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Cheap Rooftop Bars in NYC with Skyline Views

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This post lists some of the best affordable rooftop bars in New York City. They all offer stunning views, good atmosphere, 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, and One World Trade Center, and Edge at Hudson Yards.

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 affordable rooftop bars in NYC.  The bars in our list charge $12-$20 for cocktails, $9+ for wine costs $9 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 that 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 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.

Reviews: Users of both the TripAdvisor and Yelp community praise Cloud Social for their relaxed atmosphere, amazing views, and well-priced drinks.

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.

Reviews: Top of the Strand is widely considered one of the best rooftop bars in New York City. Reviews from both the Yelp and TripAdvisor community give great praise for the sleek, yet unpretentious vibe.

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.


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Last Light  225 Bowery, 11th Floor

This sleek yet casual bar has two outdoor rooftop decks with views of both Lower and Midtown Manhattan. 

Cocktails are $15 and up and wine $12 and up. Craft beer is served and prices vary. You can save on the cost by going during Happy Hour.

Last Light's Happy Hour is Monday to Friday 4 pm–7 pm. Certain cocktails are $12, a few wines are $7 a glass and bottled beer is $6.


Last Light Rooftop Bar


Located on top of the Sister City hotel, the atmosphere is both vibrant and also relaxing.

A live DJ spins tunes to chill-out to. The waitstaff is friendly and cocktails are creative.

Mr. Purple 180 Orchard Street

Mr. Purple

Fifteen floors up Hotel Indigo in the Lower East Side, the view is spectacular and includes amazing unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan, including the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower).

Mr. Purple elicits a sleek and surprisingly unpretentious vibe.

The long narrow bar features two 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 command the space; mostly mid-'20s to mid-'30s.

In addition to their 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.


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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 starters, 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!

Reviews: Many guests compliment this rooftop bar for its extremely casual vibe, something rare amongst many of the rooftop bars in the city. They also seem particularly satisfied with the drink prices.


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Westlight 111 N. 12th Street

Perched atop the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, this bar offers 360-degree vistas of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens,

Beer is $9 and up, wine $14 and up, cocktails $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.

Reviews: While it is very common to have to wait in line (assuming you haven’t made a reservation), users via Yelp and TripAdvisor argue it is well worth the wait.

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


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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: October 3rd, 2021
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