Fun fact: Oktoberfest actually starts Sept 21st, and since that leaves you like no time to get to Germany, you'll definitey need this rundown of where to take down giant beers, eat many, many sausages, and finally be celebrated for wearing your lederhosen over the next few weeks. A not-so-fun fact: Oktoberfest technically ends on Oct 6th, so you'd better start festing quick.
In addition to a slew of live music throughout the fest, on Oct 26th they'll be hosting their second annual nationally sanctioned bratwurst eating championship with a stable of professional eaters including Jamie "The Bear" McDonald. Registration is open to all, but don't forget that dude is named The Bear.
Get crafty on the fest by heading to Greenpoint on Saturday, Sept 28th for special brews including "traditional Oktoberfest offerings and even a few Franconian gravity kegs" that include old favorites like Weissenohe Bonator, Freigeist Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer Weisse, and 2011 Bahnhof Porticus Brettanomyces Porter. You know, those.
Drink specials start on the 21st and last throughout October, including $8 large steins on opening weekend (Sept 21st-22nd), and a beer and brat dinner on Oct 2nd with house-made charcuterie, unlimited Oktoberfest beers, and the Choucroute Royale: a plate of smoked and roasted pork loin, grilled pork belly, brats, Viennoise sausage, and crispy pig trotter, aka "German health food".
Lower East Side
One of the spots keeping the party going throughout October, they've got specials happening nearly every day, as well as some must-hit events, including a ceremonial keg tapping with free beer on Sept 21st, a 10yr anniversary party with 2000-liters of beer and a pig on a spit on Oct 3rd, a sausage fest on Oct 5th, and a German beer tasting party on Sept 25th and Oct 16th with seven brews and a three-course German meal, with beer expert Rudi Eilers guiding everything.
While it always feels kinda Oktoberfesty in there, they've got a celebratory keg tapping and pig roast on Sept 21st, Sept 28th, and Oct 5th, plus mug-holding competitions, which are much more fun and much more brutal than you would ever imagine. You've been holding mugs poorly all these years.
Running events from Sept 28th to October 13th, in addition to an official after-party to the annual German-American Steuben Parade on the 21st, Zum will let you do such choice stuff as "drown yourself in a stein of original Oktoberfest beer", enjoy gingerbread hearts, giant pretzels, and whole broiled chickens, or just "sing and dance the polka".
Daniel Boulud's Bowery restaurant maintains a fine balance between French brasserie and laid-back tavern, all while keeping its downtown cool. Because it wouldn't be a real Boulud joint without his signature European-inflected cuisine, the menu includes a fine selection of sausages and typical bistro dishes like steak tartare and steak frites. There are also hot dogs and burgers -- you won't find the iconic foie gras and truffle burger that Boulud is known for (that's reserved for the more upscale DB Bistro Moderne), but the pulled pork-topped Piggie and the confit pork belly Frenchie will do just fine.
One of the largest outdoor drinking venues in the city, this Astoria beer garden boasts a huge backyard with communal picnic tables and a stage for live music. The Czech-inspired menu features imported pilsners like Krusovice and Staropramen, and traditional dishes like grilled bratwursts, potato pierogis, and roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings. Though summer is undoubtedly Bohemian Hall's busiest season, the indoor bar makes for a cozy winter hang spot.
The OG of NYC beer gardens, this German spot is a go-to if you're looking for an authentic German beer and brat session. Though the space isn't typical for a beer garden (as in, there's no garden), the Alphabet City spot has sidewalk seating and communal tables inside.
Radegast is a massive Polish/Slovakian drinking hall in Williamsburg, complete with retractable roof panels, a grill station that kicks out an endless stream of brats, venison sausages, kielbasa & weisswursts, and, of course, a bar where they're pouring massive steins full of brews.
A German beer garden and restaurant inspired by traditional biergartens of Cologne, Lorely serves 12 brews on tap in either liter or half-liter steins, plus eats like schnitzel, bratwurst, and Gegrilltes Hühnchensandwich (trying saying that... one time fast!).
This German joint from the Whiskey River/ Black Bear Lodge crew offers an airy, skylit, dark-brown-wooded backdrop for consuming exclusively Hofbrau brews (Original, Dunkel, Hefeweizen...), and surprisingly authentic fare including pretzels w/ bier cheese, slow-roasted pork shank, and a Wurst Sampler.