The borough of Queens is criminally underrated. Manhattan and Brooklyn are the subjects of much of New York City’s hype, and while they’re great in their own right, Queens is not a place to be slept on. A while back, we wrote a blog about fun things to do in Queens in which we talked briefly about just one Astoria beer garden. This time, Ollie’s Taxi & Airport Service is back to do full justice to the outdoor drinking venues of Astoria.
Bohemian Hall: The Original Astoria Beer Garden
No doubt about it, when you say the words “Astoria beer garden,” Bohemian Hall is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. It’s the oldest beer garden in New York, and many people believe it’s the best.
Bohemian Hall has a long list of draft beers available for $6 a mug or $16 a pitcher, most of which are European imports such as Hoegaarden, Schöfferhofer and Hofbräu. If you get sick of suds, there are regular red and white wines, Moravian red and white wines and champagne on the menu as well. In terms of food, you can order classics like hotdogs and burgers with fries. Or, you can go for a traditional Czech dish, like svicoka, which is slow roasted beef in vegetable gravy with Czech-style dumplings, or smazak, which is fried Muenster cheese with fries, a small salad and tartar sauce.
Monday through Thursday, Bohemian Hall offers game nights, where you can play games such as Jenga, chess, Taboo, Uno and more with your friends. They also have live music occasionally.
Studio Square NYC
If you’re into dancing and outings with a huge number of people, Studio Square NYC is the beer garden for you. The venue encompasses nearly 30,000 square feet and is constantly hosting events ranging from concerts to food festivals.
With plenty of beers on tap and wine available by the bottle and glass, you won’t be at a loss for drink options at Studio Square NYC. Their food menu is composed mainly of American cuisine such as Philly cheesesteaks, chicken wings and fries.
Studio Square NYC has over 50 flat screen TVs that show whichever major sports games are on. You can also rent out sections of the venue for private parties.
The Strand Smokehouse
The Strand Smokehouse mingles the beer garden atmosphere with the taste of Southern barbecue. On tap, there are plenty of local favorites, such as Blue Point Toasted Lager, Greenport Black Duck Porter, Ommegang Witte and Naragansett Original Lager. They’ve also got canned beers and wine selections that vary depending on the day.
While The Strand is a beer garden first and foremost, the food is no joke either. Their beef brisket and pulled pork spend a staggering 14 hours being slow-cooked and smoked. Of course, you can’t go wrong ordering a steak or a rack of ribs. Their brunch menu offers regular, everyday breakfast foods like pancakes and omelets, as well as Southern-style cuisine like chicken fried steak and eggs and Maryland crab cakes.
No matter which Astoria beer garden you choose to try first, one thing is for certain: you’re going to have a great time, especially since the weather is warming up. Just be sure you never drink and drive after you’ve filled up on craft beer and snacks!