Where to Get Great Cocktails in Long Island City

by Sonie Guseh on Nov 29, 2016 in Roundups
Where to Get Great Cocktails in Long Island City

If you’re a Manhattanite and haven’t spent much time across the East River in the fair borough of Queens, you ought to. Long Island City is just one stop away from Manhattan on the 7 train, and the neighborhood features amazing views of the river and the city skyline. Some might call it “up and coming,” but those who have known LIC for some time now know you can find great bars and restaurants with a view — and many feature heated outdoor spaces, so wintry weather’s no excuse to venture up to the rooftop or patio to get a nice view. Below are several options to check out.

LIC Bar is known as a classic, longstanding institution in Long Island City — rightly so, given that it was first built in 1929. Original tin ceilings and old brick walls still adorn the bar, which also features an outdoor seating area with heated lamps in cooler weather. Weekday happy hour features beers for $3 and well drinks for $5, and the bar also offers live entertainment most days of the week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights), including games and musicians ranging from rock to folk and more. (4558 Vernon Blvd., 718-786-5400)
 
If you’re looking for a romantic spot or a classy location for a large group, this Latin fusion restaurant is a great option. With an elegant bar scene (and a dress code), Blend on the Water has a great outdoor view overlooking the river, true to its name. The bar features regular drink specials, including Monday night happy hour, 2 for 1 mojitos on Tuesdays, and $20 pitchers of sangria on Wednesdays. (4550 Center Blvd., 718-606-9851)
 
Located just a couple of blocks from the riverfront, Madera is a Cuban grill whose menu reflects its cultural inspiration. Try a red, white, or sparkling sangria for just $6.50 each or one of the many beers featured, including Quilmes, Dos Equis, Presidente, and Hatuey. Pair these beverages with traditional Cuban appetizers, like Cuban-style grilled shrimp or stuffed green plantains. (47-29 Vernon Blvd., 718-606-1236)
 
Located at the top of the Ravel Hotel, Penthouse 808 is a rooftop restaurant, bar, and lounge with an Asian Fusion menu and feel, offering captivating views of the Queensboro bridge and the Manhattan skyline. The Hawaiian and Asian inspired menu offers seafood and sushi, which pairs well with the large variety of cocktails adorned by Pacific-inspired bar bites and sushi. Check out happy hour at the bar each weekday from 5-8pm for $7 cocktails, including the Ring of Fire (jalapeno-infused tequila, pineapple, and pomegranate), Sweet Escape (veev, balsamic reduction, and strawberry), and Pacific sangria (sake, peach, and sparkling rose). (8-08 Queens Plaza South, 718-289-6118)
 
This lounge features absolutely lovely views of the city. When you visit, try some of their cocktails, like its namesake drink the Classic Riverview (Absolut ruby red, pear juice, fresh cucumber, and fresh basil), the Amelia (vodka & st. germain elderflower liqueur, shaken with pureed blackberries & fresh lemon juice), or the Don’t Tell Tony (Bacardi 8 rum, Bianco Vermouth stirred with Meletti, and chocolate bitters). (2-01 50th Avenue, 718-392-5000)
 
Photo via Flickr user Pat Guiney
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