More Outdoor Bars We Love

We’ve compiled all our favorite outdoor drinking spots in this full guide to outdoor bars.

What says summer better than a pink drink on a picnic table? Photo: BB

What says summer better than a pink drink on a picnic table? Photo: BB

Last summer we published a list of 16 bars with backyards, patios or rooftops we love. Friends and readers kept on suggesting bars we had to add to the list, some classics, others newly opened. Here are 17 more outdoor drinking emporiums to know and love.

GREENWOOD HEIGHTS-WINDSOR TERRACE

If You’re Looking for an Oasis on Fort Hamilton Parkway: Hamilton’s
Neighborhood: Windsor Terrace, 2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. (at E. 4th St.); 718-438-0488
Appeal: Until Hamilton’s opened, getting an outdoor drink in Windsor Terrace meant showing up to Farrell’s on St. Patrick’s Day and enjoying a Budweiser in a Styrofoam cup behind the police barricades on the sidewalk. Thankfully, Hamilton’s is here to class up the joint a bit. The bar/restaurant, which opened back in October, has 18 draft beers and ciders, wine on tap (and in bottles) and a list of inexpensive soju cocktails, as well as an extensive menu of small plates and entrees. The outdoor seating is made up of cafe tables separated from the sidewalk by a low fence decorated by Christmas lights. Enjoying a glass of lambrusco and people-watching in the so-quiet-you-can-barely-believe-it’s-New-York nabe is one of the more perfect ways to spend a summer evening. –Casey Acierno

Greenwood Heights has one of the most massive yards in the borough. And bocce. Photo: Greenwood Heights

Greenwood Park has one of the most massive yards in the borough. And bocce. Photo: Greenwood Park

If Your Idea of Heaven Is a Block-Long Beer Garden: Greenwood Park
Neighborhood: Greenwood Heights, 555 7th Ave. (between 19th & 20th sts.); 718-499-7999
Appeal: Since opening last summer, Greenwood Park’s tenure on the South Slope/Sunset Park border has been nothing if not controversial (see: complaints about ubiquitous strollers and drunk and disorderly types.) That said, from our perspective, the pros way outweigh the cons. First of all, it’s effing huge–13,000 square feet, a full city block long–with picnic tables aplenty and two bars. The beer selection is great; the pint-glass sangria even better; and there are plenty of warm-weather-friendly nibbles. You can be as sporty as you want to be, either by watching anything from basketball to baseball to European soccer on the indoor TVs, or by joining in on one of the two bocce courts. Perhaps most important: family-friendly hours end in the early evening, so you can enjoy getting your nighttime drink on without having to worry about tripping over strollers. –CA

CROWN HEIGHTS-PROSPECT HEIGHTS

If You Want a New Neighborhood Hangout: Nostrand Avenue Pub
Neighborhood: Crown Heights, 658 Nostrand Ave. (at Bergen St.); 718-483-9699
Appeal: The first bar to push Crown Heights’ hipsterfication this far east, N.A.P. comes on the scene with an impressive craft beer list, reasonably priced at $5 to $8 ($4 during happy hour), and a laid-back atmosphere that attracts a diverse array of locals. The main attractions are the roomy wooden picnic tables on the nicely redone redbrick back patio. Order in food from a nearby institution like David’s Brisket House or just grab a bag of some chili-spiced mango from the streetside vendor set up next to the bar. It’ll be closing time before you know it. (Good to know for night owls: they’re open ‘til 4am every night.) –Brendan Spiegel

If You Want Serious Spice With Your Drinks: Hawker Bar
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights, 611 Vanderbilt Ave. (at Bergen St.); 347-915-1000
Appeal: This brand-new spot took over the Sunburnt Calf’s Vanderbilt Avenue space just in time for summer, equipping the breezy backyard with leafy ferns, paper lanterns and more importantly, cocktails that aren’t afraid to skimp on flavor. Cazedores blanco tequila is paired with chili-pepper agave, muddled cucumber and fresh lime, while Sombra mezcal meets lemongrass agave, pepper bitters, fresh lemon juice and club soda. The Southeast-Asian-street-food inspired menu packs in the spice, too, in the form of chili-cumin lamb skewers and, intriguingly, the promise of summertime pig roasts. –BS

If You Want a Beer Nerd’s Paradise: Washington Commons
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights, 748 Washington Ave. (at Park Pl.); 718-230-3666
Appeal: Only in Brooklyn could a beer bar this serious about its suds be known primarily for its pretty patio. The back courtyard is indeed a shrine—one of the biggest outdoor areas in this stretch of the borough, it’s constantly filled on weekends with everyone from rowdy post-sports groups to couples cozying in the corner to parents with strollers in tow. Beer-lovers who come for the outdoors effect will be pleased with the tap selection, too, a rotating list of rare, high-A.B.V offerings from across the country, with dozens more by the bottle. –BS

There's a little something for everyone at Franklin Park. Photo: Franklin Park

There’s a little something for everyone at Franklin Park. Photo: Franklin Park

If You Want a Crowd Pleaser: Franklin Park
Neighborhood: Crown Heights, 618 St. John’s Pl. (at Franklin Ave.); 718-975-0196
Appeal: There’s plenty of controversy to go around in this rapidly gentrifying stretch of Crown Heights, but one thing not up for debate: everyone loves Franklin Park. And why not? The five-year-old, former mechanics’ garage not only has ample outdoor area, with picnic tabled courtyards on two sides, but it also somehow manages to be everything to everyone. A reading series with 1,200 facebook fans? Check. Big-screen sports? Check. DJ night? Check. Skee-ball? Check. Throw in craft cocktails, quality brews and burgers from the adjacent Dutch Boy Burger, and Franklin Park is pretty much all of Brooklyn rolled into one noisy, beautiful package. –BS

New Orleans-Style Drinking: Catfish
Neighborhood: Crown Heights, 1433 Bedford Ave. (between Park and Prospect places); 347-305-3233
Appeal: Catfish, a New Orleans-style bar and restaurant, was an instant hit when it opened on Bedford Avenue earlier this year, becoming Crown Heights’ favorite hipster hangout seemingly overnight. It’s easy to see why: Catfish’s long, sleek interior, dominated by a handsome, well-stocked bar, is inviting; so is the idea of whiling away the hours under the maple trees out back on the restaurant’s small, but comfortable, patio. The bar offers a comprehensive choice of libations–the whiskey category is the most varied, ranging from down-home (Evan Williams, Jim Beam) to downright classy (Bookers, Widow Jane), but there’s also plenty of scotch, tequila, and even absinthe to choose from, depending on your poison. Seasonal draft beers and high-octane bottled beers round out the drinks menu. Go with the classic NOLA Sazerac: Bulleit rye, Peychaud’s famous bitters and sugar, stirred together in an absinthe-rinsed highball glass. The kitchen turns out solid renditions of soul-food favorites such as shrimp and grits, gumbo and po’ boy sandwiches. Catfish opens daily at 11am iIf you want to get your eat (or drink) on early,–Lauren Rothman

If You Want to Embrace Gentrification: The Crown Inn
Neighborhood: Crown Heights, 724 Franklin Avenue (between Park & Sterling places); 347-915-1131
Appeal: A neighborhood bar with a smooth, vaguely nautical, wood-and-leather vibe, Crown Inn is a relative newcomer to a stretch of Franklin Avenue crawling with even newer comers. It’s no dive, but the happy hour is pretty happy–5pm-8pm Mondays through Fridays, with $4 beer, $7 wine and cocktail specials. Things can get a little crowded along the long, curving bar, attractively stocked with an extensive bourbon selection and crafty taps, but the back patio, open ’til midnight, is a little more relaxed, featuring a raised smoking section. The food, from Black Tree Sandwich Shop, is ambitious in a local-hero way, with lots of braised pork belly, duck liver mouse, chutneys and charcuterie. For the quality, the prices are fair ($8-16 on average), and the house-made pickle pot ($3) is a steal. The kitchen cranks until 2am. –Katya Schapiro

PARK SLOPE-GOWANUS

The Bar That’s Been Serving Craft Beer in Brooklyn Since Before You Knew What Craft Beer Was: The Gate
Neighborhood: Park Slope, 321 5th Ave. (at 3rd St.); 718-768-4329
Appeal: Way back in 1997, before there was a spot with Aperol cocktails and Edison lightbulbs on every corner, The Gate opened its doors and its taps to Park Slopers looking for good beer. Despite its impressive list of drafts, the dark, dusty bar with its scarred wooden tables lacks pretention and feels like the kind of place the term “watering hole” was coined to describe. On a sunny afternoon, the outdoor seating area–a wide swath of sidewalk enclosed by a wrought-iron gate–offers a great view of the hustle and bustle of life in the neighborhood: it’s along a prime route to Prospect Park, across the street from a state-of-the-art playground, and down the block from the Sunday Greenmarket. Like any institution, The Gate is not exactly under the radar, so you’ll want to get there on the early side to score some real estate. –Kate Hooker

Lavender Lake feels like paradise by the Gowanus Canal. Photo: Lavender Lake

Lavender Lake feels like paradise by the Gowanus Canal. Photo: Lavender Lake

Best Backyard Bar With a High Water Mark From When It Was Flooded by the Gowanus Canal: Lavender Lake
Neighborhood: Gowanus, 383 Carroll St. (at Bond St.); 347-799-2154
Appeal: I love an al fresco drink, so I’m always scoping out bars with outdoor spaces and have become what I consider to be somewhat of an expert on the subject.  When the time came to pick a place to celebrate my birthday last month, my selection from a pack of worthy contenders was Lavender Lake. The huge, bi-level back patio is not your run-of-the-mill patch of pavement adorned with a forlorn string of Christmas lights–it’s a truly impressive outdoor space that, if it were in Manhattan, would be crawling with so many people that you’d never want to deal with the hassle of going. In the no man’s land between Bond and Nevins, however, the draw is just about right and the vibe is appealing and laid back. Park it at a picnic table and order an expertly-mixed cocktail and some snacks or a full dinner from the menu (the addictive fried brussels sprouts are not to be missed). The floodwaters of Sandy engulfed this place just a few months after its grand opening last summer, so it’s really great to see that it’s back with a vengeance this year (and has even added a small garden and outdoor movie screening capability). –KH

WILLIAMSBURG-GREENPOINT

Drink Like You’re at the Drive-In: Lady Jay’s
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg, 633 Grand St. (between Leonard St. & Manhattan Ave.); 718-387-1029
Appeal: A divey, rock ‘n’ roll joint with a killer back patio. Gear heads gather here every Wednesday evening for Cine Meccanica, a free weekly motorcycle and hot rod movie night, featuring films like Evel Knievel, Motor Psycho and Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. Free popcorn is served; $8 gets you a generous plate of home-cooked grub; and for an additional $2, you can play motorcycle-themed bingo. The wooden back patio is roomy with plenty of seating and the bar’s exterior back wall serves as the movie screen.  The drinks are cheap ($4 for a Naragansette tallboy), and the bartenders are friendly and quick. –Jeanette D. Moses

If You Want to Be Overwhelmed by Whiskey: Noorman’s Kil
Neighborhood: Williamsburg, 609 Grand St. (between Lorimer & Leonard sts.); 347-384-2526
Appeal: In addition to a beautiful back patio, Noorman’s Kil has an overwhelmingly large whisky menu, and a smaller, but equally overwhelming grilled cheese menu. The sandwiches are all under $7 and feature unique combinations of ingredients—jalapeno jack, hot sauce, tomatoes and cilantro on the Solona; chevre, apricot jam, honey and thyme on the Betsy. The bartenders are friendly, knowledgeable and always happy to help you navigate the whisky selection, which features nearly 300 varieties. An additional 12 beers are also on tap. Noorman’s Kil opens at 5pm during the week and 2pm on the weekends. No matter when you’re drinking, try to get there early if you want to grab a seat inside or out. Noorman’s Kil gets packed when the sun goes down. Wednesday evenings feature free whisky tastings at 7pm, which, as the weather turns nicer, are happening out back on the sunny wooden patio. –JDM

The Keg and Lantern is like the back porch you wish you had. Photo: Keg and Lantern

The Keg and Lantern is like the back porch you wish you had. Photo: Keg and Lantern

Get Your Day Buzz On: Keg and Lantern
Neighborhood: Greenpoint, 95 Nassau Ave. (between Manhattan Ave. & Leonard St.); 718-389-5050
Appeal: Huge backyard with tons of space and an all-day happy hour from 11am-7pm. Whether you’re looking for that early morning hair of the dog, Sunday brunch, a place to kick back and relax or a bar to watch the latest game, Keg and Lantern has got you covered. The bar is big, with two rooms to choose from and a newly redone backyard. They have a Southern-themed menu complete with burgers, steaks, grits and po-boys. Their outdoor space is like sitting on an enormous porch in your backyard, except you have a bigger selection of beers to choose from. They’ve recently added a canopy that covers most of it, so you can still enjoy it even in the rain–crucial this summer, it seems. Did we mention that all day happy hour Monday through Friday? –Jay Honstetter

To Feel Classy and Loved: Beloved
Neighborhood: Greenpoint, 674 Manhattan Ave. (between Norman & Nassau); 347-457-5448
Appeal: Beloved’s backyard patio feels like a classy poolside resort minus the pool and all that. The perfect spot to get your smoke on in-between drinks, or to hang out with a book or a few friends. Order up a fancy cocktail inside, like the Monte Carlo or D.B. Cooper, or opt for the Bartender’s Choice and have a customized cocktail tailored to your taste–just give them a spirit, style or flavor profile, and they’ll set you up. The bar also has an enormous whisky list if you want to sit back and sip on something neat while reading your copy of The Great Gatsby. –JH

To Get Your Bratwurst On: Spritzenhaus
Neighborhhod: Greenpoint, 33 Nassau Ave. (at Guernsey St.); 347-987-4632
Appeal: Enormous beer hall right next to McCarren Park, with outside cafeteria-style seating and Jenga! You like beer right? There are so many beers to choose from you may actually spend more time trying to make a decision than drinking. Seasonal beers, craft beers, lagers, ales, wheats, gluten-free–not to mention cocktails like the spicy Mexican Standoff infused with habanero pepper to keep your senses in check. Sit at one of the many outside tables surrounding the place while mastering your Jenga game on one of the many sets they have available. Eat a delicious sausage on a roll with sauerkraut or any of the number of toppings they offer and you may never want to leave. --JH

BED STUY-CLINTON HILL

An Outdoor Spot With Plenty of Shade: Maggie Brown
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill, 455 Myrtle Ave. (between Washington and Waverly aves.); 718-643-7001
Appeal: If you like drinking outdoors, but don’t necessarily like sitting in direct sunlight, consider doing some day drinking at Maggie Brown. There’s something Sailor Jerry about the ambiance at this place–perhaps it’s the tattoos and Vargas-Girls vibe of its waitstaff–which makes swilling beer and whiskey at inordinate hours of the day all the more intoxicating, being able to do so on its back patio sitting at a picnic table under the protection of an oversized umbrella is just an added bonus. Maggie Brown is not the place to go and work on your tan, but there is ample shade, and its happy hour, which runs daily from 4:30-7:30pm, boasts buy-one, get-one deals on draft beers, house wines and well drinks. –Jordan Galloway

A Big-Ass Backyard Bar in Bed-Stuy: Project Parlor
Neighborhood: Bed-Stuy, 742 Myrtle Ave. (between Nostrand Ave. & Sandford St.); 347-497-0550
Appeal: The last time I was at Project Parlor, it was for a Kiss Party that had nothing to do with making out with random strangers, though there was plenty of that going around. The bar was offering free drinks for anyone willing to have their face painted to look like Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer or Tommy Thayer, better known as the platform wearing, power-cord-wielding rock quartet KISS. The face paint and PBR were both flowing–don’t expect anything fancy alcohol-wise as the main demographics at this place are Pratt students and punks–and Project Parlor’s tiny interior was overflowing early. The saving grace of this place on nights such as this (which is pretty much every night since it’s a popular dance and party destination) is the fact that it has an agoraphobia-inducing backyard to escape to when your claustrophobia kicks in from the crowd up front, so plan on double fisting it, because and parking it out back as long as possible.–JG

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One Comment

  • What about Crown Vic in Williamsburg?! they have a HUGE backyard area possibly one the largest backyards for day drinking.