15 Great Bars for Drinking Outdoors Slideshow
March 29, 2012
Eataly’s Birreria (New York City)
Perched on atop the 14th floor of Eataly, the as-popular-as-it-was-on-opening-day gourmet Italian superstore and restaurant concept, is Birreria. Aside from the great cityscape view and the way-better-than-your-average-beer garden-food, the venue’s biggest draw is the beer. The open-aired brewery and beer garden is a collaboration between two of the biggest names in Italian craft beer, Teo Musso of Birra Baladin and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra del Borgo, and local star Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery. Try one of their three rotating made-on-site brews or experiment with one of the imported Italian craft brews.
Bohemian Beer Hall & Garden (New York City)
The walled-in courtyard of this 102-year-old Queens beer garden is full of benches, the smell of sausage on the open-air grills, and barmaids who bring by round after round of Staropramen, Czechvar, Pilsner Urquell, Krusovice, and Golden Pheasant. And don’t forget to order a few plates of goulash or halusky to build a base for all that great beer.
Habana Outpost (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
If your idea of a great outdoor bar experience involves great people-watching, a sprawling terrace, live salsa music, and killer frozen cocktails (made by bike-powered blenders, no less), than this Fort Greene hot spot is for you.
Mohawk Bar (Austin, Texas)
There are a lot of great places to go see live music in Austin, that’s a given. But this popular spot boasts a large, two-tiered, open-air space for those who like to rock alfresco. Plus, they have boozy Sno-Cones on the menu. What’s not to love about that?
Bacchanal Wine (New Orleans)
This lively, no-frills spot definitely brings the Big Easy attitude to the concept of a wine bar. Located in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, the wine shop/wine bar/restaurant/live music venue is a perfect place to grab a seat around a patio chair and enjoy a bottle of wine (or two) with a group of friends. The concept is pretty simple: Buy your wine and cheese in the front retail shop, then head out back to the courtyard where you can order food and listen to live music.
Milo's Bocce Garden (St. Louis)
This beloved dive definitely offers a less-than-typical outdoor drinking experience. Dive bar expert Josh Bernstein has this to say about the place: "The nicotine-stained Italian joint offers duel backyard bocce courts where seniors and hepcats alike suck back cheap pitcher of Bud or locally brewed Schlafly Pale Ale, toss a couple frames, and scarf down authentic meatball subs."
Located on the 29th floor of the Affinia Chicago Hotel, this swank indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge is well worth a visit if you’re in the market for a stunning panorama of the cityscape.
For beer geeks, the massive selection on the menu at Sharkey’s reads a bit like teenager’s crush list. That you can have your craft beer and enjoy outside on the patio, too, is just lacing on the pint glass.
The Cat & Fiddle (Los Angeles)
Los Angeles does not want for sleek, sexy rooftop bars with amazing views of the cityscape — and if that’s what you’re in the mood for, the gorgeous bars at Hotel Shangri-La and Hotel Erwin easily fit the bill. But if you want a nice, low-key spot with a spacious patio for a relaxed outdoor drinking session, this bar is it.
Nepenthe (Big Sur, Calif.)
Whether you snag a seat on the patio’s pillow-covered concrete bleachers or simply linger on the wooden plank perch, the stunning view of the Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur’s iconic coastline is equally breathtaking. It’s difficult to think of a better spot to enjoy a glass of local wine.
VooDoo Lounge (Las Vegas)
Once the sun sets, the Rio’s rooftop lounge and nightclub boasts some of the best views of Vegas’ stunning cityscape. And while the view is undeniably amazing from the main outdoor patio, revelers looking to take it to the next lever can literally do so — traveling up the suspended metal staircase to the 51st floor deck. Just make sure to hold on to your cocktail (and the railing).
Zeitgeist (San Francisco)
Emblematic of the gritty Mission neighborhood, Zeitgeist is an unpolished gem whose beer garden is just as crowded on Saturday at noon as it is on a Saturday night. Long picnic tables hold a motley crowd drinking the 40 on-tap beers, sipping the famous bloody marys, or downing food from the outdoor grill.
The Beachcomber (Wellfleet, Mass.)
Located on the dunes of Cahoon Hollow Beach, so close to the Atlantic you can taste in the air, The Beachcomber is tough to beat when it comes to beachfront bars. Whether you’re sipping their signature Goombay Smash or the classic Dark ‘n Stormy, both taste equally fine with the sun beaming down on your face and the ocean breeze in your hair.
Rontoms (Portland, Ore.)
When the sun is shining, this Lower Burnside watering hole draws a crowd thanks to its massive outdoor patio. Grab a local beer on tap and some of the bar’s great comfort food grub and simply enjoy hanging out with your shades out.
House Without a Key (Honolulu)
There may be no better place than this oceanfront cocktail courtyard to enjoy a perfectly blended Trader Vic’s 1944 Mai Tai — sun, ocean breeze, the sweet smell of plumerias… Are you ready for another round yet?