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Discover the best places to drink & dine on boats in NYC, and where to get three sheets to the wind.
La Barca Cantina
The only Mexican restaurant on a boat in NYC, dishing up a ‘fiesta on the Hudson’ with a street food-inspired menu, agave-based cocktails and breathtaking views of the New York skyline. Operating short cruises multiple times per day, five days a week – La Barca Cantina spans three levels with an expansive outdoor top deck with a bar and table seating; a bi-level interior space with two bars, table seating and booth-like tables, perfect for large groups. Enjoy Mexican-streetfood favorites like tacos and quesadillas and queso fundido. Find La Barca Cantina at Pier 81, next to its sister-restaurant North River Lobster Company.
New York’s only oyster bar aboard a vintage sailboat, Grand Banks is worth the journey to the west side of the island for the sunset views alone. The 142-foot long Sherman Zwicker is the last surviving member of a large fleet of schooners that fished the Grand Banks of the North Atlantic and the largest wooden vessel in New York City. The deck has been lovingly refitted with a circular central bar, dining tables and chairs and jolly yellow-and-white awnings. Though the awnings serve as protection in a brief shower, the restaurant wont open if the weather is inclement. The food is seasonal, sustainably sourced and locally caught – including oysters, small plates of ceviche, crudo and lobster rolls with chef Kerry Heffernan of Eleven Madison Park on board. The bar from former Diner and Marlow & Sons restaurateur Mark Firth and Adrian Gallo of Double Happiness and Happy Ending serves nautically-inspired cocktails. Pictured.
The Frying Pan
The Frying Pan is a seasonal outdoor restaurant – and one of the city’s most unique outdoor bars – located in Hudson River Park. A former Coast Guard ship listed on the National Register of Historic Places, docked at a vintage railroad barge that is also home to the retired FDNY Fireboat. Perched on a historic lightship boat, built in 1929 and salvaged from the Chesapeake Bay, the Frying Pan is docked at Pier 66 in Chelsea, and the bar encompasses both the boat itself and the pier on which it’s docked. Laze on deck chairs and drink ice-cold beers and take in the waterfront views while enjoying burgers, seafood and market salads. Open only during the warmer months, it’s also one of the best places in town to watch the sunset.
Brooklyn Barge Bar
Greenpoint’s floating but tethered drinking vessel The Brooklyn Barge offers seating onboard and on land. Moored off Milton Street with views of darling Transmitter Park, the Barge offers some pretty enticing vistas of Manhattan and the East River. The menu, designed by chef Bradford Thompson – who’s worked in kitchens from Miss Lilly’s to Daniel – includes dishes like a fried chicken sandwich with kale slaw and sriracha mayo and grilled fish tacos. Washed down by summery cocktails, including the Barg-elata (pilsner, lime, Chamoy hot sauce) and a Salty Spotted Chihuahua sloshed with tequila, lemonade and blueberries and beers on tap. There is also a maritime programs such as kayaking, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, and catch-and-release fishing.
The Honorable William Wall
Affectionately known as the “Willy Wall,” the floating clubhouse is an elegant steel barge with an open-air upper deck and bar, and a fully enclosed lower level lounge. Anchored in New York Harbor just north of Ellis Island the location boasts spectacular views of the New York City skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the surrounding waters. Ostensibly the clubhouse of the Manhattan Yacht Club, which organizes races in New York City Harbor, the Honorable William Wall invites members of the public to imbibe on its premises on selected days. Bring along your own food to accompany their cocktails. Access is via vintage motorboat called the Admiral’s launch, which picks up guests at the Warren Street Ferry stop in Jersey City or from the Manhattan Yacht Club in Jersey City.
North River Lobster Company
Manhattan’s famous lobster boat features casual, fresh, three-floor dining on the Hudson. This floating lobster and seafood shack – the largest on the Hudson River – offers a laid-back atmosphere and well executed seafood staples. It’s first come, first served for the peel-and-eat shrimp, fried calamari, wings, burgers and fish tacos. The drinks are summery and include mason jar cocktails and buckets of beer. Docked at Pier 81 on the Hudson River, this former Florida gambling ship takes short cruises out onto the Hudson multiple times per day. Enjoy a scenic cruise while chowing down on lobster rolls and sip on your favorite cocktails.
The Mark Hotel, New York
The restored (and updated) 70ft Herreshoff-designed Ventura was originally commissioned in 1919 and launched in early 1921. Meticulously restored to its original high finish, yet with stylish additions that are synonymous with the Upper East Side’s iconic Mark Hotel – it offers a floating extension of the Jacques Grange-designed hotel’s luxurious aesthetic. While taking in the incredible views of Manhattan’s skyline, enjoy cocktails, wine, and delicacies from the Mark’s resident Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The Mark is available to hotel guests for private charter, from $5,000 for two (and a two-hour sail) or available to cocktail and canapés for up to 25 people.
Dock & dine