On weekend nights Manhattan can be pretty treacherous. So if you want a plush view and some house music, why not trying crossing the bridge in the opposite direction of traffic? The Ravel is just across the Queensboro Bridge and it has one of the best views of the city. Situated on the 6th floor of the Bestwesterny wannabe designer hotel the Ravel. Now, when you get here don’t let the line put you off. If there is one, it is basically because of the 6 persons capacity elevator that is also pretty slow. But once you get up top you’ll see that the vide is pretty easy going. Also beware that they have a silly and very particular dress code: No shirts with printed logos, faded clothing, work boots or sneakers, baseball hats or oversized clothing. Hey, they are trying to run an “upscale establishment” here, if only the clubs in the MeatPa would follow.
Hours: Mon-Wed. 4pm to 2am, Thurs.-Friday. 4pm to 4am Sat. 2pm to 4 am Sundays 1 pm to 2 am
8-08 Queens Plaza South, nr. 43rd Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101 718-289-6101
This technically isn’t a rooftop bar. But the approx. 6th floor view of the Great White Way is still pretty cool (aka the stretch of Broadway in Times Square, once you see the lights from afar, you’ll understand why they call it that). And what the Novotel hotel lacks in character, barman/server/host Kresc makes up for with a friendly and chatty disposition. (He still won’t tell me the story behind is name though) Always in a good mood, Kresc also makes some really yummy fruity cocktails. Most of which are his proud inventions. There is also an indoors area for the colder months.
Cocktail: Chupa Chupa: rum, mango juice, Triple Sec and peach Snaps
Hours: Daily, noon-midnight
226 W. 52nd St., nr. Broadway, NY 10019 212-315-0100
The name pretty much sums it up: it is a beach-like bar, which you can get to by the water taxi on 35 st., it’s right next to the Hunters Point ferry stop. There are picnic tables and lots of sand overlooking the East River (great views of midtown) During the day you can do whatever you do at the beach (tan, play volleyball, burn, drink beer, and check out guys/gals, consider lipo and drink more beer). After 8 pm there is a $10 to $15 cover and the place turns into wannabe Ibiza rave. A nice option in a hot summer’s day, when you are just too lazy or snobbish to go to Rockaway or Brighton beach.
Water taxi $5 and free after 8 pm
Hours: Mon-Tues, 6pm-10pm; Wed-Fri, 4pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun, 1pm-midnight; closed during winter season
2-03 Borden Ave., at 2nd St., Long Island City, NY 11101 (877) 974-6998
On top of the Water Club restaurant, the Crow’s Nest has one o the bests views of the East River. (There are next to none waterfront bars on the east side) While the restaurant is a bit stuffy, the bottom bar is nicely and classically laid out with a fireplace and a even a piano. But it is the top part, which looks like the upper deck of a cruise ship, that makes the trek under the FDR so worth it (you have to cross through 34 st). This is a little hidden gem that fortunately never gets overcrowded. There is bar food too. The fries are really good.
Hours: Memorial Day to early October: Mon-Tue, 5pm-midnight; Wed-Thu, 4pm-midnight; Fri-Sun, noon-midnight
500 E. 30th St., nr. FDR Dr., NY 10016 212-683-3333
You know how there are places you are really curious about and have to see for yourself, despite your better judgment? 230 fifth is just that type of place. On top of what was once the Victoria hotel, 20 floors up, in the first level of the club there is a lounge that is as big as it is cheesy. Then on the rooftop is a spacious and very green open air space. This is much better, yet the shrubs lining the surrounding walls obscure a bit of the view. This place is like an outdated Meat Packing joint, all flash and no class. Even the waitress begrudgingly know this (maybe that’s why they are so cranky). The only way to enjoy the view is if you come early (5ish), plus this way you hardly have to deal with the obnoxious doorman (don´t say i didn’t warn you).
Hours: Daily, 4pm-4am
230 Fifth Ave., 20th fl, at 27th St., NY 10001 212-725-4300
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
Located in Riverside Park at the end of 79th Street on the Hudson River. There is an open air patio that overlooks the Marina and the Hudson River with nice views of the sunsets over New Jersey (it always feels nice to be looking at NJ, cause that way you know you´re not in NJ. Bada boom! Just kidding! I can never pass up a chance to take a cheap shot at this fine state). The covered Rotunda section in the middle of the restaurant has limestone arches overlooking the open air patio. The food is OK (no french fries, onion rings yes, but no french fries, go figure) and vibe feels a tad like a second rate country club, but hey you come here for the location; perfect for shooting the breeze on a laid back afternoon.
Apr-Aug: Daily, noon-11:30pm, Sept-Oct: Mon-Wed, noon-8pm; Thu-Fri, noon-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-10pm; Nov-April, closed
Hours: Apr-Aug: Daily, noon-11:30pm, Sept-Oct: Mon-Wed, noon-8pm; Thu-Fri, noon-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-10pm; Nov-April, closed
79th St. at Henry Hudson Pkwy., in Riverside Park NY 10024 212-496-5542