Everyone loves a good rooftop bar, especially when it has an exceptional dining experience to go along with it. Let me share a little secret with you, you don’t need to travel to New York City to enjoy a rooftop view if you’re from the Garden State. That’s right. Some of the most delicious restaurants with even better cocktails are actually home to the best rooftop bars in New Jersey. The best part? Collectively, they offer both city and beach views just minutes from home.
Thanks to New Jersey’s creative restaurateurs, outdoor dining—rooftop bars specifically—are here to stay. For 2021, we’ve put together our ultimate list of rooftop bars in New Jersey to eat and drink at. Whether you’re up in Hudson County or down the Jersey Shore, you simply can’t go wrong. Just remember if you make a reservation, don’t forget to cancel if you can’t make it. The following rooftops are in no particular order:
1. NoHu Rooftop Bar & Restaurant at EnVue Hotel
Of all the rooftop bars in New Jersey, this one has quickly become a Garden State favorite. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie as you sip on a cocktail while enjoying the breathtaking views of NYC when you’re at NoHu Rooftop. Choose from classics like a Cosmopolitan or Old Fashioned, or just get the bottle of your favorite classy wine. Upcoming birthday or occasion? Firepits, premium waterfront tables and bottle service are currently available; contact the restaurant for more details.
*Update: Chef Marcus Samuelsson brings his signature style and cuisine to Marcus at NoHu Rooftop Bar.
2. Rooftop at Exchange Place
Jersey City, NJ
Lunch, dinner, happy hour or brunch, you’re getting Hudson River views the whole time! The Rooftop at Exchange Place offers frozen cocktails like frosé and trendy cocktails such as the Garden State (Hendrick’s Gin, fresh cucumber, elderflower liquor and fresh lime juice). And don’t forget to check out Under the Boardwalk (Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice). A food menu is also available offering a limited menu of apps such as boardwalk fries and wings.
3. City Bistro
Located in Uptown Hoboken, City Bistro is a three-floor restaurant, bar and lounge that offers a rooftop as well. Their rooftop food menu includes crostinis, pizzas and a huge selection of appetizers to choose from. They also have a wide selection of wines, signature and craft cocktails. Looking to brunch with a view? This your place!
4. Alto Rooftop at The MC Hotel
As Montclair’s only rooftop, this is the perfect location to appreciate NYC’s skyline. Located at The MC Hotel, which opened in 2019, Alto Rooftop has a sleek and sexy vibe that is perfect for a date night or a G.N.O. Sip on a refreshing rosé, red or white wine or enjoy one of their classic cocktails like a Paloma or Moscow Mule. Their house cocktails are pretty intriguing and include the Grisly Pear (Beefeater Gin, Pear Williams, lemon, Cocchi Americano and eucalyptus); the Good Fellow (Misunderstood Whiskey, lemon, orange and Amaro CioCiaro) plus others. Another cool thing is that if you’re hungry, you can mobile order BareBurger and they will deliver it to the rooftop!
5. Red Rock Tap & Grill
Red Bank, NJ
The Red Rock Tap and Grill is the perfect place to relax after a long day at work! This spot has plenty of outdoor seating and even has live music sometimes. Indulge in their specialty drinks like a Red Rock Frosè, The Crush (which is their take on an Orange Crush), Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita, plus more! While sipping on your drink, snack on their “eggroll of the day,” short rib tacos, duck confit tater tots and other delicious items.
Jersey City, NJ
Pizza and drinks on a rooftop? SOLD. Porta is recognized as one of the best late-night spots in the country so make sure to add this to your list of go-to’s if you haven’t already been! From their rooftop menu, choose a couple of Neapolitan pies then wash it down with some beer, wine or pick from their signature cocktails list.
7. Salvation Rooftop at The Asbury Hotel
Asbury Park, NJ
If you’re looking for a boujee beach vibe, this is your spot. Day drinking or cocktails and wine at sunset, Salvation has it covered. Ever try a Lavender Lemonade? It’s vodka and housemade lavender lemonade. How about the Asbury Painkiller? It’s spiced rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream and nutmeg. They recently partnered with Avec Drinks to offer a selection of craft mixers as well. Reservations can be made on Resy, summer 2021 is looking up.
8. Skinner’s Loft
Jersey City, NJ
This isn’t just your “drinks on a rooftop” kind of place. Currently, reservations for Skinner’s Loft rooftop patio are available for dining only. Therefore, you can have a full dining experience with great ambiance and great food. This American bistro offers everything from buffalo chicken spring rolls to a grilled New York strip. Cool down from your hot meal with a frozen cantaloupe margarita. If you recently moved to Jersey City or plan to, make sure to check out this neighborhood spot since it’s been a staple for many years.
9. Town Bar + Kitchen
Town Bar + Kitchen is another great place if you want a delicious dinner or brunch with perfectly crafted drinks—not to mention the great outdoor aesthetic as well! Pair your beer, mojito or wine with comfort food like arancini, Cacio e Pepe Fiocchi pasta, Town Southern Chicken sandwich and more! Another great aspect of the rooftop is that they have an operating fireplace up there, so keep this in mind when the temperatures start dropping!
10. Paulie’s Brickhouse
Jersey City, NJ
Picture this—a sport’s bar and grill that serves delicious brick-oven pizza and provides NYC skyline views. That’s Paulie’s. In addition to their pizza, they offer typical bar food favorites and Italian classics such as eggplant, chicken parm and meatball sandwiches. Choose from their wide selection of beers on tap, regular and frozen cocktails. When the night winds down and you’re craving some dessert, try their Sicilian Gelato Panini which is a pressed brioche roll filled with gelato ice cream, or cool down with their Saucey Scoops where you can choose from alcohol-infused Italian ice or alcohol-infused ice cream! Please note that rooftop access is available only through reservations; please call the restaurant to secure a spot.
Asbury Park, NJ
Watermark is one of the most perfect rooftop bars in New Jersey to visit after being at the beach all day. Here, the staff aims to provide the perfect dining ambiance and experience with every detail from the decor to the drinks. They have everything from martinis to boozy iced teas to their own cocktail concoctions. Many of their specialty cocktails are made with spirits that are infused in-house and all juices are freshly squeezed. For the 2021 season, they will be reopening MDW.
12. Iron Monkey
Jersey City, NJ
Beer lovers, you have to come here because they have over 40 craft beers on tap! If you’re not a huge beer fan, then there’s also a wide selection of cocktails to choose from as well at the Iron Monkey. There’s their Signature Monkey-Tails cocktail creations such as the Organtutangy Daiquiri (rum, triple sec, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice and sprite); Frozen Monkey-Tails cocktails such as the Beach Bummin Bonobo (a tropical mix of rum, crushed pineapple, cranberry juice, blue curacao, sprite and topped with a cherry); and of course, Monkey Sangria.
13. The Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten
Asbury Park, NJ
It’s like Oktoberfest, but on a roof. What a dream. This spot is everything you could want when picturing the perfect day. Beers, spirits and you can’t forget the German food of wiener schnitzel, beef goulash, bratwurst and of course many, many pretzels. The best part? It’s one of the few rooftop bars in New Jersey to be just a few blocks walk from the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
14. Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille
Cape May, NJ
An oceanfront rooftop sounds like music to ears, especially during the summertime. Not to mention drinks that’ll leave you cooled down and refreshed after a sweltering day. The menu here offers a huge selection of different “crush” flavors like the original orange crush, grapefruit crush, key lime crush and even a CBD crush. They also offer some varieties of margaritas and alcoholic lemonades plus beer and wine.
15. The Bradford at AC Hotel Bridgewater
In March 2021, Marriott’s AC Hotel Bridgewater welcomed The Bradford—a sleek rooftop oasis. The seventh-floor venue gives off nightclub vibes with modern decor and boasts both an indoor and outdoor dining experience. On the menu are craft cocktails, the likes of a PB&J Old Fashioned and Frozen Miami Vice. In terms of eats, think sharable small plates. Whipped ricotta with grilled pita, fried calamari, scallop crudo, homemade doughnuts and more.
The Bradford at AC Hotel Bridgewater l Photo via @thebradfordnj
BONUS: Little Tijuana
A margarita bar and plenty of tacos are waiting for you at Little Tijuana in Newark. This newly-opened restaurant brought on James Beard nominee Chef David Viana to curate the menu, who’s usually at the helm of Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Here, the rooftop is retractable and there’s Mexican-themed artwork aplenty. Your IG feed will thank you later. There’s also a grass-covered patio on the for additional outdoor seating.