Best bars for day-drinking: outdoor bars where you can hang out

You’ll find plenty of seats and easy-drinking beers at our favorite NYC bars for day-drinking

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During summertime, there are few better ways to spend an afternoon than at a bar with some friends, killing a couple of hours during a day-drinking session. We’ve picked five of the best bars for day-drinking in NYC, using two simple criteria: the bars must have plenty of outdoor space, and they must have a good selection of low-alcohol beers.

RECOMMENDED: Best summer drinks in NYC

The Diamond

The Diamond Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Diamond

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Summer boozing requires a few specific elements: chiefly, an outdoor space where you and some friends can hang out, and enough low-alcohol beers to keep you pleasantly buzzed, but not drunk. Take the Diamond: Not only does this Greenpoint bar have a lovely backyard, complete with a gondola repurposed for seating, but it also offers plenty of session beers with an ABV of 5 percent or less. While higher-alcohol quaffs are available, we suggest sticking with the lighter brews: 21st Amendment’s Bitter American ($6) is a tasty choice, and won’t leave your head spinning at the end of the day.

  1. 43 Franklin St, (between Calyer and Quay Sts)
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4th Ave Pub

4th Ave Pub Photograph: Marlene Rounds

Fourth Avenue Pub

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The necessary ingredients for summer day-drinking can also be found at Park Slope’s Fourth Avenue Pub: While the beer list isn’t specifically focused on session brews, low-ABV options include drafts from Smuttynose, Victory and Captain Lawrence. As for the outdoor space, there are plenty of picnic tables in the high-walled back garden, along with a few metal tables and chairs.

  1. 76 Fourth Ave, (between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl)
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Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria

Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria Photograph: Jennifer Arnow

SingleCut Beersmiths

  • Price band: 2/4

Good news: In April, the much-lauded Queens brewery opened a sidewalk beer garden at its Astoria taproom, with plenty of benches and room for drinking. SingleCut debuted just last winter, but has already built a devoted following thanks to its inventive brews (with a focus on lagers). And happily, many of those beers—particularly the 18-Watt IPA ($6) and the flagship 19-33 Lagrrr! ($4)—are sessionable, making them perfect alfresco drinking companions.

  1. 19-33 37th St, (between 19th and 20th Aves), 11105
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Hot bird

Hot bird Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Hot Bird

  • Price band: 2/4

Inevitably, it will rain this summer, which is why a bar like Hot Bird—with large indoor and outdoor spaces—is good to have around. But the watering hole, built in a former auto-body shop facing Atlantic Avenue, is best experienced on a sunny day, when you can crowd around picnic tables on the expansive patio and sip drafts from Left Hand and Full Sail ($6–$7). Plus, the happy hour—Mon–Thu 5–8pm and Fri 4–8pm, with $4 pints and $1 off well drinks—has some of the best deals in town.

  1. 546 Clinton Ave, (at Atlantic Ave)
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Bohemian Hall and Biergarten

Bohemian Hall and Biergarten Photograph: Gabriela Herman

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

There are a number of reasons why this bierhaus, open for more than a century, is a perennial summer favorite: Seating is plentiful, the drink list features a fair share of low-alcohol brews, and traditional Czech food is available to soak up some of that booze. Expect crowds (including families) during the day—but the shaded backyard is so roomy that you’ll hardly notice.

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