Given that Manhattan is an island, New York City boasts some of the best waterfront bars and restaurants, not only with amazing drinks and food, but also amazing city views. Here are 10 places on the water to check off your list while the weather is still warm.
Once a salt bank fishing boat and traveling maritime museum, the Sherman Zwicker now rests at the southwest edge of Pier 25. Aboard this historic schooner you will no longer find cargo loads of cod and salt, but Grand Banks, an oyster bar featuring sustainably harvested and wild caught oysters. The wooden vessel no longer sets sail, but visitors still get to see panoramic views of the Hudson River, New York Harbor, and the Freedom Tower.
Before becoming a summer staple, The Frying Pan served as a lightship in North Carolina for thirty years and then laid sunk and abandoned in the Chesapeake Bay. The little red ship, built in 1929, started its new life in New York in 1989 and soon became a West Side hotspot. Currently docked alongside the Pier 66 Maritime Grill at Pier 66a in the Hudson River Park, The Frying Pan is the perfect place to enjoy a burger and beer.
The North River Lobster Co. has been a summer favorite since 2014. Now, fans of this casual floating lobster shack can enjoy the company’s sister restaurant in a new lounge and rooftop at NYC’s Pier 81. With three stories and 3,000 square feet of outdoor top deck space, Fish Bar takes visitors on daily one-and-a-half to two-hour sails on the Hudson, rain or shine. Aboard Fish Bar’s 160-foot yacht, while sipping a cocktail and sharing small plate seafood dishes.
If you’re looking to set sail, hop aboard The Water Table. This restaurant calls itself ‘a New England tavern on the water.’ Starting from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, The Water Table takes patrons on a cruise down the East River, beyond the Brooklyn Navy Yard, under the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges, past One World Trade and right up to the Statue of Liberty.
Many locations along the river in Manhattan have historical significance, and Pier A Harbor House is no exception. Since it opened in 1886, the harbor house has served a variety of purposes. Today the harbor house is a multi-level dining and drinking experience that pays homage to its nautical past by incorporating the maritime motif into its design and atmosphere. The expansive first floor contains the Long Hall Bar and Oyster Bar with tables boasting a clear view of the Statue of Liberty while upstairs offers a fine dining option.
Located inside a grand built in 1937, Boat Basin Café offers a unique summer hangout in Riverside Park. Boat Basin Café is made up of three parts. Entering from 79th Street, patrons are welcomed into a giant open-air rotunda. Continuing inside, the café itself is housed in a covered rotunda with limestone arches. This large indoor space leads out to the open-air patio, which runs along the riverside of the café.
La Marina isn’t just a bar or restaurant on the water, it’s a destination. Spread across 75,000 square feet of Hudson River waterfront, La Marina encompasses a newly rebuilt restaurant, bar, lounge, and event space, and not to mention, a beach! Whether you want to stick your feet in the sand and relax with a bucket of beer by your side or savor a lobster dish in the lounge, La Marina has it all, complemented by magnificent views of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades.
During the summer months, partners Jim Gill, Matt Perricone, and Thomas Morgan bring this floating barge from its home in the Hudson Valley, down to Greenpoint, Brooklyn for the season. In Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Barge holds a restaurant and bar, serving up dishes like Walk the Plank Pork Fries and Harpooned Shrimp. Located obviously on the Brooklyn side of the East River, guests get a great view Manhattan.
The open deck and glass enclosure of Watermark at Pier 15 allow for unrestricted views of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges and the Brooklyn skyline. This East River space is open for private events day or night and hosts many live events, such as summer concerts and Oktoberfest.
The Crow’s Nest is the outdoor patio and rooftop bar that sits atop The Water Club restaurant, permanently docked in the East River. The bar offers casual food, cocktails, beer and wine with a laid-back vibe. The brightly painted bar helps create a relaxed, vacation atmosphere, while you also get views of the Queensboro and Williamsburg Bridges.