NYC Rooftop Bars Open For Socially Distanced Libations

NYC pulled back on indoor dining but you can (carefully and safely) start enjoying rooftop season at one of our favorite spots.

As New York City entered Phase 3, many bars and cocktail lounges were left out of the excitement. After seeing a spike in coronavirus cases in states that did not limit indoor social distancing, Mayor De Blasio walked back indoor dining indefinitely. Fortunately, those who want to take part in a non-virtual happy hour can do so at any of these rooftop bars all summer long.

Sushi Lab at The Sanctuary Hotel

Sushi Lab’s new location at the Sanctuary Hotel is a rooftop oasis that is taking social distancing very seriously. There are only 30 seats at the outdoor tables and sushi bar area. Executive Chef Frankie Chen has created a new menu of Japanese small plates and delectable sushi bites. The omakase (chef’s choice) experience is the star of the show and leads diners through the best of Japan’s oceanic cuisine. Try uni macarons, Nori tuna tacos, or salmon belly with poached Asian pears. Pair all of the delicious menu options with Japanese-inspired cocktails including yuzu margaritas or sake sangria. Japanese whiskey flights and sake flights are available for those who can’t make up their mind and want to try it all!

On the roof of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, there is a green oasis overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge Park, Harriet's Rooftop Bar | WhereTraveler

Harriet’s Rooftop Bar

On the roof of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, there is a green oasis overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Harriet's Rooftop Bar has reopened and is taking safety precautions very seriously. Masks are required unless guests are sitting at their tables, temperature checks are conducted for both staff and guests, and tables are at least 6 feet apart. Live DJ’s spin custom playlists in the evening and the craft cocktail menu includes creative infusions (bell pepper tequila) and low ABV options (cider based cocktails). Pair beverages with luxury bar snacks like the Wagyu hotdog bahn mi sandwich or lobster mac and cheese. Bottle service is available for those congregating in small groups and reservations are required for non-hotel guests.

Enjoy Times Square views at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar atop the Moxy Hotel Times Square | WhereTraveler

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge

Enjoy Times Square views at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar atop the Moxy Hotel Times Square. Magic Hour is open at 5 pm. Monday-Friday and for brunch at 11:30 am on weekends. Reservations are recommended and are accepted until noon for same-day reservations. The cocktails are a smattering of summery favorites including palomas and mules. Or, take imbibing into your own hands with a “Make Your Own Mimosa” kit for the table (includes a bottle of prosecco and a carafe of fresh orange juice). The food menu consists of elevated bar snack staples like tuna tartare and mini lobster rolls. Guests who had a little too much fun at Magic Hour and need to sleep it off safely can purchase a “crash pad,” a 110 square-foot hotel room for one night available after 11 pm. 

Cantina Rooftop is offering a “modern Mexican dining experience in the sky.” | WhereTraveler

Cantina Rooftop

Cantina Rooftop is offering a “modern Mexican dining experience in the sky.” Open for brunch and dinner, Cantina’s views of the Hudson River are hard to beat. The cocktail menu is delightfully agave-heavy but there are, of course, cocktails for every palate. They have a full line of Mexican beers and sodas as well. Cool off with fresh seafood ceviches, watermelon salad, or grilled octopus. The tacos (three per order) are not to be missed and available for both brunch and dinner. The brunch menu includes both sweet (tres leches french toast) and savory (chilaquiles) options and can only be made better with the addition of 90-minutes of unlimited brunch cocktails. Happy hour is from 4-7 pm Monday-Thursday.

Brooklyn’s Berry Park has opened their rooftop dining area and has extra dining space on the sidewalk too | WhereTraveler

Berry Park

Brooklyn’s Berry Park has opened their rooftop dining area and has extra dining space on the sidewalk too. A popular destination for soccer fans, the staff at Berry Park has installed a television on the roof so no one has to choose between missing the match or grabbing a drink (the events and sports schedule is available on their website). The cocktail menu is full of delightful porch pounders (in fact, one of the cocktails is even named Porch Pounder) that are refreshing, easy ways to cool off. The bar food menu is full of finger food favorites like the chickpea burger and the buttermilk chicken sandwich. Berry Park is open for brunch on the weekends; be sure to wake up hungry and try the veggie hash, house-made granola, or the croissant breakfast sandwich.