Summer is a fever in New York. Having been cooped up all winter and faced days of spring rains, it is high time for folks to get out of their overpriced apartments and into the back patios, rooftops and sidewalks of the city, humidity be damned. Put on a sundress and some chic sandals, get one of those paper fans from Chinatown and hit these scenes for all manner of open-air imbibing.
The viney outdoor oyster bar at this Williamsburg jewel is intoxicating on its own, but there’s no harm in heightening the effect with weird old liqueurs from Europe—there’s a sizable selection of Absinthe and Aquavit on this NOLA-themed restaurant’s bar menu. Or choose from a dangerously delicious array of speakeasy-ish craft cocktails. Try the “In the Maquis”—celery, chartreuse, besk, genepi and lemon cordial. It’s an aggressively herbal, vaguely citrusy dream.
maisonpremiere.com, 298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
If it’s beer you’re after, head to this classic spot in Queens, the oldest beer garden in all of NYC. Its picnic tables and sausage samplers keep the vibe super casual. The expansive patio reaches epic levels of revelry nightly all summer, but you can also throw on some SPF and start early. A pitcher with friends here is one of NYC’s simplest ways to waste an afternoon.
bohemianhall.com, 29-19 24th Avenue, Queens
Never mind how a sunken lighthouse in Maryland became your go-to dive in Chelsea, just trust that you will want to spend many a happy hour at this multi-tiered wonderland of beers and buddies. What’s more, this Westside waterfront gem is strategically positioned for sunset watching. Unless you want to come on the weekend and day-drink in the sun.
fryingpan.com, Pier 66A, Manhattan
The people watching is always 100 at this Bowery bar inside the Standard East Village. It’s like a classic European sidewalk café, populated by a chic mix of tourists, shiny locals and fashion industry players, yet the vibe is decidedly laid back. This is a place where you can grab a quick cocktail on your way to a concert, or camp out at a table for hours sampling sparkling wine and small bites.
narcbar.com, 25 Cooper Square, Manhattan
The Loeb Boathouse
So what if it’s touristy? The Boathouse is the place where Carrie and Big fell into the murky water fully clothed, and therefore a place you should visit ceremoniously for cocktails and campy times. Sip your Old Fashioned and watch fools fall in love in rented rowboats on the lake. Or hell, join them and see where your boozy heart takes you.
thecentralparkboathouse.com, E. 72nd Street and Park Drive North, Central Park