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Cheap Rooftop Bars in NYC with Skyline Views

Updated: May 17, 2023
 By Courtney

This post lists some of the best affordable rooftop bars in New York City. They all offer stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, great vibes and tasty drinks.

So why not sip on a perfectly poured 'Manhattan' gazing at the shimmering lights of Manhattan?


New York City is known for its skyline and the best views can be found at one of the observation decks: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Trade Center, Edge at Hudson Yards, and SUMMIT

If these attractions are beyond your budget, or you just prefer to have a casual evening with a drink with the skyline as the backdrop, heading to a rooftop bar is ideal.

Below we list some of the best rooftop bars in NYC that are relatively affordable. The bars on our list charge $12-$20 for cocktails, $9+ for wine and $6+ for bottled beer.

If these sound steep, many other rooftop bar prices range from $20+ for cocktails, $12+ for bottled beer and $15+ for a glass of wine,

While prices below are a dollar or two more than many street-level bars, keep in mind that you are paying for the amazing views as well as your drinks.

If you are interested in seeing more of NYC's drinking establishments, see our post, Best Pub and Bar Tours in NYC.


Cloud Social 6 W. 32nd Street

Cloud Social offers guests some of the best-priced rooftop drinks in NYC, but the real allure is the spectacular views of One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) and the Empire State Building.

Cocktails are $15, craft beers are $9 and wine is $12 and up. You can save a few dollars during their happy hour which runs from 3 pm-7 pm daily.

Happy Hour specials change daily but costs are $12 for a cocktail, $8 for a glass of wine, and $7 for a nice bottled beer.

The open-air rooftop is larger than most, complete with an array of plush seating options including a more intimate balcony located on the eastern side of the bar.

The music is mellow and low during the day and a bit more hip and boisterous in the evenings.

Top of the Strand 33 W. 37th Street

Top of the strand

Featuring a glass retractable roof, this rooftop bar on the 21st floor of the Strand Hotel offers year-round dramatic views of NYC’s skyline - including its neighbor, the Empire State Building.

The atmosphere is sophisticated yet comfortable. The drink menu boasts an impressive selection of martinis and house specialties.

Plush lounge seating lines the aisle to the bar along with bar stools that overlook the skyline facing a glow bar. This spot is ideal for an evening out with friends.

TIP: Learn more about Midtown on one of our pay-what-you-like Midtown Manhattan tours. Be sure to check out our post 22 Things to Do in Times Square.

If you were thinking of taking in a Broadway show, we have got lots of tips on how to get discount tickets.

230 Fifth 230 Fifth Avenue

Located in NoMad (short for North of Madison Square Park), 230 Fifth Is one of the largest rooftop bars. Its huge terrace seats nearly 1,000 people! 

Aside from its spectacular rooftop views, 230 Fifth is well-known for its dance parties with live DJs on Saturdays. 

You wouldn't expect drinks to be so cheap given such an amazing location. Specialty cocktails cost $14-$17, beers are $9 and wine by the glass is $13.

Feel like the same great views during the day? 230 Fifth offers weekend brunch om Saturdays and Sundays.


Located on the 31st floor atop the hip Arlo NoMad, this rooftop lounge has close-up views of the Empire State Building just a few blocks away.

Hotel guests mingle with native New Yorkers in a friendly atmosphere.

The “sky walk” glass floor is incredibly Instagrammable with a view downward nearly as good as the skyline view. 

They serve specialty cocktails with fun names and great combos of ingredients like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Vodka, Aloe, Mint, Cucumber, Lime).

All cocktails are $21, all beer and hard seltzers are $9 and all wine by the glass is between $17.  Order light snacks with a Middle Eastern slant. 

The Arlo Hotel is among the top nine hotels in Midtown Manhattan on our list of where to stay in NYC.


Mr. Purple 180 Orchard Street

Mr. Purple

Fifteen floors up, on top of Hotel Indigo, is this rooftop lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows. Needless to say, the views are spectacular!

Get amazing unobstructed views of the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower).

Mr. Purple elicits a sleek and surprisingly unpretentious vibe.

Mr. Purple has an indoor lounge area and two outdoor terraces, one of which features a pool perfect to sit beside and sunbathe, while the other offers a dining area complete with fuchsia-purple chairs.

A younger, hipster crowd commands the space; mostly mid-'20s to mid-'30s.

In addition to its glowing cocktail menu, which features affordable drinks in comparison to its surrounding competitors, the food menu is not to be missed.

Cocktails are all $16, a glass of wine is $13+ and beers begin at $6 a bottle.

TIP: The Lower East Side has more than great rooftop bars. The LES has a fascinating history and fantastic food. Find out more on our pay-what-you-like Lower East Side Food Tour.


Brass Monkey 55 Little W. 12th Street

This informal and simple bar is one of the few remaining rooftop beer gardens with dazzling views of the Hudson River.

The beer selection is the true standout, with over 100 domestic, import, and craft beers and ciders. Beers start at $7.

There is also a decent selection of wines, all at $11 a glass. Their diverse cocktails are $14 each.

You can save $1 off select wines and beer during their Happy Hour, Monday to Friday, 12 pm - 7 pm.

The Brass Monkey also features a gastropub menu that features snacks, small plates, and large plates: think burgers, fries, and wings.

The Brass Monkey runs along the side of the High Line, one of the best urban parks in the world and not to be missed.

We offer a number of pay-what-you-like High Line tours. We also have a self-guided tour and an audio tour!


Westlight 111 N. 12th Street

Perched atop the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, this rooftop venue offers panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Visit at sunset for a special experience.

Beer is $9 and up, wine is $14 and up, and cocktails are $18 and up. Though prices are slightly higher than other rooftop bars, the view cannot be beaten!

The cocktails are inventive and complement their small bites menu with options like Tequila Cured Salmon and Duck Carnitas Tacos.

To explore more of Williamsburg, use our guide on things to do in Williamsburg.


Panorama Room

This glamorous rooftop bar is located on the 18th floor of the Graduate Roosevelt Island Hotel. 

It has unbelievable 360-degree views and creative cocktails like the aptly named Pinnacle Punch (rum, mezcal, house falernum, passion fruit, vanilla honey, grapefruit, and lemon).

Cocktails are priced from $10 to $21, beer is $10 to $12, and wine is $17 to $20.

Getting to the Panorama Room is half the fun! Take the Roosevelt Island Tram for a jaw-dropping ride over the East River.


About The Author


Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: May 17th, 2023
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