Where to Bar-Hop in the Rockaways

How to drink at the beach—before it’s cold!—without a schlep. Photo via Flickr, rbs10025.

It’s not summer in the city without a beach day at the Rockaways. There’s sand, surf, sun, and, better yet, booze. Sometimes, though, lugging that cooler full of beer through multiple train rides can be draining—so most folks opt for nutcrackers, a homemade cocktail made from fruit juice and various liquors, sold by vendors who stuff the drinks into large backpacks.

Recently, though, there has been a “crackdown” on nutcrackers by the NYPD this summer, according to a Gothamist report. Last month, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he would not call the recent arrests of nutcracker vendors “a blitz” but just routine law enforcement; however, a nutcracker vendor, who requested to not be named, said, “I don’t think there’s been that much of a change. It’s business as usual.”

“We’ve been coming here for years, and last year there’d only be one or two nutcracker guys,” one beachgoer said while drinking a fruit punch nutcracker. “This year, there’s like 20. Maybe it’s just me?”

But if you happen to go to the beach and there are no nutcrackers in sight, there are plenty of bars along the beach that will get you just the right amount of drunk.

Caracas Arepa Bar
106-01 Shore Front Pkwy
This is the place if you absolutely want to get slammed and have good food while you’re at it. The frozen sangrias (red, white, or mixed) are $9 and extremely effective. Not to mention, Caracas has excellent vegan and vegetarian options.

Low Tide Bar
97-01 Shore Front Pkwy
If you’re looking for cheap drinks and a good beer selection, Low Tide Bar is it. It’s also nestled between other food vendors, so you have plenty of options for a meal. They also have nightly live performances, and it’s right off Beach 97. Cash only, though!

Sayra’s Wine Bar and Bier Garden
91-11 Rockaway Beach Blvd

A little off the beach, Sayra’s has an extensive wine selection — you can buy a bottle of wine from $20 to $44 — and a beautiful patio space. They have light snack options like a tomato mozzarella salad and olives. Stop by Sunday nights for their movie showings on the patio. 

Connolly’s Bar
155 Beach 95th St
Connolly’s is a classic Irish pub, famous for its frozen drinks. It’s indoors and a good spot to cool down. Also a cash-only spot! “If you want slushes, this is the place,” a beachgoer said.

Bungalow Bar
377 Beach 92nd St
Family friendly with an incredible American-style brunch, Bungalow has a stunning patio right on the water. They also have a mean cocktail menu. (But they will card!)

8601 Shore Front Pkwy
Nothing’s better than a burger when you’re drunk. If you want to keep the party going, Rippers will keep you satisfied, food and drink-wise. They also have a drink called “Beach Juice,” which changes every now and then. 

Rockaway Beach Surf Club
302 Beach 87th St.
You’ve been riding the waves all day and soaking up the sun—what sounds better than getting a margarita, fish tacos, and chips and guac. Nothing, that’s what!