As the weather gets nicer, many people start to venture out of their apartments in New York to go out, drink with friends and have a good time. For many New Yorkers, outdoor drinking is a favorite summer activity, and who can blame them? Since German immigrants first introduced the concept of the “beer garden” to Gotham, it’s become a classic activity. Listed here are some of the best places in New York City to partake in it:
Northern Territory: Out in Williamsburg, a good 10-minute walk from any subway stations, lies Northern Territory, an Australian restaurant that features a knockout rooftop bar. Even when it gets crowded, the rooftop affords a spectacular view of Williamsburg and Lower Manhattan.
Studio Square: Two massive 20-foot screens, free-flowing beer, a kitchen that makes wings and cigar vendors all combine together to make Studio Square one of the best places in New York to watch a big sports game with your buddies. If you’re going there for a big game, however, it’s a good idea to get there about an hour early, as it tends to get crowded and the bouncers start imposing a substantial cover charge. But time flies when you’re having fun, and once you get there, five hours seems to pass like 30 minutes.
Iona: Since it was first opened, Iona has developed a reputation as a stellar summer drinking spot in Williamsburg. There’s a friendly vibe here, helped by a huge backyard with BBQ and ping pong. The perfect place to spend an afternoon drinking icy beer.
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden: For over 100 years, Bohemia Hall has served as a center for Astoria’s Czech and Slovak culture. The beer garden, which is open year-round, has a weathered look about it that some might consider unappealing, but it adds a genuine charm to the entire place. To top it all off, a special refrigeration method makes sure that the beer is always ice cold, making this the best place to enjoy a cold brew on a hot day.
Brooklyn Crab: Out in Red Hook, a good 30-minute walk from any subway station is Brooklyn Crab, an outdoor seafood restaurant/bar with two levels, three bars, plenty of picnic benches, cornhole and mini golf. Here the beer flows freely, including a house IPA brewed by Southern Tier. The perfect place to waste a lazy Sunday in June, it’s also right next to Hometown BBQ, easily one of the best barbecue spots in New York, in case you’re more into pork than crab.
Union Pool: It might get crowded here and filled with plenty of tourists, and might not be for everybody, but there’s a festive vibe at this Williamsburg hotspot that makes up for all of that. If you get hungry while you’re drinking, there’s a taco truck, so it’s hard to go wrong. If you want to go inside, there’s a back room that features live music.
Blockheads: There are multiple locations of Blockheads around the city, but the one to visit is in Hell’s Kitchen on 50th Street. With its plethora of frozen alcoholic drinks and plenty of outdoor seating, Blockheads makes for a great place to kick back with your friends, a bowl of nachos and some frozen drinks on a hot day. It’s also right across from Mother Burger, which features the same style of frozen drinks and outdoor seating in case Blockheads is too packed.
Spuyten Duyvil: Like the Brooklyn Crab, Spuyten Duyvil is right around the corner from one of New York’s best barbecue joints (Fette Sau). But that’s where the similarities stop: Spuyten Duyvil is a bar first and foremost, and in the warmer months features a spacious garden filled with picnic benches where you can seemingly always find a seat.
The Standard: No pun intended, but the biergarten here has set the “standard” for outdoor drinking in Manhattan and beyond. Milking the “german biergarten” trope without being too obnoxious about it, they do a great balance here, that can be washed down with beer, sausages and pretzels in-between ping pong games.
Transmitter Park: It isn’t a bar, but Transmitter Park is easily one of the best parks in Brooklyn. Located in the sticks of Greenpoint out on the water, it’s hard to go wrong here, where you can get a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline at night and, if you get there at the right time, the best sunset in all of New York. Pick up a bottle at Brouwerij Lane or the local bodega nearby, but it in a brown bag and sit down on a park bench and take in the view.