It seems as though New York City has come down with a serious case of beer garden fever. The trend is eating up every possible summer outing with an insatiable appetite, from weekday happy hours to Saturday night pregames, and any other spare second of summer which could be better spent drinking outside. To supplement our lists of best outdoor bars and best rooftop bars in a city that’s earned its few short months of summer, we present one more list to help you avoid the indoors: the best beer gardens in NYC.
Best Beer Garden in NYC: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
29-19 24th Avenue | Astoria, NY 11106
The feeling you get when you step out into the Bohemian Beer Garden on a sunny afternoon is one you can’t expect to get from any other beer garden in New York City. It’s a feeling that comes from a full century of operation, 100 years of visitors (and returning visitors) all looking for some delicious Czech food, a round or two of Pilsner, and a day spent in the company of family and friends. The history behind the Bohemian Beer Garden distinguishes it from so many other venues in New York City who think that opening their back doors and lining the space with picnic tables qualifies them as a “beer garden” in New York City. But the people know the difference. After years of business, the place still draws heavy crowds of visitors, both young and old, any time the weather is nice or when there’s live music to be heard (Thursdays and Saturdays).
Best Beer Garden in NYC: Studio Square
35-33 36th Street | Astoria, NY 11106
While the Bohemian Beer Garden attracts day drinkers with its old world charm, Studio Square offers a modern take on the century-old tradition. It’s still the same simple concept –long picnic tables and pitchers of exotic beers – only they’ve traded the rustic indoor hall for a sleek bar ornamented with plasma TVs, and expanded the menu beyond klobasa and potato salad to include nachos and even sushi. (Not gonna lie, the spicy tuna was better than you’d expect from a beer garden). Pitchers of sangria provide a nice alternative to beer, although I wouldn’t recommend starting a game of flip cup with the guys at the end of the table if that’s your drink of choice.
Best Beer Garden in NYC: Berry Park
4 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
New York City loves roof decks, New York City loves beer gardens, and most of all New York City loves multi-tasking. Berry Park Beer Garden in Williamsburg has capitalized on our weaknesses as New Yorkers by bringing us a place where all three come together. That’s right – a beer garden on the roof (and with a nice view of McCarren Park, at that). This Brooklyn beer-garden-slash-rooftop opened just last August, and is already busy this season doing what all beer gardens do best –serve beer and air the World Cup. It wouldn’t make our list of the best beer gardens in New York City if it didn’t boast an extensive list of exotic beers to try (there are 16 on tap, if you want specifics). They also bring in live bands and DJs, but we’ll let you look into that on your own; the simplicity of this beer garden is what we love most about it, so there’s no need to overcomplicate.
Best Beer Garden in NYC: The Standard Beer Garden
848 Washington Street | New York, NY 10003
Tucked beneath the High Line and cornered by red brick walls, a vacant patio (spacious by Manhattan’s standards) packs a happy hour crowd eager to start their weekend off with a nice beer buzz. We've just learned from Eater that The Standard Beer Garden is looking to expand its space to include most of the adjacent sidewalk. But even now, with less than half the capacity of Astoria’s beer gardens, The Standard Beer Garden still makes room for picnic tables, plastic chairs, and ping-pong tables – saving room, of course, for a couple hundred guests looking to chill out with a beer in the casual space or drink up and challenge someone to a tipsy game of ping pong. If you get hungry, the NYC beer garden serves up German delights, including hearty sausages. We’re pretty fond of the jumbo soft pretzels – between these treats and the ping pong tables, the Standard Beer Garden earns it’s spot on our list of the best beer gardens in NYC.
Best Beer Garden in NYC: Loreley Williamsburg
64 Frost Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
Lorely Williamsburg is the newest biergarten to hit New York City’s outdoor bar scene, expanding the well-known LES Loreley into Brooklyn. The outdoor space, formerly occupied by a gas station, opened on Wednesday night with a bang by handing out free glasses of Gaffel Koelsch beer to the first 100 guests to arrive (2/3 of the venue’s 150-person capacity). The venue serves 12 different German beers on tap and an additional five bottled types. Owner Michael Momm knew exactly what he was doing by launching Loreley Williamsburg just in time for the World Cup. The venue will be airing games live and supplementing their extensive menu of German dishes with pretzel-dough “soccer rolls” filled with meats representing different participating countries (i.e. pulled pork for the US and Serrano ham for Spain). It’s still too soon to tell what Loreley will bring to Williamsburg, but an ever-growing fascination with beer gardens has us all hoping for its success.