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Photograph: Time Out/Ali GarberJuliana's

Great NYC bars for outdoor dining

Get the most out of summer in NYC with this handy guide to these excellent bars with alfresco dining

Written by Time Out. Paid for by Stella Artois
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New York City has never seen a summer like this one, but New Yorkers aren’t going to let 2020 bring us down. With taking care of each other as our top priority, we can still do what New Yorkers do best: Go out. Safely, of course. 

Open city streets have allowed the small bars and restaurants that make New York such an exceptional city to create their own versions of outdoor dining with often coveted outdoor space. And with the city outside this summer, following months of strictly staying inside, you know that people watching, eavesdropping and those only-in-New-York moments have more potential than ever.

In true New York form, hospitality staff is also hustling more than ever—running between socially distant outdoor tables and indoor kitchens in the city humidity. Be patient. Be kind. Tip more generously than you think you should, and consider even arriving with a case of beer or special gift for the kitchen. 

This curated list of bars to enjoy this summer is created in partnership with Stella Artois, which you can enjoy one at each of the below venues. Cheers! 

1. Black Horse Pub – 568 5th Ave

An outdoor tented pub extension, plus umbrella shaded sidewalk tables, have expanded the summer potential of this neighborhood sports bar. Comfort food is key at this cornerside spot: Gooey mozzarella sticks, macaroni baked with three cheeses and bacon, and a beloved tomato soup with grilled cheese dipping strips. Community is the Black Horse’s best feature, so don’t feel shy about waving or chatting with neighbors at a safe, masked distance.

Juliana’s – 19 Old Fulton St
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

2. Juliana’s – 19 Old Fulton St

One of the last coal-fired pizzerias in New York City, Juliana’s is a relic worth visiting for excellent pizzas in this historic summer, because who isn’t in need of a saucy pick-me-up? When the restaurant is open, join the online waitlist for outdoor dining with excellent views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. If you can’t get a highly coveted seat, takeout is a satisfactory option to eat an entire pie (no slices) in the grass overlooking the East River.

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3. Ulysses Folk House

A popular pub named after the epic James Joyce novel isn’t a terrible place to sit outside and read the classics, but ideally, you’ll have a drinking buddy for a pint and some hearty pub fare. Cheeseburgers and cheese toasties are on the outdoor menu, but perhaps nothing pairs better with a frosty pint than fish and chips straight out of the fryer.

Phebes – 361 Bowery
Photograph: @findbestspots

4. Phebes – 361 Bowery

A mainstay of NYU students and recent downtown transplants, this bar known for raging well into the early hours of the morning has adapted well to pandemic life. Sit down at new streetside tables for optimal people watching, sip a cold refreshing drink, balanced with a crispy bacon topped burger and spicy buffalo wings.

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5. Anable Basin – 4-40 44th Dr

Once a well-kept secret amongst locals who escaped to this waterside restaurant for a weekend retreat, this Long Island City hangout has become a hotspot. Catch a refreshing breeze off the East River while eating backyard-style summer favorites, like corn on the cob, hot dogs and burgers. Those bored of the cookout standards can also pair their beers with globally influenced sausages: Chorizo, kielbasa, and chevapi, a Balkan beef and veal sausage served with ajvar, a zingy red pepper sauce.

Greenwood Park – 555 7th Ave
Photograph: Courtesy Greenwood Park

6. Greenwood Park – 555 7th Ave

This former gas station is the ideal spot for outdoor socializing, with tables on the expansive lot available for reservations. Wood-fired personal pies go down well with Greenwood Park’s extensive beverage list, as do finger foods like chicken fingers, loaded nachos, and risotto balls. Come during the day for umbrella shaded seating, and stay until sundown for a dreamy summer ambiance illuminated by tiny bobble lights.

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7. PJ Clarke’s

If you’re in the mood to overindulge, PJ Clarke’s is your spot. Both the Lincoln Square and Midtown East location offer spacious outdoor dining and drinking with outstanding hospitality, intrinsic to the 135-year-old restaurant’s identity. A multicourse meal is always a good idea here, starting with plump shrimp cocktail or warm lobster cobb salad, to warm you up for the main attraction of juicy, gourmet burgers, served with a side of well salted fries. You’ll want a beer on hand, in the best way possible.

Brewski’s – 3718 E Tremont Ave
Photograph: Courtesy Brewski's Bar & Grill

8. Brewski’s – 3718 E Tremont Ave

Backyard picnic tables on Brewski’s outdoor beer garden create a perfect socially distant space for summer hangs and sports nights. A twenty-foot projection screen viewable across the space projects baseball games, while fans can chow down on stadium-appropriate concessions, like loaded waffle fries, chicken tenders, and spicy fried chicken sandwiches. A newly launched Brewski’s To Go shop also lets regulars support the spot with merch, food and plenty of cold beer for pickup.

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9. Bar Tabac – 128 Smith St

As close to France as most Americans are getting in the near future, this charming bistro could almost be in Paris, right down to the outdoor wicker chairs and traditional French menu. Treat yourself to hearty dishes counterintuitive to a summer day, but oh so comforting: Onion soup with a cheesy crust, warm lentil salad dressed with spicy mustard, and steamed mussels with French fries. Stopping by for a charcuterie and cheese plate and a cold beverage is also a nice option.

Read more about Stella range and find your nearest Stella seller here.

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