Williamsburg v. Astoria beer garden
Which do you prefer? I've only been to the Brooklyn one, which was good albeit kind of pricey. How does the Astoria one compare? Gonna try and head there in the upcoming few weeks in order to plan a birthday party at one of them.
A big group of us met at the one in Queens, and had a great time. Go early afternoon (like 2:00) and it will be filling up, but no lines yet. The Queens one is more an all walks of life kind of place, while the Crooklyn one has more hipsters and those who love them. To generalize.
re: Astoria Lurker
With the exception of the additional indoor booths, bars, party rooms and gymnasium... :)
I have never tried the Brooklyn beer garden, but I've always been happy at the Astoria one. Yeah, it gets mighty crowded at peek hours, but like Engineer mentions, just scout for tables early in the day and you should be good.
I do have to admit, though, that the quality of their pirogies has tanked in recent years, but the Pilsner Urquell is always good!
Well, I think the key difference is that the Astoria one is a Czech beer garden, while the Williamsburg one is a German beer hall.
I like the place in Astoria, but it's sometimes a chore in terms of getting in. It's definitively the more festive and authentic of the two. I haven't been in a few years, so I'm not sure what their prices are like.
The Williamsburg one can be fun, but I'd suggest you stay away from the rather expensive menu. The grill food is fine, but also a bit a pricey. The beer, however, I think is priced right. You're getting a half-liter of premium beer for $7, which is a much better bargain than paying $5 for a pint of Brooklyn Lager at other bars.
I've only been to the Williamsburg location in the evening and afternoon. It gets too crowded at night for my tastes, but I enjoy heading over there after work on Friday and I spent a Saturday afternoon there with a group of friends (children included) recently.
Anyway, if you're looking for festive and a more authentic experience for a birthday party, I'd suggest the Astoria place.