Spring Is in the Air: Outdoor Gardens and Rooftops
I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of spring is being able to finally emerge from the dark and the cold to sit outside in the sun, preferably sipping on a nice saison and surrounded by greenery. I don’t ask for much. Luckily, Greenpoint is chock-full of great places to eat and drink outdoors, either in magical green gardens or on rooftops with stellar views. Here are a few places worth the trip.
12 Franklin Street
Good for: Gorgeous semi-panoramic rooftop views and large groups.
This Australian-themed bar features an expansive rooftop with its own bar and wooden bench tables that channel something of a summer beach vibe. Gaze across the East River to watch the sunset over the city or to ponder the Empire State Building’s color of the day. Add a Beer & Shot into the mix for $10 during happy hour, grab an Aussie burger, and you’re set.
222 Franklin Street
Good for: Eating outside even if it’s raining.
Anella’s backyard garden is covered and great for any weather, and its rock garden and crawling ivy make it a beautiful place to sit on a warm afternoon. Stop by after work on a weekday to avoid the crowds. The burrata and the roasted chicken, both customer favorites, change flavors with the seasons and are satisfying choices for a meal outside.
91 Greenpoint Avenue
Good for: Summer evenings unwinding after work.
You’d never expect to find such a quaint garden behind this dimly lit 19th-century-inspired bar, but Black Rabbit’s backyard is a great place to hide away on a summer evening. The ivy-laden walls and two wooden bench tables give Black Rabbit’s backyard garden a cozy feel, and it’s really spectacular in the summer when the plants are in bloom. Grab a $4.00 house beer at the bar, the Black Rabbit (on special until 8:00), and head out back to while away an evening.
43 Franklin Street
Good for: Tasty drinks with an eclectic crowd.
This quirky spot, with its lite-brite indoor façade and shuffleboard tables, has an equally offbeat outdoor space, complete with a marooned ski lift gondola. There’s always something going on here, from themed nights (Monday is Shuffleboard Night) to pop-up dinners from local restaurants (about once a week), and it’s a great place for craft beer nerds to rejoice in the diverse menu selections. Enjoy a Sly Fox pilsner during happy hour, a perfect complement to warm weather.
33 Nassau Avenue
Good for: Beer and Jenga with a large group.
Spritzenhaus has a convertible front façade that turns a cozy, yet spacious space into a summer-worthy hangout spot. The windows along the entire front wall open when the weather is nice, and there are also tables lining the sidewalk. Take advantage of an extensive beer selection, then settle in at a beerhall-style wooden bench with a box of truth-or-dare Jenga and place yourself at the mercy of those who wrote on the tiles before you.
3 Milton Street & West Street
Good for: When you’re feeling nautical and slightly adventurous.
This one gets an honorable mention even though it doesn’t open until May 1. Right on the water, Brooklyn Barge is more than just a place to enjoy drinks and seafood—the Barge offers programs such as kayak and stand-up paddle board lessons and is committed to marine conservation, including cleaning up the East River and restoring its oyster population. This bar is about as close as you can get to drinking on a boat without actually being on a boat.
Honorable Mentions/Others to Visit: Esme, Keg & Lantern, Milk & Roses, Broken Land, Lobster Joint, t.b.d, Budin, Troost, Le Gamin, Brouwerij Lane, Night of Joy, Llama Inn, Sizzle Pie, Tuffet, The Lot Radio, Lake Street, Ides at the Wythe & Shayz