The Best Restaurants for Enjoying 'Manhattanhenge'

A collection of the best spots for viewing the Manhattan solstice

The view of Manhattanhenge. (Photo: Bernhard Suter/CC4.0)

Twice a year, New Yorkers get to experience the radiance of the setting sun aligning perfectly with the Manhattan street grid — the phenomenon is known as Manhattanhenge. On May 29 and July 12, beginning at approximately 8:16 p.m., you'll be able to look down any cross street in Manhattan and see the full sun setting on the horizon. The Manhattanhenge view can also be enjoyed May 30 (at approximately 8:17 p.m.) and July 11. Since the best views are from a height, rooftop restaurants in skyscrapers on the city's cross streets are the place to be.

According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, for the optimal view of Manhattanhenge you should get as far east in the city as possible, and be sure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. The clearest cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. 

Birreria — Head up to the beer garden and restaurant atop Eataly on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street for a spectacular view of the sunset and a seasonally inspired meal. The cask ales are brewed on the premises and the spring menu includes salads filled with locally sourced produce. 

Mad46 — Located on top of the Roosevelt Hotel on 45th Street and Madison Avenue, Mad46 offers an extensive menu of signature cocktails and small plates. Take in the majestic view while dining on watermelon salad, thin crust pizza, and spinach and artichoke dip. 

Salon de Ning at The Peninsula Hotel — If you're looking for a swanky and sophisticated spot to enjoy Manhattanhenge, try to snag a table at Salon de Ning, located on the rooftop of the Peninsula Hotel. Order a cocktail — the Ning Sling is the house specialty — and chilled shrimp with Thai curry aioli to get the evening started.

Know of any other restaurants that would be ideal for enjoying Manhattanhenge? Leave a comment below with your suggestion.