Astoria’s Raising the Roof
Summer is in full swing, and so are those hot, sticky, summer nights. On the flipside, when they’re dry, warm and breezy, where can you go to take it easy? We may not have an abundance of backyards, but we certainly made do – check out our list of Astoria’s can’t-miss rooftops that can turn any heat wave into the perfect daycation, and they’re right in our very own neighborhood. It’s all about the bird’s eye views at these local spots, bringing you the world’s most photographed skyline and a true New York state-of-mind.
Let’s start with a sunset view over the El train at Queensboro Plaza – where else can you peer out at the magnificent midtown skyline while you get your Japanese fusion on? Enter: Luna Asian Bistro and Rooftop Lounge. If you happen to be dining there during a full moon, you might get lost in “luna” gazing right back at you across NYC. The menu boasts an array of colorful sushi rolls artfully set up on your plate. My personal favorite is the Sweet Heart roll with spicy tuna, avocado, tempura flake, and tobiko, lovingly wrapped up with fresh tuna and shaped like a heart.
There is something to be said for presentation, and Luna keeps that in mind for every one of their dishes. For more pan-Asian flair, the crispy wontons with deep fried lobster, basil, cream cheese, and spicy thyme sauce hit the gooey, cheesy spot over a bed of refreshing lime wedges. Whatever your preference, you can choose from a variety of sweet and dry sake to complement your maki, or you can “Fly to the Moon” with their specialty cocktail by the same name, made with kaffir lime-infused gin, lemon, housemade rosemary syrup, and crema de violette.
If you’re looking for more of a lounge kind of vibe, take a walk over to LIC and explore some of their starry night spectaculars. Vista Sky Lounge at the Four Points Sheraton offers a retractable roof, so rain or shine, the party doesn’t stop. Choose from any one of their signature cocktails and pair it with a casual comfort like a burger or grilled chicken wrap, or, step it up with one of their more sophisticated dishes like Wild Mushroom Truffle Orzotto and Tagliata NY Strip Steak. You won’t need to show your visa for this vista to feel like a tourist for the night, but you may want to have your other visa or Amex handy, in case you can’t bring yourself to leave (we don’t blame you), and you’re tempted to stay a little longer and book a room.
Our next stop is The Penthouse at Ravel Hotel, another idyllic, or, rather, “citi-dyllic” spot, with both waterside and skyline views. With its climate-controlled indoor and outdoor rooftop, you won’t have to worry about rain or shine, hot or cold. Here we find a mix of Asian and South American-inspired dishes, served a la carte or for sharing. The sushi gets creative here as do their enormous cocktails which can easily satisfy a whole group, straw in one hand and smearing wasabi with a chopstick in the other. If you’re looking for a “daycation,” their poolside venue, Profundo, offers a day club rooftop experience where you can book a bed, cabana, or canopy for the day and enjoy a small, tropical-like oasis in the heart of Long Island City.
Currently under renovation and temporarily closed, Savanna Rooftop at Z NYC Hotel is inspired by the African savanna. A scenery of trees, grass, eucalyptus wood, and hues of greens and blues in accent décor transport you out of the urban jungle with 360 degree views of Manhattan, Queens, and as far out as Long Island. The final product remains a mystery, but stay tuned for this exotic hot spot’s debut, coming soon.
Last but certainly not least, we didn’t want to leave you hanging at the top without one more honorable mention. On the smaller, low-key side, with a few couches and chairs set to the backdrop of industrial, chic décor, Boro Hotel’s rooftop bar is perfectly in sync with the LIC lea and rarely gets crowded. It offers an intimate, personalized outdoor space to view Her Majesty, the NYC skyline, in her empire state of grandeur.
So choose your rooftop and grab a seat – from the moon over at Luna to a green, leafy sanctuary that makes you forget you’re in a concrete jungle. Though there aren’t many rooftop spots in the neighborhood, the few we have can make a “still working from home day” a happy hour stay, and they’re only a few minutes away. They all have one thing in common – a convenient location that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, and an urban refuge where you can stop, sip, and savor the view.