Explore the fascinating world of waterfront bars in the city that never sleeps as we take you on a waterfront odyssey through New York City. Tucked away along the Hudson and East Rivers, these bars offer unmatched views of the famous skyline, revolutionizing the urban drinking experience. All waterfront bars capture the spirit of the city, from posh rooftop bars to historic buildings with a maritime feel. Come along for a voyage through the sparkling lights and crashing waves as we explore the rich and varied waterfront bar culture of New York City. Whether you’re dancing beneath the stars or sipping cocktails at sunset, these locations promise a sublime fusion of skyline spectacle and libation. Raise a glass to the wonders of waterfront drinks in NYC.
Industry Kitchen is a sleek New American restaurant with cool, self-contained glass greenhouse seating for year-round outdoor seating in the Financial District. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry, along with the highly trafficked Upper New York Bay. They offer a wide list of wine by the glass and interesting cold and hot cocktails to accompany a vast menu of creative New American appetizers, salads, pizzas, and main dishes.
Located a block from Industry Kitchen at the end of the Financial District’s Pier 15, Watermark is an enormous 10,000-square-foot, two-story bar and restaurant with unfettered views of both the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges. Watermark is a favorite for holiday parties and large events, like weddings, and corporate events. They offer a full menu of American pub fare along with creative cocktails, beer, and wine. I went for their happy hour specials to savor cheap prosecco and truffle fries.
Grand Banks is a bustling outdoor seafood restaurant and bar in Tribeca serving oyster, inhabiting an old wooden schooner docked at the edge of Pier 25. You get incredible views of the Hudson River, Rockefeller Park, and Jersey City location across the river while you enjoy the freshest oysters and a craft cocktail.
Praised by OpenTable as one of the 20 best NYC restaurants and one of the most romantic NYC restaurants, River Café is a stunning fine-dining New American restaurant with a fine location in DUMBO Brooklyn. Its location directly under the famous Brooklyn Bridge offers incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and a luxurious and romantic atmosphere serenaded by live piano performances. I enjoyed a French 77 with gin, champagne, lavender honey, and a frothy egg white foam.
Located one block from the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO, Celestine is a lively neighborhood Mediterranean bistro with an elegant and welcoming atmosphere. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner, along with a creative list of cocktails, wine, and beer. Their cocktails offer Mediterranean twists on classic cocktails. Take, for instance, the Fig Dipper, a Mediterranean-style Old Fashioned, with ground black mission fig, brown sugar, smoked bitters, and bourbon.
Located in the iconic and beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park, PILOT is another historic restaurant atop an old 1920s-era wooden racing schooner docked at Pier 6. They’re a seasonal restaurant offering fresh oysters and seafood during the spring, summer, and early fall. I went and enjoyed a refreshing summer cocktail called the Tropicalia with vodka, cucumber, watermelon, and lime.
Brooklyn Crab is a family-friendly Red Hook neighborhood seafood restaurant inside a giant warehouse space with open-air seating, high ceilings, and giant windowed garage doors for unobstructed views of New York Bay, Pier 44, and the Statue of Liberty. They have a rotating tap list of 8 independent beers, numerous domestic bottles, and creative cocktails to pair with fresh seafood.
Lying atop the 1968 aircraft carrier Baylander, docked on the Hudson River at West Harlem Piers Park, The Baylander is a bar, kitchen, and glimpse into life aboard a Navy ship. The aircraft carrier was sold at auction to a foundation that converted its barracks and shipping containers into a well-preserved restaurant that history buffs and families will love. They serve a varied menu of American food, from shrimp tacos to short rib sandwiches, along with a full list of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Anable Basin Sailing Bar and Grill is a family-friendly Queens neighborhood bar and restaurant with a massive outdoor deck overlooking the East Channel, Queensboro Bridge, and Roosevelt Island. They offer a meat-centric food menu to accompany a small selection of draught beers, cans, wine, and classic cocktails. I loved their Polish kielbasa with a side of sauerkraut and mustard.
Named for the giant floating barge atop which it’s located, The Brooklyn Barge is a Greenpoint Brooklyn favorite location for waterfront dining and community programming. The giant barge has outdoor seating, using giant wooden barrels for tables. They offer American pub fare, with classics like hot dogs, sliders, grilled corn, and wings, to name a few.
Another Tribecca favorite, City Vinyard, is a romantic and family-friendly winery and eatery on Pier 26 in a large, two-story restaurant with a large outdoor deck on both levels. They feature live music and incredible views of the Manhattan Skyline to enjoy with great food and a full bar. Their wine bar list features numerous bottles from their proprietary winery, which you can order or purchase to pop open at home.
Located between Masha P Johnson State Park and McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Bar Blondeau is a stunning, high-end French cocktail bar and restaurant on the sixth floor of the Wythe Hotel. The beautifully designed modern space has panoramic windows to catch views of the Brooklyn skyline and Bushwick Inlet. They offer an elegant wine list, frozen cocktails, and craft cocktails to accompany a Southern European menu of seafood-centric dishes.
Johnny’s Reef is a kid-friendly, casual seafood restaurant and fish fry joint with a huge concrete deck dotted with picnic tables at the very tip of the Bronx’s charming City Island boating community. They’ve been a City Island institution for over 60 years, serving the freshest catches, battered and fried to perfection, and served on disposable paper plates along with a selection of beer and frozen cocktails.
The Frying Pan is both the name of a restaurant and the historic lightship on which it sits. The bright red ship with a white upper deck and the giant white letters Frying Pan painted along the side is docked at Chelsea’s Pier 66. They offer a vast menu of classic American seafood dishes along with a full bar. The boat was built in 1929 and has been a Chelsea bar and restaurant for over 30 years.
Drift In is a fully outdoor restaurant with seats all along West Village’s Pier 45. It’s surrounded by green fields and parks overlooking the Hudson River. It’s open seasonally according to weather conditions. They offer beachy, tropical food with summery cocktails, wines, and refreshing types of beer. I went for a vibrant Mezcal drink called Iko Iko, with passion fruit, hibiscus, mint, and lime.
Located in a colorful and funky outdoor event venue on the beach village island of Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a surf-community-inspired space covered in local artwork, featuring live music and a great menu of summery, surfy cocktails and bar fare, including their Pina Colada. I also loved their on-the-rocks take on the frozen classic, with rum, fresh pineapple juice, and coconut rum.
Another Rockaway Beach favorite, Bungalow Bar, is a modern beach bar situated in a quaint, wood-floored, exposed beamed bungalow with extensive outdoor seating overlooking Broad Channel. They offer a tap list of 6 beers, a small list of wines, and a well-rounded list of craft cocktails to accompany an all-day menu of tasty American food. I recommend their Sumptuous Espresso Martini.
Featured in the Infatuation for its outdoor patio and over-the-top burgers, The Fulton is a seafood restaurant and bar located on Pier 17 in the Financial District. It’s named for the old Fulton Fish Market in whose building The Fulton now resides. The gritty fish market warehouse has been converted into a stunning modern bar and kitchen in a massive 53,000-square-foot space. Even though it’s a seafood restaurant, I recommend trying one of their burgers to accompany a cocktail or pint.
Sayra’s Wine Bar is a quaint, rustic-chic wine bar in the heart of Far Rockaway, with a cute outdoor patio covered in vines. They offer a long list of international wines along with craft beers and cocktails to accompany a delicious menu of high-end, gourmet takes on bar fare. I loved their pretzel baguettes with spicy mustard and the perfectly crispy grilled cheese panini with gherkins to accompany a happy hour glass of pinot grigio.
Located at the Northeastern tip of Long Beach’s Point Lookout, The Buoy Bar is a cute, family-friendly bar and grill with a kitschy sports-bar feel and an outdoor deck overlooking Long Beach’s south shore. They offer a full seafood menu with a kid-friendly menu and a great selection of draught beer, cocktails, and bottles of different sizes.
Overlooking the Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay in Far Rockaway’s Rockaway Point neighborhood, The Bayhouse of Breezy Point is a quaint and laid-back restaurant and bar on a wooden dock. They have live music to accompany an All-American menu of regional favorites, plus a great cocktail, beer, and wine list. I loved their shrimp tempura with sweet chili sauce.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 3 reputable blogs and websites, including secretnyc.co, timeout.com, and loving-newyork.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.