6 Places to Eat, Drink and Hang Out on a Boat in NYC

If summer drinking in NYC were a game of bingo, we’d already be well on our way to filling our board with rooftops, beer gardens and patios. But there’s one coveted square you need to check off before summer’s over: the elusive bar on a boat. And these six buoyant options are just the ticket.

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boat bar nyc grand banks
Alexander Pincus

Grand Banks

This Hudson River oyster bar has quickly become a warm-weather staple, probably because it excels at pitch-perfect nautical ambience, cocktails (try the Tropicalia, with vodka, watermelon and rhubarb) and lobster rolls. The summer trifecta, if you will.

Pier 25, Hudson River Park (N. Moore St. at West St.);

boat bar nyc island oyster governors island
Courtesy of Island Oyster

Island Oyster

OK, it’s not technically on a boat, but you have to take a boat to get there, so we’re counting it. Also from the Grand Banks team, this 32,000-square-foot beer garden on Governors Island serves, yes, oysters, along with plates like fish tacos and a jerk chicken sandwich. 

Governors Island Ferry Dock;

Brooklyn Barge

There are few better ways to watch the sunset than aboard a floating barge, with adobo chicken tacos or an Impossible Burger and a frozen drink. The bar also partners with educational programs (like the Billion Oyster Project) dedicated to the study and restoration of the East River. Oh, and it’s dog-friendly—what more could you want? 

East River at Milton Alley, Brooklyn;

boat bar nyc north river lobster company
Courtesy of North River Lobster Company

North River Lobster Company

Look, we can get down with a lobster roll pretty much anywhere (even Times Square), but ideal conditions require proximity to water. This West Side boat not only gets you right on the Hudson, it actually sets sail on mini cruises throughout the day for maximum seafaring vibes.

Pier 81 (12th Ave. at W. 41st St.);

boat bar nyc honorable william wall
The Honorable William Wall

The Honorable William Wall

Disembarking onto the clubhouse for the Manhattan Yacht Club feels like entering some kind of Atlantis in the middle of the Hudson—despite its loveliness, it’s managed to retain sorta-secret status. But trust us, the experience is totally worth the $20 ticket to get there.

Depart from the WFC Ferry Terminal (Hudson River at Vesey St.);

boat bar nyc pilot brooklyn
Douglas Lyle Thompson


This boat-slash-bar at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park is actually a historic 93-year-old schooner that has ferried soldiers in wartime, served as a research vessel and sailed around the world twice. (NBD.) In its current life, it’s a breezy spot to grab a dozen oysters and a fizzy Skipper Key (rosé, lemon, cassis and strawberry cordial).

Pier 6 (Brooklyn Bridge Park), Brooklyn; 

purewow author


From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.