12 Best Beer Gardens in America (Slideshow)
June 3, 2014
Summertime means outdoor drinking! Did your favorite make the list?
12. Garden District, Washington, D.C
Okay, a beer garden should primarily be about the beer, but when everyone from Food & Wine to Parade magazine is raving about the food, you should probably try that, too. At Garden District, low and slow barbeque is the star, but the picnic tables and taps outside are pretty great as well.
11. King’s Biergarten, Pearland, Texas
It’s hard to believe that GermanDeli.com’s 2013 pick for “Best German Restaurant” in America began as a snack stand attached to a car wash! At King’s, owner and trained butcher Johann Sitter has realized his dream of bringing a piece of his native Austria all the way to Houston. This restaurant serves German delicacies along with a huge selection of beers.
10. Mecklenburg Gardens, Cincinnati
This famous biergarten has been a Cincinnati tradition for 150 years. Still housed in its original building, you can sit at the bar and enjoy one of sixteen seasonal beers on tap or head out to the beautiful trellised garden to enjoy snacks ranging from a classic Reuben to bay scallops in puff pastry.
9. The Red Lion Tavern, Los Angeles
In a city obsessed with the next big thing, Los Angeles bars come and go, so a beer hall that’s been around since 1959 should probably be considered an historic landmark. If you’re in LA, stop by and drink a pilsner out of a giant glass boot to see for yourself why Angelinos adore this spot.
8. Drury Beer Garden, Philadelphia
You have to wander down an alley beside Opa restaurant to get into Drury Beer Garden, but once you bypass the sketch, you’re in a city oasis: an outdoor space that feels like a giant living room with a ton of beers on tap. Grab a brew and challenge your neighbor to a game of ping pong or Jenga, or even better, both.
7. Blue Moon Saloon, Lafayette, Louisiana
It may be small, but it’s packed with charm. Southern Living just named Blue Moon Saloon one of its 100 Best Bars in the South, and if you order up an Abita and seat yourself on a porch swing to hear some of best Cajun music Louisiana has to offer, you’ll see exactly why.
6. Der Biergarten, Atlanta
Atlanta’s biggest biergarten has only been open four years, but it’s gotten raves in that short time. Named one of USA Today’s best beer gardens, this place has it all: an elegant white tablecloth dining room, an alley with Fussball and shuffleboard, and of course, a giant beirgarten complete with dozens of German beers.
5. Sheffield’s, Chicago
Food & Wine magazine recently named Sheffield’s one of America’s best beer gardens, and Chicagoans agree. Unlike many beer gardens, Sheffield’s doesn’t shut down for the winter. Instead, locals grab a brew and some barbeque and chow down around the fire. In the summer, things heat up with live outdoor music.
4. Lowry Beer Garden, Denver
Colorado is famous for its craft brews, and at Lowry Beer Garden, Denver’s 8,000 square foot watering hole, beer is king. Choose from an ever-evolving list of beers and see why Food & Wine loves this place.
3) Scholz Garten, Austin, Texas
This beirgarten is the oldest business in Austin, having been in continuous operation since 1866. It’s dusty exterior is all Wild West, but inside, the space harkens back to Bavaria, with bench seating and enough beer and jagerschnitzel to go around.
2) Zeitgeist, San Francisco
So this one is a bit off the beaten path as far as beer gardens go, but everyone from Esquire to Fodor’s swears that this punk rock pub is one of the best around. They’ve got over fifty beers on tap and generous outdoor seating.
1) Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Queens, New York
The oldest beer garden in New York is still the best. One hundred years ago, the spot was a Czech and Slovak social club, and today it remains social, only now its patrons are yuppies, hipsters, and artists alike. Travel + Leisure named the eclectic spot one of the best beer gardens in the world. And the menu’s not bad either. It features both American and Czech favorites along with an excellent beer list.