With vaccines in our arms and warm weather beckoning us outside, the VinePair team has decided it’s high time to visit some old friends: our favorite drinking establishments. Sure, we enjoyed our brief stints as home bartenders, and relished Netflix-and-wine nights as much as the next person. But now that Covid mandates have relaxed nationwide, we’ve reemerged more ready than ever to discover the next great drink.
While many of the VinePair staff have been revisiting old favorites, others are set on discovering new places to frequent. Looking for some drinking inspiration? Read on for the VinePair team’s favorite summer drinking spots so far this year.
“Night Shift Brewing in Boston! It’s outdoors in a little spot along the Charles River Esplanade. I had a beer in one hand and a food-truck taco in the other while watching the sun set over the river. Perfect vibes.” —Lily Nelson, video and social media producer
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“A few weeks ago, my sister and I went to Patent Pending in NoMad [Manhattan]. It’s a speakeasy nestled inside the back of Patent Coffee. I have always been a huge fan of creative cocktail bars and really missed the speakeasy vibe over the past year. These types of spots typically have a long wait, too, but we just walked right in — I guess that’s a perk of the slow return to post-Covid life. It’s a great spot if you want a different type of after-work happy hour environment, especially since it’s very close to the VinePair office.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“After months stuck at home, I’ve been ready to go to a bar with great dancing music and fun energy. I’ve recently been going to Jimmy in SoHo, a rooftop bar with fun frozen drinks, a great DJ, and a pool. The perfect summer bar.” —Katie Brown, associate editor
“Goose & Gander in St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley is the go-to spot in Northern California wine country right now. The pub and flower-filled grounds are gorgeous, and a two-acre garden in downtown Napa provides fresh produce to the bar and restaurant. The mixologists at G&G have taken the art of cocktails to another level with inspired renditions and exquisite garnishes, and the incredible selection of wine, whiskey, Scotch, and fine spirits is a pleasure to explore.” —Travis Gillmore, editorial intern
“The best summer drinks spot I’ve been to is The Baroness! Melanie, the owner, is legit the nicest, and in a nod to her French-Canadian roots, the bathroom is wall-to-wall covered in 100 different photos of Celine Dion. It’s a trip to walk into if you’re not expecting that. Also, they do Champagne sabering.” —Mark Jacobs, SVP, brand partnerships
“I’m blissfully back in my home borough of Brooklyn, where I have the incredible privilege of living steps away from my favorite neighborhood brewery, Greenpoint Beer & Ale. I’ve definitely been there more than any other drinking establishment thus far, rain or shine — mostly for 4-packs of Zwickelbier (Yes Man Zwickel Unfiltered Lager) and Dyke Beer (Tall Girl Gose).” —Cat Wolinski, senior editor
“This is a tough one. I would have to say Bon Vivants Café & Bar in Nassau, Bahamas. A beautiful atmosphere paired with beautiful cocktails? It’s a no-brainer for me.” —Elgin Nelson, editorial podcast intern
“The best place I’ve had a drink so far this summer has to have been The Commodore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — the main reason being it was the first place I’ve gone to post-vaccination where I’ve sat inside and just had drinks. But on top of that, it’s an extremely fun place to dive back into the bar scene. It’s the type of unpretentious place that makes all those frozen cocktails — think Piña Coladas, frozen Mojitos, and Daiquiris — that we all tell ourselves we’d never order, but are always happy when we do. Add to that cheap draft beer and a killer fried chicken sandwich, and you have the perfect place to step back into normal life.” —Adam Teeter, co-founder and CEO
“The best drinks spot I’ve been to this summer is, without a doubt, Dullboy Restaurant & Cocktail Bar in Jersey City. The atmosphere is energetic, the decor is fun and unique, and the cocktails are outstanding!” —Jenny Riddell, director of brand partnerships and events
“For a pitcher of Franziskaner with friends, I love Gottscheer Hall; for a dance-y day party, I’ll hit Mr. Sundays at Nowadays; for a frozen, red-bulb-lit cocktail you can find me at Abe’s Pagoda; but when it comes time to negotiate my next move, it’ll be over an ice-cold Dirty Martini at Forlini’s.” —Emma Cranston, assistant editor
“On a recent road trip through New England, we stopped in Providence, R.I., for a night and had proper after-dinner drinks at The Eddy, a very cozy little spot downtown. The drinks were thoughtful and delicious and the service was great. It was also our first time going to a cocktail bar in many, many months, so it had that extra bit of magic going for it, too.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor