Our 10 Best Bars for Drinking Outside


On this fine Friday, we turn our thoughts to bars where you can drink outdoors. We’ve gathered up our 10 favorite places to enjoy an adult beverage in the sun, and hope you’ll be inspired to sneak out of work early today to check one out.

The focus is on places that are primarily drinking establishments, since restaurants with outdoor seating are another kettle of fish. And this list isn’t about which place has the best beer selection, or the best value (although we’ve tried to take those things into consideration) — it’s about the quality of the bar’s outdoor space. You can’t get too worked up about a mediocre sauvignon blanc if the view is mind-bending.

So we’ve got your rooftops, your backyard gardens, your riverside perches. As always, a list of 10 is sure to have left out some worthy candidates, so let us know what we’ve missed.

Winners 10 through five, right this way …

10. Sycamore Bar (Bar-slash-florist has a secluded backyard garden.) 1118 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, 347-240-5850

9. Iona (Large, leafy back garden strung with lights, plus ping-pong.) 180 Grand Street, Brooklyn, 718-384-5008

8. 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe (Outdoor bar and cafe situated right on the Hudson, overlooking docks. Best at sunset; open summers only.) 79th Street and the Hudson River, 212-496-5542

7. Alma (The food is terrible, but snag a drink and a table on the roof for an incredible, so-close-you-could-touch-it view of the downtown skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. If they make you order something, get guacamole.) 187 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, 718-643-5400

6. The Standard Beer Garden (Large outdoor beer garden underneath the High Line with ping-pong tables and excellent people-watching. “Clop-clop-clop,” say the stilettos on the cobblestones.) 848 Washington Street, 212-645-4646


5. Spuyten Duyvil (Spacious, leafy backyard garden.) 359 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, 718-963-4140

4. 230 Fifth (A little chichi for us, but the power of a great skyline view can’t be denied. The huge roof deck here offers a panorama of the city.)

3. The Frying Pan at Pier 66 Maritime (An 80-year-old salvaged lightship moored to a 64-year-old renovated railroad barge, floating in the Hudson. With a bar.) 26th Street and the West Side Highway

2. Me Bar (The drinks are nothing special, but the patio is like a suburban porch that happens to be situated directly under the Empire State Building. On a humid night, the skyscraper’s lights glow eerily above, putting you in mind of Gotham. ) La Quinta Inn, 17 West 32nd Street, 212-290-2460

1. Bohemian Beer Garden (A classic: The sprawling, verdant Czech beer garden is celebrating its 100th birthday.) 2919 24th Avenue, Queens, 718-274-4925

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.