10 best winter rooftop bars in NYC, open all year round

Enjoy a winter-dressed New York City from high above. From rooftop igloos to charming terraces with retractable roofs.

September 4, 2023
Winter rooftop bars in NYC

New York is probably the rooftop capital in the world. At least for about 6 months of the year, when the alfresco season is in full swing. But, more and more of the NYC rooftops have find a solution to keep their terraces open even during the colder months and rainy days.

Rooftop igloos, retractable roofs and heaters opens the possibility for all of us to enjoy seasonal rooftops drinks while gazing out over a winter-dressed Manhattan skyline.

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Here’s our list of the best rooftop bars in NYC for an elevated winter experience.

1. Elsie Rooftop Bar

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Elsie Rooftop Bar
Elsie Rooftop Bar | Photo: https://elsierooftop.com

If what you're looking for is a magical night, then head out to Elsie Rooftop Bar and bask in its incredible decorations, jaw-dropping views, and delicious drinks.

Located on a 25th floor, Elsie is well known for its lavish parties, tasteful decorations, progressive mixology, and upscale atmosphere.

The bar has a spacious roofed area and a smaller, but no less comfortable terrace, which makes it a year-long destination for people with good taste and deep pockets.

Reservations are recommended, though not required, as there's a large communal bar area that everyone's allowed to visit.

Other than the relaxed, yet luxurious ambiance, Elsie Rooftop Bar is well-known for its seasonal approach to drinks and bar bites, making it a great place to visit all year round.


2. Sandbar Rooftop

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Sandbar Rooftop
Sandbar Rooftop | Photo: www.sandbarrooftop.com/

Found in the heart of the Fashion District, Sandbar Rooftop offers an elevated beach escape for all seasons.

Set on the 23rd floor of the Hilton New York Fashion District, the Hamptons-inspired deocration at the rooftop sure feels a lot like summer. But thanks to both an interior lounge, and a retractable roof on the outside terrace, the sky-high fun is available year-round.

Surrounded with nearly 360° views of Manhattan and the Empire State Building, here you can enjoy signature handcrafted cocktails, as well as fresh sharables and pinsa-style pizza.

Filled with curated music and stylish yet relaxed good-vibes, Sandbar Rooftop invites to an unforgettable New York experience at any time of the year.


3. Highwater Rooftop

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Highwater Rooftop
Highwater Rooftop | Photo: https://www.highwaterrooftop.com/

Set 25 floors above the Financial District, on top of the modern Hotel Indigo - NYC Downtown - Wall Street, Highwater Rooftop offers a luxurious and versatile rooftop experience.

Mixing a stylish interior lounge with four outdoor terrace, the bi-level Highwater is one of the most attractive bars in the city.

Surrounded with dramatic and impressive views over the inner city skyscrapers, here you can enjoy a masterfully curated cocktail menu, a local craft beer program, as well as elevated lite bites.

Found right where the New York Stock Exchange was founded, the year-round rooftop can accommodate all party sizes, and is pretty much the perfect spot for anything from a sky-high after work to trendy nights with drinks and views.

Highwater is also a great event space, and you can host pretty much any type of elevated gathering here.


4. Ophelia

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Ophelia
Ophelia | Photo: www.opheliany.com/

The intimate and chic Ophelia cocktail lounge is found on top of the iconic art deco Beekman Tower on the East River.

Grand on the inside, the rooftop also comes with a wraparound terrace, mostly covered, turning into a charming 'snowglobe in the sky' during the colder months.

Get comfy among the twinkling decorations and sheep plaids, and enjoy panoramic 360° views, stretching over Manhattan, Brooklyn and the East River.

The Ophelia menu takes inspiration from the glory old days, featuring crafted reinventions of classic and unique signature cocktails, as well as a small but curated selection of 5-star bar bites and dishes.

Always a great spot for elevated and stylish NYC evenings, Ophelia also offers cocktail brunches, live jazz sessions, weekend DJs and vibrant events.


5. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

Winter rooftop bars NYC - 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
230 Fifth | Photo: www.230-fifth.com

Branded as NYC’s largest all-year outdoor and indoor bar and event space, the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar is named after its location on New York's famous 5th Avenue.

With an ability to seat over 1000 people, this is the place to go when you're looking for activity.

Covering two floors, and mixing indoor and outdoor seating, the spacious and open-air terrace is equipped with large umbrellas to protect customers from the sun during summer, and with transparent rooftop igloos and heaters to keep them warm during the winters.

Thanks to this versatility, the 230 is open year-round.

The drinks and food offered at the 230 Fifth work seasonally, with fresh, fruity cocktails for the hot days and warm, chocolatey drinks being provided during winter.

Overall, the 230 Fifth is not only one of NYC's largest rooftop bars but also one of the most versatile, as it's always in a state of reinventing itself to provide new experiences to its guests.


6. Magic Hour Rooftop Bar

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Magic Hour Rooftop Bar
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar | Photo: http://moxy-hotels.marriott.com

The Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is the kind of rooftop venue that charms from the moment you first lay eyes on it.

It's fun, charming, and unique without ever turning gimmicky, which makes it a popular haunt for the party-loving scene, and more than lives up to its self-proclaimed title of an "urban amusement park".

There are five different areas for you to enjoy, each with its own distinctive feel and theme, including a stylish indoor lounge and two separate outdoor areas, where one comes with epic Empire State Building skyline views.

Add rotating seasonal pop-ups, and it's easy to tell there's always something different to do whenever visiting this bar. And it is all available year round.

The Magic Hour menu features shareable light bites rooted in the world of the state fair, as well as an extensive collection of fun and innovative signature cocktails that we can't recommend enough.


7. Refinery Rooftop

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Refinery Rooftop
Refinery Rooftop | Photo: https://refineryrooftop.com/

The crowning jewel of one of New York's most famous hotels, the Refinery Rooftop, offers jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan Skyline and first-row seats to the Empire State.

Set on top of Refinery Hotel, this is one of NYC's most dynamic scenes, with a 'restaurant by day, lounge bar by night' atmosphere that makes it a popular spot all day and all year long.

Chef Jeff Haskell is in charge of the lunch menu, creating delectable dishes like the Octopus Salad and the Double Patty Burger.

At night, the party crowd gathers looking for the Refinery's casual atmosphere, and its impressive signature cocktail list, developed by IGC Hospitality’s mixologists.

Thanks to its retractable glass roof atrium –which gives the Refinery a sort of steampunk look– you can enjoy this dynamic rooftop bar no matter the weather and temperature.


8. Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge
Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge | Photo: www.1hotels.com/

Located atop the fantastic 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge invites to expansive views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.

Urban chic, lush and modern, the rooftop blends an open-air outdoor rooftop terrace with an interior lounge one floor below, so the epic vistas are available no matter the season.

Open daily, the rooftop menu features innovative cocktails, sustainable wines, and local beers, as well as a fresh selection of Asian-inspired light bites.

Lively yet comfy, Harriet's Rooftop is a highly popular spot, both among locals and outside visitors. And we would argue that the popularity is well deserved, but just remeber to book your table in advance.


9. Panorama Room

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Panorama Room
Panorama Room | Photo: www.panoramaroomnyc.com/

Located on the rooftop of Graduate Roosevelt Island, Panorama Room is the first rooftop bar on Roosevelt Island available to the public.

True to its name, the rooftop offers breathtaking and panoramic 360° views over the Manhattan skyline, East River and the boroughs.

The vistas are available both at the outside terrace, and through the impressive floor-to-ceiling windows inside. Hence, you can enjoy them all year round.

Filled with a lux and chic vibe, Panorama Room is open nightly, and during weekends also for brunch, serving a wide selection of creative and crafted signature cocktails, wine, sparkling and craft beers, as well as a sefood-focused food menu.


10. Bar 54

Winter rooftop bars NYC - Bar 54
Bar 54 | Photo: www.hyatt.com/

Located in one of the tallest buildings of Times Square, as well as the entire city, the Bar 54 offers completely unmatched views of the heart of the town and, indeed, New York's entire skyline.

Watch the Chrysler Building and lower Manhattan from your vantage spot while you enjoy the delicious drinks this bar has to offer.

From an extensive collection of beers, classic cocktails, fine wines, and world-inspired spirits, to the Bar 54's selection of signature cocktails, there's something for every taste out there.

Better yet, most ingredients used for the cocktails are organic and local, letting you experience a truly fresh taste no matter the season!

This is a rather trendy place, so reservations are encouraged, especially for the inside lounge. The outdoor terrace usually works on a first-come, first-served basis.

BAR 54

Rikard Fredricson
Rikard Fredricson

Rikard has spent the last 10 years exploring, enjoying, researching and working with rooftop venues. During these years he has visited more than 700 rooftops across the globe. The experience he has gained is used to create helpful, in-depth and accessible content, and to share his knowledge and rooftop expertise with fellow rooftop-lovers.

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