Outdoor Drinking in the City

With the temperatures slowly warming up (maybe not this week) social activities start to move outdoors.  A favorite of the activities among New Yorkers is drinking and there are some great spots to do it outsdoors here.  My colleague Adan Maldonado has shared some of his favorites with me and I pass them on to you here:

By Adan Maldonado

Although the temperature has dipped down a bit as Summer is approaching, it is still time to get in the spirit for lots of outdoor drinking activities!  Here are a few of my favorites:

A New York City classic, Frying Pan is the perfect place to spend an afternoon basking in the sun with a  bucket of ice cold Corona.  Formerly located at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, this 1929 built “lightship” was raised and re-commissioned as the perfect warm weather hang out.  It’s now docked at Pier 66 on the West Side Highway, a short walk from the Meatpacking District and Highline.  They feature a full menu at the grill located on the pier and serve up a pretty decent hamburger.  A variety of beer is available on tap, in addition to the ubiquitous bottles of Corona that they sell by the half dozen. Make sure to explore the decks of the boat and head below if the sun bakes your brain a little too much.  Avoid the after-work crowd however, as it can quickly turn into a frat party.

The obvious choice for the Meatpacking area, this sprawling space under the Highline is the perfect place to catch a quick buzz on a high ABV German beer.  Although there’s an abundance of picnic tables to lounge on, seating can be scarce due to the popularity among locals and tourists alike.  There is never a shortage however, of cute girls selling huge pretzels and slinging beer.  Once you’ve lowered your inhibitions a bit, grab a paddle and challenge someone drunker than you to a game of ping pong at one of the free tables.  There’s also a full bar if you prefer something with a bit more punch, as well as a variety of delicious German sausages and other snacks.

If you find yourself wandering around Williamsburg on a nice afternoon this summer, be sure to stop into Radegast for a beer or four.  They feature an extensive menu of specialty German beers that definitely caters to enthusiasts.  Servings come by the pint, liter or pitcher depending on the extent of your thirst.  Make sure to soak up the liters with something from the surprisingly excellent and varied menu for either Brunch or Dinner.   They also play host to musical acts some nights, which may or may not lead to you standing on the table and singing Uber den Wolken (Above the Clouds) with your arm around a Bavarian barmaid.

Though perhaps not the most authentic of the lot, the Italian beer garden at Mario Batali’s Eataly is still a main contender among NYC’s outdoor drinking spots.  Specialty beer is made in house and served directly from massive casks behind the bar, in addition to the extensive selection of draft and bottled beers.  In classic Batali tradition the menu is guaranteed to induce gout with an enticing selection of cured meats, aged cheeses and sausages.  If you are visiting with a small group get the Piatto Misto, which includes the Pork Shoulder with three kinds of sausages and contorni, enough to serve 5.  On nice days the roof is retracted to offer a seriously premium view of the Empire State building and the surrounding neighborhood.  Just make sure to reserve ahead as there can be an hour long wait to even stand at the bar.

         FETTE SAU
Although this Brooklyn favorite straddles the line of beer garden and backyard BBQ, it doesn’t really matter how you categorize it because it is the best of both worlds.  Meaning “Fat Pig” in German, the name says it all since you will most likely feel like a fat pig after a visit here.  A great selection of craft beer is poured into massive mason jars (just go for the liter since you’ll be here a while) and BBQ is ordered cafeteria style by the pound.  Ask for some beef brisket, pulled pork and baked beans, take your cafeteria tray to the picnic tables outside, and dig in.  Wash it all down with a nice stout or ale and take a minute to appreciate just how good your life is sometimes.  Be warned however: the line just to grab your food from the counter can be upwards of an hour long, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find a table.