The 30 best bars for outdoor drinking in New York

All the finest beer gardens, patios and terraces for those sunny, boozy afternoons in the city

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Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Photograph: Lizz Kuehl


It's summer, and that means you want to drink delicious things while sitting with the sun in your face. We've already told you where to find NYC's best rooftop bars, and even where to go if you feel like getting nautical with one of the city's fantastic boat bars, but here's our pick of the finest outdoor drinking spots for those that prefer to keep their feet on solid ground.

RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide

The Cannibal

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

While seating at the bar is limited at this “meat head” haven, its brick-walled patio offers room to spread out with restaurateur and beer-obsessed carnivore Christian Pappanicholas’s steak du jour and an offbeat brew from the massive bottle list.

  1. 113 E 29th St, (between Park Ave South and Lexington Aves), 10016
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Ambrose Hall

Choose a boozing style at this South Seaport lounge: Sip small-batch whiskey at the sunny surf club, or sling back German suds in the 14,000-square-foot cobblestoned beer garden. Either way, fill up on Schaller & Weber brats (spicy pork, smoked veal), lobster rolls and kettle-cooked chips smothered in beer-blended cheese.

  1. 18 Fulton St, (between Front and South Sts), 10038
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Sayra's Wine Bar

  • Price band: 1/4

The 1,200-square-foot garden at the Rockaway’s first wine bar oozes surfer vibes with beach pebbles underfoot, tiki torches lining the wall, and rustic wooden picnic tables under a tin canopy. Seasonal vinos hailing from coasts around the globe—like Sandy Cove, New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc—are best paired with live jazz on Thursday nights or black-and-white flicks on Saturdays. 

  1. 91-11 Rockaway Beach Blvd, (between Beach 91st and 92nd Sts), 11693
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Frying Pan

Dock yourself next to a bucket of beers on this multi-level floating lighthouse bar at Chelsea Piers—complete with prime sunset seating and views of the West Side. 

  1. Pier 66A, (W 26th St at the Hudson River)
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Maison Premiere

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

An outdoor oyster bar outfitted in dark wood takes center stage in the lush 1,000-square-foot garden at this NOLA-inspired salon. To keep in line with the French Quarter charm, sip Maxwell Britten’s (Freemans, Jack the Horse) cerebral cocktails like The Crandolet (gin, orange-flower water, honey) and the Saint Helena (Aquavit, sparkling wine, chartreuse) under the vine-tangled canopy.

  1. 298 Bedford Ave, (between Grand and South 1st Sts), 11211
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The Boat Basin Café

  • Price band: 2/4

This two-tier riverfront restaurant welcomes young singles and parents with children in tow to happily converge under stone archways and twinkle lights. Order from the grill portion of its expansive American menu and toast the sunset on clear evenings, but call ahead when skies seem stormy—the café closes for rain.

  1. 79th St, (at the Hudson River), 10024
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The Garden at Studio Square NYC

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Party-loving beer enthusiasts flock to this 30,000-square-foot beer garden with long, handcrafted communal tables and shady veranda for its DJs and drafts—including 18 American microbrews.

  1. 35-33 36th St, (between 35th and 36th Aves)
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Mission Dolores

  • Price band: 1/4

Exposed brick and reclaimed-wood tables warm up an otherwise sleek-but-cold concrete courtyard at this self-proclaimed “weird beer bar.” Tap options vary among American and European craft pours like Sly Fox and Rodenback Grand Cru, but the decent bourbon selection is key for non-beer imbibers.

  1. 249 Fourth Ave, (between Carroll and President Sts)
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The Narrows

  • Critics choice

Find well-crafted cocktails like the jalapeno- and cucumber-infused Que Bonito ($9) at this approachable, neighborly bar, where the back patio feels like a getaway from the middle of industrial Bushwick. But don’t expect a meal: this is a pre- or post-dinner drinks destination.

  1. 1037 Flushing Ave, (between Morgan Ave and Vandervoort Pl)
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Bierkraft

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Boasting hard-to-find vintage, local, and seasonal brews, this hops emporium easily fuels an afternoon of boozing in its backyard thanks to an overwhelming selection of 1,100 bottles and two sets of 14 taps. 

  1. 191 Fifth Ave, (between Berkeley Pl and Union St)
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Gowanus Yacht Club

  • Price band: 1/4

Garage-sale-meets-fraternity-house décor invites an ironic, scruffy crowd to this humble hangout, but the beer-garden grub delivers: wolf down bockwurst hot off the half-barrel grill and gulp a Dentengem’s Witbier. On chilly nights, a glowing potbellied stove takes the edge off.

  1. Smith St, (at President St)
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Hot Bird

  • Price band: 2/4

The spacious, corner-lot garden at this auto-repair garage turned Clinton Hill craft beer spot beckons sunbathers. Sustain your bronzed bod with smashed burgers, tacos, and other booze-friendly bites from the permanently parked food truck.

  1. 546 Clinton Ave, (at Atlantic Ave)
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Roberta's

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Snag a slice and a seat on this renowned rooftop for a fired-up pizza party with pals, or opt for one of the locally sourced dishes such as linguine carbonara with lamb pancetta during an intimate evening in the garden.

  1. 261 Moore St, (between Bogart and White Sts)
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Blue Ribbon Beer Garden

  • Price band: 2/4

An alfresco adult playground thought-up by the Bromberg brothers offers brews, BBQ and board games (Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation) in this 60-seat beer garden on a second-floor terrace overlooking Allen Street.

  1. 190 Allen St, (between E Houston and Stanton Sts), 10002
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Northern Territory

  • Price band: 1/4

This drinkery from Down Under opens its outdoor bar for warm-weather drinks—including Aussie-bred Foster’s and Cooper’s—and bites from the grill. Go for the garlic shrimp or mint-marinated lamb skewers, or stick to classic pub grub like homemade beef pies.

  1. 12 Franklin St, (at Meserole Ave), 11222
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Crown Victoria Bar

  • Price band: 1/4

The sprawling backyard at this former car repair shop is big enough to hold folks playing Ping-Pong, a permanently-parked taco truck and you and all your tipsy friends–after trying a few of their 24 craft beers on tap (average: $6). Spring and summer Sundays are dedicated to swine lovers with a pig roast that starts at 4pm.

  1. 60 South 2nd St, (between Kent and Wythe Aves)
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Loreley

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Inspired by breweries in Cologne, this beer garden pours German brews like Gaffel Kölsch and Radeberger Pilsner (average pint: $8), plus wines from its namesake region. Slide into the long communal tables for hearty fare such as bratwurst with sauerkraut ($16), schnitzels with fries ($17) and Gouda-infused pretzels ($10). No lederhosen required. 

  1. 7 Rivington St, (between Bowery and Chrystie St), 10002
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Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Endless summer afternoons have been spent at this Astoria beer garden–the oldest one in Gotham–swinging back mugs of cold Beck’s Oktoberfest, Blue Moon and Pilsner Urquell ($6) and listening to live music. The kitchen dishes out Czech specialties like potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce ($10), roasted duck with red cabbage ($22) and fried Muenster with fries ($13).

  1. 29-19 24th Ave, (between 29th and 31st Sts), 11102
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The Strand Smokehouse

  • Price band: 2/4

At this buzzing Astoria BBQ hall, the selection of meats changes daily and can feature dry-rubbed chicken ($6/lb.), baby back ribs, brisket ($16/lb.) and salmon ($20/lb.), served alongside sides like mac and cheese ($5) and cornbread ($2). Craft beers (Greenport Harbor, Blue Point Toasted Lager; pitcher: $23) all come from within 200 miles, while the mood is 100% Queens cool.

  1. 25-31 Broadway, (between 29th and 30th Sts)
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Northern Bell

Chill out at any time of day at this Williamsburg garden, be it for a lunch of bison burger ($16) or a revitalizing brunch of biscuits and gravy ($8) paired with a free mimosa or Bellini. The rotating beer selection features more than 45 brews in bottle and draft, hailing from Japan, Scotland, England and local breweries like Six Point ($6).

  1. 612 Metropolitan Ave, (between Leonard and Lorimer Sts)
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    718-388-9040, northernbellny.com

Gran Electrica

  • Price band: 2/4

Sunny weather and margaritas are a match made in heaven, and the cucumber version (with Pueblo Viejo tequila, $12) at this DUMBO Mexican joint is the perfect example. Nurse your hangover at their ivy-covered backyard with peekytoe crab tostadas ($13), chilaquiles with salsa verde ($12) and the most magical cure of all: a michelada made with Tecate, Valentina hot sauce and clamato juice ($11).

  1. 5 Front St, (between Dock and Old Fulton Sts), 11201
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Bar San Miguel

  • Price band: 1/4

Mexico’s quaint town of San Miguel de Allende is the inspiration behind this knickknack-filled joint, serving specialties like chile relleno ($9), empanadas filled with Oaxaca cheese ($9) and tortilla soup ($7). Choose from 100 different tequilas or refreshing cocktails ($9) like the house margarita (with blanco tequila, Combier, agave nectar and lime) and sip the afternoon away under the Brooklyn sky.

  1. 307 Smith St, (between Carroll and Union Sts), 11231
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Radegast Hall & Biergarten

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Not a quiet afternoon goes by at this popular Williamsburg hangout, always buzzing with the sound of live music (everything from jazz to polka) and the clinking of pitchers ($18-$27) filled with German, Czech and Belgian beers. Head to the grill for a sizzling Black Angus burger ($12) or smoked polish kielbasa ($10), or try a plate of Hungarian goulash and dumplings ($17). 

  1. 113 North 3rd St, (at Berry St)
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The Woods

  • Price band: 1/4

Grab your mandatory summer tiki quaffs at this chill backyard, where options include a ginger mai tai ($10) and the Beach Bum (bourbon, pineapple and Chambord; $10), plus frozen margaritas and mojitos ($8). Of course, you can always stick to the classics and sip on their beloved Tecate-and-tequila combo ($6). The Williamsburg joint is now also home to Smorgasburg staple Landhaus, dishing out eclectic bites like jalapeño-cheddar hushpuppies ($6), spare ribs with crushed peanuts ($10) and their classic maple bacon on a stick ($3).

  1. 48 South 4th St, (between Kent and Wythe Aves)
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t.b.d. Brooklyn

  • Price band: 2/4

Make yourself at home at this neighborhood bar, where the garden grill is fired up every weekend for cooking up hot dogs ($3), brat sandwiches ($7) and grilled corn on the cob with sriracha mayo ($4). On weekdays, happy hour runs from 4 to 7pm—head over for $4 pints of any of their 12 draft beers like Empire White Aphro and Brooklyn Lager.

  1. 224 Franklin St, (at Green St)
More info

The Courtyard Ale House

With nine flat-screen TVs, this Sunnyside watering hole is a favorite for sports enthusiasts, but its covered patio makes the appeal universal, as do their 24 beers on tap like Allagash White ($6) and Blue Point Toasted Lager ($5.50). If your microscopic apartment lacks grilling space, book the back room for a BYOBBQ party. 

  1. 40-18 Queens Blvd, (between 40th and 41st Sts), 11104
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Astoria BrewHouse

There’s always an excuse to head to this neighborhood watering hole, whether it’s the comedy shows on Wednesdays or the karaoke nights on Fridays. Need more convincing? On weekdays, their happy hour runs from 11am to 7pm and includes $4 selected imported pints, $5 house wines and $7 mojitos. 

  1. 28-50 31st St, (at 30th Ave), 11102
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Central Station

Long picnic tables line the backyard of this Bushwick joint, where the menu by chef Joe Vigorito (L’Artusi, Dell’Anima) features hummus toast with garlic and ichimi togorashi ($6), a fried cod sandwich ($16) and mozzarella grilled cheese with tomato jam and arugula ($12). The weekday happy hour from 5pm to 8pm offers $4 draft beers (Founders IPA) and $6 wines and well cocktails (vodka soda, gin and tonic).

  1. 84 Central Avenue (between Melrose and Jefferson Sts)
    Bushwick, Brooklyn
    718-483-9884, centralstationnyc.com

Zum Schneider

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

You might ask à la South Park, “What the fuck is a Bavarian beer garden doing in Alphabet City?” Upon entering, you’d have your answer: It’s schvimming mit kustomers. Inside, you’ll find a dozen German brews on tap, four in the bottle and a guy in a ski suit doing the chicken dance near the bar. If that gets too raucous, the sidewalk tables make for a lively, albeit less cacophonous, setting for hoisting steins.

  1. 107–109 Ave C, (at 7th St)
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Habana Outpost

  • Price band: 1/4

Open seasonally (beginning in the spring), solar-powered Habana Outpost gives your al fresco an eco edge: Its initiatives include rainwater flush toilets and the use of sugarcane and corn utensils. While the food—well-executed rice and beans, grilled Mexican quesadillas—and frozen drinks (margarita, mojito) are reasons enough for a visit, on weekends little ones can also partake in supervised, eco-friendly projects. 

  1. 757 Fulton St, (at South Portland Ave)
More info


Users say

1 comments
stacey b
stacey b

Missed a new one in Clinton Hill: Peck's on Myrtle