Best Affordable Outdoor and Rooftop Bars in NYC
If a New York City bar is on any list, you can safely assume it is over-priced. Dabble in spring and a rooftop bar, and the cocktail premium rises quicker than the summer temperatures. No one wants to spend $20 on a drink at 230 Fifth Avenue where the drinks are weak and the lines are long. Empire Hotel? Sure the view is great, assuming you get past the tough bouncers downstairs, but it’s a sobering act after you get a $16 bill for a small rum and coke glass.
212Access is sick of these bars, so we decided to come up with our own original twist to the best outdoor places to drink. Here is a top-10 List of the most affordable outdoor places where you can drink and enjoy the weather for prices even a Jamaican guy like me can afford.
Located at 168 Delancey Street you will need to dress to impress to gain access into this 3-floor bar and lounge. But don’t let that discourage your wallet. This bar is not greedy with their alcohol at all. Most people are too mesmerized by the intimate lighting and strong drinks on the first two floors but once you are in walk up the stairs and into the rooftop oasis with lush palm trees will make you feel like you are in a bungalow. Here’s a 212Access video of the rooftop bar.
This contemporary style bar set in Greenwich Village at 35 East 13th Street across from the NYU campus is the place to be when the warmer months come around. Famous for their 2 for 1 happy hour from 5pm- 9pm which will certainly keep you from digging deep into your pockets. The roof offers a tropical feel with palm trees and ambient soft light panels block the view of the universities buildings but still offering a cozy place to chill out and enjoy your drinks.
This little midtown hotel at 45 West 35th Street offers an array of inexpensive beer and cocktails but is only open till midnight. However this is a great place to start out the night if you have a planned out agenda for a night out. A grand view of the Empire State Building and a few blocks away from Madison Square Garden Hotel Metro offers a midtown feel without the midtown prices.
Up on the 14th floor of the Quinta Hotel on 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue VU offers another great view of the Empire State Building. Sit and relax on the outdoor seating and tables as you enjoy $3-4 dollar beers and $6 cocktails. For a rooftop bar in Midtown Manhattan this is a great and inexpensive place to spend a warm spring or summer night outside.
This bar can be found at 987 2nd Avenue and is a great time if you are on a budget. Cheap drinks and countless events each night make Turtle Bay the place to be for any night out. Its popularity should not be a turn off though, go and get dollar beers and half price happy hour and you will not regret it. The area has great views of the skyline and is a nice area away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square.
Cellar 58 is located in the heart of the East Village. If you’re a wine lover, this is the bar for you. It has outdoor seating that lets you enjoy wines from every region in the world, including many undiscovered and untapped regions that other wine bars ignore. Best part, the wine selection is affordable. Here’s a 212Access video of the outside patio.
Enjoy relaxing outside with a cold beer at this open beer garden in Chelsea. Get more for your money with long outdoor benches and $8 tickets for draft beer you can enjoy all night. There is no slacking on portions here, beer is served European style with a lot of weight and taken from the local brewery in the city.
After a long day at work stop by this relaxing open rooftop bar. Located at 1 Penn Plaza you will have a great view of Madison Square Garden. A sleek lounge area outside makes for a great rest stop to grab a beer before your long commute home. While you’re here catch the game without having to buy tickets at the Garden with plenty of TV’s and comfortable seating. Be sure to enjoy their daily drink specials of $4 margaritas and half price martinis.
This bar is a must for any night out on a warm spring night. Located at 795 and 8thAvenue make the trip out to Hells Kitchen and from 4-8 enjoy drink specials such as $3.50 bottles of beer, $4.50 well drinks and $4.50 Pino Grigio and Cabernet. You wont have to stay inside however, this spot offers a nice outdoor seating arrangement that will keep you from getting cabin fever.
The Frying Pan
The Frying Pan is starting to lose its luster because they are treating it like a cattle barn now. You are limited to two hours at a table, the drinks are weak and security treats customers like they are numbers. This was on our list but it has now been removed. Here is some background on it if you still choose to check it out. This Pier 66 favorite has a Hudson river view on the West side. Drinking on a boat which might not sounds so appealing at first but when you are paying $30 for 7 coronas brought out n a bucket of ice you can guarantee that you will have a good time without breaking the bank.