It comes as no surprise that New Yorkers love their rooftop bars. It could be the lack of access to outdoor space, or maybe we just love looking at the skyline to remind ourselves why we work so hard to live here. Either way you can guarantee when spring hits, city dwellers will find a way to get themselves outside…preferably someplace with a view.
For the most part rooftop bars are known for hand-crafted cocktails, but where can winos go to find more than overpriced Kendall-Jackson? Don’t get me wrong I’m not knocking the Jackson family/empire who were pioneers of their time, but where can we go with more options or something super interesting? That’s where I come in. Below are 5 rooftop bars every NYC wino should check out right now.
1. Westlight at The William Vale 111 N. 12th St.
This may or may not be a spoiler alert, but the best views of Manhattan actually come from OUTSIDE Manhattan. Perched on the 22nd floor of The William Vale Hotel is Westlight offering panoramic views, artisanal bites by Chef Andrew Carmellini, hand-crafted cocktails, and an extremely diverse wine list. What do I mean when I say diverse? Well, you can start with a Cab Franc/Merlot blend from North Fork, Long Island and end up with a Cab Sauv from Tel Arad, Israel. Feeling like you want to travel to Santorini? They have a wine for that. Westlight is the perfect rooftop for the curious wino to explore regions outside of their regular vernacular.
2. Hotel Chantelle 92 Ludlow St.
It could be because I’m still swooning over my Paris trip, but if you’re ready to be whisked away by some 1940s French flare, then the rooftop at Hotel Chantelle is where you should spend your evening. Although it’s not the Tuileries, the lamp post lighting and park benches will make you feel like you’re looking out to the Seine…for a moment at least. The rosé and red selection is unsurprisingly French heavy with wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Languedoc and Provence. Not to worry if your friends aren’t French wine fans, they also offer selections from Italy, Spain and Argentina.
3. The Ides Bar at the Wythe Hotel 80 Wythe Ave.
The Concrete Jungle shimmers bright from the top of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The indoor/outdoor space holds only the chicest New Yorkers looking to catch an amazing sunset. Don’t worry about bringing extra cash as just recently The Ides Bar has become a gratuity free establishment. This means all menu prices are now inclusive of service (how European of us)! Small but mighty, The Ides Bar wins my vote for most interesting wine selection. Looking for a sparkling? You won’t find Prosecco here. Instead they offer sparkling Vouvray. In place of Pinot Noir, you’ll find Beaujolais and Trepat. If you’re like me and unfamiliar with Trepat, it’s a red grape native of Catalonia, Spain light in color and mostly found in Cava. The Ides Bar is ideal for winos looking to change up their routine.
4. SERRA by Birreria Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave.
You have to hand it to Eataly for continuously coming up with innovative concept pop-up restaurants overlooking the infamous buildings of the Flatiron neighborhood. SERRA is essentially a “greenhouse” pop-up that will transport you to the Italian Countryside. All dishes are made with farm to table ingredients from Italy and the US, and they are introducing one of the largest biodynamic wine lists I’ve ever seen. Not sure exactly with biodynamic means? “Dr. Vinny” from Wine Spectator describes biodynamic as, “similar to organic farming in that both take place without synthetic chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an entire ecosystem, and also takes into account things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles.” Not into that? There’s still 10 pages of wines in total including organic and Vino Libero wines (wines with half the legal thresholds of sulfates).
5. Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at The Conrad Hotel 102 North End Ave.
If you just giggled at the name don’t worry…so did I. With insane views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor, the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at the Conrad Hotel is a must do for those hot summer nights. Why hot summer nights specifically? Well I’m not sure if you’re even ready for what I’m about to tell you. Loopy Doopy is known for “Loopy Pops” which are essentially a popsicle/wine concoction. First you select your base which is either Rosécco or Prosecco (on tap), and then you choose your your “pop” in which they serve INSIDE your glass. Pops range from whiskey & blackberries to vodka & pears. Although this bubbly bev is the main attraction, the wine list also has crisp, high acidic wines such as Wölffer Estate’s “Summer in a Bottle” and a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ. Loopy Doopy is essentially an adult playground in which winos can go to just “let go” and not think TOO hard about what’s happening on their palate.