On a hot summer day, nothing beats nabbing a spot on a great patio (or rooftop or not-so-temporary sidewalk set-up) and drinking a cold beer. Here you’ll find a few of our favorite outdoor spots that promise to deliver everything you need to bask in the New York summer heat - a good vibe, something to eat, and an ice-cold Stella Artois.
Beer Authority is a huge bar across the street from Port Authority in Times Square with a rooftop that doesn’t get as busy as it should (considering the other options in the neighborhood). If you work in the area, use this place as your default choice for outdoor Happy Hour drinks. There’s a great selection of beer, as well as wine and cocktails, and there are lots of big picnic tables on the roof.
The outdoor sidewalk space at Corner Social in Harlem is pretty much always a party - especially on Saturday and Sunday when they have DJs. The menu here consists of dishes like crab cakes, hot chicken, and a green chile cheeseburger you may or may not get on your white shirt.
From the outside, this place looks like a generic pub - but once you’re inside, you’ll feel like you’re in a small English town. It’s dark, with brick walls and little knick-knacks lying around, and if you head out back, you’ll find an outdoor space that’s roughly the size of the bar itself. There’s ping-pong and a bunch of tables, and you can sit beneath the shade of a big tree and appreciate the fact this place isn’t as busy as most other Williamsburg bars.
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but the patio at this Red Hook neighborhood spot is pretty spacious - so this is a great option if you want to hide from any Citi Bikers parading down Van Brunt Street on a weekend afternoon. Come here for bar food like onion rings and Frito pie, as well as BBQ specials like dry-rub spare ribs with mac and cheese.
Looking for brunch outside on a nice summer afternoon? This UES British pub has both a small courtyard and a sidewalk beer garden. The food is excellent, and they’ve got outdoor TVs that play a lot of English Premier League games.
The front patio at Harlem Tavern might be even larger than the tavern itself. Covered in picnic tables and big umbrellas, it’s about the size of a regulation basketball court and makes for a great spot for brunch or some burgers and beers.
When you’re feeling a little bit fancy, head to this modern steakhouse in the Meatpacking district. Sit out on the rooftop deck overlooking the Hudson and order some oysters, steaks, and a Stella Artois.
If you want a bar by the water that you can actually get a table at, check out Anable Basin, an all-outdoor drinking spot located behind some warehouses on the water in Long Island City. They play pretty loud trance music from speakers at the bar, so if that’s not your thing, just bring your drinks and food to the picnic tables at the far end of the space. Wherever you sit, you’ll get a nice view of Midtown.
230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge
If you haven’t already been to 230 Fifth Rooftop, you’ve probably seen photos of this place. It’s got one of the best views of the Empire State Building anywhere in the city, which means that tourists and native New Yorkers flock here all year-round. This huge outdoor spot in Midtown has a bunch of private igloos that you can book for up to 10 people, plus they welcome walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Loeb Boathouse
There aren’t many places in Manhattan where you can drink a beer right next to a lake - in fact, the only place you can do that is Loeb Boathouse. There’s a fine dining restaurant with a huge covered patio, as well as a more casual outside bar called, funnily enough, Outside Bar.
Inspired by the life of, you guessed it, Oscar Wilde, this bistro feels like a wing of an old-timey Irish castle converted into a drinking space for young professionals. It’s spacious, the ceilings are high, and it’s filled with stained glass windows, a marble fireplace, and has sidewalk seating too. And while this might make it sound stuffy, it isn’t.
The Ainsworth’s Chelsea location is a big bar that works when some people want to watch sports, but others just want an upscale spot to wear business casual and drink Manhattans at 3pm on a Saturday. Plus, they have plenty of outdoor seating along 26th street.