There’s a time and a place for day drinking. The time is generally the day, and the places are the ones on this guide. Here are the spots where you can get a daytime drink and not feel like you’re hiding from a loan shark. For the most part, these bars A) open relatively early and B) have outdoor seating. And if a bar on this list doesn’t have outdoor seating, it should at least have a few big windows through which you can possibly get some vitamin D. Take a look at this list, and find your new go-to spot for drinking during the day.
Sweet and Vicious isn’t the sort place you bring someone to prove that you’re a person of substance who can do classy things, but we like it anyway. It’s a divey space, but it’s big, there are plenty of seats, and the drinks are relatively cheap (for Soho). Also, they open at noon every day. We wouldn’t recommend you come here in the daytime and drink inside (that might be sad), but if it’s nice out, the backyard is a perfectly good place to drink a strong frozen margarita out of a mason jar.
The Blind Tiger opens at 11:30am every day. We aren’t saying you should go there at 11:30am, but it’s kind of comforting to know that you can. Plus, there’s an excellent beer selection, and this place is one of the least-touristy bars you’ll find on Bleecker Street. Stop by the next time you’re giving someone a tour of the West Village and you need to take a breather. It’s a good spot to hang with a small group of friends, and it also has sports on TV.
The Pod 39 rooftop opens at 2pm every day, so if the sun’s out, and you’re in Murray Hill, and there’s nothing remotely urgent you have to do, you should probably just get a drink here. If you come during the daytime, you might even be able to avoid the crowds (unless it’s a weekend), and they also serve some food. Plus, the roof looks great (with little wooden stools and brick arches), and it’s hands-down one of the least-worst places to drink in the area.
We don’t have an Outdoor Greatest Hits list, but if we did, Lavender Lake would be on it. This is a classic outdoor-hang spot in Gowanus, and on Fridays (and Saturdays and Sundays) they open at noon. You probably don’t work very much on Fridays in the summer, so you might as well come here and get your weekend started. Grab a table out back and eat a burger. And feel free to bring your friends (there’s plenty of space). Just know that it gets crowded in the late afternoon.
Once a month you have the same dream: It’s you in a field, chasing butterflies and rabbits and all the other animals that live in fields. What’s it mean? Probably that you should come here. Nowadays is a big outdoor bar in Ridgewood with a bunch of trees and picnic tables and even a little bit of grass. They also host the dance party called Mister Sunday on Sunday afternoons, and they now have an indoor space where you can drink when it rains.
Brooklyn Barge is the premier outdoor drinking spot in Greenpoint, and it’s even worth a little trip if you don’t live in the area. Because if you try to hang out on a boat in Manhattan, it’s either going to feel like a frat party or someone’s going to yell at you and tell you to stop trespassing on their boat. Brooklyn Barge, on the other hand, is just a nice low-key place to drink outdoors. Stop by, have a beer and a hot dog, and pretend this boat is somewhere other than the East River.
Upright Brew House is a craft beer bar in the West Village that feels less like a bar and more like a really nice coffee shop. It isn’t the least bit grimey, which means you can drink here during the daytime without feeling like a fugitive or Charles Bukowski. They also have a dining room in the back where you can eat some pub food like fish & chips or burger, and there’s a little patio out front for outdoor drinking.
Are you one of those people who constantly talks about their dog? Here’s a bar for you. It’s called Lucky Dog and you can, in fact, bring your dog here. So you won’t have to tell people how worried you are about your Mini Frenchi while you drink. Hang out inside and have one of the many beers on tap, or head out back and let your dog play with other dogs and maybe get you a date. This isn’t the nicest bar in the world, but it’s a novelty and a Williamsburg staple.
Spitzer’s is a little gastropub on a busy corner of Rivington Street, and it’s a good weekday day-drinking option in the LES. The big windows let in a lot light, and, when it’s warm out, they open them up, so it’s almost like you’re sitting outside. You aren’t going to impress anyone with this place, but if you need to catch up with someone (and maybe eat something) in the early afternoon, it’s a perfectly acceptable option.
The patio situation here is truly one of the best in the East Village, and it’s where you should go to drink rosé like it’s lime juice and your doctor just told you that you have scurvy. Just get a table outside, pretend you aren’t eavesdropping on the people around you, order some drinks (and French fries), and watch the less-day-drunk pedestrians walk down Bowery. Seeing as how this place is in the bottom of a hotel, you can start hanging out here as early as 7am. If they serve you alcohol that early, please take a photo and tag us.
You aren’t going to get any sun or fresh air at Royal Palms, but it still sort of feels like you’re outside here. The space is huge, the whole place is retro-pool-party themed, and there are bunch of full-size shuffleboard courts. They tend to fill up pretty fast, but you can reserve them for groups of ten or more, and there are a lot of board games you can rent while you wait for a court. Royal Palms is only open during the day on Saturdays and Sundays, but it’s a classic daytime birthday spot.
If Royal Palms is just too full, however, you can always try Threes Brewing. There’s no shuffleboard here, but there is a big backyard, and they have food like burgers and steak (from The Meat Hook). Threes opens at noon on weekends, and it’s perfect for either a big group hang or an outing with your kids. You can have a beer, and they can have some French fries.
From the outside, this place looks the sort of place that’s been open since the 70s where you can eat free peanuts and watch a bar fight. But it isn’t actually like that. It might not be the fanciest place in the East Village, but D.B.A. does have a surprisingly large craft beer selection as well as an excellent backyard. Plus, they open at noon seven days a week. So the backyard is a good place to hide if you decide to leave work early on account of your not wanting to be there.
Bearded Lady has a lot going for it, and if you live in Prospect Heights, it should be your go-to day-drinking spot. In the summer, they put a few tables outside where you can sit and drink a (very good) house cocktail, and if it’s raining you can stay inside and play pool. There’s only one pool table, but that’s more than most bars. Overall, this place feels like a vaguely retro cocktail lounge, although it’s extremely casual. They also have some big windows that let in plenty of light, so you won’t feel like a vampire or a vampire-culture enthusiast if you come here in the afternoon.