Best garden bars

Forget about concrete slabs trying to pass for back gardens: These outdoor oases are actually verdant.

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  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    B Bar

    B Bar

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    B Bar

    B Bar

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    4th Ave Pub

    4th Ave Pub

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    4th Ave Pub

    4th Ave Pub

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Juliette

    Juliette

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Juliette

    Juliette

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Nita Nita

    Nita Nita

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Nita Nita

    Nita Nita

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Outpost Lounge

    Outpost Lounge

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Outpost Lounge

    Outpost Lounge

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Palace Gate

    Palace Gate

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Palace Gate

    Palace Gate

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Spuyten Duyvil

    Spuyten Duyvil

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Spuyten Duyvil

    Spuyten Duyvil

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Stonehome Wine Bar

    Stonehome Wine Bar

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    Stonehome Wine Bar

    Stonehome Wine Bar

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    The Yard

    The Yard

  • Photograph: Marlene Rounds

    The Yard

    The Yard

Photograph: Marlene Rounds

B Bar

B Bar

B Bar
In the summer, B Bar opens windows and doors to its courtyard, where flowerpots and leafy trees aren't the only occupants that might be described as lush.
When to get a seat: There are ample tables for parties small and large, so even though it gets busy, waits aren't unbearable. If you're averse to raucous crowds though, steer clear of weekend nights. 40 E 4th St at Bowery (212-475-2220, bbarandgrill.com)

Bar Reis
If none of the bar's three levels of seating suit you, the tree-covered backyard with picnic tables and a large mural of a cartoonish fantasy scene might. Catch up on the Mets game each time you head inside for another round, or ask the friendly bartender for the score.
When to get a seat: Though the barstools often fill up, there's almost always an open spot in the garden. 375A Fifth Ave between 5th and 6th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (facebook.com/BarReisBrooklyn)

Boxcar Lounge
The indoor bar's as narrow as the name suggests, so join the crowd of neighborhood regulars in the garden, walled in with ivy and flowerpots overhead.
When to get a seat: For the most part, this place is populated by East Village citizens only, so weekend afternoons are miraculously uncrowded. 168 Ave B between 10th and 11th Sts (212-473-2830, boxcarlounge.com)

4th Ave Pub
A stone-paved, ivy-draped outdoor area plus a free Wi-Fi hotspot equals wanna-be intellectuals working on screenplays fueled by the power of the nth pint.
When to get a seat: It's never too crowded, but be prepared to tolerate at least a few smokers: They seem to congregate here. 76 Fourth Ave between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-643-2273, myspace.com/4thavepub)

Juliette
Avoid wet patio chairs on a rainy day without skimping on the nature part: The indoor "green room" at bistro Juliette surrounds a local and international crowd with hanging plants and plenty of natural light.
When to get a seat: Juliette is busiest during weekend brunch; pop in for an afternoon or evening cocktail instead. 135 North 5th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-9222, juliettewilliamsburg.com)

Nita Nita
Drink among potted herbs and shapely shrubbery in this tapas lounge's back garden, where crowds of regulars sidle up for snacks and deals on wine, beer and cocktails.
When to get a seat: Happy-hour specials ($3 drafts and $4 well drinks from 5 to 8pm on weekdays) are favorites of Williamsburg flaneurs; weekend afternoons are decidedly calmer. 146 Wythe Ave at North 8th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-5328, nitanitabk.com)

Outpost Lounge
Blossoming rosebushes take the casual spot's outdoor space beyond typical greenery; music and readings liven the place up at occasional garden parties.
When to get a seat: Weekend afternoons are the most peaceful time to stop and smell the roses. 1014 Fulton St between Downing St and Irving Pl, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (718-636-1260, outpostlounge.com)

Palace Gate
With a cocktail called Summer Sunset on the menu, there's no doubt this lounge in the Palace Hotel's courtyard is geared towards warm weather.
When to get a seat: Play hooky and grab a spot before 5pm, or come at 9pm when the crowd starts to dissipate. The New York Palace Hotel, 455 Madison Ave at 51st St (212-891-8100)

Spuyten Duyvil
This neighborhood Belgian beer garden takes the garden part more seriously than most, with green trees sprouting from its cloistered outdoor drinking area.
When to get a seat: Weekends provide excellent opportunities for hipster-gazing. Arrive by 3pm or so to secure a spot. 359 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-4140, spuytenduyvilnyc.com)

Stonehome Wine Bar
Fort Greene professionals and oenophiles sip chilled wine in the ivy-lined, shady back retreat of this effortlessly elegant bar.
When to get a seat: The space is quietest during early weeknight hours. Snag a small table before the dinner rush, or stick around and wait for it; the three-course, $25 prix-fixe menu is available till 11pm each night from mid-June to September. 87 Lafayette Ave at South Portland Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-624-9443, stonehomewinebar.com)

The Yard
Yard? Hardly. The summertime bote in the Soho Grand is more like a particularly elegant, vine-wrapped alleyway filled with attractive New Yorkers and European tourists whose weekly clothing budget rivals your annual salary. The warm-weather drink menu includes sangria and mojitos.
When to get a seat: Dodge the weekend wait by visiting for an after-work drink (just don't expect any happy-hour specials). 310 West Broadway between Canal and Grand Sts (212-965-3271, sohogrand.com)

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