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.

Andrew Zimmer

North River Lobster Company

Hell's Kitchen
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.

Facebook/ Frying Pan

Frying Pan

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.

Facebook/ Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest

Murray Hill
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.

Facebook/ Ruby's Bar & Grill

Ruby's Bar & Grill

Coney Island
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.

Facebook/ Watermark Bar

Watermark Bar

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.

Clemente's Maryland Crab House

Sheepshead Bay
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.

Facebook/ O'Neal's Boat Basin Cafe

Boat Basin Café

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.

Andrew Zimmer

Low Tide Bar

Rockaway Beach
Although there's actually a ton of great spots out on Rockaway Beach these days, Low Tide is a must, thanks to its micheladas, its proximity to the ocean, and its supremely chill vibe.

Facebook/ Fornino

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Heights
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.

Facebook/ Governors Beach Club

Governors Beach Club

Governors Island
While most of the time this spot plays host to concerts and crazy-ass parties (which you should totally go to), you can also go before 3pm on most days and just soak in some beach vibes and killer views of Downtown Manhattan.

Andrew Zimmer

Grand Banks

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.


La Marina

Washington Heights
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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Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NYC Editor, and he's never drinking where he can't see water again. Sorry Iowa. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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1. Frying Pan 205 12th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Chelsea)

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.

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2. Boat Basin Café 390 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

This ever-popular summertime joint rocks a laid-back burgers-&-Corona style and generous seating.

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3. La Marina 348 Dyckman St, New York, NY 10034 (Upper West Side)

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.

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4. Low Tide Bar Beach 96th St Boardwalk, New York, NY 11693 (Queens)

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.

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5. Grand Banks Pier 25, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

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.

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6. The Crow's Nest 500 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016 (Murray Hill)

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.

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7. Watermark Bar 78 South St, New York, NY 10038 (Downtown)

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.

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8. Fornino Pier 6, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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).

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9. Brooklyn Bridge Park 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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.

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10. Ruby's Bar & Grill 1213 Boardwalk W, Brooklyn, NY 11224

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.

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11. Governors Beach Club 1 Carder Rd, New York, NY 11231 (Governors Island)

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.

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12. North River Lobster Company Pier 81, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

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.



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