, health, and creative nonfiction. Outside of work, she enjoys indie pop and folk music, scenic walks, and promoting gender equality.

  1. This is an awesome rundown. I love RARE and Refinery – been to them both! I travel to DC, Chicago and NYC all the time and always keep tabs on these lists because I like to take clients to these kinds of bars. I recently found another list that was really good for rooftop bars in midtown east, specifically (just Google ‘rooftop bars midtown east’ and click on the Westgate blog search result) – it’s a great rundown for anyone needing to know the rooftop bar scene in midtown east Manhattan. Great post here though, and this has a couple of Midtown West gems I’ve never been to – will have to try them out with clients! Cheers!

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