With a cocktail on the side! Though of course a beautiful bar makes a perfect Instagram background, there’s also just something about being in a gorgeously designed space that can add some inspiration and whimsy to an otherwise drab day.
From new nautically-inspired openings to elegant spaces with sky-high views, here are the most beautiful bars we’ve discovered in NYC (in no particular order). Of course, not only are they stunning, but they have enviable cocktail menus too!
Why not have a drink in the clouds, over 1,000 feet above NYC? The Hudson Yards’ restaurant Peak provides stunning, 360-degree views of NYC — and now you can take them in at the bar as well! The illustrious restaurant converts into “Peakaboo” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights once NYC lights up and 10:30 p.m. hits (with live DJs!), so you can sip on inventive cocktails and take in incomparable sights no matter what the hour. Read more here.
Where: 300 Hudson Yard, 101st Floor
When: 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily (Peak restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner)
Roosevelt Island — NYC’s narrow, two-mile-long island nestled in the East River between Manhattan and Queen — just got its first rooftop bar this past summer, and its design is just as stunning as its views. Because of its unique location, it offers beautiful views across four different boroughs, only matched by its vintage-inspired interior boasting a Orobico Red marble bar top, black mosaic tile columns with geometric chrome sconces, and blush velvet tubular lounge sofas. More details here.
Where: 18th Floor, The Graduate Hotel, 22 North Loop Rd., Roosevelt Island
When: Thursday 5 p.m. – 12 a.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 2 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Pretend you’re in a nautical fairytale at this newest opening in NYC. In the upstairs section of the long-awaited Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn comes “The Sunken Harbor Club,” a permanent home for renowned bartender & restauranteur St. John Frizell’s immersive tropical bar. What was once a weekly pop-up at Red Hook’s Fort Defiance has now become a nautically-themed bar where you can drop anchor and enjoy a tropical cocktail. Don’t miss that gorgeous blue port window!
Where: 372 Fulton Street, 2nd Fl.
When: Wednesday-Sunday 5 p.m.–12 a.m., *walk-in only*
Though you’ll have to become a member of either photography museum Fotografiska or work and social club NeueHouse to enjoy this bar, it’s an amazing historic space you don’t want to miss. Meant to be a gathering place for the cultural tastemakers of NYC, Chapel Bar dates all the way back to 1867, when it was known as the “Renwick Gem” Schoolhouse. It was originally constructed by James Renwick Jr., the architect who also designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In this era, award-winning interior design studio Roman and Williams transformed it into a dark, sophisticated space that pays homage to its historic (and religious) roots. Read more about it here.
Where: 275 Park Ave S.
When: Wed-Fri 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
5. Le Coucou, SoHo
Though you can’t exactly pull up a seat to the bar at this French eatery from revered Parisian chef Daniel Rose, we still had to include it because it’s just that stunning. Enjoy cocktails made to perfection at your table, alongside classic French dishes like foie grois, escargot, and Canette a l’Orange. Of course, you can still grab a photo in front of it!
Where: 138 Lafayette St.
When: Sunday 5-10 p.m., Monday – Saturday 5-11 p.m.
6. The Bar Room at Temple Court, Beekman Hotel
Take a trip back to old New York at this stunning restaurant & bar inside the Beekman Hotel in Downtown Manhattan. Enjoy a hand-crafted drink or a glass of wine on plush velvet seating and stare up through the nine-story Victorian era atrium above you. Maybe even treat yourself to a bite from star chef Tom Colicchio’s menu.
Where: Entrance at 5 Beekman St.
When: Sunday – Thursday, 4 p.m. –10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
7. Sisters, Clinton Hill
This farm-to-table craft cocktail bar & restaurant is just as much of a must-visit for its delicious drinks — like their own twists on the negroni and mule, or the unique “Fugue State” with mezcal, genepy, maraschino, and lime — as it is for its picturesque wrap-around bar. It’s also the perfect place to sidle up to for brunch!
Where: 900 Fulton St. Brooklyn
When: Full cocktail service 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily
8. Oscar Wilde, NoMad
Known for its over-the-top holiday decorations (see it at Christmas here and Halloween here), Oscar Wilde also looks gorgeous on a regular day! Located in an early 1900s-era NYC building and home to countless unique artifacts like a French fireplace from the 1840s and no fewer than 26 antique clocks, you don’t want to miss this space inspired by the spirited Irish playwright. You an even pull up with a pint next to a bronze replica of Wilde himself!
Where: 45 W 27th St.
When: Mon. – Wed. 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Thur. & Fri. 4 p.m.- 1 a.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
9. The Campbell, Grand Central
Hidden in Grand Central, this moody bar was once the private apartment of John W. Campbell, a Jazz Age financier. Restored with a fine attention to detail, enjoy a classic cocktail in front of the century-old leaded glass window with original millwork, or just stare up at the 25-foot hand painted ceilings.
Where: 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, just off 43rd Street
When: Monday to Saturday from 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Don’t be fooled by the apartment building entrance to this gorgeous rooftop lounge…take the elevator to the 26th floor for a beautiful cobalt blue bar and 360° views along the East River. During the winter, it even transforms into a “snow globe in the sky” with thousands of crystals and sparkling snowflakes hang from the 17-foot ceiling.
Where: 3 Mitchell Pl. (Beekman Tower), 26th floor
When: Monday – Wednesday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sunday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.