Few things are as iconic in New York City as visiting a rooftop bar. In fact, when I have friends visiting from out of town the first thing I’m asked is which rooftop bars I recommend (Yes, I’m the boozy friend).
As a resident of the Lower East Side (LES) I’ll argue that my neighborhood has the best rooftop bars in all of NYC. Depending on where you visit you’ll get prime views of recognizable buildings like the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge.
And whether you’re looking for classy, sophisticated rooftop bars in the Lower East Side to celebrate an anniversary or want to let your hair down and shake your tail feather, the neighborhood has it all!
I’m eager to share my favorites with you, what do you say we get right into it?
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Lower East Side Rooftop Bars
#10. The Highlight Room
The Highlight Room has floor to ceiling windows offering breathtaking views of NYC. Pair the views with the stunning elegant decor and great drinks and you have a recipe for success.
Although it’s one of the newest rooftop bars in the Lower East Side, social media has taken The Highlight Room by storm and crowds are all but a guarantee. The crowd is young and flirty, perfect for meeting new people or going out with friends.
I’ve found the bar to be a typical club experience. Wait in line, go past a bouncer and work your way into a dim and bustling space. Although the club scene isn’t my cup of tea I give credit where credit is due and The Highlight Room has delivered a tempting, classy and fun experience.
Both the drink and food menus are small, so this isn’t one of the best foodie rooftop bars in the Lower East Side. You’ll find some shareable bites but nothing to write home about.
The drinks to stand out, albeit the craft-cocktails are few. However, like most bars you can ask for your classic favorites and the bartenders are able to make it for you.
Address: 145 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
#9. The Bowery Rooftop
One of the newest rooftop bars in the Lower East Side, The Bowery Rooftop is slowly getting the attention it deserves. All it takes is seeing the views of NYC once for you to understand the hype behind it.
By day The Bowery Rooftop is one of the most mellow rooftop bars in the Lower East Side. Folks getting off work will stop by for a drink and couples will visit for a casual date.
By night The Bowery Rooftop becomes a lively discotheque thanks to the DJ who plays modern dance music. Luckily the bar is still a hidden gem, so it doesn’t get the crowds other LES rooftop bars are known to have.
Address: 3 Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002
#8. The Delancey
The Delancey is one of my go-to rooftop bars in the Lower East Side especially I’m going out with friends. Made up of three different floors, you don’t actually always have to be on the roof.
The first floor of the Delancey is its main bar. You can expect an upscale but casual New York City vibe with a full bar and velvet booths for your comfort. The downstairs is a space that’s more like a club. There’s usually a DJ spinning dance music and an electric crowd singing and dancing.
And the third floor is why you’re here, one of the best rooftop bars in LES. In full transparency the view isn’t the best, it’s surrounded by taller buildings and when there’s bad weather they close the retractable roof.
But the music is great, the drinks are strong and the energy is contagious. There is something magical about drinking under the open-sky, singing along to great tunes and laughing with your friends. The Delancey covers all the boxes glowingly, which is why I consider it one of the best Lower East Side rooftop bars.
Unlike other rooftop bars in the Lower East Side the Delancey seems to have some of the better bouncers. I’ve yet to have a bad experience, the bouncers do their job and get you in quickly, and best of all – without a cover charge!
Address: 168 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
I think of Rooftop93 as my ol’ faithful. Although it isn’t the newest or flashiest rooftop bar in the Lower East Side it always delivers a memorable experience.
I first started visiting years ago for their happy hour, but sadly after the pandemic it never returned. Even without the happy hour the drinks are well priced compared to other rooftop bars in the LES (about $15 a cocktail).
Rooftop93 also boasts some of the friendliest bartenders in the neighborhood. The easygoing atmosphere makes it easy to make small talk when sitting at the bar which can make it feel like you’re a VIP.
I’ve brought countless friends here and (especially the ones from out of town) can’t leave without taking a photo. The views, drinks and vibe is solid which is why I consider Rooftop93 one of the best Lower East Side rooftop bars.
Address: 93 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
#6. cloudM New York Bowery
Found on the 20th floor of the citizenM New York Bowery Hotel is cloudM, one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side. The bar has a terrace as well as lounge-like, indoor seating so there’s no need to cancel if the weather goes south.
There is unique and modern artwork throughout which adds a swanky vibe to the space. Although it’s modern there is a laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere thanks to the friendly staff and chatty small groups sprinkled around.
The drinks are standard of a hotel bar, and decently priced when compared to other Lower East Side rooftop bars. There is also beer and wine for those of you who prefer to keep things simple.
Before you leave you have to check out the bathroom, trust me. The wall facing the street is a full glass window, with half of it being shaded for privacy. The fact that the views extend to the bathroom makes cloudM one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side!
Address: 189 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
#5. THE ROOF
There’s a neon escalator at the Public Hotel in NYC that I kept seeing all over the internet, so naturally I went to check it out. What I didn’t know is that the stairs led to The Roof, one of the best Lower East Side rooftop bars.
Boasting jaw-dropping 360° views of Manhattan it’s not hard to see why locals can’t get enough of this place. It seems no matter where you look folks are smiling, laughing and clinking glasses making the most of their visit to one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side.
Offering both indoor and outdoor seating you can visit any day of the year. And if you choose to sit inside you won’t be missing any of the incredible skyline, because the bar has stunning floor to ceiling windows.
Most of the drinks consist of craft-cocktails made by expert and friendly bartenders. The drink menu is small, but this is one of the best rooftop bars in the LES so they make up for the lack of quantity with quality.
After about 9:30PM The Roof turns into a microclub, with a young crowd filling the spot looking to dance. It’s almost like the DJ puts out the bat-signal, because when the bass starts thumping the place gets packed!
Address: 215 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
#4. Hotel Chantelle
Hotel Chantelle can get packed at nights. I’m talking shoulder to shoulder, spilling drinks as you weave through a crowd, worried you won’t make it to the front of the line for the bathroom type of packed.
So why am I recommending it as one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side? Because I don’t visit at night anymore (I’m still scarred from the last time) I now visit for brunch.
Hotel Chantelle is one of the most popular rooftop bars in the Lower East Side thanks to the mouthwatering drinks, open air tables and lively music. Those things are all available in during the day too, you just avoid the crowds.
The views of the city aren’t the best but you have the opportunity to dine outside without the noise of traffic or busy sidewalks. Plus – the food is top-notch. Not only do the dishes look delicious, they taste even better.
Bring a friend to enjoy one of their pitcher experiences, where you get 2 hours of free flowing specialty cocktail pitchers for $30 per person. You’ll have the choice of passionfruit mojitos, sangria, or mimosas. The boozy brunch is the biggest reason I consider Hotel Chantelle one of the best rooftop bars in LES.
Address: 92 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
#3. The Crown
Found on the 21st floor of Hotel 50 Bowery is one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side, The Crown. The local hot-spot is frequented by a thrilling, young crowd looking to dance and drink.
It’s not hard to see why The Crown is so popular. The LES rooftop bar offers stunning views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. To sip a cocktail during sunset while gazing at NYC in all its glory is priceless.
There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas so The Crown is one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side regardless of the weather. I once visited on an overcast, cloudy day where you couldn’t see much but the bar still felt cozy and intimate.
There’s a small food menu for anyone looking for a quick bite, but I’d have dinner plans lined up before or after your visit. The snack prices aren’t worth it in my opinion ($20 for chips + guac) so I’d stick to just drinks.
Reservations are available (and encouraged), but I’ve yet to struggle getting a table. As one of the best rooftop bars in the LES you’d expect lines and waits, but I’m sure glad The Crown is so easily accessible.
Address: 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
#2. Make Believe
If you’re looking for one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side for day drinking I can’t recommend Make Believe enough. The bar has a pink aesthetic full of flowers and the summery sunshine is the perfect cherry on top.
There is a DJ that keeps the atmosphere high-spirited no matter the time of day and if you’re sipping on any of Make Believe’s craft cocktails dancing is near-irresistible.
I’ll be the first to warn you – if you visit on the weekend there is a $100 per-person spend requirement. However you can avoid the requirement by visiting on a weekday.
The drinks are on par with other rooftop bars in the Lower East Side and most are inspired by floral flavors. In keeping with the floral aesthetic you’ll find jasmine, elder flower, rose hips expertly worked into the cocktails.
Address: 190 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
#1. Mr. Purple
It’s impossible not to have an extra pep in your step when walking into Mr. Purple. As one of the best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side the spot oozes opulence, status and an electric energy.
Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Mr. Purple is surprisingly spacious. There’s seating both indoors and outdoors with a perfect blend of upscale accents and an easygoing vibe.
Hell, they even have a pool. Although the pool’s $200+ per person price tag is a little too rich for my liking, it always looks awesome in the background of my Instagram pics. 😉
The drink menu consists mostly of classic cocktails, but the bartenders are friendly and serve them strong. For being one of the swankiest rooftop bars in LES the vibe is unpretentious and relaxed.
Mr. Purple does ask that guess dress “fashionable” since it’s an upscale establishment. I’ve found that smart casual is okay, just stay away from sneakers, sports gear, torn clothes and use your best judgement.
Since Mr. Purple is one of the most popular rooftop bars in the Lower East Side I strongly encourage reservations. During the weekdays before sunset you’ll probably score a walk-in table, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Address: 180 Orchard St 15th floor, New York, NY 10002
Rooftop Bars LES (Post Summary)
- Mr. Purple
- Make Believe
- The Crown
- Hotel Chantelle
- THE ROOF
- cloudM New York Bowery
- The Delancey
- The Bowery Rooftop
- The Highlight Room
Map of the Best Rooftop Bars in the Lower East Side
And there it is my friends! The best rooftop bars in the Lower East Side, according to yours truly.