More than trees and flowers are blooming. So are New York City’s outdoor beer gardens, where you can chill out while you bottoms up. These are the best NYC beer gardens in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as recommended by the craft beer experts at the NYC Craft Beer Guide and by NYC on the Cheap.
We are not including favorites Paulaner on the Lower East Side, or Black Forest in Brooklyn, because even though they have great beer, great food and a great ambiance, they don’t have formal outdoor beer gardens, just tables and chairs on the sidewalk.
Outdoors in a beer garden or sidewalk cafe, or indoors in the air conditioning, my preference is always a hefeweizen.
Bottoms up at these beer gardens, in alphabetical order, because that’s the only fair way:
Blue Ribbon Beer Garden, Lower East Side, Manhattan
- Blue Ribbon Beer Garden serves up both great food and cold brews. Chill out for an afternoon with friends over a few beers and board games, which are available at the bar. They also have a ping pong table, which has been known to transform into a beer pong table under the right circumstances.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Astoria, Queens
- If you’re looking for a beer garden serving up traditional Czech food, look no further than Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. This is an iconic Astoria establishment, opened in 1910 after many Czech and Slovaks emigrated from Austria-Hungary in the late 1800s. The beer garden survived and Prohibition, and continues to be a popular destination for local beer fans looking for a place to gather in a relaxed, friendly environment.
Covenhoven, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
- Covenhoven is a craft beer bar and bottle shop that happens to feature a great garden out back. The outdoor area is a perfect place to enjoy the extensive and well-selected beers that are carried on tap and in bottles. This is a must-visit if you’re in the area.
The Diamond, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- Tucked away in a quiet section of Greenpoint, The Diamond is a gem of a bar that offers an outdoor space perfect for escaping the summertime crowds that Williamsburg attracts. Kill an afternoon playing horseshoes out back and relaxing in the shade. The draft list is limited, but well-chosen. You can’t go wrong at The Diamond.
The Garden at Studio Square NYC, Long Island City, Queens
- Borrowing from the spirit and traditions of open-air German beer gardens, The Garden at Studio Square NYC is a fun, social bar with a communal vibe. It’s location makes it feel distant from the rest of the city, but is extremely accessible via multiple train lines that service LIC.
Garden Bar, South Street Seaport, Manhattan
- Located at the foot of Fulton St. at South Street Seaport, the Seaport Garden Bar is the largest outdoor bar in NYC, with a full menu of beers and burgers, plus weekly entertainment by local musicians through Labor Day week.
The Gate, Park Slope, Brooklyn
- The Gate is a staple in the Park Slope craft beer scene. The beer garden is a convenient spot to chill after an afternoon in Prospect Park or a casual brunch in the area. Conveniently located on 5th Avenue, you can expect a moderate crowd, great draft selection, and a nice outdoor space to enjoy a beer or three.
Greenwood Park, South Slope, Brooklyn
- With bocce ball courts, a spacious garden area, ample outdoor seating, and good food, Greenwood Park is a favorite for craft beer fans in South Slope. Fair warning it’s popular with young parents and often crowded with strollers, so if drinking around babies isn’t your thing, this might not be the best place for you.
Loreley, Lower East Side
- If you find yourself in need of a beer on a warm afternoon in the Lower East Side, this is your place. Loreley is a biergarten modeled after the traditional German brauhaus. With a dozen German beers on tap, a full bar, and traditional German food, this is a beer garden where you can spend the day.
Radegast Hall & Biergarten, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- When you step into Radegast Hall & Biergarten you might feel like you’ve left Williamsburg and been transported to a different world, one where overflowing liters of beer and bratwursts are shared cheerfully over long communal wooden benches. There are also live bands – inside – many evenings, and a small dance floor.
Spuyten Duyvil, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- Spuyten Duyvil is one of the preeminent craft beer bars in Williamsburg. With a small but expertly curated draft list and a bottle list that will make even the most callous beer nerd drool, there’s really no denying the greatness of this bar. As if to push itself to the next level, Spuyten Duyvil also has a fantastic outdoor space for you to enjoy. Go for the beer, stay for the garden.
The Standard Biergarten, Meapo, Lower Manhattan
Threes Brewing, Gowanus, Brooklyn
- Threes Brewing is a relatively new brew pub. It is immaculate and perfect for larger groups as it has something to offer everyone you know and their grandmother: great beer brewed on premise, excellent guest beers on tap, a guest chef holding down the kitchen for month-long blocks as part of their kitchen residency program, and a fancy coffee bar for times when it’s just a bit too early for something stronger. Oh yeah, and a beer garden.
Zum Schneider, East Village, Manhattan
- East Village has plenty of quality watering holes, but Zum Schneider stands out with its traditional German vibe. From the beer served in steins to the sauerkraut with sausage and potatoes, its easy to lose track of time and spend an afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of this beer garden. Zum Schneider moves to a giant tent at the East River for Oktoberfest.
Some of these, and additional NYC beer gardens are on this list from CBS New York.
What’s your favorite NYC beer garden? Add a comment below.