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Best Poolside Dining NYC
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Where to Drink and Dine Poolside in NYC

While beach eats have improved exponentially in recent years, so too have the offerings at the city’s numerous, high-end hotel pools, multiple stories above the city.  So if you’re looking to stretch out on a chaise surrounded by skyline, you might as well visit a spot that’s put actual effort into their food and drink program — by installing an ambitious coastal Mexican grill (Hotel Americano in Chelsea), and hiring elite chefs like Andrew Carmellini (Brooklyn’s the William Vale).

The William Vale

The William Vale
111 N 12th St
Williamsburg,New York 11249
(718) 307-7100

Andrew Carmellini and the NoHo Hospitality Group oversee all the food and drink offerings at Williamsburg’s East River-abutting, modernist hotel; an even more appealing feature than the 60-foot long pool itself (i.e., the longest outdoor pool in NYC).  Which means, you’ll likely spend more time lounging outside the water than doing laps, thanks to Baby Gem Caesar Salads, Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with harissa and gruyere, Aperol Spritzes and Southside Fizzes, made with vodka, mint, seltzer and lime.

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The Pool

The Pool
99 E.52nd St
Midtown East,New York 10022
(212) 375-9001

So, you definitely don’t want to make the faux pas of wearing a swimsuit to this super chic, in demand Pool.  Though technically, there is a tiled body of water anchoring the center of the opulent, newly revived, Major Food Group-fronted restaurant in the Seagram Building (née The Four Seasons) and it does boast pretty much the very best food you’re likely to find poolside.  Think Caviar service, Foie Gras “ribbons,” Whole Fish, Surf and Turf, Octopus a la Plancha and Santa Barbara sea urchin toast.

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Hotel Americano

Hotel Americano
518 W 27th St
Chelsea,New York 10001
(212) 216-0000

The Mexico-based, internationally-branded Grupo Habita is behind this boutique hotel, located steps away from the Highline.  It also notably features an open-to-the-public pool (flanked by daybeds overlooking the Hudson River) and a coastal, adjunct Mexican grill, which far exceeds the hummus and guacamole offerings of similar rooftop destinations, with thoughtful fare like Jersey Corn Elotes, Duck Carnitas Tacos, Grilled 60-Day Aged Rib Eye Cap (prepared on the parilla and served with fresh tortillas), as well as agua frescas and paletas.

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1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
60 Furman St
DUMBO,New York 11201
(347) 696-2500

Stop by on weekends for the Adult Summer Pool Parties at this DUMBO newcomer, which rocks a boomerang-shaped plunge pool, peeping out at NYC’s most iconic landmarks (the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge), and drinks and eats from Michael Oliver — an Andrew Carmellini protégé — including Whipped Ricotta and Market Tomatoes on focaccia, Fried Mochi Bites with tofu dressing, and “Heatstroke” cocktails, made with Avion Blanco, mezcal, pineapple and lime.

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Beach at Dream Downtown

Beach at Dream Downtown
355 W 16th Street
Meatpacking District,New York 10011
(212) 229-2559

An indoor/outdoor café surrounds the glass-bottom pool, sand beach, private cabanas and chaise lounges at this swank Chelsea hotel (all of which non-guests can access with $65 day passes), serving pan-Latin bites like Baja Fish Tacos, Bodega Egg Sandwiches, Yucca Fries and Shrimp Ceviche.

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Gansevoort Park

Gansevoort Park
420 Park Ave S
Flatiron District,New York 10016
(212) 317-2900

Though one of NYC’s few roof-situated pools that is heated year round (fixed with a collapsible garage door between the indoor and outdoor spaces), there’s no better time to chill deckside at this luxe Nomad fantasia, with a dead-on view of the Empire State Building, and a café menu comprised of Lobster Rolls, Kobe Beef Corn Dogs and tabbouleh topped with Grilled Lamb Lollipops.

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Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo
171 Ludlow St
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(212) 237-1776

Gerber Group’s rooftop pool and bar rocks a hip background tableau of the Lower East Side, along with laid back eats like Pat LaFrieda Beef Sliders, Tuna Tartare with taro chips, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwiches with kohlrabi slaw, and specialty cocktails such as Coffee Old Fashioneds, Cliquot Spritzes (fizzy with Veuve Cliquot champagne), and signature, punch-style Mr. Purple’s, made with tequila, cranberry liqueur, apple, lemon and allspice dram.

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The James

The James
27 Grand St
Soho,New York 10013
(212) 465-2000

Like at many of NYC’s elite, tourist-baiting hotspots, the sleek plunge pool at SoHo’s sultry The James is considered an exclusive amenity for guests.  But on weekends throughout the summer (when most locals are actually free to take a middle of the day dip), it’s open to the public starting at 3pm, as is a lounge serving sips such as Frose Slushies and Grilled Pineapple Mojitos, and snacks such as Chicken Empanadas, Shitake Wontons and Kobe Franks in a Blanket.

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