As the weather cools and the fall foliage blooms, there is no better way to welcome autumn than listening to live music, drinking authentic German beer, and eating bratwurst and giant pretzels. Munich comes to New York City with tons of Oktoberfest events starting this month throughout the five boroughs, including some just a little further out of town. Celebrate Bavarian culture this year with events like traditional pig roasts, ceremonial keg tappings, “oompah” bands, stein-holding competitions and much more. Ahead, revel in the tradition of Oktoberfest and find the 15 best spots to grab authentic brews and brats this season with 6sqft’s guide.
German beers go even better with a waterfront view, photo from their 2016 Oktoberfest via Watermark Bar
1. Watermark Bar
78 South Street, Pier 15, Manhattan
September 15th-October 2nd, 12pm-12am
For three weekends, Munich comes to Manhattan at Watermark Bar’s Oktoberfest. The event will feature live music and games, and of course food and drinks. This year’s festival will have Hofbrauhaus Munchen, Radeberger, and Weihenstephan on tap. The event is free and takes place at the bar’s 3,500-square-foot venue that has sweeping views of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges. For $60, the bar offers a two-hour beer tasting an hour before the event begins. Get tickets here.
Celebrate Oktoberfest just three blocks from Grand Central at Bierhaus, via Bierhaus NYC on Facebook
2. Bierhaus NYC
712 Third Avenue at 45th Street, Midtown Manhattan
September 16th-October 21st
Calling itself the city’s Oktoberfest Headquarters, Bierhouse NYC is a Bavarian-style restaurant that is the only bar in New York directly affiliated with the famous Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. Located just three blocks from Grand Central Terminal, the bar’s schedule is jam-packed with activities. They’ll have a pretzel party with a pretzel dip bar, a complimentary pig roast, keg tapping with a free round of beer and more.
Also, on the weekend the bar will have “Kidtoberfest” with face painting, coloring, live music and free food for kids aged 10 and under. And for those looking to get competitive, the bar is hosting a “biggest bier belly” contest, awarding $100 to the best gut, and a bratwurst eating contest, with a $750 cash prize for first place. You probably shouldn’t miss it.
Enjoy brats and beers under the Manhattan bridge, photo via the DUMBO Improvement District
3. Live at the Archway: Oktoberfest
The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, DUMBO, Brooklyn
October 6th, 5-10pm & October 7th, 1-10pm
For one weekend in October, the archway under DUMBO’s side of the Manhattan bridge will transform into a traditional German beer hall. In addition to serving up classics like pretzels, brats and saur-kraut (and of course beer steins), there will be live music for polka lovers, arts & crafts for kids and adults alike, and social media contests.
You’ll feel like you’re actually in Munich under this Oktoberfest Tent, photo via Zum Schneider
4. Munich on the East River
24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East, Gramercy Park, Manhattan
September 29th-October 8th
In its fourth year, Munich on the East River is considered one of the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany. Under a fully decorated traditional Oktoberfest tent, original furniture, an Oompah band stage, and seating area provide a near-perfect replica of Munich’s iconic celebration. Original Oktoberfest beers are on tap and served in a one-liter glass steins. All food served, by German-speaking staff, follows traditional Munich meals, like roast chicken and pork shank, giant pretzels, brat and Weisswurst, and vegetarian options. General seating tickets go for $28, reserved seating are $38, and VIP costs $100. Get them here.
A ceremonial keg tapping, photo via Radegast Hall
5. Radegast Hall & Biergarten
113 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
September 16th-End of October
While Radegast offers German fare year-round (and live music daily), the Williamsburg Biergarten takes their Munich-vibes to the next level beginning in the middle of September. Participate in weekly stein-holding competitions every Saturday during Oktoberfest. Plus, be a part of a ceremonial keg tapping, a pig roast, live music and spinning DJs on Saturdays.
Travel around Germany with Treadwell Park’s carefully selected beer menu, photo from 2016 via Treadwell Park
6. Treadwell Park
1125 First Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan
September 15th-October 8th
At this year’s Oktoberfest at Treadwell Park, the focus is less on the lederhosen and more on German beer history. Led by Anne Becerra, New York City’s first female beer cicerone, the festivities begin with every guest being issued a passport booklet. Each time a guest gets a beer from a different German region, the passport gets stamped. If the booklet is filled by the end, a free stein is given as a reward. In addition to traveling around Germany via beer tastings, the event will feature favorites sourced from local farms, including giant pretzels, a wurst sampler, sauerbraten and a giant schnitzel. Treadwell Park plans on celebrating Oktoberfest at their Upper East Side and Battery Park locations. Register here.
Rendering of Staten Island’s Oktoberfest courtesy of local artist Natalie Wisniewski on Facebook
7. Forest Avenue Oktoberfest
Forest Avenue, Staten Island
October 1st, 1-5pm
On the first day of October, Staten Island will host a big Oktoberfest event, which will stretch between Hart Boulevard and Bard Avenue on Forest Avenue. The festivities will bring children’s rides, a food court, entertainment and of course a beer garden to the borough. In conjunction with the Staten Island Business Outreach Center, Fifth Borough Media and Forest Avenue Business Improvement District, the event will feature 20 bars and restaurants. Learn more about the event and buy tickets here.
Celebrate on both water and land this season, photo via Circle Line Sightseeing
8. Bear Mountain Oktoberfest Cruise
Departs from Pier 83 at 42nd Street on the Hudson River
Saturday & Sundays from Sept 23-Nov 5, plus Monday October 9, 8:30am-5:30pm
For those looking to spend a full day, or even a weekend, celebrating Oktoberfest, look no further than a cruise by Bear Mountain Cruises. The boat trip lasts 2.5 hours and takes passengers up the Hudson to enjoy German food and beer specials, music, and the river’s autumnal sights. The boat then docks at Bear Mountain State Park for three hours, where visitors can get off and enjoy the over 50 hiking and biking trails or even a paddle around the lake. The cruise ship is equipped with an outdoor deck space, heated/air conditioned indoor seating, restrooms and large windows perfect for sightseeing.
Just $15 gets you entry, one free beer, and a limited-edition stein at the brewery’s event, photo via Bronx Brewery on Facebook
9. Bronxtoberfest at Bronx Brewery
856 East 13th Street, Bronx
Saturday, September 30, 12-8pm
The Bronx Brewery will host their first-ever Oktoberfest party this month in the “backyard” area of their building. Traditional German favorites like Schnitzel and German-style pretzels will be served in addition to their debut Oktoberfest Lager. Tickets range from just $5 for entry to $15 for entry that includes a limited edition .5 L stein and one beer. Buy tickets here.
Photo courtesy of Brauhaus Schmitz
10. Brooklyn Oktoberfest at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse
73 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Friday, Oct. 20, 7-11pm; Saturday, Oct. 21, 1-5pm and 7-11pm; Sunday, Oct.22, 12-4pm and 6-10pm
Another Brooklyn Oktoberfest first, Brauhaus Schmitz, a German restaurant based in Philly, is hosting five parties at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse. Designed to mimic an authentic Munich festival tent, the 9,000-square-foot space will be decorated with Bavarian blue and white ceilings and authentic festival tables and benches imported from Germany. Plus, visitors can expect live music from Alex Meixner Band, the Bratwurst Boys, and the Heimatklange Band. General admission tickets cost $40, reserved seating is $45, and VIP tickets cost $100. Find more information and buy tickets here.
Events outside of NYC
Last year’s Oktoberfest activities, photo via Saints Peter & Paul Parish on Facebook
11. Saints Peter and Paul Parish Oktoberfest
404 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ
Friday, Sept. 22 6-10pm and Saturday, Sept. 23, 12-10pm
While a Catholic Church may not be your usual place to grab a few beers, this Hoboken church is offering German brews at its annual Oktoberfest. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration, where festival food, live music, and games will be provided. There will also be a Kids Village party in Stevens Park on Saturday from 11am to 5pm that will feature a bounce house, face painting and more.
Photo courtesy of Brian King on Flickr
12. Ales ‘N Tails Oktoberfest
560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ
Saturday, October 14, 6-9pm
Hosted by New Jersey’s Turtle Back Zoo, Ales N’Tails brings dozens of brews to the zoo in celebration of Oktoberfest. In addition to the seasonal beer offered, visitors can enjoy local vendors and a live Oompah Band. Money fundraised from the 21+ event, which costs $60, will benefit the Essex County Parks Foundation. Purchase tickets to Ales N’ Tails here.
A keg rolling competition at Hunter Mountain, photo via Hunter Mountian Resort
13. Hunter Mountain
64 Klein Avenue, Hunter, NY
Sept. 23-24, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Oct.7-8, Oct. 14-15; On Saturdays: 11am-6:15pm and Sundays: 11am-5:15pm
For four weekends this fall, Hunter Mountain is hosting free German and German-American entertainment nestled in the Catskills. The resort is offering live entertainment and authentic food with beautiful autumnal foliage as the backdrop. Games include keg rolling, potato sack races, pumpkin bowling and of course, stein holding. Plus, there will be live music, dancing and more. USA Today ranked the mountain’s festivities 10th for best Oktoberfest celebration in the country.
Oktoberfest on Lake George, photo via Adirondack Pub & Brewery on Facebook
14. Adirondack Brewery Oktoberfest
33 Canada Street, Lake Geroge, New York
Saturday, October 14, 1-5pm
While the Adirondack Brewery’s Oktoberfest is a trek from the city, this unique celebration may be worth the trip. The 12th annual Oktoberfest will be celebrated just steps from scenic Lake George during the height of upstate New York’s famous fall foliage. In addition to the Instagram-worthy backdrop, the Adirondack Brewery offers nonstop polka music, bratwurst, cornhole, artisan cheese and lots of beer. Tickets, of which proceeds go to a charity, include entry, a complimentary Oktoberfest branded 5 oz. sample, one complimentary food voucher, unlimited sampling of locally brewed beverages, games and contests. Buy tickets here.
8th Annual Oktoberfest at Old Falls Street, photo via Old Falls Street
15. Old Falls Street Oktoberfest
101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, New York
Saturday, September 30, 1-8pm
Located just steps from the beautiful Niagra Falls, Old Falls Street is a three-block destination known for its free events and activities all year ’round. This Oktoberfest head upstate for a free celebration with authentic beers and brats. There will also be live music and dancing with the German-American Musicians.
- The best day trips this fall, from cemetery tours to historic mansions to corn mazes
- MAP: Find out when fall foliage will hit its peak in your area
- 100 free things to do in New York City