Lounge/bar named after a Shanghai socialite of the 1930ts who loved to host parties: Madam Ning. Probably madam’s parties were better, but I doubt she ever had such a view. Perched on the rooftop of the fancy pants Peninsula hotel, this place is much classier than any trendy velvet ropes club. And if the 23rd floor view doesn’t give you a nosebleed the prices will. I cocktail costs $22 while a beer will set you back $16. So make sure you get that beer with the complimentary peanuts and a glass of water, so you can take in the scene without them taking you for all your paycheck. There is a small glass enclosure for rainy and cold winter days.
Hours May-Sep: Mon-Wed, 4pm-midnight; Thu-Sat, 4pm-1am; Sun, closed; Oct-Apr: Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat, 5pm-1am; Sun, closed
700 Fifth Ave., 23rd fl, at 55th St., NY 10019 212-956-2888
This hotel brings some of the meatpacking district’s ostentation to the LES. The 2 lower bars all have the same pretentious tone of a hipsters and Guido mashup. BUT, Sundays are what makes this place different and actually really fun. I am talking about the ÉTÉ D’AMOUR dj event every Sunday on the rooftop, which has one of the best views of the city. There is a hot tub and 3 floors. The music is good and although the vibe is trendy, it is certainly not snotty or obnoxious. This place beats Above Allen hands down, by not only having a better crowd, but also a way better view. Note: if the doorman asks you where are you going, just tell him you RSVPd on facebook for the event.
Doors open at 1pm. Brunch Time from 1pm to 4pm Party goes until 1am.
107 Rivington St, nr. Ludlow St., NY 10002 212-475-2600
A new hot spot with all the typical things your would expect: Downtown location, trendy hotel bar, rooftop, and supposed members only BS. Really is that what it takes to be cool? Sadly, enough people seem to think so. Here is what some yelpers had to say:
“I love the idea of lounging on couches upholstered with ’80s designer… and the idea of you (sic) being a members only lounge”
“If i were wearing panties, the view would have made me drop them.” Yeah right, that is if A) you actually had a nice enough ass to show off and B) you actually were there.
Which is what brings me to my point about these places and the people who “love” them. Who are you really kidding? It seems these places exist on the basis of pretentious people who pretend to go to all of them all the time. And really, if you must yelp about it doesn’t it detract from the exclusivity you claim to loooove soooo much? If enough wannabe people say a place is cool does that make it cool? I went to this place, and yeah the view is nice cause there aren’t that many rooftop bars in downtown, but if you have to look at these types of people standing in the way of a clear shot of the Chrysler Building it kind of ruins the view, and the night. You can pay for expensive drinks and get a nice view in plenty of places. Ok, so maybe I sound bitter today. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from checking a place out for themselves. So here is a tip to sneak in: Enter the hotel and head for the bar on the second floor, pretend you are going to the restaurant or grabbing a drink at the 2 floor bar, then go to the elevators and call an elevator. If the bouncer spots you, say you had a A60 member card, but lost it and was in the process of getting a new one. If there’s still uncomfortable silence, elaborate by saying that you go to A60 all the time and hadn’t had a chance to come here and that you just wanted to check it out. That should do it. Oh, and it might help if you are wearing some kind of trendy ridiculous hat.
If you want a better view and a better crowd check out: The Hotel on Rivington Rooftop Bar
Hours: Wed-Sat, 9pm-2am
190 Allen St., nr. Houston St., 10002
A rooftop bar on top of La Quinta budget hotel in Koreatown. Much like the hotel, it’s very low key. In fact it’s probably the diviest rooftop bar in the city, and it has the closest view of the Empire State Building. All types of people come here, but overall it’s as a down-to-earth crowd you’ll ever find 13 stories up (they’re superstitious and go from the 12th floor to the 14th.) If you want food just ask for the folder full of delivery menus (plenty of good Korean food around, like Pocha 32 which is right next door). Drinks are very accessible, just like the staff. Plus, the narrow glass enclosure provides seating during the winter.
Hours: Sun-Wed, 5:30pm-midnight; Thu-Fri, 5:30pm-1am; Sat, 5:30pm-3am
La Quinta Manhattan
17 W. 32nd St., 14th fl, New York, NY 10001
nr. Fifth Ave. See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
La Quinta Manhattan: 17 W. 32nd St., nr. Fifth Ave. 14th fl, New York, NY 10001, 212-290-2460
Not much to say about this place except it’s a rooftop bar. Didn’t have a problem with the doorman, but if you do, the place is not worth it. (there are many more rooftops bars nearby after all it’s midtown west – such as The Broadway Bar and Sky Deck) Nice 16 stories view, good for afterwork drinks. Nothing spectacular, not sure if it’s blog-worthy, but hey what can I say I am a sucker for rooftops.
251 W. 48th St., nr. Eighth Ave., 10036 212-956-1300
Filed under midtown, rooftop
Who can resist a bar with an awesome view? Even if you have to put up with a vanilla crowd and 7 dls beers, you still get one of the best sights in town: the sparkling lights of Times Square without even having to set a foot there. It’s even better in the summer when they open up the rooftop. Let’s put it this way the Ava Lounge is the perfect place to take your out-of-town sorta wannabe friends. (common, everyone has at least one of those, no not the NJ ones) You know, the ones that watch ALL the VH1 reality shows and think that visiting New York entitles them to a celebrity spotting at the Red Lobster. (Wow, that was mean. Actually, I devour R.L.’s cheese biscuits) Anyways, they’re our friends and we love ‘em. So impress them with the Ava Lounge, after all they can’t tell that the neo Miami Beach 70ts/mod decor is kinda played out. Hey with a view like this and friends like this, what really matters is really what only matters: good intentions and good times!
Hours: Sun-Tue, 5pm-2am; Wed, 5pm-3am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-4a
@ the Dream Hotel 210 W. 55th St., Penthouse,at Broadway 10019 212-956-7020