The best events for Oktoberfest in NYC

Here’s where to drink beer, dance Oompah and feast on delicious German grub during the annual festival
Photograph: Courtesy Radegast Hall & Biergarten
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Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest in NYC isn’t just about the beer. There are mug-holding competitions, traditional Oompah dancing and plenty of places to feast on authentic German cuisine. While the weather is still breezy and bearable, hit some of the city’s best beer gardens and boat parties for three smashing weekends of fun. This celebration fo German culture is certainly one of the best things to do in fall, so don't miss out!

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do for Oktoberfest NYC

Best Oktoberfest events

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Things to do

Oktoberfest in Central Park

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Strap on those lederhosen—really, people will be wearing them—and head to this German wunderland. When the display of intricate Karneval costumes and the cheerful Austrian tunes during New York’s Steuben Parade end, quench your thirst with pitchers of Bavarian brews (Hofbräu, Erdinger), and cheers to lively sets from Spitze! and the Polka Brothers. Wunderbar! Tickets are already sold out (omigod), but more tickets tend to drop closer to the event date, so get ready!

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Oktoberfest at Bierhause NYC
Things to do

Oktoberfest at Bierhaus NYC

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Enjoy the suds-soaked festivities at this midtown beer hall, which is hosting the after-party for the 60th German-American Steuben Parade. Enjoy the Spanferkel (a German pig roast), featuring other thematic bites such as sauerkraut and soft pretzels imported from Germany. The salty snacks will complement five Hofbräu drafts, like Dunkel and Hefe Weizen all of which can be ordered two liters at a time in “Das Boot.”

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Things to do

Watermark Oktoberfest

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Escape to Munich without ever leaving NYC thanks to Watermark’s annual Oktoberfest extravaganza on Pier 15. You’ll get a killer arm workout while carrying one-liter steins ($16) filled to the brim with Hofbrau, Weihenstephan or Radeberger beer (and that means you won’t have to feel too guilty about gorging on German cuisine such as brats and pretzels). While you’re munching and getting tipsy, enjoy amazing views along the East River. Make sure to reserve your spot or book the two-hour tasting before you go.

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Photographer: Noemie Wurtz
Things to do, Festivals

Oktoberfest Under the Manhattan Bridge

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The Dumbo Business Improvement District is throwing down under the Manhattan Bridge with crafts, food and music for this epic Oktoberfest celebration. Enter a pop-up beer hall replete with lederhosen-clad servers delivering brews, pretzels, brats and more from the Lighthouse. Get ready to gorge on classic German fare, and jam out to polka music by Melina and the Oompahs, Street Beat Brass and The Polka Brothers. Prost!

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Photograph: Courtesy Jonathan McPhail Photography
Things to do

Munich on the East River

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Bavarian bier haus Zum Schneider brings Oktoberfest to the East River, where a German-speaking staff—outfitted in lederhosen—serves liter steins of Oktoberfest suds while a slew of snack stands hawk cotton candy, gingerbread and brezel. There will be live music provided by Mösl Franzi and the JaJaJa's as well as special guests throughout the event. DJ Volka Racho will keep the haus rocking between sets.

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Photograph: Courtesy Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Bars, Pubs

Radegast Hall & Biergarten Oktoberfest

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This Brooklyn beer tavern kick-starts the Oktoberfest celebrations with a pig roast, live music from polka bands, mug-holding competitions and celebratory keg tappings and three kegs flown in from Germany. You can order bratwurst and kraut from Radegast at anytime (we see you, grill man), but there will be a special Oktoberfest themed menu available for the next six weeks.

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Photograph: Courtesy Hudson's
Bars

Hudson's

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

Celebrate Oktoberfest on the water aboard Hudson's 160-foot yacht during the nautical drinking joint's open bar cruise. (That's right, we said open bar.) For two hours, you and your crew get to glug unlimited brews including pumpkin beer, rosé cider and more for the cool price of $40. Book your cruise here.

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Restaurants, Austrian

Loreley

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Billed as “the mother of all Oktoberfests,” this month-and-a-half–long celebration includes drink specials ($2 off half-liters, and $14 liter steins) and fun events such as a Sausage Fest, during which guests sample 12 kinds of meat, plus a Haunted Beer Garden Halloween Party (Oct 31) with an all-day happy hour. Definitely go on Saturday 16—there will be a free pig roast during Loreley’s kickoff shindig. Sept 16–Oct 31 at various times; admission free.

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Restaurants, Gastropubs

Paulaner

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

For six Saturdays, this brewpub is hosting one of the most traditional Oktoberfest bashes in NYC, equipped with Bavarian grub like veggie spaetzle and wiener schnitzel. On Saturday 16, head to the Lower East Side watering hole at 6pm to watch notable “Citizen Mayor” Bryan Woody (general manager of private membership club Spring Place) get the party started after he taps the keg—a German Oktoberfest tradition since 1810. Paulaner is brewed under a strict German purity law called reinheitsgebot, so the suds will be as fresh and authentic as if you were drinking in Munich. Sept 16, Sept 23, Sept 30, Oct 7, Oct 14, Oct 21 at various times; admission free.

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NORTH RIVER LOBSTER CO. exterior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Seafood

North River Lobster Company

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

Not a fan of bratwurst, but love a good lobster roll? Well, you can have your grub of choice without sacrificing those irresistible Oktoberfest beer specials at Pier 81. North River Lobster Company is offering a month-long deal in honor of the German holiday: get the beer of the day for $5 or a bucket of beer for $20.

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Things to do

Oktoberfest Cruise

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Brought to beer lovers by Circle Line Sightseeing as an upgrade to the usual Dayliner route to Bear Mountain, the two-and-a-half hour Oktoberfest Cruise up the Hudson gives gorgeous views of New York's natural beauty through sightseeing windows while guests dine on classic German food and beer. All the staples are covered, with traditional Bavarian pretzels and choice of two plates: a Schaller & Weber bratwurst or thin-pounded pork schnitzel, both served with sauerkraut and warm potato salad. Diners can supplement the meal in the cafe, stocked with salads, sandwiches, snacks and a full bar serving beer, wine and cocktails. While aboard, German oom-pah and polka bands will serenade party cruisers.

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