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Top Five Beer Gardens

From bock to wurst: Beer gardens where more than buds bloom.

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‘Beer and wurst is fun, specially when outdoors done,” reads the sign at East Village biergarten Zum Schneider. And who are we to argue? We’re too busy soaking up the intermittent sunshine and the Reissdorf Koelsch at local biergartens from the 59th Street Bridge to Brooklyn.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria
(718-274-4925)

This Czech cultural center isn’t a memorial to Ginsberg and Kerouac, but they undoubtedly would have dug it. The Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria maintains the stucco-walled grounds and the extensive taps, from which flow a variety of Czech and German beers. If the prospect of lifting a stein in the shade of a leafy oak isn’t enough to lure you to Queens, a kielbasa cookout might be.

Gowanus Yacht Club
323 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (no phone)

The F train deposits salty skippers and their mates right outside the fenced-in patio of a Carroll Gardens bagel store, where the main draws are cheap beer, grilled dogs, and air as fresh as it gets this close to the Gowanus Canal.

Guastavino’s
409 East 59th Street
(212-980-2455)

If you spy a lederhosen-clad accordionist loitering at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge some Wednesday evening, he’s not a lost tourist—he’s the entertainment at Guastavino’s new biergarten. Nostalgic for his college days, or in pursuit of customers who are, chef Daniel Orr has installed a keg on the manicured terrace, where he’s also serving a wiener schnitzel sandwich with German potato salad.

Hallo Berlin
626 Tenth Avenue, near 45th Street
(212-977-1944)

This branch of New York’s self-proclaimed “wurst restaurant” celebrates summer by unfurling the beer-company umbrellas in the backyard, where locals wash down wienerwurst, knockwurst, and other unseasonably hearty but tasty German fare with a respectable selection of German brews.

Zum Schneider
107-109 Avenue C
(212-598-1098)

Indoors and out, with fake tree branches hugging the ceiling and umbrella’d sidewalk tables, this lively Alphabet City saloon captures the biergarten spirit with blonde-fraulein waitresses, hard and soft pretzels, and thirst-quenching hefeweizen on tap.


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