You don't need to go to the top of the Empire State Building to enjoy some amazing views of the New York City skyline. During the summer, there are dozens of rooftop bars where you can drink and enjoy the hazy summer nights, but many close during the winter months.
Still, there are a handful of bars that realize people want to enjoy these sights (and cocktails) year round. So whether it's 90 degrees outside or 9, these bars allow you to take in the views any time.
The Press Lounge
653 11th Avenue
This soaring rooftop provides some of the best panoramic views of Midtown and the Hudson River. During good weather you can hang out on the terrace. If it's too hot or cold, head inside to the glass-enclosed lounge area and sip on some seasonal cocktails and eats. Luckily the drinks and food are above par for this trendy bar. Be forewarned though, it gets very busy during the weekend and nights so if you want to enjoy the sights in peace, you might want to go during a weekday.
Top of the Strand
33 West 37th Street
There's nothing quite like sipping on a cocktail with the Empire State Building in the distance. This rooftop bar gives you one of the best bird's-eye-view of the famous building. The outdoor space transforms into an indoor retreat in the winter thanks to the retractable glass roof. If you want to beat the crowds, try to go during a work night. It will be far less crowded and you will actually be able to grab a seat with spectacular views of the Empire State Building.
299 Madison Avenue
There isn't a bar more aptly named then Bookmarks. Situated on the 14th floor of The Library Hotel, Bookmarks offers several relaxing areas for all visitors. Cozy up next to the fireplace on a cold night in the den or take in the night time views inside the glass-enclosed bar. For the inner bookworm in you, go out to the open air poetry garden for a direct view of the New York Public Library while knocking back cocktails like The Great Gatsby and The Hemingway. The laid-back atmosphere and quiet mood will definitely help you relax and restore your energy.
80 Wythe Street, Brooklyn
If you're looking for a full view of the New York City skyline, you can't get much better The Ides at the Wythe Hotel. Despite being only 6 stories high, the Wythe Hotel is one of the tallest buildings on the block giving you unparalleled views not only of New York but of the surrounding area and the . As you would expect, the lines get quite long here during the summer, but since it's open year round you can head on up in the offseason for much smaller crowds and the same great views and cocktails. The bar itself offers fairly contemporary décor, but really, you're there for the spectacular cityscape before you.
Upstairs at the Kimberly
145 E 50th St
When you're in Midtown Manhattan you need to go pretty high up in order to see above the other tall buildings in the area. Lucky for you, this posh bar soars 20 stories above the streets giving you access to a stunning view of the Chrysler building – considered one of the prettiest buildings in Midtown Manhattan. Not only does it offer a retractable glass ceiling, it also has heated floors to keep you nice and warm when it gets cold. Of course during the summer the ceiling opens up so you can fully enjoy the day or night time views. While the sights are nice, the cocktails are also plentiful and there are several signature options including one called the "Chrysler."
200 5th Avenue
Located atop Eataly – Mario Batali's Italian marketplace – La Birreria is a perfect spot to hang out with friends and drink your fill of delectable microbrews. While they do offer a wide selection of Italian beers, there are plenty of other choices. If you're not in a beer mood they also offer cocktails and wine. Thanks to the retractable roof and heaters, this spot can stay open year round. During the warmer months the roof opens up so you can fully enjoy the sunny skies and the views of Madison Square Park. And since it is right above Eataly, you can make pick up some groceries on your way back home.