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7  Bars Perfect for Transitioning Into Summer

7 Bars Perfect for Transitioning Into Summer

It’s officially May in New York City, which means restaurants are opening up their backyard gardens and sidewalk cafes for outdoor dining. When you’ve been cramped in your shoebox apartment freezing the Winter away, Spring and its enclaves of seasonal dining options is a welcome sight.

Every good New Yorker enjoys the pleasures of eating en plein air when the sun is shining and the breeze is warm, but what do you do during the transition period, when the weather is as unpredictable as your morning commute?

Don’t worry, Music & Mojitos has you covered with our list of bars perfect for transitioning into summer. Because when you’re in the thick of April Showers and heading into May Flowers, you’re going to want a bar that works to keep YOU covered whether its sunny and seventy or showers and sixty outside.

Photo Credit:  Lauren Johnson

Photo Credit: Lauren Johnson

The Crown (Chinatown)

Located inside the Hotel 50 on Bowery, The Crown offers one of the best unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline from inside the borough itself. While other popular rooftops in the city are either too crowded, require treks to Brooklyn and Queens, or only offer views of a portion of the city, Music & Mojitos loves that The Crown offers near-panoramic views of the city skyline from its neatly situated perch in Chinatown. It’s the dependable rooftop bar you take your friends and family when they’re visiting from out of town (“This is why I moved to New York, guys!”), or a first date you’re trying to impress (“Trendy, but not overcrowded”). With excellent cocktails and small bites to tide you over until Thai Food, The Crown is the perfect transitional bar because its indoor lounge—surrounded by an open air exposed roof deck—offers ample seating and equally stunning views. It’s perfect for the unpredictable weather of Spring!

50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 | (646) 630-8057 |

Photo Credit:  The Crown NYC

Photo Credit: The Crown NYC

The Bonnie (Astoria)

The Bonnie in Astoria is a longtime favorite brunch spot of Music & Mojitos, but did you know that they also have an outdoor garden area with live music in the summer? Their kitchen is open ridiculously (and gloriously) late - until 1AM! - which means you can absolutely get your fix of delicious bar food, sides, and mains at any hour, including our personal favorite, Buffalo Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts. Whether you’re sitting outdoors or in, you’ll definitely be coming back for those sprouts, as well as their innovative and creative cocktail menu.

29-12 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY 11105 | (718) 274-2105 |

Lois (Alphabet City)

Lois is one of Music & Mojitos favorite wine bars for many reasons, one being the fact that they serve their wine exclusively on tap! You can order by the glass or choose from one of their many carafe sizes - and last we checked, if you arrive before 7pm, you get a free small cheese plate with your carafe. We tend to gravitate towards Lois in the summer because of it's bright and airy interior, large windows that open up out onto Avenue C, and excellent selection of rosé wine - though you could certainly make this cheery wine bar an all-year-round spot.

98 Loisaida Avenue, New York, NY 10009 | (212) 475-1400 |

Photo Credit: @vincenzolandino

Photo Credit: @vincenzolandino

Bibi Wine Bar (East Village)

Thank you to Rebecca Richardson of the blog Will Sing for Wine (which also has an excellent roundup of where to drink wine in NYC) for this discovery. Bibi is a hidden gem on a quiet block on East 4th Street. We’ve always found Bibi to be dimly lit (in the coziest of ways), pleasantly peopled without being crowded, and with the sweetest little two-seater table by the window perfect for snuggling up with your date or reading a book solo. On warm days the front windows are open, but we think Bibi is a great spot to go if it’s one of those gloomy, gray, drizzling days of not-yet-summer. Its ambience lends itself to the perfect place to hole up with a good friend, a good book, and a great glass of wine.

211 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009 | (212) 673-2424 |

Le Pif (Upper West Side & Chelsea)

Le Pif is one of our favorite wine bars, period. While there are two locations, we are partial to the one on the Upper West Side - everything about it instantly transports you to France, from the excellent selections of wine and cheese, to the most deliciously comforting mains like ratatouille and boeuf bourguignon. From its French-influenced decor to its quaint wooden table tops decorated with fresh flowers , everything about Le Pif makes it the most inviting of cozy bars for a glass of vin in NYC.

UWS: 2058 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 | (212) 799-2253

Chelsea: 465 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 | (212) 229-1700

Photo Credit:  Lauren Johnson

Photo Credit: Lauren Johnson

Mother of Pearl (East Village)

Mother of Pearl is another East Village classic whose cocktails will instantly transport you to faraway beaches and the sands of summer. A “post-Modern Polynesian restaurant and cocktail bar,” part of their appeal is the unique way that they serve up their cocktails - in shark-shaped goblets, conch shells meant for sharing, glasses topped with flaming citrus. With drinks like “Sugar Cane Magik” (coconut cream. pineapple. lime. almond. Ron Zacapa Solera 23 ) and “Taste the Rainbow” (kiwi. watermelon. pineapple. banana cognac. lemon. lime. pisco. overproof rum), Mother of Pearl is everything you need to whisk you away to the islands.

95 Ave A, New York, NY 10009 | (212) 614.6818 |

Photo Credit: @belart84

Photo Credit: @belart84

Castell NYC (Midtown)

Located on the 21st Floor of the AC Hotel in Times Square, Castell NYC offers classic and classy cocktails in an upscale modern setting. Take that after-work happy hour to Castell NYC’s gorgeous open-air terrace, and let the first warm breezes of summer relax you as you take int he views and sip that Aperol Spritz or Smoked Manhattan. Their specialty drink is the martini, and they have an extensive list, so if you’re looking for that contemporary Don Draper experience, Castell NYC is your place.

260 W 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 | (929) 284.3741 |

If you’re ready for summer, you might want to take a brunch cruise around Manhattan!

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