7 NYC Happy Hours That Have Waterviews and Don’t Suck

Le Bain. Photo: Emily Sundberg.

There are days in Manhattan during the heat of the summer when you feel a little lost. Perhaps you’re going through a breakup and have no idea how to use Tinder. Maybe you stayed at the bar too late and are literally trying to get home, lost. Or like many people, you can feel disconnected from the rest of the world around you, and that’s where water always seems to lift spirits. Enjoying life by the water can be difficult in the city because many people simply don’t live near it, and it can be hard to find a spot near the East River or the Hudson to enjoy it.

Alas, those places do exist! Whether you’re up for a swanky night, or cheap thrills, take advantage of the daylight and sunsets and quick romances that come with summer, and drink + eat by the water for goodness sake.

1. Le Bain

One of the most obvious places to drink and eat overly indulging crepes is Le Bain. The rooftop of The Standard Highline is covered with artificial grass and one of the most eclectic and entertaining crowds in the city. The best way to navigate the drink menu here is to get a pitcher, get friendly with the bartenders, grab a crepe, and watch the sunset on the west side. If you’re staying late, don’t be surprised to end up surrounded by new friends in the communal hot tub.

A photo posted by LeBainNYC (@lebainnyc) on

2. Jimmy at The James

A different kind of waterview, Jimmy has one of the loveliest and cleanest rooftop pools. They keep this place fun, not too crowded, and with a solid cocktail menu. Don’t drink? No problem. Head up here during the week for a morning rooftop yoga session, and grab some coffee downstairs after. Believe it or not, there’s something enjoyable special about the smell of chlorine in the morning.

3. Grand Banks

Oysters, lobster rolls and lots of rosé on a ship in the middle of the water. That’s all you need to know. Just act quick with reservations here—the boat will be packed on any given beautiful-to-semi-beautiful evening.

A photo posted by GRAND BANKS (@grandbanksnyc) on

4. Los Tacos #1

Okay so technically these tacos aren’t on the water, but they’re the best in the city. Grab a full plate of them, run up the stairs outside Chelsea Market to the Highline, sit back, and enjoy the waterview and peaceful greenery above the city.

A photo posted by LOS TACOS No.1 (@lostacos1) on

5. Summer on the Hudson Movie Nights

For a unique (and free) date, grab some popcorn at one of the movie nights at Pier 1. There’s a full schedule on their site, but basically all you need to know is it’s on the Hudson, it’s romantic, and you can sneak in wine (I didn’t tell you that).

6. Hotel Hugo

Two blocks from Hudson River Park is a hotel with the most photogenic sparkling lights and comfy white couches. Come for the Cuban-inspired menu, stay for the unbelievable sunset on the water.

Summer 101: Have a chilled cocktail in hand and one on deck at all times of the day. – H. H. Photo: mccallbeca

A photo posted by Hotel Hugo SoHo (@hotelhugosoho) on

7. Breakfast in bed at The Standard

Maybe you don’t want a sunset view of the water. Maybe you want a sunrise with someone special. Or alone. All I know is, a sunrise in this hotel room, you’d be a fool not to order some of their killer room service breakfast to go with it.

Stay updated with more of Emily’s food-ventures/travels/and wonderfully-curated life in NYC, via her Instagram (@sheloveseverything). Thanks Emily!