Swill Call: Beer Gardens in the City

by staff, 06/12/2013

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  • Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten
    7 Rivington St., 212-253-7077, Lower East Side, Manhattan
    To snag a seat at one of the picnic tables crowding this Lower East Side mainstay's festive backyard patio, come early, even on weeknights. A favorite for summer-month get-togethers, Loreley has also been catching overflow from across-the-street neighbor Freemans since that perennially packed hotspot opened in 2004. Inside, though, patrons still get the full beer-hall effect. Named for a Rhine river siren who lured sailors to their deaths, Loreley evokes the traditional hofbräuhaus with its slatted wooden seats, backlit wood banquettes and a menu brimming with Rhineland specialties, like pork schnitzel stuffed with Prague ham and Gouda cheese, or spätzle with bacon. A dozen draft beers are available in tall, slender glasses; half- or one-liter steins; or, in the case of Kranz Kölsch, 11 narrow 0.2-liter glasses that arrive on a circular tray—meaning that no matter where you sit, you'll be surrounded by a boisterous crowd leaning in for another "Prost!" —JS

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