It's summertime in New York City!
Among the myriad of things that are now available for us to do once again, at the top of our list is having a drink while soaking sup some sun. I mean, can you blame us?
As one of the fastest evolving boroughs in the city, Queens offers a surprising amount of spots where you can get your drink on while basking underneath the summer sky.
Here's our list for the outdoor spots you should pop into while you're taking a romp around Queens.
1. Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (29-19 24th Avenue - Astoria)
Starting off our Queens tour is a massive old-school beer garden lined with a sprawling outdoor yard equipped with shade-giving trees and numerous picnic tables. Founded in 1910 by the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria, this spot has been taking care of Astorians for over a century.
The inexpensive beers, like $6 mugs or $16 pitchers, and wine selection make a great pairing for their traditional Czech and Slovak food, with favorites like potato pierogies and beef goulash. This month, “Quiet Clubbing” parties happen on alternating Fridays and live bands play on the on weekends.
2. Nowadays (56-06 Cooper Avenue - Ridgewood)
Fresh from its grand opening last June, the seasonal Nowadays bar took an old, abandoned lot and transformed it into a backyard-themed watering hole, complete with picnic tables, strings of lights, grassy knolls and fun little side games like ping-pong and bocce ball.
Here you'll find a selection of two dozen beers on tap from local breweries, wine by the cup or bottle and greasy bar grub like beer-braised bratwurst and grass-fed burgers. Patrons are free to bring their dogs or, surprisingly, their kids. But don't worry. They're asked to be kept on a leash. The dogs, too.
3. Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill (4-40 44th Drive - Long Island City)
Discreetly situated on the banks of the East River and only accessible through a dead-end, semi-industrial street, this hidden hideaway doesn't only boast a chill crowd with riverside picnic tables for enjoying libations, but sweeping views of Roosevelt Island and the Midtown Manhattan skyline.
A chalkboard menu of rotating specials accompanies a healthy selection of wine, beer and specialty cocktails, like house favorite the LIC Cocktail, made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup and bitters. Some weekends will host live music, and you can't beat the view come 4th of July.
4. Bay 9 at Riis Beach Park Bazaar (16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd - The Rockaways)
If you're up for a weekend beach-going pilgrimage, take the A out to The Rockaways where you can find the Riis Park Beach Bazaar, a beachfront collection of old art deco concession stands that attract a pretty trendy crowd after Memorial Day, for everything from volleyball to the live summer concerts.
Among its most popular stops is the Bay 9 pavilion, mostly because of their menu chock full of frozen margaritas, Long Island-sourced wines, craft cocktails and beers. And there's no shortage of food around to go with your drinks as you chill with your feet in the sand at the bar’s alfresco picnic tables.
5. Bourbon Street (40-12 Bell Blvd - Bayside)
A whopping 1,800-square-foot deck sits on the roof of Bourbon Street Bar and Restaurant, a New Orleans-inspired hotspot featuring numerous French Quarter-styled lanterns, wrought-iron fencing, eight large HDTVs and brightly colored lounge seating.
From traditional Hurricanes to their specialty cocktails like the Cucumber Cripser, a mix of Effen Cucumber Vodka, lime juice, muddled mint leaves and cucumber slices, it's a Cajun kick for all your senses right smack in the middle of Bell Boulevard.
6. Z Roof at the Z NYC Hotel (11-01 43rd Avenue - Long Island City)
If you're looking to class up your night out in Queens a little, head on up to the 12th floor of the chic Z NYC Hotel and get ready for some breathtaking 360-degree views of the Manhattan and Queens skylines. Their “Sultry Sundays” brunch with a live DJ have become very popular here as well.
This 5,000-square-foot behemoth boasts two bars serving wine, beer, champagne and their craft signature cocktails like the sweet red Ruby Relaxer, made with Malibu, Ketel One vodka, pineapple and cranberry juice, and peach schnapps. You also can't beat the sky-high views when the sun starts to set.
7. La Playa NYC (176 Woodward Avenue - Ridgewood)
One of the most anticipated openings happening in Queens this summer is the seasonal pop-up La Playa NYC, the brainchild of the Rockaway Brewing Company based in Long Island City. Although it's not open yet, it's definitely something to keep on your radar as the first few days of summer roll in.
The 5,000-square-foot lot on Woodward will be transformed into a beach-like oasis, with white sand imported from Long Island, beach chairs, a street art aesthetic and BYO grilling stations, as they won't serve food, to accompany the Rockaways brews and NY State farmhouse beers. All hail summer!
Check out 8 Best Bars to Hit Up During NYC Pride.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]