The GofG Guide To The Best Summer Bars In The City

by Christina Makoyawo · May 9, 2011

The weather's been reaching 80 degrees recently and it's not even summer. This thick wave of sweltering temperature is sure to be a preview to what's coming for the city once June hits.  We put together a collection of some of the city's best bars to kick back and cool down with your friends.

The Standard Biergarten, 848 Washington St

Stripped of the pretension of the loftier levels of the hotel, the Beer Garden still retains class for a place that serves pretzels and offers up ping pong tables. At $8 a brew, it won't break the bank and the communal tables make meeting people easy. Take a walk on the Highline before, stay for dinner at the Standard Grill, and make an evening out of it with Le Bain.

Mulberry Project Outdoor Patio & Garden, 149 Mulberry Street, between Grand & Hester St (Nolita)

Mulberry Project just opened its outdoor patio & garden. Located past the DJ booth, the 900 sq-foot spot contains a seated dining section able to hold up to 50 people. Not to forget its wooden booths made for large groups. The venue's decor features some of the best street art from veteran artists Curtis Kulig and Ian "Kid Zoom". One of the most exciting details? A complete full service frozen cocktail menu! Icy selections include the Hamptons-inspired Champagne Piña Colada (White Spiced Flavored Rum, Vanilla Coconut Milk, Pineapple, Champagne Grapes, topped with Champagne), Dutch Hopper (Dutch Chocolate Syrup, Green Mint Syrup, Mint Whipped Cream, Citron Vodka, Semisweet Chocolate) and Peach Strawberry Swirl (Peaches Blended with Amaretto, Strawberries Blended with Rum). Mulberry Project might be your favorite place this summer. [Via]

The Yard, 310 West Broadway

Open during the summertime at the Soho Grand, this outdoor spot glitters with hanging lights. The crowd tends to be attractive, and the sangria is perfection. Sit on a couch near the back and relax. Last Summer, Friday's Summer Hummer parties could get out of hand with buckets of Tecate in high demand.

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Hudson's Sky Terrace, 356 West 58th Street, 15th Flr (Midtown)

The crown of the Hudson Hotel, the Hudson Sky Terrace is exclusive and chic. Along with its magnificent view of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline, their signature cocktails White Sangria and Tequila Passion are sure to keep your palette entertained. It's opening in the middle of this month!

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Salon de Ning, 700 5th Ave, between 54th & 55th St (Midtown)

This bar can be very romantic given a good night. The drinks are slightly on the wallet-heavy side but alas, it is what the area commands. Right in the middle of the chicest section in NYC, this rooftop summer hot spot is in a class by itself.

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Mé Bar, 17 West 32nd Street, between 5th Ave and Broadway (Midtown)

Floor to ceiling windows equip this rooftop bar with admirable views of the city. On the top of Koreatown hotel, La Quinta, Mé Bar has a close view of the Empire State Building. This rooftop spot also has a patio full of white wooden benches and Christmas lights. The drink prices are easy on the wallet.

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Upstairs, 145 East 50th Street, between Lexington & 3rd Aves (Midtown)

This rooftop bar sits on top of the Kimberly Hotel and gives guests a 360-degree view of Midtown thanks to its retractable roof! In addition to the bars signature cocktails, there are selections of beer on tap and an international wine list. This rooftop bar boasting 3K sq-ft space is sure not to disappoint.

The Woods, 48 S 4th St (South Williamsburg)

Housed in a  giant converted warehouse space, this bar has a giant backyard where crowds can enjoy the weather or catch a smoke. Inside can tend to be packed, but get there early and stake out your spot to dance to  music you'd normally be embarrassed to admit you like from the '80's and '90's. Fans of Union Pool will love the layout and the taco truck.

Huckleberry Bar, 588 Grand Street at Lorimer St (Williamsburg)

With organic and green influences while you drink and lounge, how could you go wrong? The bar's owner, Stephanie Schneider, is known for her green infusions. "Plant's Physician" is a drink with bits of chamomile-hinted syrup, oak-influenced tequila with lemon juice and lemon bitters. Huckleberry Bar is definitely for the good-time and eco-conscious crowd.

Hot Bird, 546 Clinton Ave at Atlantic Avenue (Clinton Hill)

Southern Fort Greene's Hot Bird is laden with picnic tables stretching across its large patios. With $4 pints and $15 pitchers flowing well after happy-hour, many save this spot as a generous favorite. Their FoodTruck is parked outside permanently after-after-hours; it's available to many patrons who don't see themselves heading home for a meal anytime soon.

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Franklin Park, 618 St. John's Place between Classon and Franklin Aves (Crown Heights)

Their Franklin Lemonades are a favorite for many, coming in flavors vodka, Campari, simple syrup, fresh lime and seltzer. It's converted from an old auto-garage but might give you memories of your parent's rec room. There's Skeeball and a large projector TV. Adding to the vintage/homey feel, the walls are adorned with family photographs.

Claret Wine Bar, 4602 Skillman Ave at 46th Street (Sunnyside)

A bar known for its diverse range of international wine, almost as diverse as it patrons. Their wine arrives from several countries, spanning South Africa to Austria. Guest can enjoy drinks with a pick-and-mix platter of European charcuterie and cheese. Its unique approach brings a little bit of European style to Queens, not to mention the bar's walls of windows, perfect for people-watching and letting the vitamin d soak in on a sunny day.

Studio Square, 35-33 36th Street, between 35th & 36th Sts (Long Island City)

This Long Island City treasure contains 30,000 sq feet of outdoor space and can be the perfect boozy-summer spot. Known for its array of German and American brewed elixir, their bubbling half-pitchers, liters and pitchers go for $7, $13 and $18, respectively. Aside from Studio Square's beer, the venue hosts live performances almost every weekend!

Old Faithfuls:

Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 West 63rd Street (Upper West Side)

Not only known for the celeb-flooded media events, this venue can be the perfect spot for lively outdoor festivities. Higher up in scale and latitude from a lot of the other spots on our list, you'd be able to catch some cooler summer air as you party.

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The Frying Pan, Pier 66, 205 West 26th street and Hudson River Park (Chelsea)

Known for its awesome view of the waterfront, menu, and strong drinks, The Frying Pan is definitely a summer staple. Aside from the aquatic view, there's a dimly-lit room for a DJ and a stage for live entertainment. Most people go for the "bar on a boat" experience.

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Soho House, 29 9th Avenue (Soho)

The bar at Soho House is well known for its exclusivity, aside from its regular schedule of uber-celeb fueled events and happenings. This venue has great access to public transportation. It's known for its DJ selections, pricey drinks and scenester crowds gathering together to fill up photog sites for days to come.

Habana Outpost, 757 Fulton Street (Brooklyn Heights/Fort Greene)

There are endless margarita glasses and merry laughs coming from this spot on a sunny day, as well as a great spot to people-watch the eclectic and arty crowd in Fort Greene. Go when the weather is just right on a Saturday or Sunday, you'll be guaranteed to have a pleasant time, especially with friends.

Bohemian Beer Hall, 24th Ave. (Queens)

The oldest beer hall in New York, this place turns 100 this year! The relic has an outdoor space as well as a giant indoor room and main bar. Czech and Slovak festivals and concerts pepper the calendar so check the web site before you go.

Enjoyed our list? Stay tuned for more bar lists as the summer goes on.