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New York's Best Beer Gardens

beer gardens.jpgI don’t know about you, but I always associate fall with football and
tall, frothy glasses of beer.  Luckily, the weather’s been nice enough
to sit outside (or inside) and do just that.  New York not only happens
to have great food, but also some terrific beer gardens with  an
interesting variety of brews on tap and by the bottle.  Besides, it’s
almost Oktoberfest and German-bent Radegast Hall & Biergarten and
Zum Schneider, are two great e great places to celebrate the
occasion. But we also love the rare Asian beers at Bia Garden and
all the regional, Belgium beers at  Williamsburg’s Spuyten Duyvil,
to name just a few.  Here our some of our favorites…


Address: 359 Metropolitan Ave nr. Havemeyer Street
Phone: (718) 963-4140

If you’re a beer freak, this
is a destination beer garden worth visiting.  Spuyten Duyvil has a slew
of Belgium brews on tap, along with hundreds of bottles from all over
the world. There’s even Japanese beers, but one of our favorite finds is
the Strubbe Pils, a crisp, medium-bodied Flemish beer, which you can
drink in their surprisingly picturesque garden where there’s plenty of
shade and plenty of tables.

Studio Square
35-33 36th St.
Phone: (718) 383-1001

This just might be the
largest beer garden in the city. In fact, Astoria’s Studio Square is
30,000 square feet, which is about enough room to fit 1,000 people. 
Despite its clubby atmosphere, the beer selection is pretty damn
impressive. There are 19 different drafts on tap, including variations
on some familiar beers. We like the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and their
food’s not so bad either.  They offer backyard barbecue favorites, like
grilled sausages, burgers and cheese fries.

Bia Garden

154 Orchard St. bet. Stanton & Rivington streets
Phone: (212)
Michael “Bao” Huynh has built a small empire of
Vietnamese joints, which includes an Asian beer garden on the Lower East
Side.   Guests walk through the kitchen to get to the backyard patio,
scattered with wooden tables that seat 50, so it’s one of Manhattan’s
more quaint, low-key brew halls.  The selection of beers is very
interesting and somewhat rare, so you’ll want to sample a few different
kinds.  While cans and bottles are served by the pack or case, you only
pay for what you drink, so don’t hesitate to switch what you’re drinking
in the middle.  And definitely eat!  Huynh happens to be a talented
chef, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try the
sambal-garlic frog and fish-head pot with okra, taro shots and

Nita Nita

Address: 146 Wythe Ave at N.
Eighth Street (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 388-5328

This tapas
bar, complete with a heated outdoor garden, is one of our favorite
places in Williamsburg to grab a beer. That’s because it changes its
selection of craft beer cans and bottles weekly, so you never know what
you’re going to find.  One night there was Southampton Pils, the next a
robust Guinness, straight out of the can. And we know it’s
unconventional to order to dessert at a bar, but we can’t resist Nita
Nita’s brownie sundae.  


Address: 7 Rivington
St., nr. Bowery
Phone: (212) 253-7077

Lorely is a little bit
of Germany on the Lower East Side.  There are 12 German beers on tap,
including Köstritzer Schwarzbier, a full-flavored dark beer that isn’t
as filling as it looks.  And there’s also a great menu of German comfort
food, such as pork schnitzel, spatzle, potato pancakes and sausage
platters. The outdoor space is outfitted with wooden picnic tables, and
it’s a pretty ideal spot to watch sports and of course, celebrate

B Bar and Grill

Address: 40 E. Fourth
St. nr. Bowery
Phone: (212) 475-2220  

This standard beer
garden offers no surprises, but you can count on the usual suspects to
be up to your standards. The real lure here is the food, which includes
addictive snacks like crispy calamari and duck tacos, which pair nicely
with any one of their beers..

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
29-19 24th Avenue (Queens)
Phone: (718) 728-9278

This Astoria
institution has been serving beers for over 100 years, so they must be
doing something right. It’s a wonderfully laidback spot for Czech beer
tasting.   You can even order your drink in a half-liter mug. Make sure
to try their perogis or beef stroganoff while you’re there.  Bohemian
Hall also has special Fall events, like live bands and Halloween costume

Zum Schneider
Address: 107 Ave C nr.
Seventh Street
Phone: (212) 598-1098

Zum Schneider may one of
the best bars to celebrate Oktoberfest, especially with all the live
polka bands scheduled to perform.  If you want rowdy, this is the right
place, which is fun once in awhile and there’s an impressive variety of
bottled beers and beers on tap, including seasonal offerings like the
Hofbrauhaus Traunstein Helles, which is dark in color but has a hint of
caramel-like sweetness.

 Radegast Hall & Biergarten
113 N. Third St. nr. Berry Street
Phone: (718) 963-3973

beer center looks a lot like a medieval banquet hall.  But there’s
nothing dated about the beers, which come mostly from Germany and
Belgium. You can order pints, liters, pitchers and bottles. We recommend
one of the Oktoberfest beers, and make sure to get a classic German
dish to go along with it.  The smoked pork chop with spinach mashed
potatoes and caraway seed-studded white cabbage is excellent.

Standard Biergarten

Address: 848 Washington St. bet. 12th
& 13th Sts.
Phone: (212) 645-4646

The Standard Hotel is
admittedly trendy these days, but its beer garden is actually quite
classic. There’s even ping pong tables.  But we come for the rare German
and Austrian beers, as well as for the food, especially the freshly
baked pretzels!

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