Whether you’re looking for an intimate nook for canoodling with your sweetie, a neighborhood legend, a hipster haven with the best mixologists in the ‘hood, a hopping rooftop bar scene, a sexy wine bar, or an elegant hotel lounge, we’ve got great options for you to take a top-of-the-line tipple in Midtown. From iconic institution to new addition, high in the sky to down in the cellar, when you’re feeling chic, here are some super sexy, swanky bars in Midtown New York to try out.
The Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Ave
Fancy cocktails, a fireplace, and the velvet curtain vibe… This exclusive, swanky hotel bar caters to A-Listers wanting a quiet moment, and comes equipped with a solid walnut bar and art by Andy Warhol, Basquiat, and Keith Haring on the wall (to name a few), as well as a legendary reputation in the neighborhood as a place for the elite to unwind in style. There’s live music in the evening (as well as events they call “The Rose Bar Sessions” which often feature internationally renowned artists in an intimate setting), and then the bar transforms into a nightclub after 9pm with DJs spinning custom playlists. Be prepared for attitude, and make reservations if you can.
364 W 46th St
Gins, ryes, bourbons, whiskeys… you can expect the mixologists here to serve up heady, creative cocktails made with some really excellent artisanal liquor you may not have had a chance to try anywhere else. From their signature “The Hold Old Fashioned” to “The Devil’s Playground” (featuring, among other flavors, habanero peppers), the hard stuff here is out of this world. They also offer many unique IPAs and unusual beer and cider options, and their food menu ranges from items like savory bone marrow with a soft scrambled egg and soy glaze, to fried burrata, to wings ‘n’ waffles, tacos, and beyond.
PHD Terrace at Dream Hotel Midtown
210 W 55th St
Rising high above West 55th Street is the PHD Terrace at the Dream Hotel Midtown. With two levels (interior and exterior), signature “Mega mules” served in a giant copper cups, an expansive terrace, and killer views, The Tao Group’s PHD Terrace Rooftop Lounge is a hot spot that remains trendy despite its longevity. As the hotel name advertises, it’s a dreamy spot, bursting with flower arrangements and twinkling lights, and the promise of a night spent among the stars and skyscrapers. Cocktails are sweet, fruity, spritzy, and bar bites range from delectable little empanadas to flaming mac and cheese balls, filet mignon skewers, calamari, and more.
Refinery Rooftop Bar
Sort of industrial, definitely cool, the Refinery Rooftop bar at the Refinery Hotel lends the illusion that you’re right up on one of NYCs ad-hoc random rooftops amongst the skyscrapers almost close enough to swing from spire to spire like Spiderman, while providing both shelter and chicness. There’s a retractable glass roof, interior and exterior seating, and a menu that pairs perfectly with signature cocktails created by the mixologists of In Good Company, who pride themselves on using natural ingredients in fresh and exciting ways. For a lunchtime visit, enjoy chef Jeff Haskell’s full lunch menu ranging from yummy hangar steaks to yellowfin tuna. While you’re exploring the hotel, check out their other dining option (Parker and Quinn) and jazz lounge (Winnie’s Jazz Lounge) as well.
The Monkey Bar
60 E 54th St
If you like to imbibe rich history with your heady cocktails, head on over to the Monkey Bar, located in the Hotel Elysee. This post-prohibition Jazz Age lounge once hosted everyone from Tallulah Bankhead to Tennessee Williams, who had the misfortune to make the place infamous by passing away there under unfortunate circumstances. Renovated tastefully in 2009, it’s now back to its former glory, including an eye-catching three-panel mural, soft lighting, and comfy banquettes to create an intimate vibe. An extensive wine and champagne list, plus creative cocktails galore, add substance to the atmosphere, as do the lunch and dinner menus, where you can sup on rich offerings like lobster risotto, roast duck breast, or filet mignon, or simply opt for their signature burger.
The Campbell Bar
15 Vanderbilt Avenue (At Grand Central Station)
Whether you’re coming or going (or don’t know whether you’re coming or going), the Campbell Bar, situated in a hidden little nook in the middle of Grand Central Station, marks the perfect spot for people watching, while taking a moment to pause from your own travels and sip an elegant cocktail or a delicious wine or beer selection in these iconic environs. Backed by soaring mullioned windows and art deco light fixtures, this Jazz Age former office of financier John William Campbell is now run by the Gerber Group, assuring flawless service in an unforgettable atmosphere. Actually, three unique atmospheres, to be precise—there’s an outdoor “Campbell Terrace” where you can sit under the lee of the station on a veranda for a more casual vibe. Then there’s the Palm Court, decorated with—you guessed it—palm trees, with a view into the main terminal of the station, and lastly, the ornate Campbell bar itself (former reception hall and office of the ritzy financier), which is enough to make you feel you’re sipping spirits at the imposing Morgan Library. It’s a trip, and a fun excursion into a bygone era, right in the center of the busiest transit hub in Midtown.
A.R.T. – The Arlo NoMad Rooftop Bar!
11 East 31st Street
For the ultimate nightcap at the end of your evening, simply push the elevator button that says A.R.T. (short for Arlo Roof Top) when you get home, and shoot straight to the top. If you’ve ever wanted to reach out and touch the Empire State Building, well, you practically can from here. With glass-bottom “Sky Walk” views perfect for snapping selfies, and a refreshing open-air atmosphere amongst the iconic skyscrapers of NoMad, this seasonal sensation has an energetic vibe that’s nonetheless unpretentious, and makes a perfect topper (no pun intended) to your stay in NYC. Lounge around on comfy couches 31 stories in the sky, cozying up with a cocktail and your friends, seeing and being seen while you sip a skillfully mixed and inventive drink, or help yourself to some Middle Eastern-style snacks. (P.S., if you’re exploring down beyond Midtown and make it to SoHo, our sister hotel Arlo SoHo has a stunning rooftop bar of its own, with year-round indoor and outdoor sections, and views of the Hudson River and the Freedom Tower skyline.)