The Best Places To Drink Outside In Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick

OUR FAVORITE OUTDOOR BARS IN NORTH BROOKLYN

When the weather gets warm, finding a bar in Manhattan where you can drink outside is next to impossible. The few places that are suitable for outside libations are always too crowded. Thankfully, North Brooklyn has you covered. From Crown Victoria’s sprawling patio in South Williamsburg, to the impressive skyline vistas at The Ide’s, North Brooklyn is packed with options.

Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

WILLIAMSBURG | GREENPOINT | BUSHWICK

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DRINKING OUTSIDE IN WILLIAMSBURG:

Crown Victoria

Crown Victoria

WE SAY: A large laid-back garden that features special events during the warmer months, including a Sunday pig roast. Perfect for large groups or a round of bocce ball.

FEATURED REVIEW, NY MAG: Once a repair shop for cop cars, this converted garage first became a popular venue for Rooftop Films’ outdoor movie screenings before transforming into its current incarnation: a spacious, laid-back bar and beer garden, replete with a bartop fashioned out of reclaimed wood from the Coney Island boardwalk, two patios, and 24 pours on tap. The breweries represented include the usual suspects—Peak Organics, Harpoon, Allagash, and other day-drinking staples—as well as European favorites like Gaffel Kölsch and Spaten. Similarly impressive is the non-beer selection, with a 30-deep list of whiskeys and specialty cocktails employing herbs from the on-site garden. The homegrown produce also figures into the food menu, which offers pub fare like fried green tomato sandwiches and beer-battered fish and chips. Take it all in at a booth inside or in the 7,500-square-foot side patio, where picnic tables, two-tops, lawn chairs, and the occasional stroller are all tucked safely within the confines of a wooden picket fence.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CROWN VICTORIA »

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Iona

Iona

WE SAY: From the day it opened, nearly ten years ago, Iona has been one of our favorite places to drink in Williamsburg during the summer. It has a great neighborhood vibe and in the warmer months a spacious backyard with BBQ and free ping-pong. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon drinking an icy London Pride.

FEATURED REVIEW, ABOUT.COM: Iona is a laid-back Irish pub just off Bedford Avenue. The mint-green iron entryway with name “IONA” spelled out in Gaelic font will catch your eye. Weekdays are relatively calm, with plenty of space at the bar for casual beer drinking. Liquor drinkers have no fear, there’s plenty of Jameson to go around and wine can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle. Iona is cash only, but there’s an ATM on the premises. In the warmer months, there’s a lovely backyard with wooden benches for large groups – on cooler nights you might see a fire pit.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IONA »

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Night of Joy (c/o Time Out)

Night of Joy

WE SAY: A sizable deck with a view of Manhattan in one direction and the BQE in the other. We especially like this place at night, when watching the headlights flash by on the BQE make it particularly moody.

FEATURED REVIEW, TIME OUT: You’ll find this eclectic Williamsburg watering hole on an unassuming corner beneath the BQE. Make your way around the antique furniture in the dim lower-level bar and head upstairs to the buzzing rooftop patio, lined with mesh lanterns and box planters. Once you’ve settled in, peruse the handwritten list of cocktails, made using all-natural ingredients such as fresh fruit and herbs: We liked the jalapeño-and-black-currant tequila ($9); its spicy kick comes from a base of hot-pepper-infused Milagro Silver.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TITLE NIGHT OF JOY »

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The Ides at the Wythe Hotel (c/o TimeOut)

THE IDES

WE SAY: Glorious panoramic views of Manhattan and Brooklyn that are among the best in all of New York. The crowd is generally out-of-towners trying to look “Brooklyn”, but the patio, six stories high, will make up for the touristy feel of the place. Highly recommended. Note: sometimes there is a line to get in, but we’ve never waited more than 10 minutes.

FEATURED REVIEW, NY MAG: An indoor and outdoor space on the sixth floor of Williamsburg’s new pride and joy, run by Andrew Tarlow, the restaurateur also of the downstairs restaurant Reynards. Have a seat at the bar or on one of the indoor red banquettes, or take it out to the terrace, with views of Manhattan that you could only see if you were not actually in the borough.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE IDES»

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Huckleberry Bar (c/o Brooklyn Based)

Huckleberry Bar

WE SAY: A quiet hidden gem on Grand Street, perfect for having a fancy cocktail and a small plate. A great place to take a date.

FEATURED REVIEW, BROOKLYN BASED: Huckleberry Bar makes some of the most creative and delicious cocktails around, and while you could go ahead and mock their homemade bitters and syrups and seasonal cocktail menu, actually tasting their drinks will turn you into a believer in mixology (okay no, no one actually likes that word). On their current menu the warmly spiced, yet citrusy Urban Cowboy (made with tequila, oloroso sherry, lime and homemade orgeat and cinnamon syrups) is a real standout. Sip that, or split a bottle of prosecco with friends, in the lushly landscaped backyard–it really feels like you’re in a hidden garden away from the rest of Williamsburg back there. Local cats often prowl the rooftops and fences surrounding the yard, their eyes turned toward squirrels, birds and each other, completely uninterested in you or your delicious drink.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HUCKLEBERRY BAR »

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Pete’s Candy Store

Pete’s Candy Store

WE SAY: Pete’s is a Williamsburg institution. During the warmer months, they have BBQ on Sundays in their garden, which always attracts a mix of locals. It’s a great place to spend a sunny day drinking Garden Martinis (Vodka, Dill, Cucumber, Agave, Lemon). Migrate inside as the night arrives and hear some free music.

FEATURED REVIEW, TIME OUT: There’s free music in the Pullman-car-shaped performance space, with acts on the cusp of wider recognition appearing nightly. When the weather warms, the backyard opens to stargazers.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PETE’S CANDY STORE »

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Spuyten Duyvil

Spuyten Duyvil

Spuyten Duyvil

WE SAY: A spacious garden that never seems to get too crowded. Spuyten Duyvil is a favorite for craft beer lovers and has one of the largest selections in the city. (They have great wine too, if beer is too heavy on a hot summer day). One of the best places to drink outside in the city.

FEATURED REVIEW, NYC BEER GUIDE: Spuyten Duyvil is a smart, cozy bar which first opened September 2003; there are six ever-changing taps and a cask-conditioned beer engine, all pouring microbrews and unusual imports, and a truly amazing selection of bottled beers from around the world. Belgium alone has a large blackboard listing the range available from that country – and even divided into the two language regions. The available taps are deliberately kept to a limited number to ensure freshness and frequent changes. The interior features much wood; antiques and old stuff abound (many of which are for sale), and bizarrely there are medical posters and props on the walls. There is a good-sized beer garden, torch-lit after dark. Food is limited to cheese (yum yum!!!) and pate/meat boards.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SPUYTEN DUYVIL »

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Berry Park

Berry Park

Berry Park

WE SAY: The view is hard to beat, especially at dusk when you can see the sunset framed by the New York skyline. On the downside, the food is only serviceable and, worse, Berry Park tends to attract bros and people from Jersey. That said, they’ve got that damn view that keeps us coming back.

FEATURED REVIEW, TIME OUT: Williamsburg welcomes its latest beer hall, a bi-level behemoth with a 3,500-square-foot ground floor and a roof deck almost as large. Brooklyn boosters may be disappointed to find that the 15 taps are dedicated to imports (mostly German and Belgian drafts). Other amenities that might make up for it: a 13-foot-wide screen dedicated to soccer, Manhattan (and McCarren Park) views and a forthcoming beer-friendly food menu.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BERRY PARK »

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Bia

Bia

WE SAY: It’s a little sleepy and the drone of the bridge and nearby air conditioners can be a little distracting. That said, Bia has nice vibe and feels like your own private rooftop.

FEATURED REVIEW, BLACKBOOK: Good evening, Vietnam. Duke peeps cross the river, take over raw industrial space in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Rooftop bar provides views aplenty. Twin staircases lead to cavernous interior complete with balcony seating. John Wayne photos joined by recycled signs from the last tenant (“Vince’s General Auto Repairs”). Kitchen pumps out traditional grilled meats, rice dishes, and bánh mì (duh). Bar pours craft beers and old-fashioned cocktails, for better sipping under the rooftop umbrellas.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BIA »

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Union Pool

Union Pool

WE SAY: Like Berry Park, the crowd can be a little douchey (annoying hipsters and tourists) but the festive vibe and the great backyard with a strangely enchanting view of the, um, BQE more than makes up for any discomforts. Plus there’s a taco truck, so it’s hard to go wrong.

FEATURED REVIEW, BLACK BOOK: Former pool supply store but you’d need more than chlorine to clean these dirty minds now. Live music space in the back, massive outdoor smoking lounge, and unparalleled views of the BQE’s fabled underside. Also a renowned late-night, last-chance hook-up spot.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT UNION POOL »

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The Woods

The Woods

WE SAY: Fairly well removed from the Bedford L train station — it’s a 10 minute walk — The Woods is never too crowded. They have a large outdoor courtyard, and sell tacos and sandwiches too. Daily drink specials make this a solid choice for outdoor libations.

FEATURED REVIEW, NY MAG: The back patio is a major draw, even on colder nights, since it houses a tasty and cheap taco truck that’s often open ‘til closing.

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Nita Nita

Nita Nita

WE SAY: A locals favorite, with a quaint, shady backyard. Tapas are available which is a nice bonus on a summer afternoon.

FEATURED REVIEW, NY MAG: This quiet Williamsburg bar whips up simple, well-executed small plates: a luxuriant Gouda macaroni and cheese, for example, or a plate of garlicky collards flecked with Parmesan. These dishes are best enjoyed in the back garden with a cocktail, though you might need a user’s manual to comprehend what exactly it is you’re drinking (it seems that somebody tipped a spice rack into the strawberry gin fizz). Young locals mix with older, air-kissing Continentals late into the evening, thanks to a kitchen that stays open till 2am.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT NITA NITA »

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MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WOODS »

Battery Harris

Battery Harris

WE SAY: We were wondering what happened to the Williamsburg outpost of Loreley. It appears they’ve closed and have now reopened under new ownership as Battery Harris. Battery Harris has an enormous outdoor area (enormous for New York that is) and a menu featuring burgers, jerk chicken, and cocktails named after Van Damme movies — Blood Sport, Death Warrant, Black Eagle, Desert Heat, Double Impact, Nowhere to Run and Lionheart. Um, what? And similar to its predecessor, they have a huge beer selection.

FEATURED REVIEW, THRILLIST: Named for a lineup of big-ass guns out in the Rockaways, this indoor/outdoor sky-oasis of cocktails, beer, and Caribbean eats has taken over the former gas station/Loreley spot in Williamsburg and built up that classic tropical/industrial vibe everyone loves. To wit: all sorts of greenery and communal tables outside (under an overhang that’s “inspired by an F-16?!), and an airy interior that gets blasted by a massive skylight. Also the cocktails all have names that JUST HAPPEN to be Van Damme movies

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BATTERY HARRIS »

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DRINKING OUTSIDE IN GREENPOINT:

No Name Bar

No Name Bar

WE SAY: You might have a hard time finding it — there’s no phone, sign, or website — but if you’re able to locate this intentionally mysterious establishment, sneak out back to their garden, have a few drinks, and try their fantastic Korean noodles. It’s a large space that’s great for a group. Be sure to sample their kimchee which is a nice substitution for standard summer fare like BBQ and burgers.

FEATURED REVIEW, ZAGAT: When it’s nice out. The big secret of this secret bar is its backyard garden. While knocking a few back in the dimly lit interior is just fine, daytime drinkers can soak up a few rays (and a few cigs) as they chill in the surprisingly large outdoor space.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT NO NAME BAR »

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Beloved

Beloved

WE SAY: This newcomer to Greenpoint has a spacious backyard and sets itself apart with its lack of pretense and attitude. It’s not as ‘cool’ as some other places on this list, and that’s the point. Plus, they have a great cocktail list, all $10 a pop.

FEATURED REVIEW, NY MAG: As Greenpoint marches toward yuppiedom, this straightforward bar seems determined to preserve some of the neighborhood’s low-key appeal. Groups of scruffy young things are the chief clientele, mingling around tables in front, dancing to D.J.-ed music in the back of the L-shaped room (notable guest spinners include members of MGMT, Das Racist, and Chairlift), or just taking a breather in the bar’s space-doubling, summer-ready backyard.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BELOVED »

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T.B.D

T.B.D.

WE SAY: What T.B.D. lacks in personality, it makes up for in size. Check their website for beer specials and for information about BBQs and special events. Like Crown Victoria and Spuyten Duyvil, T.B.D. is perfect for large groups.

FEATURED REVIEW, BROOKLYN BASED: The interior has a sort of Euro disco feel to it, but the backyard is enormous with tons of picnic tables and consistently good food by guest chefs working their outdoor kitchen. Great beer selection to boot.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT T.B.D. »

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Black Rabbit

Black Rabbit

Black Rabbit

WE SAY: The sun rarely shines directly on this shady backyard patio, but it’s a great place to share a picnic table with some new friends on a summer night while you enjoy a Green Flash IPA or a glass of pinot. The sausages are surprisingly good too. Black Rabbit is popular with longtime Greenpointers who shun the post-Girls migration to the ‘Point.

FEATURED REVIEW, BROOKLYN BASED: Two long picnic tables dominate the back garden so you’ll probably end up sharing your space–a good way to meet a cute stranger. Garden closes at 10 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BLACK RABBIT »

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Spritzenhaus

Spritzenhaus

Spritzenhaus

WE SAY: It’s a German-style beer hall, not a beer garden, but there are plenty of picnic tables outside in the spring and summer. Plus the enormous, warehouse windows will make you feel like you’re outside when seated beside them. Unlike Radegast Beer Hall, there’s also a huge selection of American beers on tap. Spritzenhaus is especially popular with families on weekend afternoons.

FEATURED REVIEW, GOOGLEPLUS: It’s Munich on McCarren Park at this 6,000-sq.-ft. Greenpoint beer hall where hipsters assemble at communal tables to chug German and American craft suds before heading home to blog about it; the wide-open industrial setting is designed for all-seasons use, with a big fireplace in winter and garage-style windows that roll up in warmer weather.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SPRITZENHAUS »

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The Diamond

The Diamond

WE SAY: Capitalizing on their popularity during the summer, The Diamond’s menu focuses on session beers so you won’t be hammered by 3pm should you opt for some daytime drinking in their garden. If it gets too warm, poke your head inside for free shuffle board. Unfortunately, this is a beer only joint, but if you’re a fan of malt and hops, you won’t find a more inviting garden in Greenpoint.

FEATURED REVIEW, TIME OUT: Summer boozing requires a few specific elements: chiefly, an outdoor space where you and some friends can hang out, and enough low-alcohol beers to keep you pleasantly buzzed, but not drunk. Take the Diamond: Not only does this Greenpoint bar have a lovely backyard, complete with a gondola repurposed for seating, but it also offers plenty of session beers with an ABV of 5 percent or less. While higher-alcohol quaffs are available, we suggest sticking with the lighter brews: 21st Amendment’s Bitter American ($6) is a tasty choice, and won’t leave your head spinning at the end of the day.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE DIAMOND »

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Brouwerij Lane

Brouwerij Lane

WE SAY: Brouwerij Lane really lives up to the first three letters of its name — but where there’s good beer there will always be bros. We don’t mind, because they have over 150 bottles available and 19 ever-changing taps of craft beer. The outdoor courtyard is small, but we always meet nice people there with whom to share a table and a pint. The staff is knowledgable and friendly too. In fact, we love this place so forget we told you about it.

FEATURED REVIEW, METROMIX: A great neighborhood bar, especially during the summer months, when the friendly folks at Boulevard fire up the grill in their backyard (every Friday through Monday) and cook burgers and dogs, which go well with their cheap drinks.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BROUWERIJ LANE »

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Boulevard Tavern

Boulevard Tavern

WE SAY: Boulevard Tavern has been pouring cocktails since 1928, and it feels like it. Tucked away beneath the BQE, this friendly establishment has an old-world vibe, but is too well maintained to be considered a dive. There backyard is cozy and often has free BBQ. All-in-all Boulevard Tavern is a pretty great place.

FEATURED REVIEW, METROMIX: A great neighborhood bar, especially during the summer months, when the friendly folks at Boulevard fire up the grill in their backyard (every Friday through Monday) and cook burgers and dogs, which go well with their cheap drinks.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BOULEVARD TAVERN »

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DRINKING OUTSIDE IN BUSHWICK:

The Narrows

The Narrows

WE SAY: It’s so hard to find, you’ll feel like you’re at a speakeasy, but this is one of the better places to drink in Bushwick. The Narrows is posh — and occassionally crowded — specializing in well-made cocktails like the Anaglypta (gin, dry vermouth, yellow chartreuse, campari). Still, the patio is cozy, with lawn furniture that looks like it came from a yard sale – and we mean that in a good way. Plus, they have oysters everyday until 7pm for a buck! Even if you don’t live in Bushwick, The Narrows will make it worth the trip.

FEATURED REVIEW, GOTHAMIST: The Narrows has been around for a couple of years, but if you haven’t checked out the Bushwick spot, now is the time. (Seriously, do it before you won’t be able to get a table.) While the bar has always served up small bites, they recently launched a full dinner service and added a new dining room. And we hear this spot is a favorite amongst the crews behind Do or Dine and Roberta’s, so you know the food is pre-approved. Click through for a look at the cozy space—which includes an outdoor area for the warmer seasons—as well as some of the dishes and cocktails they’re now serving up.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NARROWS »

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ROBERTA’S

ROBERTA’S

WE SAY: If you’ve ever been to Roberta’s (and who hasn’t) you’ve probably sat in their outside garden waiting and waiting and waiting for a table. Still, if you show up in the middle of the day, it’s a pleasant place for a drink. Of course, stay for dinner!

FEATURED REVIEW, NY TIMES: Even though Roberta’s is known as a pizzeria, it’s O.K. to skip the pizzas. Not that there’s anything wrong with them — they’re nicely singed in a wood-burning oven — but the kitchen is also turning out subtle and polished dishes in the back, like pickled pig’s tongue, or mackerel, which might come with braised lemon jelly and puréed peas. This is not pizzeria fare, and it’s not what you expect to find in a part of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn where street traffic seems to be evenly divided between concrete trucks and fixed-gear bikes. Roberta’s fits right in. The restaurant looks like a cinderblock bunker, and the beer and wine are served in jelly jars, but the food is as confident and relaxed as the scruffy clientele

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ROBERTA’S »

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The Tradesman

The Tradesman

WE SAY: The Montrose stop has few places to choose from, but that’s okay because Tradesman is really all we need. The have a solid selection of craft beers, a cheap happy hour, and a quiet patio that has a great neighborhood vibe.

FEATURED REVIEW, TIME OUT: Antique tools decorate this Bushwick tavern, which also features rustic wood walls and a crosshatch-patterned floor in green, gray and white. Twelve taps dispense Northeast brews (Greenport Harbor, Kelso) at the 17-foot-long white oak bar, but drinkers can also sip on local hooch (Comb Honey Gin, Core Applejack) and classic cocktails.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRADESMAN »

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Others Venues With Outdoor Seating In North Brooklyn:
See the Full List

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