Warm weather is here, and that means one thing and one thing only: you need to be drinking, and you need to be doing it at a waterfront bar. So here’s every single spot you can catch the breeze and a brew in NYC -- sunglasses required.
Upper West Side
Boat Basin Café
Hudson River at W 79th St
Perhaps the ultimate NYC waterfront spot, Boat Basin features casual food, buckets of beer, and a grotto-like interior for comfortable indoor-outdoor drinking on even the hottest summer days.
Pier i Café
500 W 70th St
This casual café along Riverside Park South is canopied with umbrellas for perfectly shaded outdoor drinking, plus we’re suckers for its Blue Margarita made with fresh blueberry lemonade.
The Frying Pan
Pier 66 at W 26th St
Whether you love to hate it or love to love it, this floating frat bar is still the king of waterfront boozing.
450 E 29th St
This Tom Colicchio restaurant may be more fancy eatery than bar, but with a drink menu that includes jalapeño-pineapple margaritas and prime East River views, we don’t think you’ll mind.
The Water Club
East River at 30th St
The name says it all at this upscale restaurant and bar floating atop the East River.
348 Dyckman St
At the very tip of Riverside Dr (seriously, it’s up there) lies this giant waterfront mecca with stunning Hudson River views and $5 happy hour specials every Monday-Friday.
Long Island City
Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill
4-40 44th Dr
This low-key joint with picnic table seating serves no-fuss burgers & brews against unobstructed skyline views.
78 South St
This casual open-air spot along the East River has badass Brooklyn Bridge views and a menu that includes fried pickle chips and watermelon spiced margaritas.
Pier A Harbor House
22 Battery Pl
Statue of Liberty views, fine dining, and an extensive selection of beer, wine, and cocktails are just a few reasons why you should visit this recently converted historic landmark.
Merchants River House
375 South End Ave
This casual, family-friendly spot serves up classic American eats and a large selection of drinks alongside the Hudson River.
1 Battery Park
Tucked into the southernmost corner of Battery Park, this restaurant and bar serves seasonal eats and a large selection of brews against incredible Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island views.
Place to Beach
1301 Boardwalk W
This open-air Tiki bar and restaurant has a solid selection of frozen drinks and beers, live music, and panoramic ocean views.
Ruby’s Bar & Grill
1213 Boardwalk W
This Coney Island institution is still the place for waterside boardwalk chilling, with reliable beers, cocktails, and American eats. And don’t forget to order the funnel cake -- it’s tops.
Clemente’s Maryland Crab House
3939 Emmons Ave
This crab mecca is all about fresh seafood, cold drinks, and waterside views. And if you’re feeling ambitious? Splurge on the all-you-can-eat crab special every Monday & Tuesday.
2902 Emmons Ave
This marina-adjacent Italian eatery now offers a casual bar and drinks menu perfect for low-key waterfront chilling.
Low Tide Bar
96th St at the Boardwalk
With a prime boardwalk location, you can’t go wrong at this reasonably priced spot serving casual beers, burgers, and cocktails.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
334 Furman St
There is a whole slew of booze-serving eateries to enjoy at this East River-adjacent park, including Luke’s Lobster (epic lobster rolls), Fornino (crazy-amazing pizza), Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar (the best place to catch sunset), and Lizzmonade (lemonade meets booze, among other things).
90 Kent Ave
This mega food and drink market also happens to be waterside, as if you needed another reason to go there.
Pier 25 at Hudson River Park
This seasonal oyster bar perched atop a historic fishing boat serves -- what else? -- an incredible selection of sustainably farmed oysters and nautically inspired cocktails like the Iron Mermaid (cachaca, lime, pineapple & bitters).
The River Café
1 Water St
This landmark eatery offers sophisticated food and drinks against unobstructed views of Manhattan. But be sure to dress to impress -- there’s a dress code.
24 Reed St
This tri-level seafood shack serves up a bevy of fresh fish entrees alongside specialty cocktails like the Zeilboot (bourbon, mint syrup, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice & soda).
1. Boat Basin Café390 W 79th St, New York
2. Pier I at Riverside Park SouthRiverside Blvd, New York
3. The Frying Pan @ Pier 66 Maritime205 12th Ave, New York
4. Riverpark450 E 29th St, New York
5. The Water Club500 E 30th St, New York
6. La Marina348 Dyckman St, New York
7. Watermark Bar78 South St, New York
8. Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill4-40 44th Dr, Queens
9. Pier A Harbor House22 Battery Pl, New York
10. Merchants River HouseHudson River Esplanade, New York
11. Battery Gardens Restaurant1 Battery Pl, New York
12. Place to Beach1301 Boardwalk W, Brooklyn
13. Ruby's Bar & Grill1213 Boardwalk W, Brooklyn
14. Clemente's Maryland Crab House3939 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn
15. Il Fornetto2902 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn
16. Low Tide BarBeach 96th St Boardwalk, New York
17. Brooklyn Bridge Park334 Furman St, Brooklyn
18. Smorgasburg WilliamsburgEast River State Park, Brooklyn
19. Grand BanksPier 25, New York
20. The River Café1 Water St, Brooklyn
21. Brooklyn Crab24 Reed St, Brooklyn
This ever-popular summertime joint rocks a laid-back burgers-&-Corona style and generous seating.
Pier I is a picturesque location right off the South end of Riverside Park where you can enjoy special events like Summer movie screenings, enjoy some food and drink at the Pier i Cafe, or just enjoy the view.
From late spring until early autumn this former Coast Guard lightship becomes a popular, albeit fratty, bar. It basically rules the summer waterfront drinking scene.
One of the many culinary notches in celebrity chef Tom Colicchio's belt, Riverpark is an ode to waterfront dining on a secluded street in Kips Bay. Views of the East River aside, his refined American menu with global influences is reason enough to visit. Seafood and red meat feature prominently, with grilled lamb chops studded with pistachio and monkfish cloaked in bacon able to be preceded by elegantly plated pastas or starters like dill-spiked Arctic char crudo. A smoky take on the Manhattan, adding extra richness to a classic, is the star of the bar. There would be virtually no one on the nearby streets come evening, between Bellevue Hospital wards and an NYU medical center, if not for the draw of Riverpark. And its draws are multiform: the restaurant is complete with its own urban farm where many of the ingredients used are grown.
This upscale restaurant is literally floating on the East River, so the views are pretty cool. Check it out for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays for a menu that includes the option of a complete "Lobster Brunch."
This multifaceted venue is a great alternative to living in Florida. You get three riverside bars, a man-made beach, and an indoor/outdoor restaurant with views of the Palisades, plus mooring services at the nearby docks, should you happen to have a boat.
Reasons to spend your summer at Watermark Bar: burgers, cocktails, alcoholic sno-cones, and, oh, just a rooftop park. Get your mingle on at this Pier 15-adjacent hotspot -- it's one of our NYC warm-weather favorites.
Anable is your classy-casual spot for day drinkin’ and barbecue eatin’. It’s perfectly low key, hidden in plain sight in an industrial area. The food’s on point and the waterfront al fresco seating offers a beautiful view of the NYC skyline.
From the team behind nearby Dead Rabbit cocktail bar, this megaplex in a historic Battery Park building houses separate bars and restaurants on each of its three floors, all of which offer breathtaking views of the New York Harbor. The first floor is home to a casual beer hall and oyster bar that's for group outings, while the more intimate second level includes a clubby cocktail bar and a steakhouse-like restaurant that pays homage to the Hudson Valley. The third floor, reserved for private events, is the most exclusive of the three.
Merchants is home to a host of comforting, Americanized dishes. From salmon to ravioli to French fries, nearly anything is delicious... as long as you're in the mood to gorge.
A visit to this Battery Park eatery is worth it if only for the phenomenal views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, but they also have a major beer menu and serve American/Continental food.
This Coney Island stop is an open-air establishment that serves frozen drinks, beers, and hosts live music against expansive ocean views.
Ruby's is an institution that's been open since the 1930s and is still slinging pub food and no fuss drinks right on the boardwalk.
Mondays and Tuesdays are all-you-can-eat crab days at Clemente's, so stop by, enjoy the sweet patio, and get ready to crush crustaceans to your heart's content.
On the waterfront of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn sits this "little oven" serving authentic Italian dishes. The views of the water and of sailboats make for a beautiful setting for any dinner or event.
This unassuming beach bar is the go-to spot for scoping sets while enjoying tap offerings of brew (all michelada-able for a buck) and kombucha. Run out from their boardwalk beer garden to catch a wave before returning for theme nights, which range from Fridays filled with SoCa/West Indian beats and shark & curried bean sandwiches, to reggae Sundays, for which a sit-down dinner of North African fish couscous is prepared for 48hrs by "world traveled" cooks, one of whom literally walks around doling out pro massages, then goes home and obviously never gets laid, ever.
Central Park's great and all, but Brooklyn Bridge Park is where it's at when it comes to sunset pilates classes, kayaking, and a free outdoor film series. This Spring, warm up the grills on the BK waterfront then stick around for a flick at Pier 1′s Harbor View lawn.
Smorgasburg's Williamsburg outpost is in full force on Saturdays from 11am to 6pm, April through November. Around 100 vendors gather to compete for your love, affection, and money: local artists, food purveyors, trinket collectors, and the like. It's open rain or shine and you'll want to bring cash to streamline the process of getting your hands on burgers, lobster rolls, ice cream and all your other favorite eats.
This seasonal oyster bar perched atop a historic fishing boat at Pier 25 serves an incredible selection of soft-shell crabs, lobster rolls, and of course, lots of oysters. It's best to make a reservation for dining, but you can easily snag a seat at one of the two on-deck bars if you're there for drinks. Refreshing nautical cocktails, wine, Champagne, and craft beer round out the drink menu. Grand Banks is open from May to October.
The on-the-waterfront American-style cafe has got great grub, as well as some seriously unique libations.
Make the trek out to Red Hook for authentic, crab-shack style seafood fare, picnic tables and all. Inspired by the seafood shanties of the Mid Atlantic coast, Alma restauranteurs Jamie Vipond and Matthew Bohner opened Brooklyn Crab to bring summertime vibes to the Big Apple all year round. Situated in a cozy spot overlooking the New York Harbor, Brooklyn Crab's killer views are just a drop in the bucket of reasons worth checking it out: the welcoming atmosphere, rotating seasonal menu options, patio deck, and solid happy hour deals aren't so bad, either.