Beer and sausage time is upon us. When Oktoberfest kicks off Saturday, September 16 and goes through Tuesday, October 3, venues across the city, from beer gardens to cruise ships, will turn up to celebrate the holiday with kegs of Bavarian brews, plates of schnitzel and sauerkraut, polka bands, mug-holding competitions and miles of lederhosen. Here’s where to get your fill this year.
For the second year in a row, the DUMBO B.I.D. will transform the archway (underneath the Manhattan Bridge on Water St. between Adams St. and Anchorage Place) into a German beer hall for a weekend of Oktoberfest celebrations. Friday, October 6 will feature “hipster-polka” music from The Polka Brothers. On Saturday, the New Orleans brass/polka act the Street Beat Brass will perform, followed by a costumed extravaganza from Melina and the Oompahs. Traditional Oktoberfest grub and beers provided by the Archway’s season concessions, the Lighthouse — and served up by lederhosen-clad bartenders. Free.
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At this FiDi waterfront bar, which we named one of the best places to drink on the water in the city, Oktoberfest celebrations will take place from noon to midnight over three weekends (September 15 - 17, September 22 - 24 and September 29 - October 2). Pier 15 will go full Bavaria, overflowing with kegs of Radeberger and Weihenstephan, outdoor games like cornhole and beer pong, live polka bands and of course, plenty of soft pretzels and brats. Free- $60 for two-hour beer tasting.
Every Saturday and Sunday from Sept. 23- Nov. 12, this Oktoberfest-themed Circle Line cruise, which doubles as a fall foliage tour, ferries riders up the Hudson River from Pier 82 to Bear Mountain National Park. The two and a half hour trek departs at 8:30 a.m., and you’ll have three hours to hike around and explore Bear Mountain before arriving back in Manhåttan at 5:30. There and back, enjoy festive tunes by Smitty’s Polka Band, indulge in a German feast plate featuring the likes of schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels and sauerkraut, plus drafts and buckets of Warsteiner beers. Note: Food and drink is not included in the trip fare. $65 adults, $52 kids 3-12.
At Paulaner on Bowery’s Oktoberfest celebration, you can drink your beer and eat your cake too. The official Munich Oktoberfest brewery and Bavarian restaurant is doing the most with its “Big O-Fest Bier Torte” — Chef Thomas Slivovsky’s three-layer creation of dark chocolate, white chocolate and buttercream cake topped with Elderflower mousse, ($65, serves 10) to be enjoyed with a stein of Paulaner. At every Saturday’s celebration, from Sept. 16 through October 21, a different “Citizen Mayor” will tap the kegs. Enjoy authentic Bavarian eats, from giant pretzels topped with Obatzda, the Bavarian cheese spread, to Fleischpflanzerl, Bavarian-style meatballs, to Kaischmarr'n, Emperor's Shredded Pancake, for dessert. Free- $499 for VIP reservations, 2-hours unlimited beer.
Every Saturday of Oktoberfest, beginning Sept.16, Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg will celebrate with a ceremonial keg tapping, pig roast, female/male mug holding competitions, polka bands and DJ's. On top of the special swine, order brats and the like from their menu, year-round. There’s always the Levee across the street if you get Oompahed out. Free.