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Island Imbibing
Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Bar Crawl

Go to Staten Island for the free ferry ride -- but stay for the drinking. Bar-hop across the island, from tropical tiki joints to beery taverns populated by local firemen

The Staten Island Ferry is often utilized for one specific reason: a free and scenic sail past the Statue of Liberty. After arriving on Staten Island — one of New York City’s five boroughs — many visitors turn around and board the ferry back to Manhattan, never exploring the rest of the island. But it’s well worth staying for a cocktail or five. Staten Island’s relaxed bars have great harbor views, and even better prices – you don’t have to contend with a Manhattan markup here.

Embark on a Staten Island pub crawl (Illustration: Mary-Louise Price Foss)

Embark on a Staten Island pub crawl (Illustration: Mary-Louise Price Foss)

A bonus: Most island watering holes are easily accessible from the Staten Island Railway (SIR — use your MetroCard). Start by riding the train to the last stop, and then work your way back before collapsing on the ferry (which runs 24 hours, generally every half hour, and more frequently during rush hour). Of course, refueling between cocktails is critical for stamina, so we’ve also included top spots for a slice of famous Staten Island pizza. Our itinerary will take you a full evening – or longer if you decide to linger, which is easy to do. Onward!

 

Enjoy a glass of wine at the Port Atlantic Yacht Club

Enjoy a glass of wine at the Port Atlantic Yacht Club

1. Port Atlantic Yacht Club
SIR stop: Tottenville (.2 miles from Port Atlantic Yacht Club)
Every bar crawl should start classy. After arriving via the ferry, ride the Staten Island Railway to the end of the line and get off at Tottenville. At the Port Atlantic Yacht Club, kick off the festivities with a glass of wine, while gazing out at the water. The outdoor terrace has both tables and casual lounge areas where you can nibble on fried calamari and oysters Rockefeller. Don’t get too comfortable — your next bar is just next door. 225 Ellis St., 718-948-1890

 

Sip tropical cocktails at Tiki Island

Sip tropical cocktails at Tiki Island

2. Tiki Island
SIR stop: Tottenville (.2 miles from Tiki Island)
Continue the al fresco imbibing next door at Tiki Island, a waterfront joint specializing in frozen, fruity concoctions with classic bendy straws. A breeze off the ocean rustles straw umbrellas in the big outdoor space – it’s hard to believe that you’re still in New York City. This is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset (and after dark, Tiki Island turns into a dance club with DJ), but resist the urge to stay put — and forge ahead with the bar crawl. Margaritas are up next. 225 Ellis St., 718-948-1903, tikiislandsi.com

 

Sample margaritas at Cabo

Sample margaritas at Cabo

3. Cabo
SIR stop: Richmond Valley (.4 miles from Cabo)
Leave the waterfront and board the Staten Island Railway at Tottenville to Richmond Valley. Take a stroll to Cabo, a Mexican bar and restaurant known for its margaritas and other frozen beverages. A circular bar with a waterfall presides over the vibrant space. Sample your way through multiple margaritas — or “Cabo-ritas” as they’re called here — including original, strawberry, raspberry, mango, peach, banana, watermelon, wild berry and pomegranate. Guacamole, tacos and nachos might be calling your name here — but when hunger strikes, continue on for some famous Staten Island pizza. 96 Page Ave., 718-966-6700, cabosi.com

 

Chow on pizza at Café Luna

Chow on pizza at Café Luna

4. Café Luna
SIR stop: Richmond Valley (.5 miles from Café Luna)
For longevity on any bar crawl, sustenance is in order. Walk down Page Avenue from Cabo and stop into Café Luna for their thin, crispy pizza. After 20 years of service at the original Hylan Avenue location — which is still going strong — the owners opened this sister spot on Page Avenue. Nosh on Café Luna’s classic margherita pizza and sip a glass of wine, or hydrate with some water and wait for the next round of boozing. Don’t let a food coma set in — there’s still half a bar crawl to go. 31 Page Ave., 718-227-8582, cafelunanyc.com

 

Hoist a beer at Lee's Tavern

Hoist a beer at Lee’s Tavern

5. Lee’s Tavern
SIR stop: Dongan Hills (1.5 blocks from Lee’s Tavern)
Get back on the Staten Island Railway and ride to the Dongan Hills stop. Lee’s Tavern is just a short block and a half away. Experience traditional Staten Island at this popular fireman/policeman hangout. A rustic bar and community center, Lee’s isn’t fussy — expect a range of reliable domestic and international beers on tap. If you haven’t gotten your fill of pizza, you can munch on affordable thin-crust pies here too. 60 Hancock St., 718-667-9749

 

Sample suds at Rosebank Tavern

Sample suds at Rosebank Tavern

6. Rosebank Tavern
SIR stop: Clifton (.7 miles from Rosebank Tavern)
Hop on the Staten Island Railway to the Clifton Stop. Walk off the beer and pizza with a stroll to the century-old Rosebank Tavern, a charmingly creaky sports bar with a variety of pendants and paraphernalia adorning the walls. Domestic beer is the popular order here — and by the time you make it to Rosebank Tavern, you won’t need anything stronger. 1258 Bay St., 718-447-9423

 

Dine on steak at Ruddy & Dean Steakhouse

Dine on steak at Ruddy & Dean Steakhouse

7. Ruddy & Dean Steakhouse
SIR stop: St. George (.2 miles from Ruddy & Dean Steakhouse)
Get on the Staten Island Railway one last time and ride it back to the start of the line, the St. George stop. A short stroll away is Ruddy & Dean Steakhouse, once an old saloon, and now a revived restaurant and bar with Manhattan views and a breezy terrace. Slurp oysters alongside a craft beer or two — or go big with a sizzling steak seared in a cast iron pan. 44 Richmond Terrace, 718-816-4400, ruddyanddean.com

 

Enjoy a craft beer at Pier 76

Enjoy a craft beer at Pier 76

8. Pier 76
SIR stop: St. George (.3 miles from Pier 76)
The final stop on this bar crawl is a short stroll from the Ruddy and Dean Steakhouse. Relatives of one of Staten Island’s most famous restaurants — Joe and Pat’s Pizzeria — opened Pier 76, a cheap and cheerful beer and pizza joint near the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Top off your day (or night) with a craft beer or glass of wine, while watching a game on TV or grooving to live music. When your glass is empty, stumble a couple of blocks to the ferry and sail away, back to Manhattan. 76 Bay St., 718-447-7437, pier76si.com

For more boozy adventures in New York City, check out 8 Great Boozy Tours of New York City and 10 Best Bars and Restaurants for Rooftop Drinking.

 

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