While New York City probably isn’t the first place you think of when you think “nautical,” it is, of course, a port city with a rich history. If you visit, you’ll want to visit the South Street Seaport, take a ferry (or sailboat or kayak) around New York City Harbor, or maybe even visit one of our beaches for a little swimming and sunbathing. But, if you’re just stopping by on your way back from another nautical destination and you don’t have time for any of that, you’ll definitely want to hit one of these nautical bars for a quick drink!
1. The Frying Pan – Actually located on a historic lightship that is docked on Pier 66, this seasonal bar is open in the spring, summer, and early fall. They have a large assortment of beers and wine, along with themed cocktails like The Hudson Cooler and the Anchor Man. This is the perfect spot to relax in the sun, have a drink, and see a historic boat!
2. Dive Bar – You can visit this nautical bar that’s anything but dive-y at three locations uptown in Manhattan, all of which have port-hole shaped fish tanks and diver’s helmets throughout them. Each is equipped with a huge selection of beers (more than 30 on tap!), which you can also take home in themed growlers, and the locations on 96th and 101st also offer tasty grub.
3. Sea Witch Tavern – This hip Brooklyn spot features an enormous oval fish tank behind the bar and a mural of some very bad mermaids, along with a lovely backyard for the summer. You can wash down your fried whole-belly clam roll or fish tacos with such cocktails as the Hangover in Caracas or the Seafarer’s Hot Buttered Rum.
4. Mermaid Inn – With three locations in Manhattan and a fantastic happy hour featuring $1 east coast oysters, Mermaid Inn is the spot to meet all your oyster needs. Cocktails include an Old Bay Bloody Mary and a deliciously spicy Siren’s Song, and the highlight of the meal is usually the end, when they give all their guests complimentary pudding and fortune telling fish.
5. Lure Fishbar – This SoHo sushi bar offers luxurious seafood and cocktails in a setting that NYMag describes as a “yacht-docked-in-Saint-Tropez interior” with glossy wood and clean lines across the bar. Their cocktails include a Bloody Mary Royale (it comes with a shrimp and oyster shooter) and a Spiked Arnold Palmer.
Kristin Maffei is a nautical enthusiast, poet, and copywriter who lives in New York City but dreams of moving to New England. You can read more of her work online at her website, KristinMaffei.com or her blog, Not Intent on Arriving.