Rooftops, Speakeasys and Glamping (Oh Yes!) 6 Trendy NYC Hotspots You Must Hit Up Before August

It’s summer in New York. Now this does imply a more fun, laid back spirit but it also means it is hot, sticky and let’s just face it, smelly. Escaping to the Hamptons or upstate New York would be ideal but you can actually find your own beautiful little peaceful oasis right in the city.

With delicious bites, eccentric drinks and beautiful people watching here are six summer hot spots you cannot miss!

Añejo

Try the Anejo or the Blanco. If you are looking for a fun cocktail the Chihuahua Rosa is also excellent. For dinner the Ahi Tuna Ceviche is absolutely divine and if your palate always tends to crave a burger like mine try the Cheeseburger Fundido.

SUGARCANE raw bar grill

Forget Williamsburg, forget Bedstye, Sugarcane is especially where it is at. Overlooking the beautiful waterfront and New York skyline (perfect for some pre and post-dinner Instagram moments) the restaurant has not lost its Miami essence!

First of all, the restaurant is absolutely huge. Ideal for both private parties (there is a huge long chef’s table you can sit at) and just a fun group dinner. With its effortlessly chic modern decor you could easily imagine Rihanna slipping in for a quick drink. And we haven’t even gotten to the food yet. Chef and partner Timon Balloo has created something incredible here. Between the raw bar, sushi, and crudo and the wood-fired grilled section, you can’t go wrong. I personally recommend the bacon wrapped dates (that are anything but puny), the brussel sprouts and the innovative sweet corn with chipotle mayo and lime sauce.

Ophelia

OK so when you think of sexy rooftop bars maybe midtown, right next to the United Nations (unless you have a thing for diplomats), probably doesn’t come to mind but you haven’t seen Ophelia (and it’s views!)

Re-opened earlier this year, this historic venue takes up the top floor of the Beekman Tower.

Formerly a working women’s boarding house, it has now been modernised, while still keeping that rich vintage flair thanks to Merchants Hospitality, Inc., and the consulting firm Public Agenda. Plus the cool factor goes way up when you learn that after it was converted from a hotel to a restaurant, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa were regulars. How can you not feel like the quintessential New Yorker sipping on an Old Fashioned at Ophelia?

Arlo Soho Rooftop

Arlo hotels have become a fixture on the trendy New York hotel scene and the Arlo Soho is no exception with its welcoming lounges (movie nights on Mondays!), friendly staff and in-house Dylan’s Candy Bar store. It also has a new great rooftop.

Perfect for sipping on frose while enjoying views of The Hudson. And if you get a little sunned out come on down to Camp Arlo on the first floor where you can glamp it up in tents and even order S’mores. S’mores and cocktails? What is more summery than that?!

Santina

Hope you brought your appetite and your camera because this place has the most divine, not to mention Instagrammable dishes! The Amalfi Coast-inspired restaurant is located directly under NYC’s High Line with patio dining, and is now so lucky to have the talents of Executive Chef Ashley Eddie. Under the mentorship of Major Food Group’s Chef Mario Carbone, she has created new dishes that are available gluten-free, as is every dish on the menu. Here are some of the amazing ones:

Burrata – Mozzarella Burrata from Vermont Farms is served atop a Pesto Rosso of tomatoes and almonds and finished with a salad of parsley, basil and Noto almonds.

Spicy Lobster Pasta – Al dente spaghetti and succulent crustacean morsels are tossed with a spicy Calabrian chili tomato sauce enriched with garlic, Cognac, cream and basil.

Eggplant Parmigiana – In the Neapolitan style, featuring marinated and flash-fried eggplant “coins” crowned with a broiled layer of torn Burrata and Pecorino Romano cheeses on top of a raw marinara sauce of cherry tomatoes, basil and Sicilian olive oil.

Lamb Meatballs – Three spheres are flash-fried, oven-baked and glazed with an agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce and topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Ribeye Pizzaiola – A boneless, thin-cut beef steak is rubbed with fennel, coriander, chilis and grilled. It is topped with a Fresno Chili pepper and onion pizzaiola marinated in vinegar, oil and oregano. The steak is then dressed with a salad of grape tomatoes, parsley and chives.

Gelato Sundaes – These were truly created for you to take photos of! Over the top, decadent and just in time for summer. They include the Santina Sundae, with cherry, pistachio and coconut gelatos, and the Affogato Sundae, with espresso, chocolate and mascarpone gelatos. Both are accompanied by crispy pizzelles.

The 18th Room

Rooftop bars are cool but there is nothing much cooler than a speakeasy. Opened just a few months ago by Dave Oz (the man behind Bathtub Gin), The 18th Room features Cocktail Concierge Service including bespoke sustainable drinks by acclaimed international barman Joseph Boroski. “During Prohibition, there were speakeasies that were wild and raucous and others that were more intimate and elegant. The 18th Room salutes these more sophisticated hidden bars,” says Oz, Owner, The 18th Room. “We are excited to work with Joseph Boroski, who brings vast expertise in cocktails and international ingredients from his J.Boroski bars in Bangkok and Hong Kong, his BAR:School bartending school and consulting worldwide.”

Here are some of their most popular drinks:

The Grass Is Always Greener – Mezcal, Peruvian Pisco, nectarine + matcha shrub, cucumber, egg and celery salt flakes

Un-Pulped Fiction – Coconut oil-washed St. George Agricole Rum, caramelised pineapple shrub, fresh lime juice, popped Job’s Tears orgeat and macadamia nut

Coffee, Stop – Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, house-crafted Arabica coffee and wattle seed liqueur, brewed Stone Street espresso

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth, SheKnows.com, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.

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