Best Spots for Outdoor Drinking on the Upper West Side

  Last modified on January 31st, 2020

After a day cooped up in an office, or sitting at your computer, what better than enjoying the views of the Hudson River or the scenes of Upper West Side life from one of these popular Upper West Side bars with some of the finest outdoor settings.  Read on for our best spots for outdoor drinking on the Upper West Side!

The Empire Hotel Rooftop

We like this because it’s a rooftop bar, and like the classic Goffin-King song, all your cares “just drift into space.”   Sip your favorite aperitif and take in the gorgeous views from this Upper West Side hotel, especially the immense Lincoln Center just below. The world looks very different from these heights, reminding one of why this is the best neighborhood in NYC. Live jazz on Mondays, Sunset Happy Hours and just dress nicely; keep the jeans for dress-down Fridays. 44 West 63 Street (between Broadway and Columbus)

Outdoor Drinking on the Upper West Side

Ellington in the Park

Less rowdy than the above-mentioned Boat Basin and Empire Hotel, this Riverside Park drinking destination is located at 105th Street and boasts both an upper and lower level.  The beach-themed UWS restaurant offers live music, big screen TVs and lots of great cocktails. Owned and operated by the same folks who’ve brought us The Ellington at 936 Amsterdam Ave. Feel free to bring your dog!

Ellington in the Park

The Claire Tow Theater Bar & Terrace

150 West 65th Street

This pre and post theater bar is located on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont Theater.  Open to ticket-holders before and after shows, the Claire Tow Theater Bar offers custom cocktails, craft beers, wine and small plates.


Amsterdam Ave in the Low 80s

I know this might sound vague … but I’m not being lazy, I swear! This is a great area to aim for simply because there are so many options. Everyone loves to drink outside, so heading to this part of town will up your chances of finding at least one open table. A few of my favorite area spots include Dead Poet, George Keeley’s and Olma Bar & Restaurant.


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