Our expectations for a rooftop bar in Murray Hill are set exceedingly low, and Pod 39 easily surpasses them. It’s actually a great place to hang out, and it doesn’t feel too gimmicky. Just look at the design. The outdoor area is surrounded by big brick arches, and there are some excellent views of the city. Just know that there aren’t a ton of seats and, depending on when you go, you might have to wait to get in.
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Ruby’s is an Australian cafe in Kips Bay where you can have a casual sit-down meal anytime from 8am to 10pm.
Mercy is a two-story bar in Gramercy that’s part dive and part garden, where you can meet a small group after work.
Dear Irving is a classy cocktail spot in Gramercy that takes reservations and has a few small plates.
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Lavender Lake could get away with being a just great bar with a large outdoor patio. However, it scores extra points from us for putting some care into curating a small but solid selection of bar snacks and entree sized plates.
Threes Brewing is one of the better places for a laid-back big group hang in Brooklyn.
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