Drinking on an International Level: Beer Gardens in New York

Bohemian Hall

Bohemian Hall in Astoria, the city's oldest beer garden.Photo: John Saponara

If the exchange rate is killing your plans for a European beer run this summer, visit a picnic table near you. We've surveyed some of the city's prominent beer gardens — from the Czech granddaddy in Astoria to a newcomer in Brooklyn — to see who hoists the most authentic stein. And while none of these places are quite Prague or Berlin, if you spend enough time outdoors, you might just forget where you are.






















































Beer Garden Specialty Beer Dinner Authenticity? Czech! Why You're Still in New York Verisimilitude
Bohemian Hall

29-19 24th Ave., Astoria, Queens; 718-274-4925
Krušovice, brewed in the Czech Republic since 1517. Chicken paprika with dumplings, goulash, and kielbasa off the grill. Opened and staffed by Czech expats since 1919. American beer; hot wings and grilled portobello; Tuesday comedy nights.
Radegast Hall & Beer Garden
113 N. 3rd St., at Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-3973
Blanche de bruxelles, a spicy Belgian import served with a lemon peel. Veal schnitzel, braised rabbit, palacinke (blintzes) from Joanna Kohut (executive chef and Ivan's wife). Plus, sausages off the grill every day. Giant mugs! The Slovakian owners' names are fun to say: Ivan Kohut and Andy Ivanov. Skinny men in women's jeans, wine, sweet-potato fries.
Franklin Park

618 St. John's Pl., nr. Franklin Ave., Crown Heights, Brooklyn; no phone
Captain Lawrence, a Belgian-style ale served in a rocks glass. Grilled meats. Only in that you can drink beer while sitting outside at a picnic table. Grilled marshmallows, mohawked bartender, no pitchers.
Lederhosen

39 Grove St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-206-7691
Kulmbacher Ice Bock, brewed after the first frost. Boiled beef-and-pork meatballs with sauerkraut, party platter (five types of grilled sausages, with rolls and mustard). Wash it down with a five-liter keg for $48. Ownership trio worked at the great indoor beer garden Hallo Berlin. Staff wears lederhosen, but, thankfully, only during Oktoberfest. Those views of the Alps? Painted on the walls.
Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten

7 Rivington St., nr. Chrystie St.; 212-253-7077
Spaten Maibock or HB Maibock, spring beers from Germany. Cheese spaetzle and apfelstrudel. Ja! Birch picnic tables and beer umbrellas. No frills, but modeled after a brewery in Cologne, Germany, native city to owner D.J. Foosh. Wine and brunch.
Alexandra Vallis