It’s the month of brews, and these beer halls are the places to celebrate
There’s no better excuse to throw back a few beers than in honor of Oktoberfest. The Munich-born festival officially runs this year from September 19 through October 4, but given its name, we don’t see why the celebration shouldn’t continue all month. In Manhattan, here’s where to that’s best done.
Before the weather drops to frigid temperatures, the outdoor Beer Garden at the Andaz Wall Street is the best place in FiDi to don a sweater and seize these final days of being able to drink outside. An after-work crowd gathers under its umbrella-shaded picnic tables in time for its weekday happy hour and stays late, keeping toasty with the wide selection of German and local brewers. The hotel may be one of the more luxurious abodes south of Houston, but the beer garden is happily casual, perfect for evenings. Food comes as pretzels, sausages, and other bar snacks, and as good as the people-watching here is, so too is the pet-gawking, as dogs are welcome to join as well. (Wall St. at Pearl St.)
Right near Grand Central Station, Bierhaus NYC is a world away from Midtown Manhattan, a Bavarian-style beer hall inspired by Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, complete with staff sporting traditional Germanic attire. It’s one of the city’s most authentic spots to imbibe in the Oktoberfest spirit, with its 24 taps pouring out half-liter, liter, and two-liter glasses of brews from Munich’s Hofbräu brewery, including its classic lager and hefe weizen and seasonal Oktoberfest and doppelbock beers. Come hungry for the schnitzel- and wurst-heavy menu and pretzels made from dough imported from Bavaria. (Third Ave. at 45th St.)
Oktoberfest gets an American twist at Flatiron Hall, a two-story NoMad watering hole from the same team that created the West Village’s beloved Houston Hall. Beers hail primarily from just across the East River at Greenpoint Brewery, making for a connoisseur collection of barley wine, raspberry wit, red ale, and dunkel in addition to traditional hoppy ales and lagers. For non-beer-drinkers, there’s a solid set of cocktail options, and food here runs the gamut from pastrami reuben spring rolls and tacos of tuna sashimi to burgers, sandwiches, and salads. But the real pick here isn’t what to consume but, rather, where: upstairs with its century-old antiques, for a more intimate drinking experience, or downstairs, where a stone walls and wrought iron chandeliers set the stage for a more rowdy time. (26th St. at Sixth Ave.)
The Standard, High Line hotel can do no wrong. Since 2009, it’s been Meatpacking’s scene of choice for celebrities at its rooftop Le Bain and Top of the Standard clubs, for socialites and creative-types at its Standard Grill restaurant, and for just about everyone at The Standard Biergarten, roofed by the High Line. To keep its popularity from slowing down wait-times, there’s an efficient payment system in effect here, with patrons stopping to buy tickets on the way in, redeemable for beers at either of the two bars rimming the capacious space roofed by the High Line. Long communal tables make it easy to mingle over mugs foaming with beers from Germanic breweries Bitburger, Ayinger, and Koestritzer, and from the small menu of German fare, the enormous doughy pretzels served with grainy mustard are a must. On weekends, get here early to avoid line to get in—and to snag a Ping-Pong table, if you’re feeling game. (Washington St. at 13th St.)