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Food + Drink

The Best Winter Rooftop Bars in NYC

The holiday lights may be going up in NYC, but that's no reason to come down from the city's best rooftop bars. Even as the temps dip, some of our favorite hotspots are rolling out the retractable roofs, stoking the fire pits and readying the faux fur throws for an evergreen rooftop bar scene from Midtown to Brooklyn. Read on to discover the best rooftops bars in NYC for the winter.

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Westlight

One of the most architecturally impressive new additions to Williamsburg’s ever-changing waterfront, 22-story The William Vale has been a playground for the neighborhood’s cool kids since opening in 2016. Holding court above it all is Westlight, the hotel’s vast rooftop bar and restaurant from chef Andrew Carmellini. The lap pool and outdoor terrace close in November, but floor-to-ceiling glass windows ensure the spectacular views across the East River and whole east side of Manhattan are unobstructed from the first frost to early spring. Chef Carmellini took inspiration from global street food culture to craft the creative bar bites menu; don’t miss the spiced chicken empanadas with minty yogurt sauce. FYI: Don't miss the Fall Retreat Package through December 1st, which includes 10% off hotel stays and a welcome gift bag filled with goodies from Brooklyn producers (valued at $250).

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Refinery Rooftop

In the heart of the Garment District, Refinery Rooftop is a favorite for both its scale (3,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor bar and lounge spaces) and knockout views of the Midtown skyline and Empire State Building. Under a cafe-light-strung glass roof, guests feast on hearty lunch dishes from chef Jeff Haskell by day, while light bites and handcrafted cocktails sustain the crowds until 1 a.m. If you're there with a group, order the caddy (4 servings of your favorite tipple), or go for the specialist concoctions from the hotel's expert mixologists. We recommend you snag a spot near the DJ booth and roaring fire for the coziest winter hang.

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St. Cloud Social at The Knickerbocker Hotel

The crown jewel at the top of the Beaux-Arts Knickerbocker Hotel at number 6 Times Square, St. Cloud Social is a 7,500-square-foot maze of indoor/outdoor fun and the very best way to experience Times Square — 16 floors up with a cocktail in hand. The three Sky Pods (private outdoor terraces) close during the winter months, but the central bar, with its comfy banquettes and occasional speakeasy-style entertainment, stays open year-round. The cocktails, including the must-try Key Lime Martini, start at a pricey $19, but you'll forget the hefty fee once you view the neon tangle of Times Square and towering Midtown buildings in every direction.

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The 1 Rooftop in DUMBO, Brooklyn
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Rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The pool at 1 Rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge closed for the season in November as the temperatures took a dive, but the bar scene at this 2017 opening in Brooklyn Bridge Park is still going strong. And it’s easy to see why: Insta-winning views of the Statue of Liberty, lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and skyscraping Midtown icons all in a single frame. Beyond ogling the view, settle in for an haute hotdog with a classic dark ‘n’ stormy cocktail, or a lobster roll with a bucket of five Brooklyn-made beers. Group reservations can be made online in advance, so you can skip the line and party with friends until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends.

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Good Behavior at Made Hotel

At the corner of 29th Street and Broadway, MADE Hotel is the latest addition to lower Midtown’s NoMad neighborhood. The 18-story hotel houses 108 rooms, a casual coffee shop, upscale restaurant, lobby bar, and its year-round indoor/outdoor bar dubbed Good Behavior. Interiors bring the kitsch in a splash of tropical foliage, but the scene-stealing ornamentation comes through the floor-to-ceiling curved windows: Low-rise buildings laced with fire escapes, hulking water towers and the twinkling Empire State Building farther east. Enjoy it all over large format Tiki-style cocktails or thoughtfully selected craft beers.

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The Roof Viceroy

For foodies and night owls, Viceroy hotel’s The Roof is a playground of airliner-inspired interiors, inventive cocktails and postcard-perfect Central Park vistas. The game plan here is to snag a spot on the leather banquettes or club chairs, order the signature burger and settle in with a small-batch spirit, local brew or expertly prepared cocktail. Watching the city that never sleeps come to life after dark is as essential an NYC experience as a sandwich from Katz's or a photo op with Lady Liberty.

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The Roof at Public

Master hotelier Ian Schrager returned to NYC in summer 2017 with the opening of hotel/coworking space/restaurant/nightclub, Public. An instant hit for its reasonably priced rooms and New York-centric interiors, the simply named Roof bar was also a summer hotspot where international DJs took to the decks until dawn. And its popularity won’t falter in the snowy season, as party lovers swap the outdoor terrace for the dance floor or the indoor/outdoor lounge with 360-degree views across all of downtown Manhattan.

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