The trend of "al aguo" dining has been picking up steam as more New Yorkers begin to embrace water as a sixth borough. If you're tired of eating and drinking on land, NYC now offers a whole fleet of floating restaurants and bars to choose from. Whether it's knocking back mason jar cocktails on a lobster shack on the Hudson or a full meal aboard a historic Navy patrol boat, read on for six of our favorite waterborne eateries. This article was originally published in July 2015.
THE WATER TABLE
If the idea of savoring a three-course tasting menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients aboard a historic vessel built during World War II floats your boat, head to The Water Table. Start off with the chilled cucumber soup, work your way up to the Maine lobster roll and finish off with an ice cream float. And wash everything down with a Brooklyn Summer Ale. India St. Pier, 10 India St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
HONORABLE WILLIAM WALL
With its awe-inspiring views of the Manhattan skyline and enticing open-air drinking opportunities, we’re surprised that the Honorable William Wall has managed to stay (somewhat) under-the-radar. Named after a successful rope sales businessman who later became the Superintendent of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and then the Mayor of Williamsburg, the Manhattan Yacht Club’s clubhouse is open from May through October and can be reached by taking a launch from North Cove Dock F for $20 (roundtrip). If that seems steep to you, save money by bringing your own food. Bar food and (of course) drinks are also available on board. North Cove Marina, 385 South End Ave., New York, NY 10280.
NORTH RIVER LOBSTER COMPANY
The North River Lobster Company‘s appeal centers largely around its raw bar boat. That’s right – a small boat filled with fresh seafood. It’s probably a strong enough selling point for you to check out the floating lobster shack on the Hudson but the other delicious dishes, mason jar cocktails and buckets of beer are what will get you to stay. Pier 81, W. 41st Street, New York, NY 10036.
More than just a floating restaurant, Grand Banks is the largest wooden vessel in New York City and a historic maritime exhibit of the F/V Sherman Zwicker, the last schooner remaining of a fleet that fished the Grand Banks of the North Atlantic years ago. Once aboard, awe at the 142-foot, museum-quality sailboat and enjoy sustainably sourced oysters, seasonal fare and sea-inspired cocktails. Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 in Tribeca near N. Moore Street and West St., New York, NY.
Many of the places on this list are newcomers, but the River Café is a tried-and-true vet. The waterfront barge restaurant has been serving up some of the finest culinary creations since 1977, but had to close its doors temporarily after a Hurricane Sandy surge flooded its dining room. Even if you’ve already been there before, the elegant eatery’s reopening is a great excuse to visit again. 1 Water St., Brooklyn, NY 11201.
THE FRYING PAN
The Frying Pan is another established player in the floating eatery game, and is already well-known by locals and tourists alike. Located at the Pier 66 Maritime site, the historic railroad barge is the perfect spot to grab some cold brews and watch boats sail down the Hudson as the sun sets overhead. 530 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001.