Get Your Drink On, Outside!
Spring is here, and the weather will soon be warming up. Here’s your guide to the best roof decks, patios and sidewalk cafes to chill out with a cold drink.
It’s April, which means it is my most favorite time of the year: outdoor drinking season. No, I don’t mean brown-bagging it at the bus terminal, guys! I mean hanging out on a cool roof or in a backyard and chugging a frosty one. Oh, you don’t have a cool roof or a backyard? Well, join the club. Luckily, there are some great spots in town to get some sun while destroying your liver.
BEST OUTDOOR SPOTS FOR BOOZING
I know it’s fancy, but the outdoor bar at the W Hotel’s Chandelier Room has the best views of Manhattan and the Hudson River, and super comfy couches. If the weather is a bit chilly, the staff will set up heat lamps. On the downside, it will be packed on the weekends with guys holding Heineken bottles a little too close to their crotches. You’ll pay about $12 for a specialty cocktail, but it will be delicious and worth it.
City Bistro’s roof deck is another neighborhood favorite. It’s big, and while the views used to be a lot better (recent construction is a drag), it’s still a cool feeling to be on top of the whole city. The beer selection is typical stuff: Bud, Coors, Sam Adams, Stella, Blue Moon. Nothing too exciting there. On Mondays, they offer half off on food and drinks, though, which doesn’t sound like a bad way to start the week off.
Okay, so it can get packed with dudes in backwards caps and girls in Uggs, but I kind of love The Dubliner’s roof deck for its unpretentious attitude. It’s like being in college! If you have to barf, just do it off the side of the roof (I’m kidding)! On weekends, from noon to 7 p.m., pitchers of any beer you’d like are just $10 each, while on Thursdays you can get $10 buckets of Miller Liter to split with your buddies. 80 oz beer towers are also on hand, you know, for those extra classy evenings.
I also like the back patio at Oddfellow’s Rest, because you don’t see too many secluded backyards like that. Hoboken can be a noisy place, especially with every Midwestern tourist losing their bowels daily over Buddy Valastro’s every move. Head to the back patio early on a warm weekend, get a couple of $5 Hurricanes (it’s the special on Friday and Saturdays) and chill out for a minute. If that’s not hitting the spot and you want to get more New Orleans-y, try the Blue Bayou (Malibu rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda, with a sugar rim) or the Masquerade (Skyy vodka, Tanqueray, Bacardi, triple sec, pineapple juice, grenadine, lemon lime soda), each $9.
I know it’s not set to open until probably July by now, but I want to reserve a spot on this list for my total excitement for the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, Hoboken’s first real beer hall. They are set to serve 18 beers on draft with about 30 to 40 more in bottles. And you will be able to drink all of those different beers at big long tables under the trees. What’s not to like about that?
BUT I GUESS THESE WILL DO IN A PINCH
I don’t especially love outdoor drinking spots that are basically a fenced in portion of the sidewalk. First of all, it feels like you are part of a weird cattle herd. Second of all, people are just walking down the street and judging you as you double-fist two PBR’s. Who cares if it’s barely lunchtime? Keep walking, nothing to see here! But, outdoor exhibitionist drinking is still better than indoor drinking, so here are a few more options:
10th and Willow has outdoor seating, so as long as you don’t go during the dinner rush, you should be good. The Clinton Social Club also has outdoor seating, and I like that place, so I’ll say it’s a safe bet for a nice time. The Brass Rail has outdoor seating, but you’re going to have to deal with the downtown Washington Street crowds, so enjoy at your own risk.
Elysian Café is a hotspot for outdoor dining, and as a bonus, you can enjoy a booze brunch while surrounded by their zillions of potted plants and flowering trestles. Liberty Bar and Grill also has a decent enough outdoor dining area, and the neighborhood is a bit quieter. Around the corner, The Madison has the same deal, but there are also a lot of palm fronds with which to hide in (what?). Finally, McSwiggan’s has a nice outdoor space, and it is semi-private to the street. Bonus, cheap beers!
So there you have it, your best bets for (totally cool and legal) outdoor drinking in Hoboken. Now, please, put away that flask before someone sees!