There's nothing like drinking cold beer with friends, and then sharing a plate of bratwurst. It's the meaty equivalent of breaking bread.
Beer gardens in New York City have been some of the best places to day drink for years and, luckily for us, beer gardens keep opening up, giving us more opportunity for drinking in the sun.
Tavern on the Green Beer Garden
Central Park finally has a beer garden of its own. Tavern on the Green's new beer garden serves over a dozen beers from New York and Germany including Montauk Summer Ale, Empire Light and Mermaid Pilsner. Pints start at $7 and pitchers at $21. Soft pretzels, kielbasa and sauerkraut, freshly sliced watermelon and more sweet and savory options are also on the menu. TOTG Beer Garden is open from 1 to 9 p.m. daily, at 67th Street and Central Park West, tavernonthegreen.com (Credit: Tavern on the Green )
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
The Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, open for more than 100 years, is the oldest beer garden in NYC and takes its place among the canon of outdoor drinking establishments very, very seriously. In addition to beer (both imported and domestic), the Bohemian also serves food off a large, traditional Czech and Slovak menu. There's fried Muenster, over lettuce with marinara and tartar sauce, goulash, homemade potato pasta with sauerkraut and of course, pierogies, bratwurst and potato pancakes. (You can get a burger or chicken wings, but we recommend the traditional eats.) 29-19 24th Ave., Astoria, 718-274-4925, bohemianhall.com (Credit: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden )
Bavarian native and Alphabet City resident Sylvester Schneider opened Zum Schneider in 2000. The city was very different back then, especially Avenue C and 7th Street, where the beer hall is located. But the beer still flows, and last year Schnieder opened a second location in Montauk. There are both indoor and outdoor areas at Zum Schneider's, and the food is great. Try the white asparagus soup. 107 Ave. C, 212-598-1098,zumschneider.com (Credit: Zum Schneider)
The Standard Biergarten
In one of the most grand spaces in the city, located under the High Line, The Standard Biergarten is a place to drink but also a place to see and be seen. This is the Meatpacking District! Time to check out the fashionable people and celebs. But beyond eye candy, there's some delicious beer and eats at The Standard, some traditional and some not, courtesy of chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. Grab some friends and find a picnic table. 848 Washington St., 212-645-4646, standardhotels.com (Credit: The Standard Biergarten )
Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Radegast Hall & Biergarten is a popular Williamsburg hangout. Unlike most beer gardens in NYC, this one is indoors, but the windows are big, and the party often spills out into the sidewalk. There is plenty of beer to drink here, including many from Germany you may never have heard of, but should try. It has tastings on Tuesdays, live music many nights, Sunday brunch and eats that can't be beat (especially if you're in the mood for hearty fair or pretzels and mustard). 113 N. Third St., Williamsburg, 718-963-3973, radegasthall.com (Credit: Radegast Hall & Biergarten via Facebook)
Loreley has been open since 2003 and is well-known and regarded for its authentic German food and beer, along with its contemporary vibe. Other beer gardens in the city may have folk music and waitresses dressed in traditional garb, but not at Loreley. This is the place to come to appreciate the beer and food of Germany, including Weiner Schnitzel and pork meatballs (mmm). According to the website, "Loreley" is named after the "legendary siren who sits on a rock high over the Rhine and lures mariners to their death." Don't you feel beckoned? 7 Rivington St., 212-253-7077, loreleynyc.com (Credit: Loreley)
Fashioned out of an old gas station and mechanic shop, Greenwood Park is one of the best places to hang in the South Slope. It's huge: 13,000 square feet, and guests can play bocce in addition to drinking more than 60 beers on tap. This beer hall also boasts a seasonal menu (watermelon salad is a must), and variations on classics like the honey Sriracha chicken wings and fried mac and cheese balls. 55 Seventh Ave., Park Slope, 718-499-7999, greenwoodparkbk.com (Credit: Matt Ouchuizzo)
Studio Square is a new beer garden and events space in Long Island City. They host soccer game viewing parties, concerts and much more in the 30,000-square-foot space. This is not a traditional beer hall in any sense of the word, but there are lots of outdoor picnic tables for drinking beer with friends. The amount of space there is pretty unheard of in NYC, so this is a great place to have a party. 35-33 36th St., Long Island City, 718-383-1001, studiosquarebeergarden.com (Credit: Studio Square)