Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Drink in the Open Air

Fifteen sublime outdoor spots.


Zum Schneider's curbside beer garden.  

186 Ave. B, nr. 12th St.; 212-254-6047
Outdoor hours: Mon.–Sat. 6–11:30 p.m., Sun. 5:30–10:30 p.m.
This wine bar’s small, hidden garden is a Lower East Side anomaly with its anti-grunge ambience and clientele. Wine enthusiasts will appreciate the creative list with ten wines served by the quartino for $10 to $12. Even during peak evening hours, it’s possible to secure a wicker chair, kick back, and smell the ferns and the puttanesca sauce wafting from the kitchen.

98˝ Pacific St., nr. Smith St., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-935-1294
Outdoor hours: Mon.–Thurs. 4 p.m.–midnight, Fri. 4 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat. 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sun. 3 p.m.–midnight
The redneck-chic fish-camp aesthetic of this outdoor-only bar attracts Brooklynites who don’t mind the Raconteurs cranked on high, cocktails served in plastic cups, or picnic-table seating. Drink specials ($6) are determined by a wheel of fortune spun every hour. Plan your visit around the two peak periods—one at 7:30, and another at eleven (after the restaurants on Smith Street close). But you can often fit in a few friends as long as you don’t mind sitting with strangers.

107 Ave. C, at 7th St.; 212-598-1098
Outdoor hours: Nightly 5–11 p.m., Fri. opens at 4 p.m., Sat.–Sun. opens at 1 p.m.
Although the “biergarten” is actually situated on a sunny Alphabet City sidewalk, German drinking spirit translates to the cramped, cacophonous outdoor tables. Purists approve of the humongous one-liter-size beer mugs ($10 to $14) and pork-heavy menu. Reservations are not accepted for parties smaller than ten (and not at all on weekend nights), making for substantial waits during dinnertime as the crowd lazes away the evening drinking and eating.

757 Fulton St., at S. Portland Ave., Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-858-9500
Outdoor hours: Daily noon to midnight, closed Tuesday
Here, $2.50 pints of locally brewed Six Point beer wash down Cuban sandwiches ($7.25) and sweet plantains ($3). The no-frills concrete drinking lot is powered by an array of solar panels, and the smoothie blender gets its energy from a stationary bike. All this draws a fun, kid-friendly crowd at lunch and dinner. The Saturday-afternoon flea market and Sunday-night movie screenings ensure there is no downtime.

2 Lexington Ave., at 21st St.; 212-920-3300
Summer hours: Sun.–Tues. 6:30 a.m.–midnight; Wed.–Sat. 6:30 a.m.–2 a.m.
Strictly for guests (and virtuosic gate-crashers), the stunning rooftop facility wraps around three sides of Ian Schrager’s latest painfully cool hotel. If the skyline view isn’t enough, there’s the lush garden and its fashionable creatures. When the weather turns, a roof unfurls. Those who want in, beware: The drinks ($15 for a cosmo), much like the hotel’s rooms (from $545), will cost you.

The Delancy's rooftop bar.  

168 Delancey St., nr. Clinton St.; 212-254-9920
Outdoor hours: 5 p.m.–4 a.m.
The roof deck of this Lower East Side club follows a jungle theme, with dramatic spotlights accenting bamboo stalks and palm trees. Bartenders dispense bottled beer and mixed drinks in plastic cups—it’s up to you to source a table and chairs, which are scarce on weekend nights, despite the $10 cover charge and reservation policy. The good-looking crowd of singles dances when the music pumps, though they rarely notice the up-close view of the Williamsburg Bridge.

455 Myrtle Ave., nr. Washington Ave. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; 718-643-7001
Outdoor hours: Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–midnight.
This restaurant’s adorable garden is like a North Carolina grandmother’s backyard: There’s comfort food on the menu and toddlers running about (as the swarm of strollers out front suggests). If you get there between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. you can catch the two-for-one draft-beer and house-wine special. The tasty summer mixed drinks, including margaritas and spiked frozen lemonades, range from $4 to $9.

10 Hope St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-7191
Outdoor hours: Mon.–Fri. 3 p.m.–4 a.m., Sat.–Sun. 2 p.m.–4 a.m.
Bypass the Pottery Barn style of Hope Lounge for its large concrete outdoor space that’s appointed with cushioned chairs and umbrella tables and is rarely oversubscribed. The bar has eight drafts on tap and cocktails so fruity they may actually be nutritious. Berries, apples, oranges, and grapes garnish the $7 pint of fresh sangria, while cocktails like the cherry margarita, and frozen piña colada (both $10) are equally fruit-forward. The bar occasionally rents the patio, so call in advance to make sure it’s open.

Water Taxi Beach's sandy bar.  

Hunters Point, Long Island City, entrance on Borden Ave. at 2nd St.; no phone
Outdoor hours: Officially Wed.–Fri. 4 p.m.–midnight, Sat. noon–midnight, Sun. 1 p.m.–midnight
Four hundred tons of trucked-in sand, spectacular views of midtown, and swimsuit-clad boys and girls—these are the rewards for finding your way to the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City. A rotating cast of D.J.’s and frozen cocktails ($7.50) simulate a Cancún vacation—sans swimming, which is forbidden. At night, the beach often gets packed, resulting in buzz-negating lines at the bar and portable toilets.

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift