Although the world’s biggest Oktoberfest festival in Munich won’t take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still ways to celebrate Bavarian culture locally this month. Biergartens and beer halls across New York City are serving up traditional biers and brats, decking out their spaces with festive decorations, and putting on live music. And while indoor dining can officially resume as of this week, most restaurants also have spacious outdoor patios and gardens, as well as take-out and delivery options.
Courtesy of Chelsea Market
Last month, Chelsea Market opened an impressive stretch of outdoor dining, with socially-distanced tables set up across 15th and 16th Streets between 9th and 10th Avenues. For Oktoberfest, the iconic food hall is transforming its outdoor set up into makeshift Munich, with festively decorated tables, vendors serving German food and drink, and live traditional music from The Swedish Meatballs. From October 1 through October 4, enjoy desserts from Amy’s Bread, street food and Oktoberfest grub from Berlin Currywurst, special German wine from Corkbuzz, sandwich and sausage specials from Dickson’s Farmstead Meats, and German beer from Mayhem Beer. The band will perform from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 1 and 2, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 3, and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on October 4.
Black Forest Brooklyn
Boerum Hill, Fort Greene
Find Bavarian beer and eats at Black Forest Brooklyn, which has two locations in the borough. Both restaurants in Boerum Hill and Fort Greene are offering outdoor dining, with the Smith Street location boasting a big backyard. Enjoy lots of German beer, wine, and tasty traditional treats like sausages, giant pretzels, and apple strudel.
The Watermark at Pier 15
South Street Seaport
New York City’s largest outdoor Oktoberfest event will return this year, on a slightly smaller scale. The Watermark Bar at the South Street Seaport is offering a safe, socially-distanced party every day of the week until October 17. Located at a 3,500-square-foot venue on the water at Pier 15, the bar will serve brats, giant pretzels, a wurst sampler, German beer, and more. A new “mini keg” will also be on the menu, giving diners five liters of ice-cold German beer right at their table. While the event is free, tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Every Oktoberfest, Radegast Hall and Biergarten amps up its year-round German fare with a special menu and games, including a pig roast and ceremonial keg tapping. While those fun activities are on hold this year thanks to the coronavirus, the Williamsburg bar and restaurant is still bringing its A+ bier and brats game. Radegast is offering five Oktoberfest beers, dirndl giveaways, and other contests. Special menu items for the celebration include a variety of sausages, giant pretzels with beer cheese, pierogies, Oktoberfest goulash, schnitzel, and much more.
Courtesy of industry city
The sprawling waterfront campus in Sunset Park is putting on a two-week outdoor Oktoberfest event. Visitors can expect live music from a traditional Bavarian band, authentic food from Berlin eatery Kotti Berliner Döner Kebab, and a socially-distanced, outdoor beer garden by local brewery Big aLICe Brewing Company. The beer garden will be serving customers through the end of the month.
Hofbräu Bierhaus NYC
Putting on an authentic Oktoberfest event is nothing new to Bierhaus, a massive beer hall located just two blocks from Grand Central. Self-anointed as the official headquarters for the celebration, the Bavarian-style restaurant has served authentic cuisine and brews to New Yorkers since 2011. This year, Bierhaus will be open for limited indoor and outdoor dining with all the wurst, schnitzel, strudel, and tasty beer of your dreams.
Prospect Lefferts Gardens
HasenStüble, the sister restaurant of DSK Brooklyn in Fort Greene, opened earlier this year on Nostrand Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The restaurant has a cute outdoor patio perfect for drinking lots of beer and eating as much sausage, sauerkraut, and strudel as you can. HasenStüble is available for take-out and delivery if you plan to celebrate Oktoberfest at home this year.
Typically held under one roof, this year’s Blocktoberfest will be online-only, offering beer-lovers the chance to try some of New York City’s more than 30 local breweries. Available for shipment, Blocktoberfest beer packs come in 12- and 24-packs, with a selection of four groups, each with up to one beer from up to 10 different breweries. Once you receive the box of brews, you can attend seminars and virtual events hosted by the NYC Brewer’s Guild. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the NYC Brewer’s Guild. See the full list of breweries particpating here.
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