It's easy to forget that among the massive buildings, the bustling, not-sand-covered streets, and the occasional unbearable heat wave, NYC is actually a coastal city. Helping to remind you in the booziest way possible, here's a list of the best bars on the water in NYC.
Rules of engagement: any place where you can see the waterfront from the ground floor is fair game, meaning that awesome rooftop bar in Midtown with views of the Hudson wasn't.
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Provided you don't get easily seasick (because this boat does leave port), this is the ideal way to get boozy and full of lobster on a sunny afternoon. It's got beer, cocktails, lobster rolls, full lobsters, and all manner of other good stuff you need to make your Summer complete.
This is probably what comes to mind for a lot of people when we mention a waterfront bar in NYC, and rightfully so. Despite the fact that it can get crazy-packed, it's still a standard bearer for drinking with aquatic proximity.
Perched on the roof of The Water Club with a slightly-more-refined Frying Pan vibe, this yacht-y spot has great East River views to go along with buckets of beer, pitchers of sangria, and spiked lemonades.
With a history on the boardwalk dating back to the '30s (its 80th birthday is coming up!), Ruby's is an institution still slinging pub food and no-fuss drinks right on the boardwalk.
This Seaport bar sets itself apart from boring-ass landlocked bars with amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge, an actual park on top of it, lobster rolls, and parties like the Fifth Annual Nolafunk Summer Jazzfest.
Get your fill of smashing Maryland-style crabs here (all-you-can-eat crabs on Mondays and Tuesdays), or focus more on your drinking with its bayside Tiki Bar.
Upper West Side
Thanks to its sunken position below street level, this beauty can occasionally feel like you're not even in NYC. Grab a bunch of beers, a frozen cocktail, and a burger, then post up near the water or in the raised courtyard in the middle.
We're gonna kinda cheat here, and lump everything in the park together... which includes Fornino's rooftop pizza bar on Pier 6, Lizzmonade by the pop-up pool (yes, there's a pop-up pool, double waterfront!), and The Pier 1 Cafe. Basically you have to go bar crawling in Brooklyn Bridge Park ASAP.
Yet another Hudson River boat bar makes the list -- this one being a little smaller, a little more refined, and a little more Downtown than the other two, complete with prime Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty viewing opportunities and a focus on cocktails and oysters.
With some of the most incredible views within city limits, this spot rocks cocktails and relaxing eats like lobster rolls and brunch burgers, but it can also get less-relaxed when it's got a DJ or live music going down. So plan your visit accordingly.
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1. Frying Pan205 12th Ave, New York
2. Boat Basin Café390 W 79th St, New York
3. La Marina348 Dyckman St, New York
4. Low Tide BarBeach 96th St Boardwalk, New York
5. Grand BanksPier 25, New York
6. The Crow's Nest500 E 30th St, New York
7. Watermark Bar78 South St, New York
8. ForninoPier 6, Brooklyn
9. Brooklyn Bridge Park334 Furman St, Brooklyn
10. Ruby's Bar & Grill1213 Boardwalk W, Brooklyn
11. Governors Beach Club1 Carder Rd, New York
12. North River Lobster CompanyPier 81, New York
Located at Pier 66 in Chelsea, the Frying Pan is quite literally a bar on a docked boat. The boat is a historic 1929 lightship, and the outdoor bar juts far out into the pier thanks to a long barge. A center bar and grill serves up beer and bar bites like Pat LaFrieda sirloin burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and garlic fries. There's a dance floor at the end of the barge, which gets more and more crowded as the sun sets on happy hour.
This ever-popular summertime joint rocks a laid-back burgers-&-Corona style and generous seating.
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.
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.
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.
Situated on the rooftop of The Water Club, The Crow's Nest is more or less an East Side version of Frying Pan with casual eats that include burgers and a raw bar, as well as killer 'tails to enjoy while taking in the NYC views. Instead of Spring time on the subway, you could be staying cool with the Club's river breezes.
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.
With gorgeous views of the East River and the Financial District, the beloved Brooklyn pizza purveyor churns out delicious pies, both classic (like the Margherita) and creative (like the Al Roker, with tomato, mozzarella, Fontina, caramelized onion, roasted pepper, soppressata piccante, and rosemary).
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.
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.
This spot has concerts and crazy parties, but you can also go before 3pm on most days and soak in some beach vibes and killer views of downtown Manhattan.
This floating lobster shack is perfect if you want a totally unpretentious atmosphere for drinking and eating out on the water. Docked in Midtown West, North River offers 45-minute cruises that serve great seafood -- think four different kinds of lobster rolls and a full raw bar -- as well as a solid bar menu with Mason-jar cocktails, beer buckets, and an ample selection of wine.