Brooklyn Drinking Guide: Where to Drink Wherever You Are

The Brooklyn Bar Guide:
WHERE TO DRINK ,
WHEREVER YOU ARE

ICONS KEY
kid-friendlybeerwinecocktailsdivefoodaffordabilitygood for groupshappy hourtriviadaytime drinkingoutdoor arearomancelive musicsports
Lovers Rock

419 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy

There’s nothing that looks more flattering on a bar than authenticity. When you walk into a place that has a definitive vibe that doesn’t feel forced or fake—just real—it’s a beautiful thing. And that’s what you get at Lovers Rock. Primarily playing reggae and offering an awesome rum-focused cocktail list, the tropical atmosphere is undeniable. They also close at 2am, so it’s really the perfect excuse to start early. Grab a beef patty, a Rum + Ting, and post up in the backyard on a warm summer day and, Bam! Welcome to Jamaica. So easy. So real.

CASABLANCA COCKTAIL LOUNGE

300 Malcolm X Boulevard, Bed-Stuy

Casablanca Cocktail Lounge recently turned a year old, but this spot is wise beyond its years. From their choice to preserve the vintage signage, tin roof, and peeling paint when they remodeled to their ability to bring together a very diverse crowd of dance-hungry locals on any given Friday or Saturday, It’s clear that the bar has intentionally embraced the unity of old Brooklyn and new Brooklyn. With a huge bar, reasonably cheap drinks, and DJs spinning old-school hip hop or soulful R & B, this is the perfect spot for a group to come dance away a weekend night.

BAR LUNATICO

486 Halsey Street, Bed-Stuy

There are obviously countless venues to see live music in Brooklyn, but it’s a little more difficult to find a place quite like this. Bar Lunatico is basically the perfect little bar for a romantic after-dinner drink with bae. The cocktails are a bit on the pricey side but they’re delicious and it’s worth it to get in on the vibes—plus the music is free! Grab a corner table and get cozy while you listen to the band play—from jazz to Brazilian— and hold hands, maybe even put your arms around each other, if you’re into that kind of thing.

THERAPY WINE BAR

364 Lewis Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Hey girl, you ok? Don’t cry. Let’s drink some wine and talk about it. And if you live in this area of Bed-Stuy, there’s really no better spot to do that than this place literally named Therapy Wine Bar. It isn’t exactly a sommelier’s paradise, but, rather, a chill place to go—with reasonably priced wines by the glass, cocktails, and all kinds of feel-good pitchers to share (Like Sangria or Champagne Mojito)—when you need to turn your brain off. The cheese and meat plates are works of art and it’s never really slammed, so you probably won’t see anyone you know (AKA go ahead and cry if you need to).

BED-VYNE BREW

370 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy

If you’re looking for a strong craft beer selection in this area of Bed-Stuy, you’ve found your new chill spot. Check the chalkboard for the day’s pickings on their 10 rotating taps; the list goes on and on, but some of our favorite breweries they carry are: Sly Fox, Two Roads, Empire, Founders, Ithaca, and Kelso. Grab a pint and plop down on a reclaimed wood bench, or get a growler to-go. Or if wine is more of your vibe, they have you totally covered there too. They serve a great selection of reasonably-priced wines from their Bed-Vyne Wine shop—and always seem to give a nice, full pour.

Eugene & Co

397 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy

As far as restaurants go, Eugene & Co is definitely one of our favorites in the whole borough right now (hint: try the biscuits and gravy for brunch!), but as far as straight drinking goes, it’s also quite a gem: A good range of reds, whites, and sparklings by the glass and bottle; classic, perfectly executed cocktails; a very decent beer selection; and a handful of dessert wines. But it’s really the vibe—dark wood, exposed brick, cozy banquets, hanging plants, always bustling but never packed—that seals the deal for spending your evening there, whether for food, drinks, or both.

Beast of Bourbon

710 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Although the vibe can often feel a little college-bro-y, we have to admit Beast of Bourbon does what it does pretty well: beer hall (over 40 drafts, and all the long beer-hall style benches you could want), BBQ (brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken wings, pig wings—not to mention some really dope mac and cheese), and bourbon ($8 frozen whiskey drinks). If you’re in the neighborhood with a big group of non-vegetarians, it’s worth rolling through.

Brooklyn Stoops

742 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Sometimes you miss simpler days. Days of mismatched furniture, beer pong, and raucous DJ party vibes. Oh, you mean college? Well, now that you mention it, Project Parlor is a little reminiscent of college. But! We wouldn’t say it’s exclusively—or even primarily—for college kids. The cocktails are way, way more sophisticated and delicious than anything we ever drank in college (Try the Chocolate Orange Old Fashioned or the Absinthe Frappe) and no matter how old you get, it’s always nice to take photos in a Photo booth and hang out in a big dog-friendly backyard.

Project Parlor

486 Halsey Street, Bed-Stuy

There are obviously countless venues to see live music in Brooklyn, but it’s a little more difficult to find a place quite like this. Bar Lunatico is basically the perfect little bar for a romantic after-dinner drink with bae. The cocktails are a bit on the pricey side but they’re delicious and it’s worth it to get in on the vibes—plus the music is free! Grab a corner table and get cozy while you listen to the band play—from jazz to Brazilian— and hold hands, maybe even put your arms around each other, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Project Parlor

486 Halsey Street, Bed-Stuy

There are obviously countless venues to see live music in Brooklyn, but it’s a little more difficult to find a place quite like this. Bar Lunatico is basically the perfect little bar for a romantic after-dinner drink with bae. The cocktails are a bit on the pricey side but they’re delicious and it’s worth it to get in on the vibes—plus the music is free! Grab a corner table and get cozy while you listen to the band play—from jazz to Brazilian— and hold hands, maybe even put your arms around each other, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Brooklyn Tap House

590 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Brooklyn Tap House is one of the best sports bars in all of Brooklyn primarily because—with 15 TVs throughout the bar and patio (multiple of which being large-screen projectors)—it’s pretty much impossible to miss a second of any game or match you’re there to see. Also, their mind-boggling beer selection (40 on tap, 52 bottles, and 13 cans) and tons of seating certainly don’t hurt either. And although not necessarily a destination for food, we’d definitely suggest the Tap House Burger to help pad your stomach as you’re working your way through all those beers.

Black Swan

1048 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Behold the rare place you can take pretty much anyone for pretty much any occasion. Black Swan is cool without taking itself too seriously. With plenty of space, it also manages to feel bustling yet simultaneously chill. You’d be happy to be taken there on a date (whether it’s your first or your hundredth), or by a friend just to catch up, or with a group to watch the game. Your parents would love it. Anyone who likes to eat—especially late at night when pickings are slim—would love it. And whether you’re a sommelier or a beer nerd or wino on a budget or a mixologist or just want a damn shot of tequila (or anywhere in between), you’ll find something you’re excited to drink.

One Last Shag

348 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Oh summer, you beautiful, fleeting season of warmth and exuberance and freedom—when the greenery is lush and we are free to be lushes. Don’t leave us, summer. Be endless for real. Pretty please? “Ask and you shall receive,” said One Last Shag. Whether you’re bumping and grinding on OLS’s little dance floor—amongst the tiki vibe and banana-leaf covered walls—in January or July, this place is pure 100% summer.

Tip Top Bar & Grill

432 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

In Brooklyn, we all know when people call a bar a “dive,” it’s often bullshit. People will call any place that isn’t a reclaimed-wood clad, lantern-candle filled brunch spot a dive. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let us set the record straight: Tip Top Bar & Grill is a real, honest-to-goodness dive. How can we tell? Maybe it’s the handwritten signs that say “Absolutely No Drugs. You are being watched,” or the wrinkled posters of Obama, or the backyard that feels like a junky garage, or the fact that drinks are always cheaper than most surrounding spot’s happy-hour deals, or that the people who work there—especially the family who owns it—are always angels who just want to feed you fish sandwiches and get you drunk.

Dynaco

1112 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Aesthetically, Dynaco feels pretty country: A long wooden bar paired with wooden walls, dimly lighted via vintage lamps, armed bar stools, a pair of roomy booths, western tapestries, framed vintage photos, and—the best part—a wood-burning fireplace. But, as far as the vibe goes, it’s pretty rock n’ roll: loud, smoky (granted, the smokiness is because of the fireplace, but still), and frequently packed to the gills on a Friday or Saturday night, with people standing all along the wall adjacent to the bar. There’s a nice little beer selection and, although there’s no cocktail menu, the bartenders know their stuff and will gladly mix up whatever your heart desires. Also, for when all the country-ing and rock n’ rolling gets you famished, there are free Goldfish.

Doris

1088 Fulton Street, Bed-Stuy

Doris is a love-at-first-sight kind of bar. Like, yeah, sure, you’ll fall in love with the bar. But also, there’s a certain energy about this place—perhaps it’s the sultry southwestern vibe or the intoxicating aroma of scented candles and grilled cheese, or maybe the moody lighting or maybe this place actually just happens to attract a lot of hopeless romantics—but, regardless of why, Doris definitely feels like a place conducive to falling in love (or whatever.) So put your social pants on, grab a nice cocktail, post up with some pals at the bar or in the really cute backyard, and prepare yourself for cupid’s arrow—maybe.

Stop Time

1223 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Have someone in your life you want to impress? “Look how classy and cultured but also laid back I am.” Then you need to take them to Stop Time. A pretty recent addition to the neighborhood, Stop Time occupies the corner of Bedford and Halsey with some serious curb appeal—panels and panels of frosted glass windows that beckon you in with their soft glow at night. And inside, a smart, vintage lounge vibe with checkered floors, a handsome selection of rotating craft beers on tap and wine-focused cocktails, and live jazz music. The epitome of classy but chill.

C’Mon Everybody

325 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

C’Mon Everbody is a place with soul. And not just in the musical sense (although, as one of Brooklyn’s most exciting new venues with a very eclectic lineup, it definitely has that too), but in the broader sense of having a real human core. This is evident by signs that say things like, “We are all one under this roof. Please respect your brothers and sisters,” and, “Respect the DJ’s selections. No requests. Discovery is key.” We love that communal vibe of mutual respect, especially because it’s hard to come by when you’re out drinking.

Chilo’s

323 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Aesthetically, Dynaco feels pretty country: A long wooden bar paired with wooden walls, dimly lighted via vintage lamps, armed bar stools, a pair of roomy booths, western tapestries, framed vintage photos, and—the best part—a wood-burning fireplace. But, as far as the vibe goes, it’s pretty rock n’ roll: loud, smoky (granted, the smokiness is because of the fireplace, but still), and frequently packed to the gills on a Friday or Saturday night, with people standing all along the wall adjacent to the bar. There’s a nice little beer selection and, although there’s no cocktail menu, the bartenders know their stuff and will gladly mix up whatever your heart desires. Also, for when all the country-ing and rock n’ rolling gets you famished, there are free Goldfish.

Moloko

705 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling of being in a really homey place, like, say for example, Grandma’s house? When you’re there, you’re totally immersed in acceptance and comfort and really cute little decorations, and really, really good food. Moloko definitely has that Grandma’s house thing going for it, from the vintage mirror hanging over the bar and the potted plants to the quippy, but very, very kind wait staff. Moloko offers a handful of nice beers and wines and then some truly exceptional cocktails and food (we love the Sinclair’s Quay and deviled eggs). And, although it might sound crazy at first, the Grandma’s-house vibe is really the perfect place for a date—because it’s already so full of love.

Fancy Nancy

1038 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy

We love Fancy Nancy because it’s totally not fancy. Well, it’s not NOT fancy, but, this place feels overtly youthful, from the teal booths to the block-letter font on the menu to the cheese-covered tater tots they serve—which you should definitely try by the way. There’s a great little list of natural wines, delicious cocktails with sassy names (try the Sloppy Seconds!), and a short but sweet beer list. They function primarily as a restaurant and therefore aren’t open super late (11pm during the week and midnight on the weekends), so swing by for a drink after work or make this one of your first stops when heading out on a Friday or Saturday.

Glorietta Baldy

502 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy

With a great craft beer list, perfect selection of seasonal cocktails, lots of seating, and a little courtyard for smoking, Glorietta Baldy is the kind of neighborhood bar everyone needs in their life. But, there is one specific group we think this place might especially appeal to: punks gone moms/dads. We would never say “ex punk” because we know you still have the spirit in you, but you’ve definitely chilled out a lot over the years, probably partially due to a kid or two. And this place is perfect for you because—like you—it subtly hints to its punk spirit with the music it plays (Jawbreaker last time we stopped by) and memorabilia hanging on the walls (Youth of Today, 7 Seconds). So put on your favorite old, ratty band tee and call the sitter.

Moot Bar

579 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy

Free food is never to be taken lightly. We get pretty excited about free popcorn or even free peanuts, but Moot Bar takes free bar food to the next level with Hot Dog Tuesday, where you get a free dog with every single drink. Every single one! Insane. And there is a great drink selection to help you wash down that dog—or, you know, just to drink if it’s not a Tuesday or if you’re not as excited about these free hot dogs as we are. There’s dozen or so great beers on tap, and another dozen cans, a handful of house cocktails and cheap glasses of wine, and some beer and shot deals as well. Also, Trivia Wednesdays!


KeBeer

1003 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brighton Beach

With it’s manifestly medieval décor (dark wood, black iron, sputtering candles), and German-leaning tap list (drink five liters in one sitting, and you’ll win free drinks for life), it’s easy to confuse KeBeer with just about any other beer garden in Brooklyn. But consider the food options, and you simply couldn’t be anywhere else but in Brighton Beach—sure, there are chicken wings, but also pelmeni (dumplings), khachapuri (cheese bread), plov (an Uzbek staple of lamb and rice pilaf) and pickled herring.

The Velvet Rope Lounge

3212 Coney Island Avenue

Looking for a low-key counterpoint to the full-on floorshows and extravagant, European feasts at nearby Tatiana’s and The National? What are you doing in Brighton Beach? That said, this thumping nightclub and hookah lounge is positively sedate by comparison—as well as one of the closest things the neighborhood has to an actual, unadulterated bar—although since Russians rarely drink without eating, you’ll still find mayo-gobbed salads, chicken liver in cognac sauce and lamb ribs cooked on coals to balance out the Cosmos and icy vodka shots.

The Freak Bar

3006 W 12th Street, Coney Island

Although way more colorful—in every sense of the word—than your average theatre lobby, this is less of an official “bar” than it is a curved counter and six some-odd stools, serving as a seasonal way station for Coney’s infamous Freakshow. And if you’re lucky, The Human Blockhead, The Sword Swallower or Nati the Patchwork Girl might be nursing a Coney Island lager next to you; sure beats the company at the majority of boardwalk bars.

Ruby’s Bar & Grill

1213 Boardwalk West, Coney Island

While it could have been the greatest casualty of Coney Island’s big revamp, the 40-year-old Ruby’s (the most long-standing bar on the boardwalk) received a last minute reprieve back in 2011, offered an eight-year-long lease by Zamperla USA. No promises on what happens next, but it still provides devoted patrons with a decent enough cushion, for multiple summers left to come spent staring out at the ocean, with a salted margarita or frosty bottle of Rolling Rock in one hand, and a crab cake sandwich or cloud of cotton candy in the other.

Peggy O’Neill’s

1904 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

Well enough removed from Coney’s various, tourist-thronged strips, this Irish pub and sports bar is primarily populated by honest-to-goodness locals (meaning its open for business year-round). Highlights include regular live music, karaoke nights, satisfying pub grub like Irish nachos, plenty of big screens for watching the game, and room for dogs to roam on their vast, umbrella-tabled patio; sneak your pup a bite of your “Kitchen Sink” burger, and offer up some water out of your plastic pint cup.

Margarita Island

1105 Bowery Street, Coney Island

Beer Garden may have been effectively ousted by Zamperla, but it didn’t stop owner Carlo Muraco (also of the venerable Shoot the Freak) to attempt a second act with this frozen drink-focused party spot; currently the largest indoor/outdoor bar gracing the boardwalk. Open from Memorial Day weekend all the way through September, the rollicking watering hole offers live entertainment and regular promotions (ladies enjoy half-priced margaritas on Thursdays), as well as a food court featuring three different trucks — Smokehouse BBQ, the Nacho & Burrito Bar, and Yume Teriyaki Grill, serving steak and rice, chicken wings and crispy gyoza.

Draft Barn

317 Avenue X, Gravesend or 28 Dooley Street, Sheepshead Bay

With outposts in both Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend, this duo of sprawling beer gardens boasts 300 bottles (half of them Belgian or German, such as Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale, Ayinger Brau-Weiss, and Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru), as well as 11 taps (Krusovice Imperial, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel). There’s plenty of space to spread out in the dark wood-paneled taverns, but why not settle with your stein in the generously-sized courtyards, fortified with a plate of friga (pan-fried potatoes with bacon), a bowl of housemade goulash, or a trio of juicy sausage; white, cheese, and paprika-speckled Hungarian.

Brass Rail

2123 Avenue Z, Sheepshead Bay

Formerly known as the Log Cabin (believed to be Brooklyn’s very first karaoke bar), this Sheepshead Bay stalwart still sees its fair share of amateur belters each night—although perhaps they came for the complimentary buffet, rife with hearty options like chicken, pasta and soup.


Bossa Nova Civic Club

1271 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

A true staple for anyone who appreciates dance music (From Berghain-approved techno to bumpin booty house) and/or a good black-on-black outfit. Bossa is one of Brooklyn’s best places to dance pretty much any night of the week, especially if you’re a dance-seeker on a budget. Where other spots like Good Room and Output charge between $15-$40 dollars at the door, Bossa is free every weekday night and only $10 on Saturday and Sunday. The beer selection is nothing special, but their crown jewels are the fresh-made juices they use in their cocktails and, of course, Club-Mate.

Sunrise/Sunset

351 Evergreen Avenue, Bushwick

By day, this place is a cafe with simple, healthy dishes at a decent price ($8 grain bowl with cheese, yes please), and by night a quiet little bar where you can get that same light fare but switch out the coffee for a beyond-decent glass of wine or one of a dozen creative cocktails. All of which makes Sunrise/Sunset one of the best little date spots in the area—if you’re looking for a candlelit, vinyl-playing-softly kind of date. And also we like to think it’s named after a Bright Eyes song, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

Bootleg Bar

1438 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

Bootleg is one of those bars that usually feels perfectly populated—not too crowded, but never dead. And there’s always something to keep you entertained: from the pinball machine to the pool table to a diverse collection of jukebox selections (Are you feeling more Patti Smith or more Wutang Clan?) to the occasional live music to—perhaps our personal favorite—the fact that you can bring in outside food and there just so happens to be a Popeye’s across the street.

Bizarre

12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick

Don’t say bizarre if you don’t mean it. But oh, they mean it. Wednesdays and Saturdays are pretty reliable nights for basking in varying degrees of weirdness—from your pretty standard burlesque and drag to a guy that rolls himself up in a carpet and asks you to step on him. The decor also keeps things weird in the best way with velvet couches and a crazy disco ball bathroom. Other highlights include some really well executed cocktails, a perfect little backyard, and one of the best burgers in the neighborhood.

Lone Wolf

1089 Broadway, Bushwick

A lot of people associate Lone Wolf with the h-word (hipster)—which, we suppose, isn’t totally off-base—but, we like it because it falls somewhere between dive and hipster that manages to escape pretension. Like the PBR-drinking hipster stereotype instead of the gluten-free eating hipster stereotype, ya know? And we also love it because that divey hipster vibe goes hand-in-hand with very cheap drinks and DJs playing Morrissey. Don’t mind if we do.

Industry 1332

1332 Halsey Street, Bushwick

There is really no denying that this area of Bushwick is still pretty much a bar and restaurant wasteland, so it’s great to have a recent addition that offers solid Latin American food (including brunch!), wine, beer and—as of the last month—a liquor license. If the game is on and you’re feeling sporty, sit at the bar and hoot and holler at the big TVs, or if you’d rather not get in the hoot crossfire, you can still feel social by sitting at Industry’s gigantic banquet table in the back room. Or there’s always a cozy little two-top facing the floor-to-ceiling windows for an intimate summer night.

The Evergreen

109 Moffat Street, Bushwick

The Evergreen is another recent addition to this far-out area of Bushwick that was long barren of any good watering holes. This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as a place like Industry 1332—a little more retro and divey—but, rather, just the necessities you need from a good neighborhood bar: moody lighting, friendly staff, good tunes, a few classic cocktails, and atpe least a few good beers that even your beer-nerd friends will deem acceptable. Oh, and we can’t forget cheap. And what do you get when you take $2 off of an already cheap drink during happy hour? A really fucking cheap drink.

Birdy’s

1215 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

Birdy’s is an old soul. It exudes this vibe from the the comfy leather bar stools and fake wooden walls and vintage Colt 45 sign and stained-glass chandeliers and cash-only policy. It’s really a shame you can’t smoke cigarettes inside anymore. This old soul screams for you to chain smoke while playing pinball (look, Ma, no hands!) or flirting with the bartender. But, alas, it’s 2016, where that kind of thing is illegal no matter how old your soul is, and we obviously can’t hold that against ol’ Birdy. We’ll just have to be happy with our cheap drinks and the “Damn Good” beef jerky for sale at the bar that is actually totally mediocre—it’s an old soul joke, you wouldn’t get it.

Happy Fun Hideaway

1211 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

There’s nothing better than when a place gets the title of “gay bar.” Even if it was never intended to be a gay bar (which, we’re not totally sure if Happy Fun was or wasn’t), it’s great because it just automatically weeds out all of the potentially shitty bigoted people that might have come had they not read on Yelp that GAYS would be there. Which explains why Happy Fun is always so happy and fun. Lots of good humans, listening to upbeat tunes, basking in the joy of cheap tropical drinks, and quirky art. And don’t miss the backyard in the summer!

Bushwick Public House

1288 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

Located on the little triangular lot at the intersections of Central and Myrtle, this Australian-style cafe has been around for a good cup of coffee and a sandwich for a bit now (much less crowded than some of the nearby cafes if you need a good spot in the neighborhood to work!), but they also recently started serving inexpensive beers and cocktails too. The vibe is relaxed, with lots of seating at the bar, high tables with stools, and a few cozy arm chairs tucked into the corner. The downstairs—more of a gritty basement with low-hanging ceilings—also serves as a venue.

Gotham City Lounge

1293 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick

Ring the bell to enter the bat lair. No, really though. Ring the bell. This super quirky Bushwick dive is one of the oldest bars in the neighborhood and definitely one of the most endearing. The comic book theme pervades Gotham City from the poster-plastered walls to cocktails named after characters like Harley Quinn (raspberry vodka with lemonade) and Mr. Freeze (pineapple rum, blue curacao, and soda with lime). A small spot that can get very crowded, but a nerd paradise none the less.

Looking Glass

1087 Broadway, Bushwick

RIP Goodbye Blue Monday, but we have to say, as far as replacements go, we’re not mad about Looking Glass. Not a bit. Not only do they have some of the cheapest drinks in the neighborhood (happy hour all night every night: $3 Dos XX, PBR, Budweiser, Corona; $5 beer and shot; $5 house mixed drinks; $5 wine, etc), but they also have 20+ other beers on tap, a handful of simple but delicious cocktails, and some of the best late-night food in the neighborhood.

Left Hand Path

89 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

Left Hand Path is one of East Bushwick’s coziest, most convenient drinking holes. Steps from the Dekalb L, the warm, woodsy interior and red solo cup chandeliers help it split the difference between cool dive and classy drinking establishment. The best bars always fall on both sides of that line, anyway.

Heavy Woods

50 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

Inspired by New Orleans and other southern overtures, Heavy Woods presides over Bushwick’s main drag by doling out delicious comfort food staples and plenty of equally formidable libations. The front is all down home wood, but at night, the back room erupts into a dancefloor worthy of any cosmopolitan club.

The Rookery

425 Troutman Street, Bushwick

The central, circular bar lends this Bushwick haven the medieval elegance its name suggests, although thankfully, there’s not a bird in sight. Along with some English-inspired and veggie-leaning small snacks, the bar is an ideal place for a long, secluded conversation. Or, head outside to the picnic tables for a rowdier crowd.

The Cobra Club

6 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

If it’s a Friday night, Cobra Club is one of those bars where you will barely be able to move through the crowd with your beer and shot special to meet back up with your friends. Head to the tiny side yard if you want to smoke, the middle pool table area to watch sharks battle it out for hours, or find some release in the back karaoke room. And don’t forget that bars can contain multitudes–on weekdays the Cobra hosts metal yoga. Namaste, motherfuckers.

Montana’s Trail House

455 Troutman Street, Bushwick

Inspired by the owner’s obvious adoration for all things mountain cabin, Montana’s is one of those rare places that manages to pull off the wilderness aesthetic without feeling wildly forced. Long, tall windows let in light, and an enclosed patio is the perfect place to wait or smoke if inside is packed, which it usually is, thanks to near-perfect cocktails and plenty of southern-infused grub.

Bodega

24 St Nicholas Avenue, Bushwick

In a rather obvious appeal to the average New Yorker’s loyalty to their local sandwich and beer shop, Bodega offers a slightly upscale twist on what are some fairly standard deli sandwiches, along with a generous wine and beer selection. The Italian-inspired joint is a casual and calm environment to catch up with friends or shoot the shit.

Pearl’s Social & Billy Club

40 St Nicholas Avenue, Bushwick

Pearl’s is one of those bars that becomes a neighborhood meet-up without any real effort at all. Need a place to congregate before heading to another neighborhood or party? Pearl’s. Trying to get your neighbor to invite you back to their apartment after a night out? Rendezvous at Pearl’s. It is simultaneously quiet, casual, and rowdy, a bar that morphs like a chameleon for whatever your needs might be.

The Narrows

1037 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick

Aptly named, The Narrows consists of two long, shoebox rooms connected by a thin hallway, and an ample backyard for smoking and sunning in summer months. Inside, it’s one of the dimmest bars in Bushwick, but populated by some of the brightest bartenders, who are happy to procure you almost anything from the hierarchy of drinks: a crisp, sour Mexican beer and tequila shot, an upscale Belgian beer on tap, or an elegant cocktail featuring Brooklyn-made Wormwood Whiskey.

Pine Box Rock Shop

12 Grattan Street, Bushwick

Known for its vegan-friendly snacks, Pine Box Rock Shop is one of the pioneering bars in Bushwick’s “Morgantown,” an area right off the Morgan L that became a haven for young people who couldn’t quite afford Williamsburg. The bar’s owners Jeff and Heather Rush are Seattle transplants, and along with their partner Colin Peer, they’re dedicated to selling food and alcohol that contains no animal ingredients. What’s interesting about that policy is just how unobtrusive it is… it’s almost like, it’s not that hard to avoid needlessly slaughtering other creatures purely for our own reckless enjoyment? Between the great beer selection, delicious Bloody Mary, and tongue-in-cheek cocktail menu, and the Northwest’s finest potato chips, Tim’s Cascade, you’ll never notice you’ve been having a great time all night, without harming a single animal. That rocks.

Arrogant Swine

173 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick

Southern transplants will be happy to find this enormous barbecue and bar joint off the Morgan L boasts a spread of North Carolina-style smoked meats, alongside a full bar. Come hungry and ready to drink well into the night, because there’s almost nothing else around this secluded spot. Not that you’ll need to go anywhere else with pork belly by pound, plenty of beer and fancy whiskey all on hand.

Union Pizza Works

423 Troutman Street, Bushwick

Yes, this place has pizza in the name, and yes, that’s primarily what Bushwick denizens flock here for–oh, and the ample outdoor space. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect place to while away a sunny afternoon, snacking on some pie and sipping on something that will get you buzzed even more than their signature margarita will. Their lavish happy hour from 5:30-8pm offers $4 beer, $5 glasses of wine and $8 cocktails. That leaves plenty of money to spare for pizza, too.

Northeast Kingdom

18 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

One of the first farm-to-table restaurants to make it out into Bushwick’s deeper reaches, Northeast Kingdom is steadily one of the best places to get fresh and locally-sourced seasonal food anywhere in Brooklyn. They apply that same standard to their cocktail menu and wine/beer list, keeping selection fresh and well-suited to the season at all times.

The Johnson’s

369 Troutman Street, Bushwick

Hanging chairs, reclaimed wood, and a huge outdoor area mean this bar feels much more like a friend’s backyard than a place where bouncers carefully check your ID as you enter. But the $2 PBR is a price point you’ll rarely find around here, or anywhere, anymore. So head here on broke nights, or if you feel like drinking and swinging at the same damn time.

983: Bushwick’s Living Room

983 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick

While it’s not as comfortable as your actual living room—and the tiny tables even leave some space to be desired honestly—there is a relaxed feel in this Bushwick haunt that mimics the comfort of being at home. They serve breakfast all day, for one thing, along with alcoholic milkshakes and plenty of other drinks that will help you relax even further, whether it’s after a long day of work or the start of your weekend on a Saturday morning.

Boobie Trap

308 Bleecker Street, Bushwick

Body positivity isn’t something that often comes up while a bartender is pouring you a beer, except at Boobie Trap, where a devotion to breasts–and the beauty of the female form overall–transcends tired male-gazey bullshit and is thrown into delightful focus.

Old Stanley’s Bar

226 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

For a while, the area around the Myrtle Wyckoff L stop–Ridgewood’s central, bustling hub–was sadly devoid of many places to get a reasonable drink. And considering the many hiatuses, inconsistencies and overcrowded cars that occur while traveling from Manhattan to that far L station, a drink is often much-needed upon docking. Luckily, Old Stanley’s Bar opened in 2014 right near the heavily-trafficked junction, only a few steps for wearily travelers. It’s got pinball, mid-level beer, high, wooden-backed chairs and old-fashioned booths. It’s cash only, and, thankfully, there isn’t a handcrafted cocktail in sight.

Yours Sincerely

41 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick

Though it’s sidled right up to sister restaurant Dear Bushwick, Yours Sincerely has no trouble at all competing with that marquee joint. Sporting an innovative all tap system, there’s no shaking or stirring cocktails in this quiet speakeasy, just the slow siphoning of carefully concocted alcoholic beverages slipping into your glass. Sans the muss and fuss of creating each drink to order, the prices are lower, too. You won’t spend more than $8 on a mixed drink in this experimental new “cocktail laboratory.”

Dear Bushwick

41 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick

This self-described “English Country Kitchen” has way more than just vittles on the menu. The bartenders are just as careful curators as their kitchen counterparts, happy to whip something up to suit your palette, or direct you toward any of their moderately priced cocktail standards ($9). And if you come during their weekday happy hour from 6-8pm, you can snag a $5 Old Fashioned. That seems proof enough that these enterprising restaurateurs do indeed have Bushwick’s best interests at heart.

Cafe Ghia

24 Irving Avenue, Bushwick

There’s few cultural touchstones that have more cache right now than David Lynch’s beloved Twin Peaks series, and that devotion is on full display at Cafe Ghia. Try the Laura Palmer — a vodka, ginger, honey and lemon concoction — to get a full taste of their fandom. Or, stop by Wednesday nights for comedy and Thursdays for trivia. Oh, and this seems like it should go without saying, but their brunch is to die for as well.

Mominette

221 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick

The French bistro hasn’t made its way very far into Brooklyn, at least, not as prominently as say, Thai and sushi have. That’s what makes this elegant and cozy bistro all the more special. Try the namesake cocktail for a Lillet-based drink, or go a little bigger and splurge on a bottle off their very decently-priced wine list. If you’re going for wine, go for some oysters too. You won’t be disappointed at all, everything here is très délicieux.

nenzo’s

19 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

Before getting into drinks, let it be known that you can order a full rotisserie chicken from this brand new Latin-inspired restaurant as late as 3:30am. On weeknights. That’s a tip that will have bartenders in the neighborhood perking their ears off, filing the information away until their next 2am hunger pain strikes. As for drinks, they’ve got all the standards, along with some alcoholic slushies that pique your palate even in winter months.

The Sampler Bushwick

234 Starr Street, Bushwick

The emphasis at The Sampler is to let patrons try–sample, if you will–quite a few beers. Their extensive tap beer list is constantly rotating, as is the size and pour of the brew in question, and the bartenders are extremely knowledgeable about their wares. A bar that will keep the serious beer drinker and their whiskey-inclined companion, very happy. And if you overimbibe, try the pickles.

Lot 45

411 Troutman Street, Bushwick

Lot 45 is a dark bar with huge chandeliers, and while that’s not the most original presentation, it’s still a damn good one. It’s the kind of place where you can get anything from $1.50 oysters, to a whole bottle of Bloody Mary (to get a sense of the size, a glass is $9, a bottle $35), to a take on a Pimm’s cup that’s topped off with Red Bull. Basically, it’s the perfect balance of classic elegance and millennial cheekiness. Yes, you read that right: millennial.

Miles

101 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick

For the neighborhood, Miles is what would be considered an upscale cocktail bar, and it would certainly be in the upper echelon of bars regardless of location. Their menu features drinks that incorporate unwieldy spirits like oolong whiskey or chipotle tequila into cocktails that sound—and taste!—lush and appetizing. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, go for the Woodbury Campfire, a drink that combines bourbon, scotch and Lillet into one glorious, fiery concoction.

Hi Hello

247 Starr Street, Bushwick

Hi Hello is fairly new to the area, it opened in spring of 2015, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a staple for drinks and decadent sandwiches. The owners also run Momo Sushi Shack, so you can trust that the environment is very relaxed, and that they know how to put ingredients together. The bar itself stays open till 2am, offering reasonably priced cocktails ($10 for most) with unexpected combinations, like the Fizzy Cola, a blend of Ramazzotti, lime juice and soda.

The Three Diamond Door

211 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick

Housed in a converted Kennedy Fried Chicken–yes, that’s a KFC knockoff brand–the Three Diamond Door converts nicely into a 1950s-styled speakeasy. There’s prosecco on tap, beer and shot specials, and a four hour happy hour from 4-8pm that’ll get you a dollar off well drinks, tap beers, shots and wine. The main appeal here, though, are the cozy vintage booths, that give this place a retro feel that isn’t over-the-top.

Central Station

84 Central Avenue, Bushwick

With a huge backyard and a kitchen that stays open until 1am, Central Station offers two things this somewhat secluded area of Bushwick needs: late night eats and the space to do it in. The emphasis here is beer and classic cocktails–nothing fancy–and the small plates and other food items are divided into sections named for transportation-related terms. That should tell you a lot about the vibe in question, and if it you like that kind of humor, then you’ll probably like this place a lot.

Forrest Point

970 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick

In possession of what is easily one of the most beautiful backyards in Brooklyn (it feels like you’re in Fern Gully!), Forrest Point has an impeccable craft cocktail menu, featuring several amazing renditions of milk punch (our favorite is the Silken Road, redolent of bourbon, lemongrass, lychee, and coconut milk), and a great food menu, with great snack food and more hearty fare like a delicious quinoa salad (yes, quinoa can be good!). Eat and drink outside under the strings of fairy lights, surrounded by tables fashioned from stumps and adult-sized swings.

Gottscheer Hall

657 Fairview Avenue, Ridgewood

Gottschee is a region of Europe so old it precedes nation states, and so distinctive that its culture has outlasted the many border and naming changes. The German-speaking region is located in modern-day Slovenia, but the chaos of both world wars led to the vast majority of Gottscheer people to emigrate to America, specifically New York. All this to say, Gottscheer Hall is a bar with a long memory, and an even longer pedigree, and you can feel both of these things when you enter the bar, which turns 92 years old this year. It’s got a long walnut bar in the center, and a mix of round, dinner-table style and taller tables scattered throughout. There’s three German beers on tap, along with standard bottom shelf brews like Coors Light and Budweiser, a jukebox lurks in the corner and the food menu contains German classics like spaetzle, wursts, and big, fluffy pretzels. All this is well and good, but it’s the history that makes this bar special, some sort of spirit hangs thick in the air, almost like a noise, like the clattering of empty steins past. Sometimes the age of a place is a feeling, not a function.

Onderdonk & Sons

566 Onderdonk Avenue, Ridgewood

Onderdonk & Sons is relatively new the the Ridgewood area–as are a lot of bars in this neighborhood–but the cozy, well-decorated bar still manages to feel like it’s been a neighborhood staple for decades. They don’t serve any real liquor and focus much more on a rotating list of tap beers, but thanks to the help of liqueurs, beer, wine and Soju, you can still grab a makeshift cocktail if your heart desires. The Negroni Incorrect is especially appealing with a smooth mix of Cappelletti, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Sparkling Wine. Venturing out of Brooklyn’s pricier neighborhoods is always a relief, too; mixed drinks will run you $7 and as little as $5 during the notable happy hour from 4-7 on weekdays, 12-7 on weekends. That’s also when you grab a burger, fries, and a beer for the minimal $11. Long live Quooklyn.

Milo’s Yard

564 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood

Milo’s Yard does indeed include an ample yard, with long, clean wooden picnic tables and ample room for smokers and non-smokers alike. However, it’s the pinball games indoors that might end up garnering more attention in this converted Butcher Shop bar operated by the same couple who own Happy Fun Hideaway. It’s right off the Seneca M stop and features a dollar off all drinks during the 4-8pm happy hour. They also offer an eclectic food menu that features a Chicago hot dog alongside a Chinese pork buns, vegetarian samosas, and Jamaican beef (or veggie) patties.

Bierleichen

582 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood

This massive, concrete beer hall is big enough to host the beginning of your Ridgewood bar crawl, or collect everyone in your rolodex for one enormous rager. Old films are projected on the back wall, and the beer list is extensive and eclectic enough to please even your snobbiest brew-obsessed friend. There’s foosball tables to boot, bratwursts, and four kinds of grilled cheese including a yummy muenster & jalapeño sandwich.

June

259 St Nicholas Avenue, Ridgewood

One of June’s claims to fame is that it’s so tightly packed into Ridgewood’s commercial strip that the looming 99 cent store sign almost eclipses this quiet, unassuming bar. But no marquee can overshadow June’s much-needed presence on a still-developing block. The three-hour happy hour from 5-8pm gets you a $2 draft beer with the purchase of a Cheddar ($4) or Provolone and Prosciutto ($6) grilled cheese.

Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar

818 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood

Denise Plowman and Crystal River Williams opened Ridgewood’s beloved Norma’s Cafe in 2012, and the coffee shop quickly grew to become an essential haven for residents new and old. Two years later, they crowdfunded another neighborhood spot: a much-needed casual hangout spot called Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar. Beers are around $5, local wines by the glass all under $10, and there are several delicious beer and wine cocktails as well, like a stunning stout and sparkling wine concoction called the Black Velvet. You can also grab a beef turnover or a cheese plate to balance out the booze. Julia’s is great because it has all the charm and appeal of being at home without the cleanup.

The Ridgewood Ale House

5738 Myrtle Avenue, Ridgewood

The Ridgewood Ale House is one of those big, comfortable bars that you associate more with the suburbs than Brooklyn. It’s got enough TVs to qualify as a sports bar–as in there’s a screen in every booth–and there’s also karaoke. There’s absolutely nothing about this bar that says “hipster” or “Brooklyn,” and some nights, that’s just what you need.

Glenlo Tavern

64-18 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood

Glenlo Tavern is one of those bars that’s been happily serving alcohol to local Ridgewood residents long before “Quooklyn” was even a twinkle in a Times editor’s eye. It’s a spacious bar on the otherwise nearly bar-free zone of Fresh Pond Road–we’re talking deep Ridgewood here–and one of the primary draws are their dart boards. That should tell you a lot about what to expect.

Queens Tavern

6869 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood

In 2013 this bar changed hands, and Caskey’s Tavern became Queens Tavern. Currently, the bar is most notable for hosting music video events like Wu Tang Wednesday, regular karaoke nights and movie nights. It’s the kind of place that fosters a close knit neighborhood community out in a hood that most of Brooklyn is still discovering exists.

The Monk

68-67 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood

This bar is unabashedly about beer, specifically, Belgian beer. There are no TVs or other newfangled contraptions to distract the avid drinker from focusing on a frothy, rare brew. Featuring extensive selection of both bottled and on tap options, The Monk is a discerning outpost for those who crave Brooklyn’s cutting edge discernment, but find themselves off in Queens.

The Keep

205 Cypress Avenue, Ridgewood

Walking into this bar is like walking into an antique shop that sells alcohol. Seriously, the air of history–specifically one person’s eye for it–hangs as heavy in the air of the Keep as a sense of neighborhood camaraderie. It’s one of the last outposts before the neighborhood turns into a wasteland of loading docks and abandoned factory buildings, and it functions as such, keeping stragglers and neighbors from feeling like they live too far out. Amid the many old chairs and tables, a suit of armor, a motorcycle, and the legendary bulletholes in the walls from past inhabitants, you’ll find old guard New York happily mingling with newcomers–there’s absolutely no sense of hierarchy in a bar this noble.

Paradise

678 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood

There’s Christmas lights up year round in this quiet, dark Ridgewood watering hole. It’s a neighborhood staple for those who want a quick beer and a chance to zone out post-work. Or, it can easily contain an all-nighter within its dingy, simple confines. There’s nothing remarkable about the place at all, which ends up being one of the features most people appreciate about it. Paradise is only trying to be exactly what it is: a bar. That’s what makes it so goddamn heavenly.

Nowadays

56-06 Cooper Avenue, Ridgewood

Perhaps the title gives it away, but Nowadays is a seasonal bar that’s only open during New York’s signature humid summer months–and even then, only when it doesn’t rain. Sporting a gigantic outdoor area with colorful picnic tables and enough of a lawn for both kids and dogs to enjoy, this far Ridgewood bar is family-oriented in a way that many aren’t able to be. Nowadays serves drinks as well as food, and also provide games, so on a sunny day in Brooklyn, there’s absolutely no reason to leave.

282 Burger

282 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill

As you may surmise from the name, this is a good spot to get a solid, no-frills burger. But “no-frills” doesn’t mean low quality: 282 uses grass-fed beef from local butcher Los Paisanos. There are 10w burger variations including a particularly delish vegetarian option coming with grilled onions and roasted poblano chips—all to be washed it down with a nice, foamy beer while you people watch through the glass façade onto Atlantic Avenue. 282 opens at noon every day, so if you happened to be hungover and craving, say, a burger topped with a fried egg and melted cheese, right here would be your saving grace. Hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and a kids’ section round out the menu, as well as a nice list of house cocktails. For something unique, try the Across Smith Street, with Smith and Cross rum (don’t be fooled, it’s bottled in London, not on Smith Street), Velvet Falernum, lime and pineapple.

Saint Gambrinus

533 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill

Beer nerds flock here to sample cult brews like Barrel Aged Evil Twin by the bottle and on draught—the latter to be taken home in growlers. Take your flights and snacks out to the garden, open from April through November, or enjoy them at the bar or tables near the front. It’s fun to crane your neck to browse the various obscure bottles of beer stacked alongside the wall. There’s cider, too, not quite as nerdy as the beer selection but still good. The best part is that the staff is helpful rather than snobby. Stop here on your way to the Barclay Center, a short walk.

Bar Tabac

128 Smith Street, Boerum Hill

Every neighborhood’s got to have its classic, casual French bistro, and Bar Tabac has long held the designation on Smith Street. A great spot for casual weekday lunch—try the Croque Monsieur made with country-style bread, ham and Swiss cheese, served with fries, or an expertly prepared omelette with a side of mesclun greens—as well as a great date spot any night of the week, Bar Tabac excels at simple and delicious food. In terms of drinks, you’ll find the French version of “happy hour” here: the aperitif, featuring light and refreshing spirits like Cocchi Americano on the rocks, and supremely classic French drinks like the Kir Royale, made with crème de cassis and sparkling white wine. The wine list is French (duh), tidy, user-friendly, and affordable. Bring your mom, your second date, your coworker—it’s easy to have a good time. Brunch, especially, is a fun affair, featuring live music. Don’t miss the cheese plate.

White Oak

138 Smith Streer., Cobble Hill

There’s a whole host of reasons locals love this place: for the beautiful, quiet, wooden patio out back; for the calm, exposed brick interior inside; for the fresh oysters and raw bar; for decadent bites like filet mignon sliders, or a fried egg-topped bacon cheeseburger with fries, or the duck confit grilled cheese; for the rotating selection of beers on tap. Wine and beer lists here are fairly low-key, but the cocktail menu is on the adventurous side—for example, try the Blackberries and Smoke, a concoction of Pisco, Laphroaig, blackberries, lemon juice and pomegranate juice. Service here is attentive and inviting, revealing White Oak to be a true neighborhood restaurant.

61 Local

61 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill

This is a reliably good bar where you can stroll in with half your department and find a place to stand with a draught beer in your hand and make conversation. The 30-beer draught list is always changing, and the wine program emphasizes interesting local (hence the bar’s name) producers like Brooklyn’s own Red Hook Winery and Brooklyn Oenology. Order up some charcuterie and cheese board, throw in some smoked almonds, marinated olives, and Brooklyn Brine pickles and you’ve got a spread. There are larger plates, too—mac ‘n cheese, and a wild mushroom and lentil shepherd’s pie. Although 61 Local is an excellent spot to gather some boozehounds, it’s also not too loud and totally decent for a date or hanging with just one friend at the long wooden bar. And uniquely, 61 Local offers low-ABV soft cocktails, as well as house-made ginger ale and local kombucha, so you can invite your friends who are “cleansing.” 61 Local also hosts a free monthly comedy-music show called “Politics and Pints.”

Boat Bar

175 Smith Street, Boerum Hill

When you just want to grab a cheap beer or late-night whiskey, play a few songs on a juke box, and make out with someone in low lighting, Boat is your destination. It’s exactly what a bar should be—a place to sit and drink—and not much more. Bartenders are nice, the vibe is relaxed, you might end up talking to the couple next to you at the bar, that sort of thing. There’s a killer happy hour–$3 beer, booze, or wine until 8pm, every day.

Camp

179 Smith Street, Boerum Hill

Deer heads and canoes on the walls, a working fireplace, board games—as befits the name in both senses, this bar is campy and makes you want to camp out for hours, drinking craft beer or Hot Toddys and lounging just like you did in your college dorm. You’d be well advised to share an order of s’mores with your buds: they come in a basket with a little gas flam, ready to take you back to your Scouts days. There is even, steady yourself, a Girl Scout Martini coming with a chocolate covered marshmallow. Karaoke night is bound to be wild.

Building on Bond

112 Bond Street., Boerum Hill

This may be one of the most versatile—and most beloved—bars in Brooklyn. You could have a daytime meeting here, or a casual happy hour date, or meet some friends for a drink and let it turn into a full-on dinner. The dinner menu features New American classics like kale salad (it’s charred, though, adding a unique touch), flatiron steak, a supremerly good veggie burger, and salmon. The décor, with wood-slab tables and quirky abstract paintings, makes you feel immediately at home—one reason this spot has been called a “living room” for locals. With several rotating beers on tap, and innovative seasonal cocktails like the vodka-spiked strawberry basil lemonade (in summer) or a classic Dark and Stormy (in winter), you can’t go wrong. Choose from five different Bloody Marys to go alongside your Eggs Benedict at weekend brunch. Swing by on Tuesdays for trivia night.

Brooklyn Inn

148 Hoyt Street, Boerum Hill

Dating back to the late 19th century, when the surrounding brownstones were just being erected, this is one of these super old-school, institutional bars that you absolutely have to experience. The woodwork is original, and when you enter and look up at the vaulted ceilings, you feel transported to another era. The décor is kept minimal with just a few mirrors on the walls, and a long one elegantly placed behind the bar. This approach could be done pretentiously but it’s the opposite—relaxed and inviting. Grab a Brooklyn Lager or a neat whiskey and bunker down for a long conversation with a good friend, or grab your date and sidle up to the pool table in the third room.

Fawkner

191 Smith Street, Boerum Hill

Fawkner is a top-notch gastropub with good beer, classic cocktails, and a relaxed atmosphere, from the people who opened the Bell House, Floyd and Union Hall. Everything is affordably-priced and well-executed. If you’re hanging with a group of buddies, grab one of the booths set into wooden caves, and dig into a bowl of cheesy Poutine doused with New England style brown gravy, and some sweet, savory, or spicy beer nuts. Don’t miss the fried chicken sandwich, made with a lightly breaded thigh and topped with relish, corn pudding, and fried onions (good luck getting it all into your mouth). Snuggle up with your date on the couch in back, where several antique couches and lowlighting create a nice mood in front of the working fireplace.

Clover Club

210 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

One of the iconic bars of the mixology movement, this is a well-established, award-winning destination cocktail bar. You could have the most perfect Sazerac of your life here, prepared by an expert bartender wearing a smart vest, or try one of seven variations on an Old Fashioned. To experience the cutting edge approach here, opt for the Eastward-leaning Kafka on the Shore, featuring the Indonesian sugarcane spirit Batavia Arrack, shitake-infused Japanese whiskey, Cardamaro, Carpano Antica, and crème de cacao. All cocktails here are mercifully under $15, despite the bar’s renown. If you’re not feeling cocktail-y, there’s beer and wine, and an especially good selection of sparkling wines and Champagne. Food is satisfying and New American, ranging from oysters to salads to steak tartare to a scrumptious lamb burger. Brunch here is an delightful affair with a special menu of fantastic daytime cocktails—of course Bloody Marys, but also Collins and Fizzes, Sours, uber-sophisticated variations on the Mimosa, and more to keep you saucing long into the afternoon.

Verde

16 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Northern Italian cuisine made with fresh, high-quality ingredients is the attraction at Verde, a beautiful and casual neighborhood spot. It’s ideal for catching up with a friend, a group birthday brunch, or a simple date. Start with baked clams stuffed with garlicky, buttery, oregano-flecked breadcrumb filling; then have the crispy gnocchi with sausage and broccoli rabe or a 20-oz Angus rib-eye with polenta and spinach—in other words, a solid meal. The wine list is nearly all Italian, with excellent variety and reasonable prices. There is bottomless brunch on weekends, including all the Bellinis and Mimosas you can drink. A very likely candidate if you’re looking for a reliable go-to restaurant that’s strong in hospitality and cuisine alike.

Battersby

255 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Plush leather banquettes set against exposed brick walls, with distressed wood paneling, set the scene at Battersby for lingering with friends or loved ones over interesting, contemporary food and a bottle or two of wine. Created by two chefs who met working at Alain Ducasse’s Essex House, this is a fresh and seasonal approach to Italian cuisine, with small and tasty first courses like octopus with butter beans, a second course of house-made pastas, and many well-prepared mains like heritage pork atop a sauce of farro, cauliflower and raisons, or braised short ribs with sunchokes and carrots. To sample the best of the chef’s offerings, there are two tasting menus—either five courses for $75, or seven for $95—for which you can make a reservation. The cocktail list here is very succinct—just three house drinks—but it is good, and the wine list is particularly stand-out, featuring top Old World producers and a few exciting New World options, all skewing “natural,” meaning organic vineyards and a traditional, minimalist approach in the cellar.

Zombie Hut

273 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Tiki at its finest is what you’ll find at Zombie Hut, where people gather on the ample back patio to sip tropical drinks garnished with plastic creatures like a green monkey. Try a sugar-rimmed Frozen Zombie, a Bacardi-based slushi, or a Long Island Iced Tea, which nobody will judge you for ordering because it’s a tiki bar. Get everybody nice and hammered with a pitcher of the $26 “Scorpion Bowl,” a concoction of Bacardi, brandy and juice, coming in a pretty painted bowl with several straws and a flame in the center for an impressive presentation. Spend an afternoon here sipping on Mai Tais and playing Jenga, kicking your feet up on the patio, and living your best life. Stagger out like, well, a zombie.

Ravioli Wine Bar

277 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

As you may discern by the name, pasta is served here, as well as wine. Carroll Gardens has long been an Italian neighborhood, and these guys are keeping the tradition alive with their fresh, house-made pasta dishes and Italian wine list. Regarding the latter, Ravioli has some particularly interesting options on its thoughtful and well-organized wine list; nearly all bottles are served by-the-glass, and highlights include rare treats such as Barolo and Brunello from 2010 (just about ready to drink), and a 2007 Montepulciano. There are just two beers here—both from Forst, an Italian brand—so come thirsty for fermented grapes. Aside from delicious pasta dishes like pumpkin ravioli smothered in a butter, sage, and Parmesan sauce, there is also house-made Minestrone that rivals your Nonna’s. Ravioli is closed Monday and Tuesday, but opens at 11am for lunch all other days.

Bar Great Harry

280 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Beer nerd alert, this is a great spot for trying some of the trendiest bottles out there, like Evil Twin and Other Half, and other craft beers that sound like they’re named after a Stephen King movie. Although it has its edgy side, Bar Great Harry is above all a casual, yet hip place for sipping brews, snacking on cheap bites like bacon-wrapped dates (may they never go out of fashion) with jalapeño sauce, and playing pinball. The bar hosts occasional tap takeovers, often featuring a line-up from a particular importer. Happy hour here is stellar, if potentially dangerous: two beers for $5, from 2-7pm. Low lighting makes this a great date spot if your boo is the type to be into brews and pinball. Locals like bringing their pups here, too.

The JakeWalk

282 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

No self-respecting neighborhood can be without a good speakeasy-themed bar, right? The JakeWalk is just that. It’s where you go for that perfect after-work tipple, that first date you’re really excited about, that long night of drinking with old friends—it’s a classy spot with top-notch booze. There are also plenty of tasty snacks, including an extensive selection of artisanal charcuterie and cheeses, and various forms of gastropub fare like pimento cheese, house-made ricotta crostini, Parmesan-topped meatballs served with bread bits, and a slow-baked chicken pot-pie. At happy hour, enjoy $9 cocktails as well as reduced-price beers and wines, as well as the “Working (Wo)man’s Special,” which is a Narragansett accompanied by a whiskey shot for $9. Beer aficionados, note that the beloved Hill Farmstead Brewery can be found here.

Bar San Miguel

307 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

When you need some excellent tacos, don’t bother Yelping it for an hour straight like Aziz Ansari’s character does on “Master of None”—just head to Bar San Miguel. Choose from the braised short ribs with pico de gallo, or the fried fish with red onion and cherry tomato salsa, for only $9, both coming in a pair of soft corn tortillas. Or, go for enchiladas, cheesy and stuffed with your choice of ribs or chicken, and served non-traditionally in the form of soft tacos with a side arugula salad. Portions are small; consider adding some chips and guac or salsa, or an order of empanadas, to round it out. You’ll want to wash it all down with the San Miguel Margarita, a classy, not-overly-sweet concoction of blanco tequila, Combier, agave nectar, and lime—with the option to sub in jalapeño-infused tequila for you spice hounds. There are several other, seasonally rotating house-made cocktails featuring tequila or mezcal. Drinks are quite boozy. Waits can be long, as the space is small, and reservations are recommended for groups.

Claudine’s

311 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

With the Italian heritage of the neighborhood, you’d hope there’s still one good red sauce restaurant around. Claudine’s is only a few years old, but it’s right on point in terms of delivering classic, simple, fresh Italian food, as well as a selection of beer and wine. The menu features staples such as eggplant or chicken Parmigiana, brick oven-fired pizza, calamari—old-school Italian favorites. And every dish is under $18.

Wilma Jean

345 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Famous for its really, really good fried chicken, Wilma Jean has a sweet all-day happy hour that goes from 12pm-5pm daily, with reduced prices on wine and beer. The selection is interesting and diverse, featuring local mainstays like Sixpoint Brewery, as well as more unusual bottles like a blackberry saison from Tennessee. Wines are locally sourced, including small producers on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes. Perfect when you need a really strong first meal of the day, or you can skip out on work early and you’re craving some flavor and a nice hoppy beer. The atmosphere at Wilma Jean’s is great, too—wonderful natural light, and fresh flowers to liven your spirits.

Frankies 457 Spuntino

457 Court Street, Carroll Gardens

A veritable Carroll Gardens institution, Frankie’s is a benchmark in terms of really great food, excellent hospitality, beautiful décor, and perfectly made cocktails. It’s where you bring your first date, your second date, your family, and your cousin on his birthday, and where you can also sit at the bar alone and have a proper meal while reading a book on a Tuesday night. Signature cocktails are on-point, and you’d do well to start with a classic Italian aperitivo beverage made with Campari or Aperol, modestly priced at just $8; there are also a few signature cocktails, some of which are contemporary explorations of classic Italian drinks. The extensive and very good wine list is mostly Italian and showcases many lesser-known grapes like the light red Ruché, as well as unsuspecting regions like Sicily and Umbria. On weekends, brunch is served until 4pm; expect waits. Don’t miss the famous French toast, to be enjoyed with a side of thick-cut bacon.

Abilene

442 Court Street, Carroll Gardens

That welcoming sky-blue exterior, in warmer months accompanied by white patio chairs where people lounge over a pint on a lazy afternoon, is a quintessential sight on Court Street. Abilene is low-key, with a living room feel inside thanks to comfy beige couches, garden green walls, and hazy natural lighting in the afternoons, when locals gather to enjoy happy hour specials like that perfect combo, beer and a shot, just $6 here. After dusk, candlelit provides a perfect atmosphere for chatting with small groups of friends, or getting to know your date. Cocktails include a raspberry vodka lemonade, a Pimm’s Cup, and a Dark and Stormy.

Buschenschank

320 Court Street, Carroll Gardens

Come here after class, work, or a long gym session to cram yourself full of house-made pretzels and guzzle large mugs of beer at communal tables or on the spacious patio. Indoors, you’ll find exposed brick and reclaimed wood, and a working fireplace. Aside from beer garden favorites like pretzels, spaetzle, pickled things, and ‘wurst, there’s pizza from a wood oven. (German-Austrian and Italian food together might seem odd, but Buschenschank is inspired by the Alto-Adige region of northern Italy, where the two cultures collide.) Tuesdays for Trivia, weekends for brunch. Great for casually hanging out with a group, especially if people are coming and going throughout the night.

Dosa Royale

316 Court Street, Carroll Gardens

One of the newer additions to the neighborhood, Dosa Royale has been a quick hit, offering a great atmosphere for dates and groups alike (there are two-tops and six-tops at the ready), and a solid menu of tasty, updated Indian street food favorites, mainly dosas and curries. The fermented semolina-based dosa pancakes come with several forms of dipping sauce or fillings, including mixed veggie, spinach and paneer, and onion and tomato with spicy green chili. There’s no meat on the menu, except for a few fish appetizers and curries. Add an extra spice kick to any dish by requesting gunpowder or mysore, or green chilies. You can order them family style, as a “dosa royale.” Although the food might transport you to Varanasi, the cocktails will remind you that you’re in Brooklyn; try the Kovai Express with rye, sweet vermouth, and cardamom bitters for a Southeastern take on a Manhattan. The entire cocktail list takes this approach of adding Indian flair to an otherwise classic drink. Everything is a great value here, and the vibe is relaxed and hip. Dine al fresco, on the back patio, in warmer months.

Strong Place

270 Court Street, Cobble Hill

This popular watering hole has 24 beers on tap, a cute backyard with actual wooden picnic tables, and great food. Strong Place runs a strong snack game. Order some fried chick peas, or a plate of oysters and clams ($1 at happy hour), or some bone marrow and short rib croquettes that look and taste as fancy as they sound, or the small and hearty bowls of pasta. There’s enough that you could make a proper, casual dinner out of it by passing around plates and ordering rounds. Lots of great vegetarian options, too. Food presentation is artful, even Instagrammable. Check the calendar for regular live music by local artists, and stop by on weekends for brunch.

June

231 Court Street, Carroll Gardens

Since June opened in early 2015, it has received much attention for its beautiful art nouveau décor by the design firm hOmE, as well as its excellent selection of natural, funky, and eclectic wines from around the world. June also wins points for its fantastic staff, who could be cooler-than-thou, and might, actually, be cooler than most of us, but outwardly are friendly and helpful to the max. Food at June is composed, seasonal small plates and it’s best to either come here pre-dinner for snacks, or expect to eat lightly. Aside from wine, cocktails at June are very on point, often featuring Italian amari, and generally leaning bitter rather than sweet. Try the High Plains Drifter, conceived as “a gin cocktail for a whiskey guy,” and featuring gin, sherry, Sapins herbal liquer, angostura bitters and smoked rosemary. The best thing about June may be its heated patio, open year-round. Bring a date here and grab stools at the bar, or call to reserve a table for a group of six or more wine lovers.

Lobo

218 Court Street, Cobble Hill

For 13 years, Lobo has been a solid neighborhood spot for Tex-Mex and tequila. The flavored margaritas are just-sweet-enough and strong, the food is quick to come out and flavorful, and the vibe is low-key. Try the Loaded Nachoas, with homemade tortilla crisps, beans, cheese, pico de gallo, guac, and sour cream, topped with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, veggies, all for only $10, or fajita-style beer or chicken for a few bucks extra. Wash it down with a Michelada featuring Modelo Especial, or get a pitcher of Sangria for the table. Finish with a round of house-infused tequila shots. At brunch, the buttermilk pancakes are a must, with a side of bacon.

Joya

215 Court Street, Boerum Hill

There are two sides to Joya: the scene indoors, where a live DJ creates a clubby vibe, and the outdoor patio, open in warmer months and much quieter and serene. The industrial-chic, youthful ambience conspired with a solid menu of Americanized Thai food, and a selection of beer and wine, for a place that’s reliably fun and atmospheric, whether for a date or a gathering with friends. Try the Pad See Ew with tender chunks of pork, the veggie spring rolls, and the classic dish Pad Thai—all shy of $10. Wash down with a Singha and you’re set.

Congress

208 Court Street, Cobble Hill

Winner of the 2015 People’s Choice for Best Bloody Mary in Brooklyn, Congress is a beloved local watering hole and verified classy joint that features an excellent selection of beers on tap and many very pretty cocktails that arrive in coupes, so you can look nice and coy in the dim lighting as you lift the drink gently to your lips. One of those that you might venture to try is the Mermaid’s Tale, made with gin, frothy egg white, crème de violette, lemon and Peychaud’s—proper #drinkporn. Note that there is a “Bartender’s Choice” option for just $11 if you’re feeling mischievous (and trusting). There’s also an extensive menu of sipping spirits, including an impressive selection of single-malt Scotches and bourbons, and various aperitif and digestif liqueurs. The food at Congress is limited to two kinds of very specific and unusual snacks: sweet artisanal “pop tarts,” and locally made beef jerky. Make sure to check out the wallpaper, custom made and resembling a fruit salad of sorts. Happy hour starts at 2pm, goes until 7. Congress is cash only.

Cody’s American Bar and Grill

154 Court Street, Cobble Hill

Wings, mozzarella sticks, a freshly poured Guinness and some NFL on a Sunday sound good to you? Stop by Cody’s, a neighborhood stalwart with many flat-screen TVs, friendly bartenders and patrons, a super relaxed vibe, and plenty of food, beer, and good cheer. Bites include clam chowder, nachos, a Cuban sandwich, chicken Caesar wrap, and popcorn shrimp. If beer isn’t your thing, the bar serves all kinds of cocktails, including house-made margaritas. Finish it all off with some Irish coffee or mulled wine, and apple pie.

Floyd

131 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

Bocce ball, at a bar? A great date idea, or perhaps you want to join a league and make it a regular Sunday night outing. You’ll find Bocce, an old-fashioned game similar to shuffleboard, as well as childhood arcade favorites like Pac Man at Floyd, a mellow spot for gathering in a group any time of the day. Kick back on the tattered couches and sip bourbon, or share a bucket of beer. Snacks include Kentucky beer cheese with crackers, for just $4.

The Brazen Head

228 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill

The Brazen Head is a low-key neighborhood bar with craft beer on tap, the occasional brewery tap takeover, darts, and groups of friends—or, more specifically, students from nearby Brooklyn Law School or employees from Trader Joe’s—catching up, as well as locals hanging solo to watch the game. Aside from craft brews, there are cask ales, which are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Scotch is a specialty here; there are over a dozen to choose from. Complementary bowls of pretzels are available to help soak up the booze. As well, there are complementary wings on Mondays, cheese plates on Thursdays, and various other specials throughout the week, listed on the chalkboard outside the bar. You can participate in [THAT THING WHEN YOU BET ON SUPER BOWL TEAMS, WHAT IS IT CALLED???] in good company here.

Leyenda

221 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

Mixologist Ivy Mix worked at Clover Club before she and owner, Julie Reiner, decided it was time to open a place where she could showcase her own personal style, including her love for all things mezcal. Despite being something of a cocktail celebrity around the country (she was named “American Bartender of the Year” at the annual industry event, Tales of the Cocktail), Ivy is actually behind the bar at Leyenda most nights, serving up tastes from cult bottles of single-varietal mezcal, or whipping up one of the innovative drink creations on the menu. Solid Latin-inspired dishes at Leyenda include one of Latin America’s best street foods, the pupusa, which come stuffed with refried beans and cheese, and topped with salsa ranchera. There are also updated Latin foods, such as the spinach and Manchego empanadas with an artichoke and orange escabeche sauce, as well as more New American style dishes (the obligatory Brussels sprouts), and heavier plates and tacos, too—all quite good. But the real attraction at Leyenda is the impressive cocktail menu. Try the Cabesozo, consisting of mezcal, whiskey, Lillet Rose, white vermouth, elderflower, mole and habanero bitters, and lemon oils, and you’ll see what all the hype is about.

Mekelburg’s

293 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill

Not only is there no place quite like Mekelburg’s in Clinton Hill, there is, we dare say, no other place quite like it in Brooklyn. When the part-gourmet-grocer, part-bar opened in summer 2015, it was a novelty-cum-staple success. Longtime Clinton Hill residents Alicia and Daniel Mekelburg opened their basement-level culinary hideout because quality groceries like high-end cheeses, meats and sandwiches were unavailable in the vicinity. But beyond these front-room delicacies, the back room is where the party is at. With a combination of bar, four-top, and backyard picnic seating, 16 local beers on tap, and surprising small plates like a caviar and crème fraîche baked potato (plus excellent meat and cheese plates, assembled up front), Mekelburg’s is all inspired-hit and no miss.

Mayflower

132 Greene Street, Clinton Hill

The scene you might imagine inside this pint-sized cocktail bar—which doubles as a fantastic place to guzzle a Manhattan while waiting for a dinner table at Aita (by the same owners) next door—belongs to a Fitzgerald novel: men in coattails and women in drop-waist dresses, all having intimate tête-a-têtes, perched along banquette seating and two-tops. The bar itself, in line with the space, is short—just four seats—as is the list of house cocktails scrawled on a chalkboard hanging behind it. With one bartender as staff, each order can take a minute to mix. But the surroundings are so cozy and intimate that you won’t mind the wait. Time runs at its own pace inside this candle-lit boozy refuge.

Hanson Dry

925 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

In a neighborhood oddly lacking in straightforward bars, Hanson Dry stands out for being one. Happy hour starts early, come with pretzels, and music-at-a-certain-volume. The front room is long and narrow, with bar-only seating—save for a little banquet spot lining the front window. Warm weather calls drinkers to the backyard and, for those who have not secured a place at the bar, there is more seating in a second back room. The space is simultaneously no-frills (except: a Photo Booth! And a TV) but handsome: a pleasant grey-blue is painted throughout. If a classic bar experience is what you’re after—elevated by bottomless, comforting bowls of pretzels—Hanson Dry is your ticket.

Hot Bird

546 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill

There are two excellent times to go to Hot Bird: In the summer, when you’d like to drink outdoors—Hot Bird is, first and foremost, a bar with substantial outdoor picnic seating—and in the winter, when you’d like to drink outdoors (there’s a fire pit, too!). Which is to say, there is never not a pretty good time to drink at Hot Bird, which offers 12 beers on tap and all the standard cocktails. Well, maybe one: When it gets too crowded, which happens semi-regularly, though less in the the winter, and never due to strollers (no kids allowed!). Inside, the bar is cash only, and there are seating options here, too. Get on it, though: on perfect summer nights, those fill up quickly, too, with those who didn’t get in early enough to secure a spot within the main attraction.

Hops Hill

886 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

Hops Hill, perched on the southern end of a string of relatively new bars on Fulton Street, boasts a dozen rotating beers on tap, 100 bottles in stock, more than 20 ciders, a nice selection of small plates and sandwiches, and a pretty mellow local crowd. It’s attractive inside—a rectangular white marble bar anchors the space—but there is not a lot of seating on the periphery (and it’s not as appealing anyway). One TV hangs inconspicuously in the corner; good to keep the solo drinker company, or for those who want to keep tabs on the game, but are more interested in talking and drinking beers (or some inventive house cocktails) with a friend.

Sisters

900 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

Sisters, as far as a still-living human can tell, is what a bar would look like in heaven. Design firm hOmE created a space flooded by natural light (a gigantic, 30-foot skylight draws the eye upward) and is anchored by a long, white marble snaking bar. Aim to sit there; it is a true delight. The serenity continues with a white latticed tile floor, pendant globe lights, and sandalwood paneling throughout. Daytimes are great for working (all that sun and plush plant life!) and the brunch crowd is chill on the weekends. Nighttimes offer what you want from a bar: candlelight, live music in the the back bar (yes, there are two full and separate bars ), a full dinner menu, and lots of people casually drinking and eating for long stretches of time: This is a heavenly bar, so it is very hard to leave.

Fulton on Grand

1011 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

True to its name, this Clinton Hill go-to rests at the forked intersection of Fulton Street and Grand Avenue, and geographically beckons you inside. Because of that, the narrow casual space is often crowded, and even a little rowdy, especially on the weekend. The owners here are behind 4th Avenue Pub in Boerum Hill and The Evergreen in Bushwick—both of which offer markedly different experiences than this convenient and therefore popular spot. Summers here are best: limited outdoor seating offers great people-watching on the pedestrian heavy intersection. There’s shade on one side of the building, sun on the other, and for an especially long hangout, you can order takeout and eat on site.

Outpost

1014 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

This is first a cafe, second a bar. But it’s cozy, lived-in, all-day hangout appeal, transitions easily to a nighttime hang, particularly for those who want to work and start drinking at the same time. There are cheap beers on tap plus a small selection of wines. Plus, if you’ve been in front of your laptop all day, amped up on coffee, you’ll need a snack, too. Outpost to the rescue! They make excellent salads, sandwiches, and soups (the vegetarian and meat chilis are filling and tasty). Plus, this is not your standard beautiful-people-only crowd: Outpost’s freelancers have a lot to do, an interest in getting it done, and drinking while they’re at it. Take note: no internet available before 4pm on the weekends, and a credit card minimum of ten dollars.

The Emerson

561 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill

This five-year-old bar has become a true neighborhood hangout (it even won best neighborhood Brooklyn bar in 2015), and for good reason. It is, for Brooklyn, huge inside (both wide and long), has a pool table in back, arched banquette seating along the walls, a large backyard (smokers allowed), comfy vintage furniture, and hosts open mic night every Thursday. It feels like a bar that has been around forever in small town Nebraska (the owners wanted to give it an old-time art-deco feel) except filled with Pratt students and Brooklynites. Happy hour starts at four and lasts till 7, but you’ll likely end up staying much later—unless you forgot your ATM card. This bar is cash only, just like the old days.

Mirrors on Grand

284 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill

Vodka, peach Schnapps, pineapple and orange juice are the ingredients of Sex on the Streets—a house cocktail scrawled on the large mirror that hangs front and center behind the bar in this Clinton Hill hidden-in-plane sight gem; somehow, the drink’s title evokes the simultaneous sense of play, and, well, hookup club scene (though it is not a club) that suffuses the space. There is an unfinished floor, tall ceilings, loud 90s hip-hop (if the juke box is not in play), and velvet seating all around. You want all of that, right? You’re not sure why, but you do. And what better backdrop to all of this but the football game, displayed on the prominent TV next to the mirrored bar.

Bar Bolinas

455 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill

Exceptional lighting, falling out of milk glass pendants above the bar, and stained-glass wall sconces; old-fashioned strings of large holiday lights; Stereo Lab on the sound system: these are all tell-tale signs that you’ve stumbled upon an especially lovely bar on the northern end of Myrtle in Clinton Hill, a place where few other options abound. The kitchen is run by the couple behind the delicious Allswell in Williamsburg and, while drinking a Fine Mess (a perfectly smoky mescal and tequila house cocktail) they invite you to nibble on peanuts, bao, or kimchi. Or you could go for a full-on dinner. A whole trout! A chicken sandwich! Or a burger! Warm weather hosts backyard drinking, too. Bar Bolinas is an under-wraps beauty, and one you should make it your business to get to know.

Putnam’s Pub and Cooker

419 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill

There are, definitively, not so many great bars along Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill (RIP Splittys!), so we can overlook Putnam’s shortcomings a little more than we’d otherwise like to. This place feels a little like Brooklyn… trying to be Brooklyn, in a pre-fab kind of way. Aesthetics (and hit or miss live music on Sundays) aside, there are it’s perks: The menu is giant (chicken pot pie even!), an adjoining room with cozy booth seating, the bar is fully stocked, and TVs hang above it. One thing not to miss: A room downstairs hosts dance parties on Fridays and Saturdays. Brooklyn is sadly bereft of these—at least in this neighborhood—and given the weirdness upstairs, things could even weirder, in a good way, on the lower level.


Brooklyn Public House

247 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene

This neighborhood staple is lovely because it is very casual, serves food until 1am on weekdays, 3am on the weekend, and fills up with industry people and regulars not looking for a scene—just some straightforward decompressing. The bar is nice and long and traditional. Happy hour is from 4 – 7pm including half-priced appetizers. Original floors and ceilings remain in place so that it feels vintage but naturally so, like a classic diner experience, with a very inviting bar. There isn’t much else like this late night—and all day— experience in Fort Greene.

Die Stammkneipe / Der Schwarze Koelner

710 Fulton Street, Fort Greene

Wow, there sure are a lot of consonants squeezed next to each other in this Fort Greene German beer hangout. Which is why, if you’re a regular or local, you stick with “DSK.” It is a charming, amiable, European-feeling space with reindeer ornaments above the bar, a black and white checked floor, a big open floor plan with a couch, more than a dozen german beers on tap, and german snacks like pretzels, potato salad, and sausage to give the stomach a base for all those suds. Outdoor benches and tables line either side of the restaurant, which is located in the fork between Fulton Street and Hanson Place. Of note: the game is always playing on a large projection screen, and, it’s cash only. DSK is perfect for a summer hang with a snack, or a winter hideout with friends.

Hanson Dry

925 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

In a neighborhood oddly lacking in straightforward bars, Hanson Dry stands out for being one. Happy hour starts early, come with pretzels, and music-at-a-certain-volume. The front room is long and narrow, with bar-only seating—save for a little banquet spot lining the front window. Warm weather calls drinkers to the backyard and, for those who have not secured a place at the bar, there is more seating in a second back room. The space is simultaneously no-frills (except: a Photo Booth! And a TV) but handsome: a pleasant grey-blue is painted throughout. If a classic bar experience is what you’re after—elevated by bottomless, comforting bowls of pretzels—Hanson Dry is your ticket.

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge

660 Fulton Street, Fort Greene

Frank’s—Frank’s! Thank goodness for Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, a Fort Greene family-owned institution since 1974—a time when the neighborhood was decidedly less filled with German Beer Gardens and freelancer-heavy cafés. Inside, Frank’s serves cheap bottles, standard cocktails, hosts karaoke on Wednesdays, has a jukebox packed with lots of R&B classics, and doesn’t look an inch different than it did in the 70s. Just look at that crazy white stalactite ceiling behind the bar, vintage bar stools, and dark lounge carpet. It is like nothing else around, the same as it ever was, and absolutely perfect. Upstairs on Saturdays, there are hidden dance parties, too. Bring your I.D.! This classy joint has a bouncer.

Mo’s

80 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene

Mo’s, previously Moe’s (though not at all affiliated with that shuttered 10a-year-old establishment), has been run by its new owners since 2011, but retains the spirit of regulars that Moe’s was known for before it. The high-ceilinged, two-level establishment is filled with a very loyal crowd, who will both know that you are not a regular when you walk in, but welcome you all the same for it. There’s Tuesday karaoke from 9pm–1am, DJs every Friday and Saturday, and a nightly happy hour: two drinks for six bucks. Walk in here in sweatpants and feel fine, or come for a post BAM drink, or with a tinder date. Here, everything goes, and all are welcome.

Alibi

242 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene

Go to Alibi because you’re sick of all that is Fancy in Brooklyn. Go to Alibi because, in Fort Greene especially, things are looking nicer and nicer, and cost an arm and a leg. Go to Alibi because all you want is a dive bar, and those are sure hard to come by in these parts. But this is it, and you won’t be disappointed with what you find here. Happy hour from 5-8pm, all drafts are four bucks. There’s a pool table, two TVs, spacious backyard, and many, many regulars in this bar, mildly sunken from the street. All told, the affect is ever-so mildly, and pleasantly derelict. Just like you always wanted New York City to be. And cash only, please. This dive is the real deal.

Mullanes

71 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene

This is first a cafe, second a bar. But it’s cozy, lived-in, all-day hangout appeal, transitions easily to a nighttime hang, particularly for those who want to work and start drinking at the same time. There are cheap beers on tap plus a small selection of wines. Plus, if you’ve been in front of your laptop all day, amped up on coffee, you’ll need a snack, too. Outpost to the rescue! They make excellent salads, sandwiches, and soups (the vegetarian and meat chilis are filling and tasty). Plus, this is not your standard beautiful-people-only crowd: Outpost’s freelancers have a lot to do, an interest in getting it done, and drinking while they’re at it. Take note: no internet available before 4pm on the weekends, and a credit card minimum of ten dollars.

Dick and Jane’s

266 Adelphi Street, Fort Greene

Speakeasies, in the traditional sense, no longer exist: Americans are allowed to sell alcohol in public! But New York speakeasies, i.e., bars that don’t advertise that they exist—are in abundance, and this is one of them. It is Fort Greene’s only one, however. Dick and Jane’s is a small, cozy cocktail bar that looks like a shuttered carriage house by day. By night, big heavy doors open to low-hung windows that are filled with dim light that spills onto the sidewalk. The ceilings are pressed tin; the walls are exposed brick, and the far end of the bar is capped with a big mirrored wall. Industrial pendant lamps hang above the bar-top, and—as is required of speakeasies in New York—there are Edison Bulb wall sconces. Bring a date, get cozy, and drink some booze ($8 house cocktails for happy hour!), in a place that, if not illegal, still feels like a fun secret.

The Great Georgiana

248 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene

Repeated attempts to say something outstanding about this place have proven unsuccessful—and yet, to say something damning is hard, too. Where does that leave us? Well—with a bar. One that has a TV, an occasional in-house DJ, and stays open until four on the weekends. It’s a big open room with nothing offensive and nothing singularly excellent, er, great. But as the bartender mentioned when I sat at the bar post 2am, feet dangling (no foot rest either!), and the rest of the neighborhood already shut down, The Great Georgiana was still going, if not strong. Yes, this totally fine establishment outlasts all its neighbors, and that counts for something, if not greatness.

Berlyn

25 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene

Berlyn, first and foremost, is a restaurant. There is, however, a smallish, dark-wood bar stocked with all the alcohol you need—which is especially convenient for the pre- and post-BAM crowd, which looms like a gorgeous, large-windowed monument to culture just across the street. But back inside this very traditional German establishment—decked out with quirky antler chandeliers, pillows in the shape of cut logs, dark wanes coating, pre-war German ephemera, and one hunting trophy—indulge in something hearty and Germanic, like Wienschnitzel, pretzels, and a pilsner, to fuel, or put a nice cap on, the rest of your night.

No. 7

7 Greene Avenue, Fort Greene

No. 7 is an excellent restaurant, but most neighborhood regulars wouldn’t call it that. The front portion of the space, which abuts the final step of the Lafayette C stop Subway entrance, is a fantastic bar. Many never make it to the high-ceilinged dining room in back where full dinners are served. The front window is lined with spacious banquette seating, and catches those who fail to find a spot at the intimate bar. Order a negroni—classic, but not boring, because what a negroni it is! Above all, go for No. 7’s famous broccoli tacos (strange but worth it) and if it’s Wednesday, order a half-priced bottle of wine to go with them. When you sign your receipt, steal the “Eat your broccoli (tacos)” pen that they give you for signing; it will remind you to go back for more.

Walter’s

166 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene

This is one branch of the same excellent Walter Foods located in Grand Street in Williamsburg—so yes: it, too, would be called restaurant before bar. But because outside of Alibi, the Great Georgiana, and Mo’s, there are, again, very few straightforward bars in Fort Greene, many who live near will come here just for drinks. At least, that will be their intention, and then the mouth watering bites—pork chops, clams and pasta, a delicious house burger—whizzing out of the kitchen and right passed them, will probably turn drinks into your evening meal. Still, the intention was to get a Grüner, or a whiskey sour, in a romantic, low-lighted, art-deco-y space. And if you stick to your guns (and think of your wallet) you can make that happen.

Kinjo

1 Greene Avenue, Fort Greene

Repeat after me: Fort Greene is a neighborhood of restaurants fused to bars, and that are quite good at serving both purposes. This is another of those places. Kinjo has a full sushi bar and kitchen that produces Japanese and Korean classics (and some excellent soy-ginger wings). But the bar is also large, and host to many a local’s day-ending sake (served out of adorable glasses lined with pandas that you can take home and collect!) or cold Asahis. And, if cooking is not in your future, plenty of sushi rolls and bowls of ramen are served, and gobbled, along with them. The decor is largely wooden, the floor plan is open, and the staff—when they see you returning over and over—will yell your name as you walk inside (kinda like Cheers). So even when you go there solo, you won’t be alone.

Habana Outpost

757 Fulton Street, Fort Greene

In a very real sense, this outdoor picnic table, margarita, and corn on the cob party could be considered the epicenter of neighborhood. It takes up the prominent (and significant portion of the) corner at Fulton and South Portland Avenue, and—during warm months—it rarely lacks for day or nighttime drinkers. Frozen drinks and mojitos are gulped aplenty, and vibrant fiesta colors are found on the tables and fenced-in outdoor space. There is also an indoor, more traditional restaurant—but, really, this place is all about the outdoors, and pretending like you’re having a party in a hot place, much farther south than in Brooklyn.

Black Forest

733 Fulton Street, Fort Greene

Though a relatively new arrival to this bar-starved corner of Windsor Terrace, the Adirondack has quickly become a go-to for locals. In warmer months, the handful of outdoor tables are always crowded with drinkers amiably chatting with local passersby; and in the winter? There’s really no cozier indoor spot, thanks to the abundance of natural wood and a secret-feeling, tucked-away booth for two. Oh, and then there’s the beer list. It’s smart, comprehensive and fairly priced; it’s also complemented by a full bar (stick with the classics, and enjoy an excellent old fashioned) and a small selection of wine.

BUT THIS BAR IS THE BEST

1241 Prospect Avenue

Though a relatively new arrival to this bar-starved corner of Windsor Terrace, the Adirondack has quickly become a go-to for locals. In warmer months, the handful of outdoor tables are always crowded with drinkers amiably chatting with local passersby; and in the winter? There’s really no cozier indoor spot, thanks to the abundance of natural wood and a secret-feeling, tucked-away booth for two. Oh, and then there’s the beer list. It’s smart, comprehensive and fairly priced; it’s also complemented by a full bar (stick with the classics, and enjoy an excellent old fashioned) and a small selection of wine.

The Bridges

66 Water Street, DUMBO

Tucked between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges lies the aptly named the Bridges, a two-story American pub that has been providing DUMBO a spacious venue perfect for hosting events and parties that just ought to be in a century-plus-old building. Their mac & cheese and four types of wings (BBQ, Buffalo, Margarita, and Teriyaki) are the bar’s highlights, which makes up for their admittedly averate beer and wine list. The basement doubles as the home Burlesque Below The Bridges, adding a little sleaze and tease to your Saturday evening.

Olympia Wine Bar

54 Jay Street, DUMBO

Whether it’s the first bar of the night, or the destination to your online date, Olympia Wine Bar is ideal for those looking to unwind over light conversation and a nice glass of wine. The wine list is affordable, which is a refreshing change for, oh, almost everywhere else in the area (let alone borough). The small plates are just that, so only order if you’re feeling a little peckish.

68 Jay Street Bar

68 Jay Street, DUMBO

This local favorite caters to the artsy hordes that inhabit post-industrial DUMBO, but instead of having a bougie or snobbish feel, it has a laid-back vibe that pairs well with its happy hour specials. It’s an ideal post-work hangout for anyone whose job takes them to the area, and was a long-loved spot for Brooklyn Magazine staffers when our offices were in the neighborhood. We particularly loved the complimentary goldfish crackers, which needed to be requested, but were the perfect accompaniment to cheap well-drinks and beer after beer after beer.

Gran Electrica

5 Front Street, DUMBO

Gran Electrica’s rustic warehouse exterior clings to industrial Brooklyn, but the interior pays homage to Mexico with Brooklyn-themed Día de los Muertos wallpaper; think: skeletons in beanies biking the Brooklyn Bridge. The drinking menu, which is a blend of cocktails, Mexican beers, wines, tequilas and mezcals can be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong with a refreshing glass, or pitcher, of their Sangria Rojo that is garnished with berries, cucumber, lime, and mint.

Superfine

126 Front Street, DUMBO

This brick-walled hangout is part art gallery, pool hall, and dining space neatly packed as one. It’s huge, but it always gets crowded come happy hour. The draft beer list is decent, and there’s lots of cocktail options featuring local favorite top-shelf alcohol, like Widow Jane Rye and Greenhook Gin. Also, you enter the women’s bathroom through a curtain of wood beads, which brings us right back to our days of dorm room-decorating, in the best possible way.

Pedro’s

73 Jay Street, DUMBO

An Aztec-themed mural created by neighborhood artists Craig Anthony Miller and Tron Warren adorns the walls of this Mexican and Dominican hole-in-the-wall. The main draw are the margaritas, which are best enjoyed—weather-permitting—outdoors.

Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar

50 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar is the obvious choice for tourists looking to grab a bite along the way to the Brooklyn Bridge, or locals looking for an intimate evening of swirling glasses filled with one of the award-winning Tre Bicchieri wines against a moonlit backdrop of the wine bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

Long Island Bar

110 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

A large, red and green neon marquee let’s all those who turn the corner of Henry Street know that Long Island Bar is still in business, despite its aura of a bygone Brooklyn. But the sign is far from the only notable thing about the bar, which serves upscale takes on classic comfort foods, with the burger and Buffalo cauliflower being real standouts. The cocktails list is inventive and well-curated, offering exciting riffs on longtime classics, as well as solid takes on old standbys. Also of note: The bar’s music is always on point; we’ve never been there and not heard at least one John Prine number.

Montero’s Bar & Grill

73 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

A dive if ever there was one, Montero’s is the kind of place that we sometimes can’t believe still exists in Brooklyn Heights c. 2016. But exist it does, complete with sundry nautical paraphernalia and a settled-dust, gritty appearance. Just don’t expect the bartenders to concoct anything beyond your basic well drinks, but what more do you need really? Karaoke? Oh, cool. Because Montero’s has that too.

The Roebling Inn

97 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

Roebling Inn is a cash-only bar but don’t hold it against them because not only do they have an ATM, they also have a Skee ball table.The two don’t necessarily relate, but when you’re drinking from this full service bar you’ll be happy that you had an arcade game to distract you from seeing your favorite team lose on of the two big screen TVS.

Henry Street Ale House

Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

A short stroll from the Brooklyn Bridge and you’ll find yourself stumbling upon Henry Street Ale House, a classic pub that pairs your favorite bar snacks (think: fried pickles, potato skins, and wings) with an expansive microbrew beer menu. The cocktails are worth a try, but the pub’s warm and inviting ambiance makes ordering a beer feel almost instinctive, even for the non-beer drinkers among us.

Custom House

139 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights is packed with bars, so finding one that fulfills your basic drinking needs would seem somewhat simple. And yet it remains a rarity to find a roomy tavern with a low-key environment, delightful bartenders, and killer… floors. Ok, we’re not saying that one should necessarily judge a bar by its tiles, but Custom House’s turquoise and brown patterned floor will have you spilling drinks just so you have an excuse to admire it. Beyond that, the wine and beer list is super affordable, if only offering the usual suspects, and there’s also a full bar in which to indulge.

The Atlantic Chip Shop

129 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

Sometimes you want a fancy cocktail, and sometimes you just want a pint of Guinness and some chips. When that time comes, head to this Atlantic Avenue spot for all things fried (including Mars bars!) and hoppy. The pub’s extensive beer and food menu–really, the fish and chips and deep fried Twinkie are where it’s at–make us not a little bit nostalgic for the British invasion.

Pair

140 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

Fact: We would happily consume nothing but wine and cheese for every meal on every day. Another fact: This is impractical. And yet another fact: We don’t care. All of this is why we can frequently be found at this relatively new Brooklyn Heights tenant, which pairs incredible cheese with equally sensational wine in a manner that is both playful and celebratory.

Livingston Manor

Hoyt Street, Downtown Brooklyn

While Downtown Brooklyn possesses an abundance of, um, new construction, it is severely lacking in terms of having a great (or even good) bar scene. Luckily for those of us who work here (and live here!) Livingston Manor more than pulls its weight by being one of a handful of bars in the area which would be a go-to spot no matter where it was located. Its beautiful design (think: rustic, candlelit cabin in the woods) is a highlight, matched only by its excellent beer and cocktail menu. Plus, it’s got a heated patio to keep you feeling cozy amidst the glass high rises soaring up overhead.

The Dining Room

56 Willoughby Street, Downtown Brooklyn

You would be pressed to find a patron at the Dining Room, who didn’t just get off work. Close to both Metrotech Plaza and the DoBro court system, this place is usually filled with people eager to leave behind the mundanity of their nine-to-five. Local beer brands like Brooklyn Beer, Sixpoint and the Other Half are just a few of their 30+ beers are the way to go here. The fries aren’t half bad either.

O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill

62 Court Street, Brooklyn Heights

When it comes to a successful sports bar, all one really needs are wings, beer and TVs, and yet O’Keefe’s goes beyond these basic necessities by also being a warm and inviting neighborhood staple. With more than 90 years of experience, the pub knows that you don’t have to be fussy or crafty with your beer selection to get by, and so the list is somewhat limited. But you’re not really going here for the craft beer, are you?

Harry O’s

120 Lawrence Street, Downtown Brooklyn

This is a solid after-work bar for the neighborhood, by which we mean it’s nothing fancy but that the bartenders and waitstaff are friendly and have a generous hand when it comes to pouring drinks. There’s also a couple bocce lanes, but we’ve never seen anyone using them.

Erv’s on Beekman

2122 Beekman Place, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

A lovely spot tucked away from any major thoroughfare, Erv’s on Beekman doubles as a cafe by day and bar by night. It’s also one of those place that, no matter how many times you visit, lets you feel like you’re rediscovering some wonderful secret. There’s a small craft beer list, but the cocktails make Erv’s the place to be. A lot of the drink names reference our collective 90s nostalgia, like the Big Willie Style, a bourbon, spiced-honey balsamic reduction with muddled strawberries that is a tribute to Will Smith’s underappreciated rap career.

The Inkwell Cafe

408 Rogers Avenue, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

The jazz and comedy bar doesn’t doesn’t put on any airs (some might even call its decor ramshackle!), so it would be easy to mistake this lounge that is on it’s last leg, but the chill and swanky ambience is meant to attract those who will are willing to integrate themselves in this intimate fusion of laughter, jazz, and R&B.

Keg Lounge

451 E New York Avenue, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Keg Lounge is pretty dive-y, but unlike some other other more questionable spots in the area, it’s possible to enjoy a low-key evening of dancing and cocktails here. Plus, everything is reasonably priced, and it’s definitely a solid alternative to fancier, $14-a-cocktail spots.

Sycamore

1118 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park

there’s not many bars that do double duty as flower shops, but Sycamore is really one of a kind. Woodsy decor and solitary roses are scattered around the intimate lounge and bar, lending it an enchanted forest feel. The cocktail and wine menu are relatively basic but the beer list covers everything from cheap, college favorites to brewed-in-a-bathtub-in-Portland craft beers. And beyond opening its space to creative activities like watercolor and printmaking, Sycamore ties it all together by giving those who order a $10 pint of beer a bouquet of flowers. Sometimes it pays to stop and smell the roses.

The Castello Plan

1213 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park

Everyone knows a first date should always happen in flatteringly and dimly lighted places, all the better to look good while you’re planning a quick escape. Well, the Castello Plan has perfect lighting, but you’re not going to want to go anywhere once you’ve settled in with one of the spot’s impeccably crafted cocktail menu. (Of particular note are the citrusy sweet rye-based Rosalita and the Beverley Bee, comprising gin and grapefruit and rosemary.) The food here is also excellent, making this the type of place you won’t just want to go on a date, you’ll basically want to move right in.

Bar Chord

1008 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park

Whether you’re in the market for a vintage guitar or looking for a low-key Ditmas Park watering hole, there’s a lot to love about Bar Chord. Think: A terrific juke box, live bands, a rotating craft beer and whiskey list, and a spacious backyard where lounging with friends is basically mandated, as is snacking on treats from the local food trucks that appear during warmer months.

Highbury Pub

1002 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park

Highbury Pub is a welcome, gritty alternative to some of the more polished bars in the area. Case in point: The only (and unisex) bathroom is unironically covered in chipped Playboy covers and pages. But don’t be intimidated by the decor, laid-back bartenders are reliably friendly and a couple of zoned-out regulars in the corner just add to the charm.

Michelle’s Cocktail Lounge

2294 Bedford Avenue, Prospect Park South

Michelle’s Cocktail Lounge has been a Flatbush staple for decades and is one of the few Panamanian bars in the Brooklyn—plus, it’s one of the few lounges in the area where you can get a snack and drink without spending more than $15. Minutes away from the Kings Theatre, this laid-back lounge is a great start or end to your night out.

Achilles Heel

180 West Street, Greenpoint

We may not subscribe to the idea that Andrew Tarlow invented Brooklyn, but the Diner-Roman’s-Marlow & Sons-Reynard restaurateur sure has been a busy bee. And this Greenpoint bar is one of the highlights of his estimable roster, meant to emulate the drinking spots that catered to Brooklyn dockworkers in the 1900s. Of course, for today’s intrepid Greenpoint dwellers, it helps that Achilles Heel is an oasis of calm in the midst of so much construction, and that it offers meticulously crafted cocktails in a truly serene environment.

Alameda

195 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

This beautiful Greenpoint spot (no, seriously, it’s one of the most beautiful restaurants in Brooklyn) has a lot of benefits when it comes to drinking: The cocktails are inventive and delicious; the bartenders, notably former hard-core guitarist Mike Stankovich, who is the consummate conversationalist and drink maker that was profiled in the New York Times; and the food is delicious (try the pimento cheese fries and Littleneck clams) and comes in small enough portions that you can eat a couple of things without feeling like you’re overeating, but are big enough so that you can soak up some of that alcohol.

Black Rabbit

91 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint

Brooding in an English pub sort of way (not an American-English-pub way, but like something you’d actually find in an old English town), Black Rabbit is in possession of a fireplace and it’s sufficiently dark and seemingly open all the time. There’s ample bar food to snack on (think: everything from bratwurst to Frito Pie) and drinks are solid if not of the craft cocktail variety. Plus, there’s Tuesday night trivia and plenty of board games lying around to enjoy on quieter nights.

Berry Park

4 Berry Street, Greenpoint

Beer garden Berry Park has it all: A large selection of specialty and seasonal beers on tap, Simpson Trivia night on the first Thursday of every month, and Foosball. What more do you need? Oh, a gorgeous view of the whole borough spread out before you, best enjoyed with a beer or cocktail in hand? Well, Berry Park has that too.

The Brew Inn

924 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

A great, comprehensive beer list makes the Brew Inn stand out in the neighborhood—even with the likes of Torst nearby, mostly because things are incredibly affordable at the Brew Inn, with great happy hour deals on offer. Beyond that, the staff are friendly, the patrons always seem to be in a good mood, and you can feast on seriously good pierogies to your heart’s content.

Broken Land

105 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

This tiki-leaning bar is hidden away near the waterfront, and is a great place to experiment with tropical cocktails you’ve maybe never heard of before. For example, instead of a Michelada, try a Chupa-Branca, comprising Mexican Coke, Fernet, and pomegranate juice. There’s also several beer-and-a-shot combos on offer, so you won’t leave sober unless you really, really want to.

Brooklyn Safehouse

120 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

In a neighborhood growing increasingly trendy, the Safehouse is a low-key holdout (though one that’s not actually that old), where everything is solidly good, if not the kind of thing you’d write home about. Unless you’re the kind of person who writes home about friendly staff, a usually available, free pool table, solid food, and reliable and affordable beer menu. Oh, you are? Yeah, us too.

Brouwerij Lane

78 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint

This beer store/bar combo is an ideal place for any beer-lover (and kombucha-lover; they have that fermented beverage on tab; too). The selection is impressively extensive and it’s a great spot to have a beer flight tasting (or two?!), and there’s a tiny backyard for hanging out in warmer weather.

Capri Social Club

156 Calyer Street, Greenpoint

Sister bar to Manhattan Avenue’s Irene’s, the CSC also specializes in beer-and-jello shot specials, for which, frankly, we could not love them more. Plus, it gets extra points as the most spacious and legitimately pleasant of any similar hangs. Plus, as we noted a couple years ago (and which is still, scarily, accurate) “for whatever reason, Mambo No. 5 is still on their jukebox (so is Imagine,’ if you ever wanna see an entire bar clear out in 60 seconds flat on a Saturday night).”

The Diamond

43 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

One of the few Brooklyn bars with shuffleboard (hey, what’s old is new again, right?), the Diamond also has an assortment of video games and a pretty decent jukebox. It’s pretty low-key, the beer list is strong, and they’ve got a nice patio for when it’s warmer. You could do worse.

Five Leaves

18 Bedford Avenue, Greenpoint

Primarily a restaurant, Five Leaves is still—when not too crowded—a great place for a drink. The cocktail list is smartly curated and inventive without being filled with too many unknown ingredients. The wine list is small, but there are plenty of good, affordable choices by the glass, and getting pretty much any one of them (or a cocktail) and pairing it with truffle fries or devils on horseback is an ideal combination.

Greenpoint Beer and Ale

7 N. 15th Street, Greenpoint

Beer and meet your bag? Cool, because we have just the place for you. Greenpoint Beer and Ale has you covered with a vast selection of brews (many European varietals that are almost impossible to find stateside), and a decent food menu ranging from schnitzel (chicken AND cauliflower) to bangers and mash to soak it all up. There’s also a solid happy hour, featuring $5 beers and $10 beer-and-a-shareplate.

The Habitat

988 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

Home to what might be the greatest happy hour in Brooklyn (we’re talking $3 well drinks, $4 select drafts, and $5 Mac and Cheese Mondays), the Habitat also has a truly excellent variety of craft beers on tap, frequently going beyond any typical standbys and getting into really esoteric, and yet totally approachable territory. The staff is knowledgeable and happy to guide beer novices in the appropriate direction.

Irene’s

623 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

While smack in the middle of gentrified Greenpoint, Irene’s has maintained its dive-y nature in what we can only call a beautiful way. The jukebox is dominated by Polish disco (no, really!) and the beer list spans Brooklyn Lager to Bud to Yunegling, with pretty much nothing else in between. Who cares, though? It’s cheap, and it’ll get you buzzed. And it’ll do so while you hang out in one of the few standbys from this longtime Polish neighborhood.

Keg & Lantern Brewing Company

97 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint

A solid sports bar featuring plenty of TV screens to watch whatever game you’d like, Keg & Lantern is a brewery/restaurant with a Southern feel (i.e. one of their daily specials involves discounted Rebel Yell shots… so). But that’s ok, we guess. Other daily specials include 50 cent wings and nachos plus two keg-beers for $20. These are good deals! Plus, there’s a spacious backyard filled with picnic tables, making this a great place to bring a group.

Lake Street

706 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

What makes a bar Minnesota-themed? Does it need to play only the Hold Steady? Does it need to offer only Twin Cities-beer? Do people just need to be really, really, really, ridiculously nice? Does hot dish need to be on the menu? Sure! All of the above. Or, you know, we guess the hot dish is not required. Anyway, Lake Street is a more than decent place to get a beer or two and watch a game. There’s no food, but who needs it when you’ve got beer and sports?

Lucky Luna

167 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint

We’ll admit, sometimes we get a little hybrid-concept fatigued, but we couldn’t help but be compelled by Lucky Luna’s crossing of Taiwanese and Mexican influences, resulting in a very mixed menu, both food- and drinks-wise. Somehow, though, it all works, with the bold flavors complementing rather than clashing with each other. The cocktails are bright and tropical tasting, and, one other cool thing about Lucky Luna, is that they have a strong list of non-alcoholic cocktail choices listed right on the drinks menu, making for a much more friendly environment for the non-drinkers among us.

Manhattan Inn

632 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

Beautifully cozy, the Manhattan Inn is full of dark wood, ornate chandeliers, and sconces throwing off only the most flattering light. Adding to the ambience is the presence of a live pianist, making this one of the most romantic spots we know of in Brooklyn. The cocktail list is comprehensive and smart, and the tightly edited dinner menu (think: gumbo, fried green tomatoes, an impeccable cheese plate curated by the Bedford Cheese Shop) is a real draw too.

Bar Matchless

557 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

Yeah, it’s cash-only, but Matchless has pretty good deals on hand, like its 2-for-1 Tuesdays, which applies to all well drinks and select draft beers. Plus, it’s impossible to be bored here, what with the presence of live bands, dancing, heavy metal karaoke and the like. The brunch is surprisingly decent, as well as being fairly priced.

Moonlight Mile

200 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

We’re not too interested in the whole “bar with a gimmick” thing, so when we heard that Greenpoint’s Moonlight Mile would only be serving one type of liquor—bourbon—we were a little skeptical. And bourbon’s even our spirit of choice! But the thing is, Moonlight Mile does bourbon so well (the Foggy Mountain Manhattan is smooth yet powerful) that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick at all, rather it feels like a project of pure passion. Of course, bourbon isn’t the only thing you can imbibe; there’s an excellent selection of craft beer available as well. And as you should be able to expect from a bar named after one of the loveliest, most underrated Rolling Stones ballads, the music playing at Moonlight Mile is perfectly on point.

Nights and Weekends

1 Bedford Avenue, Greenpoint

Latin-leaning drinks (think: rum, mezcal, tequila, pisco) are the thing to order here, as is pretty much anything from the food menu (particularly at brunch). Sister spot to across-the-way’s perennially popular Five Leaves, Nights and Weekends exists in nobody’s shadow, and is a solid place to while away a night.

No Name Bar

597 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

Maybe we were stupid to bring a book here in the first place. There isn’t really enough light, but we were waiting for a friend and didn’t want to be the jerks who whip out their phones! Once we started reading, it was open season for men trying to start conversations. First there was the guy who wanted to let us know that he had gotten his first library card that day and was excited to “finally read Hemingway.” Then there was the guy who made a dumb joke about the title of the book we were reading. (Sure, it was I Love Dick, but grow up, people!) And then came the guy who saw us writing a note to ourselves in the margin and asked to see what we wrote, as if it were any of his business. It was so terrible we resorted to playing Sudoku on our phone. And yet! And yet: This bar is still one of our favorite places in the borough for its unpretentious feel, cozy backyard, and excellent mixed drinks. So… also maybe you want to get picked up by a stranger? This place might be perfect for you after all.

Northern Territory

12 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Tucked along the waterfront in Greenpoint, Northern Territory offers Australian food and solid, strong—if basic, like their beer list—cocktails. But also, you can try your hand at creating your very own Bloody Mary at the Bloody Mary bar. Get creative. But most of all: Enjoy the view.

Pencil Factory Bar

142 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Close to perennial Greenpoint pizza favorite Paulie Gee’s (which is also perennially crowded), the Pencil Factory Bar is a great little place to drink while you’re waiting for your Hellboy pie. It’s a cozy, unpretentious spot, which has been around for over a decade now, and so doesn’t feel like any of the area’s more, let’s say, newcomer-oriented spots. And to prove that point even further? It’s cash-only.

Ramona

113 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Half of Brooklyn’s most breathtaking restaurants and bars can be traced back to hOmE’s Evan and Oliver Haslegrave, but the bi-level Ramona in Greenpoint might just be their pièce de résistance, with a curved iron and oak staircase, a five-tier chandelier fashioned from copper water pipes, and a 35-foot Carrara marble bar, framed by wood salvaged from the Atlantic City boardwalk. All of this would be sufficient to make Ramona a worthy destination, but the cocktails here are among the best in the borough. Some of our favorites include The New Partner, featuring caraway-infused rye, honey, mint, and valernum; Hotel Danger, with ultra-spicy peach mezcal and chipotle agave; and The Broken Mirror, with absinthe, green chartreuse, and dandelion-burdock bitters. Amazing.

Spritzenhaus

33 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint

This cavernous, always bustling spot manages to retain its coziness despite its size, thanks to the presence of its warm and welcoming fireplace. Serving traditional German beer hall fare (think: bratwurst and krainerwurst, soft pretzels, and Belgian fries), the thing to drink here is beer, of which Spritzenhaus has seemingly endless options, leaning heavily toward German and local options. The scene can be a bit new North Brooklyn bro-y, but what ar you gonna do. They’re everywhere.

Tender Trap

66 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint

A bar-cum-live music venue-cum-art gallery, Tender Trap is many things to many, if not all, people. Strictly speaking, as a place for drinking, it’s a solid option for those times when alcohol is just not going to be enough to entertain you, those times when you need live comedy, or to get on the floor and dance, dammit!

Tommy’s Tavern

1041 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

So, true story: We’ve had a couple memorable times trying to go to Tommy’s during regularly stated business hours and it was solidly closed. Oh, sure, there were people in there, but it was not open for us. Eventually, we did manage to get in, and the place is genuinely a dive, which, you know, is sometimes just what we’re in the mood for. The drinks are certainly cheap. So that’s nice. And if you’re drinking solo and get bored? Spend a few minutes getting hypnotized by their website’s homepage. It’s crazy.

Torst

615 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint

It’s been three years since the heralded opening of this joint venture between Evil Twin Brewing’s Jeppe Jarnit Bjergso and chef Daniel Burns, and still no one has yet to out-do Torst when it comes to craft beer credentials: Their draft list is consistently bonkers, with an impressive (and, it should be noted, pricey) selection of hard-to-find beers from all over the world, as well as a solid representation of the very best locals. And beyond the beer, there’s the bar menu. Thanks to the kitchen of adjoining tasting menu-only restaurant, Luksus, delicious tidbits like crisp, fried cippolini onions with tart tomato relish and well-curated cheese boards, featuring dark Danish bread are on offer to go with your ale.


Blueprint

196 5th Avenue, Park Slope

A hole-in-the-wall cocktail joint on an unassuming North Slope block, Blueprint is a favorite date spot amongst those in the know. It’s equal parts classy and low key, a setting that evokes a type of laid back, candle-lit ambiance particular to this cross-section of the borough. Friendly bartenders mix a mean house cocktail (try the Juan Diego’s: mezcal, East India sherry, lime, housemade ginger syrup, bitters, nutmeg) while the small kitchen cranks out an inventive selection of foodie-approved sharables like flatbread pizza topped with bacon and brussels sprouts and a steaming hot rabbit pot pie.

The Owl Farm

297 9th Street, Park Slope

Another notch in the Wiley brothers’ belt, The Owl Farm is the boys’ tribute to all things great craft beer. The Owl Farm’s narrow 9th Street storefront picture window opens up to an enormously long, dimly lit wooden bar opposite a line of built-in rail seating. The backroom is a bit wider, with a handful of tables for more intimate drinking as well as a few of the brothers’ signature pinball machines. The menu lists a 28-tap lineup that pays homage to national brands like Ninkasi and Left Hand, neighborhood favorites like Grimm Artisanal Ales and Other Half as well as more obscure imports from Europe and Asia. Not a beer guy? Check out Owl Farm’s impressive cider lineup for a totally non-lame gluten-free experience.

Mission Dolores

249 4th Avenue, Park Slope

Housed in a former auto shop on industrial 4th Avenue, Mission Dolores’ first appears to be just a dark, tunnel-like alley. That alley, however, empties into a roofless interior patio lined with tables, the whole thing butting up against one of the chillest craft beer bars in Brooklyn. Inside, the tap list is a beautifully curated mix of rare microbrews, eye-catching imports and loveable locals, backed up by a full bar and manned by knowledgeable and hilarious bartenders. There’s a TV for sports, pinball for the restless and a reliably awesome stream of tunes piped through the house speakers, all this making Mission Park Slope’s go-to hot spot for beer geeks, liquor lovers and winos alike.

Uncle Barry’s

58 5th Avenue, Park Slope

Uncle Barry’s is known for two things: their excellent rotating craft beer selection and their close proximity (just three short blocks) to Barclay’s Center, making them a beer geek’s number one pre-game destination. The bar is dimly lit and friendly, with experienced, knowledgeable bartenders, a big, sunny garden out back, a six-hour long happy hour and a super popular Wednesday trivia night. Not much grub to speak of — just some meats and cheeses on offer — but you’ll probably get to feeling pretty full after two or three of those delicious, 9% ABV winter seasonals, anyhow.

Pacific Standard

82 4th Avenue, Park Slope

For the city’s many West Coast transplants, stumbling into Pacific Standard feels just like coming home. The airy 4th Avenue bar is a bare bones tribute to all things Bay Area, from the Oakland A’s to Anchor Steam to It’s-It ice cream sandwiches. 16 rotating taps, a great liquor selection, dependable happy and a solid lineup of bar snacks keeps drinkers happy for hours, while the huge back area — styled almost creepily like a UC Berkeley dorm room — is a prime spot for getting sloppy with big groups, watching Cali sports or throwing down at Pacific Standard’s killer weekly trivia night.

4th Avenue Pub

76 4th Avenue, Park Slope

4th Avenue Pub is a good old fashioned drinker’s haven lurking just steps from the madness of Barclay’s Center. A decent array of craft beer on tap, shots of well whiskey on the ready and lots of dark corners for late night canoodling or heated, long suffering Beatles v. Stones debates. It’s an ideal place to drown your sorrows after (or even before) witnessing another momentous Nets loss. And, after forking over ten bucks for a lame bag of peanuts at the game, 4th Avenue Pub’s complimentary baskets of warm, salty popcorn sure don’t hurt.

High Dive

243 5th Avenue, Park Slope

In the springtime, when the night air reaches that lovely mix of warm and breezy and the citizens of Brooklyn begin to emerge from their three month-long Netflix and chill hibernations, High Dive, with its cold craft pints, classic cocktails, charming bartenders and picture perfect window seating, is there for you. It’s also there in the dead of winter, when you find yourself rushing in off 5th Avenue to escape the bitter cold, joining buddies for a game of Scrabble, some pinball, beers and free popcorn. And it’s definitely there when you’re out of creative Tinder date ideas and just want to drown yourself in tequila shots, pick songs from the jukebox and argue over which Neil Young album is truly the best. There’s not much we can rely on in this world, but High Dive, just like Brooklyn itself, will always be there.

Pork Slope

247 5th Avenue, Park Slope

When celebrity chef and all around neighborhood cool guy Dale Talde (of nearby Talde and Thistle Hill Tavern) opened up this narrow 5th Avenue sports bar, he gave the good people of Park Slope something they didn’t even know they needed — a stoned teenager’s heaven, complete with all the comfort of a finished suburban basement. College football on the TV, bargain beer and shot specials, frozen cocktail slushies, shelves and shelves of specialty whiskey and craft beers and a kitchen famous for uber-cheesey nachos (delivered piled high on a giant, lunchroom-style tray) and delicious McDonald’s-inspired cheeseburgers are just a few of the things that draw the crowds into Pork Slope night after bleary-eyed night. If your adolescence was anything like mine, it’ll feel just like coming home.

Wolf and Deer

74 5th Avenue, Park Slope

Wolf and Deer centers around a glossy U-shaped bar, where mid-30s Slopers can be found spending an afternoon enjoying seasonal cocktails and freshly shucked oysters during this 5th Avenue wine bar’s very generous Happy Hour (Sunday through Friday, 5-8pm). The general vibe is a bit more upscale than most of W&D’s North Slope neighbors, as if a swanky Manhattan hole-in-the-wall accidentally stumbled over the Brooklyn Bridge, ended up in Park Slope and decided to take root. The wine list is varied and well rounded and the light, meat-and-cheese focused menu is the perfect accompaniment. It’s time to get happy, Park Slope winos.

Commonwealth

497 5th Avenue, Park Slope

In Park Slope terms, Commonwealth is about as simple, straight-forward and comfortable as a bar can get. Pinball, free popcorn, cheap drinks, good beer on tap, a sweet and discreetly tucked away little patio and a well-loved jukebox make this neighborhood bar a winner amongst laid back Slope dwellers looking for a respite from the bustle of 5th Avenue. It’s also a well-known industry bar, so don’t be surprised if you see some of your favorite local bartenders tossing back a few after closing up their own joints.

The Gate

321 5th Avenue, Park Slope

The Gate is one of Brooklyn’s oldest and most legendary beer bars, a taste of humble, no-nonsense authenticity surrounded by the recent proliferation of 60-tap beer halls, artisanal gastropubs and upscale, $10-per-pint geek magnets. The space inside is dark and cavernous, with a long L-shaped bar offering 20+ rotating taps, large, well-worn wooden booths and a narrow backroom for darts enthusiasts. The real draw, however, is The Gate’s patio, a spacious lot on the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street that’s the perfect spot for spending a summer day sipping bargain, happy hour pints and watching the Park Slope stroller parade pass you by.

Skylark Bar

477 5th Avenue, Park Slope

With its plush couches, board games and low volume, shoegaze-heavy soundtrack, Skylark makes for an extremely chill weekday bar. The narrow, 5th Avenue bar evokes a real homey feel, with deep red pressed tin walls covered in a strange selection of thrift store paintings and mismatched chairs at lining every table. What’s more, it’s always open late, never too crowded and manned by friendly, laid back bartenders who are all too happy to keep the reasonably priced whiskeys coming — what more could a lonely drinker want?

The Rock Shop

249 4th Avenue, Park Slope

Quality live music, $6 beer-and-shot combos, belly-coating burgers and fries and an expansive rooftop patio is the name of the game at this two story former lesbian-club-turned-indy-venue on an industrial stretch of 4th Avenue (shout out to Cattyshack, RIP). Grab a cheap beer, scarf down some fried apps and take in a show downstairs, then climb the stairs to the roof deck for some laid back lounging on one of Rock Shop’s many benches. Bored? Pop over to Mission Dolores next door to keep the night going.

Threes Brewing

333 Douglass Street, Park Slope

Located just off of 4th Avenue in the North Slope (ok, maybe it’s Gowanus), Threes’ massive bar/brewery/pop-up restaurant/coffee shop/beer garden/event space is the living definition of a multi-use building. The beer, of course, is fantastic, innovative and as fresh as it gets, while the barrel aged cocktail program continues to charm the boozier crowd. Coffee from 9th Street Espresso and a Smorgasburg-style rotating kitchen keeps things tasty and interesting throughout the day, and there’s bound to be live music, a comedy show or a beer event going on upstairs on any given night. Literally, what more could you want?

Ginger’s Bar

363 5th Ave.,Park Slope

As the only remaining lesbian bar in Brooklyn, Ginger’s is a genuine Park Slope relic, a dusty, divey memorial to a once queer neighborhood gone the way of yuppies and bougie strollers. Up front, locals from all walks of life slump on their bar stools, gripping bottles of Miller High Life or shots of well whiskey, chatting about this and that. I once saw a one-armed pool shark running the well worn table in the back room, completely destroying every dummy who attempted to dethrone her. In the summer, the backyard is where it’s at, where a diverse group of drinkers crowd around shaded picnic tables, smoking, trading stories and waiting for their karaoke number to be called. This age-old spot is just oozing with community love, so definitely drop into Ginger’s before it’s too late and yet another upscale burger joint takes its place.

Union Hall

702 Union Street, Park Slope

If your idea of a fun night is getting wasted in a old rich man’s library, Union Hall is the bar for you. The enormous Union Street space is teeming with books of every sort, punctuated by cozy couches and a working fireplace for the ultimate professorial ambiance. Looking to stretch your legs between chapters? Hit up the bocce courts at the back of the bar for some elegant exercise. What’s more, there’s decent pub food for the hungry, a nice array of craft beers and whiskeys and a small venue downstairs where Union Hall hosts a healthy mix of stand up, storytelling and live music.

Bar Reis

Every time I walk into Bar Reis, I’m instantly disoriented. The nondescript, multi-level 5th Avenue cocktail bar is curiously laid out, filled with a series of dimly lit rooms dedicated to drinking, playing pool, hanging/making out and even hosting events. The back patio is lit in the summer, with tons of seating options hidden under the requisite cloud of cigarette smoke. The drinks are well mixed but won’t break the bank and the atmosphere is generally friendly and relaxed, with regulars and industry folk dominating the front room while the younger set passes through the bar and takes their places out back. If you’re looking for a dependable, low key date spot in the heart of the Slope, Reis is your guy.

The Monro Pub

481 5th Avenue, Park Slope

No need to cross the pond to watch a Premiere League game surrounded by jersey-clad hooligans chugging hearty mugs of stout — Park Slope’s Monro Pub has you covered. In keeping with its strong UK theme, the small 5th Avenue sports bar is a heartfelt homage to the great game of soccer (er, football), even boasting official ties to Liverpool FC. Order a pint at the bar, then fill up on indulgent and appropriately monochromatic British snacks like steak and kidney hand pies and imported bags of Walkers British Crisps (that’s chips to you Yankees). Even anti-footie folks can’t help but be charmed by Monro’s new Tinder Thursdays program — that’s 2-4-1 drinks every Thursday from 10pm to 2am. You’ll definitely want to swipe right on this one.

Barbes

376 9th Street, Park Slope

You never know exactly what you’ll get when you step into Barbes. Each night of the week, the French-owned 9th Street jazz club hosts an incredibly diverse lot of live music, from Southern brass bands to Balkan bagpipes and back again. The vibe is cozy and casual but with a touch of European swank, with warm red walls supporting a gorgeous pressed tin ceiling overhead. Barbes’ cocktail program is also on point, featuring a rotating collection of expertly crafted concoctions straight from the brain of celebrated Brooklyn mixologist Justin Lane Briggs. Whether you’re 25 or 65, Barbes is date night done right.

Sidecar

560 5th Avenue, Park Slope

Sidecar may have acheived city-wide fame for its finger lickin’ fried chicken, but don’t overlook this 5th Avenue bar-restaurant’s small-yet-mighty cocktail list. Grab a stool at the lengthy wooden bar, admire the beautifully intact pressed tin above you and order up a tart, floral Femme Fatale (gin, grapefruit, lime, egg whites, Street Germain liqueur, basil & Angostura bitters) while you wait for your chicken to fry. Classic more your style? Try the house Negroni, a balanced mix of Campari and gin, tempered with housemade burnt orange vermouth.

Black Horse Pub

568 5th Avenue, Park Slope

Black Horse is a soccer bar through and through, with a bevvy of flatscreens hanging against the exposed brick walls, a menu stocked with classic, well-executed pub grub and a constant stream of Guinness flowing from the nitro tap. Generally calm and quiet during the day, this airy corner bar quickly fills up with rowdy hooligans for big matches. Come for the game, stay for the insanely delicious nachos served up by a friendly fleet of bartenders and waitresses and the smattering of sidewalk seating perfect for 5th Avenue people watching.

Bar Toto

411 11th Street, Park Slope

Dating back to when 11th Street was considered South Slope, Bar Toto has now become a veritable neighborhood institution. The charming Italian cafe is known both for their wrap-around sidewalk seating as well as their mouth-watering brunch menu, featuring regional comfort classics like baked eggs with prosciutto and grilled flatbread and ricotta pancakes topped with fruit compote. Inside, the pressed tin ceiling, original moldings and dark wooden bar give the space a ye olde Brooklyn feel, while the crowds are a healthy mix of college-aged newcomers, baby-toting brownstoners and South Brooklyn diehards. Oh — and I once spotted Bill De Blasio reclining in a corner booth, so that’s something.

Parish

223 7th Avenue, Park Slope

While the northern blocks of 5th Avenue are home to dozens upon dozens of fantastic bars, neighboring 7th Avenue has always assumed more of a quiet, family oriented feel, favoring artisanal toy stores and quaint bookshops over booze peddlers. So, when Parish opened up in 2014, liquor starved Slopers flocked to the small, elegant cocktail bar to suck down their fare share of classy cocktails and charcuterie plates, basking in the company of fellow grown ups. While the menu might err on the fancy Manhattan side, the atmosphere is (thankfully) much more Brooklyn casual, favored both by the loosened tie, after-work crowd and Match.com hopefuls nervously sipping white wine. Bon appetit, 7th Avenue.

Barn

381 7th Avenue, Park Slope

Perched on the edge of Park Slope proper, Flatbush Farm’s adjoining bar, Barn (get it?), is a great spot for enjoying late summer cocktails and mid-winter pints alike. The bar menu features a smaller, more pub-friendly selection of Farm’s beloved farm-to-table fare like grass-fed burgers topped with housemade pickles, tart deviled eggs and sizzling bratwurst and between the rotating craft taps and seasonally inspired cocktails, you’re bound to find something for everyone. At the long, central bar, well-dressed couples waiting for tables next door sidle up next to bespectacled gentlemen crouched over candle-lit books and, when open, the wide back patio is a true Brooklyn oasis.

Brookvin

381 7th Avenue, Park Slope

If you weren’t looking for it, you might pass right by Brookvin without even knowing such a sweet, romantic little wine bar lurked just inside the 7th Avenue-facing front door. Delicious desserts and small plates on the menu (get the ricotta tartine, trust me) are just the tip of the iceberg here, as the extensive — and surprisingly affordable — wine list really takes the cake, so to speak. To top it off, Brookvin offers seasonal cocktails as well as a few beers to keep everyone fat and happy, as well as occasional in-house wine classes where even the newest of winos can learn a thing or two about the good drink.

Covenhoven

730 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights

Since opening on Classon Avenue in 2014, Covenhoven has established itself as a lovable home away from home for Prospect Heights and Crown Heights beer geeks. The beer bar-bottle shop-beer garden-sandwich joint hybrid (remember Bierkraft?) is a model that’s proven quite difficult to pull off, but when it works, does it ever work. At Covenhoven, the beer, whether pulled from a well stocked cooler or poured from one of the bar’s 16 taps, is unfailingly fresh, tasty and interestingly curated, the adorable backyard is a Springtime delight and the space itself feels warm and relaxed, punctuated by a retractable garage-style front wall for ultimate summer hangs. What’s more, this is a literal mom and pop shop — owners Bill and Molly live just upstairs — so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say when you’re there, you’re family.

Berg’n

899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights

When the guys behind Smorgasburg announced they were crossing into SOUTH Brooklyn to open a massive Bergen Street beer hall, us Crown Heights beer nerds had no idea what to expect. What we got was just that — a hipster cafeteria featuring an enormous back bar, tons of indoor and outdoor seating options, a lineup of trendy food vendors (i.e. ramen burgers), a handful of craft beer on tap and great coffee during the day. Berg’n is perfect for big parties and it’s a true freelancer’s dream — wake up with some Parlour coffee, grab some Mighty Quinn’s BBQ for lunch and finish your day with a cold beer and top it off with a little Blue Marble ice cream. Not a bad life.

Bearded Lady

686 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights

Bearded Lady has held court as Washington Avenue’s go-to low key cocktail bar since opening in 2011, attracting passersby with a menu of delicious seasonal mixed drinks, local draft beer, mouthwatering charcuterie plates and a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. During the warmer months, the real draw is the line of tall, flung open windows that wrap around the corner space, letting in all the magic hour light you can possibly manage with a drink in hand.

King Tai Bar

1095 Bergen Street, Crown Heights

Bergen Street’s King Tai Bar is a refreshingly far cry from the exposed-brick-and-Edison-bulb Brooklyn aesthetic that seems to pervade almost every other new establishment in this neck of the woods. With its cream colored walls, pastel details and shiny silver vintage barstools, this sunny cocktail bar evokes a dreamy mid-century Hollywood feel, complete with rum daiquiris and Pina Coladas and $4 hot tamales. The next time you wander past Nostrand Avenue, let King Tai’s charming fluorescent window sign beckon you inside for tasty drink in tasteful surroundings.

Soda Bar

629 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

Oh, Soda Bar, how I love thee. When I was in college, I practically lived at this place, and in a neighborhood that’s constantly changing, this Vanderbilt Avenue bar is the epitome of reliability — dark and divey, with fried food on the menu, a collection of mismatched, heavily duct taped furniture, a dusty back patio littered with cigarette butts, a staff of take-no-shit bartenders and, let’s face it, the best Happy Hour in Brooklyn. We’re talking $3 draft beers from 12-7pm EVERY SINGLE DAY. Soda hosts nightly shows in their larger space next door if that’s more your thing, but I recommend reserving this bar for heavy day drinking. Where else can you get sloppy for under $20 these days?

Sharlene’s

353 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights

What’s not to love about Sharlene’s? As Flatbush Avenue’s classiest dive bar, Sharlene’s keeps it so, so real. Walking into this beloved neighborhood institution feels like stepping back in time to a different, simpler Brooklyn, where plush seating surrounds formica tables and cases upon cases of Miller High Lifes are popped open by some of the sweetest bartenders you’ll ever encounter. It’s quiet enough for real talk heart-to-hearts, yet loud enough to muffle the dark void of an awkward date, and while regulars crowd the bar on any given night, the vibe definitely picks up on the weekends. Any bar you’d feel equally comfortable bringing your parents, your buddies or a first date is aces in my book. Sharlene’s is an oldie and a goodie, and I pray it never dies.

Franklin Park

618 St Johns Pl., Crown Heights

Back in 2008, Franklin Park was one of the first hipster bars to infiltrate a then un-bougie-ified Franklin Avenue, and it’s managed to stay true to its roots ever since. With its accessible lineup of draft beers and mixed drinks, quality burgers from Franklin Ave-facing Dutch Boy and massive corner garden, FP’s friendly, chilled out atmosphere has always managed to attract a refreshingly mixed crowd. Crown Heights lifers, nervous college kids, grizzled hipsters, Tinder daters and amped up sports fans all congregate over cans of IPA and shots of well whiskey, trading cigarettes and jokes outside or focusing on the game in one of Franklin Park’s two full bars. Don’t forget to check out FP’s Reading Series, a standing-room-only neighborhood institution featuring a fantastic roster of local and visiting writers.

Tooker Alley

793 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights

While Tooker Alley might fancy itself a sort of neo-speakeasy, its Washington Avenue storefront is not exactly hard to find — not exactly a bad thing considering that this romantic cocktail den’s novella-sized drinks menu runs the gamut from perfectly executed Manhattans to creative beer and shot combos. The Tooker Alley team clearly takes its bespoke theme as seriously as it takes its mixology program, as the place just oozes with turn of the century details. From elegantly carved wooden benches to suspendered servers to live jazz quartets belting out Pre-Prohibition era tunes, no stone is left unturned. It’s a bit pricey, sure, but it’s definitely an experience.

The Crown Inn

724 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights

Franklin Avenue’s Crown Inn is that bar you love to hate — it’s extremely dark and loud as Hell, literally always packed (no barstools left on a Tuesday night? What?) and you can’t walk two feet without running into a wasted couple making out with apocalyptic fury. But, alas, we love it. We go to Crown Inn because the drinks are well made, the staff is professional and quick, the crowd is reliably good looking and interesting and if you can get a seat, it’s chock full of excellent little candlelit nooks (hence the apocalyptic make out sessions). Also, the tall front windows make for some prime people watching — you perch on your barstool, sip your Negroni and watch the neighborhood gentrify right before your eyes.

Two Saints

753 Nostrand Avenue, Crown Heights

Simply put, Nostrand Avenue’s Two Saints is cool. Like Pulp Fiction cool, with a stately dark wood bar, mint green barstools and subway tiled walls. The interior, backed up by the bar’s effortlessly suave staff and regular mix of great looking clientele, evokes a smoothness that extends well beyond its delicious menu of Caribbean-inspired, primarily rum-based cocktails. Happy Hour runs Monday to Friday, 4-7pm, and the deep green leather banquette seating at the back of the bar is the ideal spot to charm the pants off that cute Tinder date.

Drink

768 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights

Newish Franklin Avenue wine bar Drink is a confusing mix of vintage leather couches, gaudy velvet wallpaper and faux crystal chandeliers, making it feel less like a Brooklyn lounge and more like the set of Moulin Rouge. That being said, judging from the steady stream of neighborhood drinkers it attracts, it somehow manages to pull it all off. House cocktails, a small plates menu and a truly lovely back patio do help to create a romantic, atmosphere and, no one’s mad at the lengthy happy hour, extended most nights until 9pm.

Butter & Scotch

818 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights

Bakery-bar hybrid Butter & Scotch was one of the first hipster joints to cross over to the south side of Eastern Parkway and the increasing number of South Crown Heights dwellers seem to wholly appreciate the addition. The interior is a mess of pinks and reds, comforting drinkers with a 1950’s diner aesthetic topped off by a glowing EAT PIE fluorescent sign. The homemade desserts, of which there are many, are served alongside boozy milk shakes, creamy White Russians, dainty daiquiris and cold bottles of Miller High Life. Whether you’re there to indulge in liquor, sweets or a little of both, you’ll definitely feel like a kid in a candy shop at Butter & Scotch.

Barboncino

781 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights

What goes together better than pizza and beer? Literally nothing, which is why Barboncino has been crushing it with the Franklin Avenue crowd for years. It’s beautiful inside, sure to satisfy even the choosiest of dates, and the rustic Neapolitan fare strikes an impressive balance between gourmet and comforting (attention: get the meatballs). A few craft beer options on tap keep diners in good spirits, while their cocktail menu features a tasty list of old favorites with inventive new twists. Whether you’re cozied up at a table or lounging at the small, wrap around bar, Barboncino is a classic date night pick.

Catfish

1433 Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights

Tucked away on a relatively quiet Bedford Avenue block, Catfish is the area’s one and only Cajun restaurant, an honor it upholds with all the spicy wit you’d expect from such a spot. The food is well seasoned, unique and finger lickin’ good (I mean, alligator burgers? Let’s do this.) and the drinks are refreshing enough to temper even the hottest of hot sauces, with a full bar and a rotating selection of craft beer. Football games are especially fun to watch here, as the crowd tends to get rowdier and rowdier with each crisp pint of Abita.

The Way Station

683 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights

Does every neighborhood need a Dr. Who-themed bar? The jury’s still out on that one, but it seems like Prospect Heights is more than happy to claim one for their very own. Complete with a Dr. Who phonebooth, The Way Station is a self-identified nerd’s Washington Avenue dreamworld. There’s a small stage for live music, curious house cocktails based on characters from the show and, of course, free public screenings of the Sci-Fi classic. From happy hour until close, this bar is wall-to-wall with an extremely loyal, frequently fedora’d and super friendly crowd, so pull up a chair, grab a fluorescent green cocktail and enjoy the show.

99 Rogers

99 Rogers Avenue, Crown Heights

Lodged on a nondescript Rogers Avenue corner, you’d walk right past this very recent neighborhood addition if you weren’t looking for it. But once inside, you’ll be glad you found it. While it seems to be still figuring out its identity, 99 Rogers can best be described as a chill sports bar. It’s got decent pub food (nachos, waffle fries — that whole thing), a nice, well stocked draft list and fairly priced cocktails. The wide, L shaped bar does a good job of dividing the room into two distinct sections, allowing for a few more atmospheric options than your average sports bar, and the staff is kind and attentive. If you’re hankering for a late night snack fest, 99 Rogers is well worth a visit.

Washington Commons

748 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights

Washington Commons has long been a go-to stop on any neighborhood bar crawl. Inside, it’s got an old school vibe, all chipped dark wood and low hanging lighting. While it’s not always the freshest, the rotating tap list always has something interesting on offer and it boasts one of the best Happy Hours in the area. The crowd errs on the collegiate side on the weekends, with an older, calmer set dominating the barstools during the week. The real pull, however, is Washington Commons’ giant backyard, lined with picnic tables fit for lazy day drinking and last minute birthday parties.

Weather Up

589 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that mixology legend Sasha Petraske’s Weather Up is single-handedly responsible for introducing the art of the classic, properly made and utterly refined cocktail to the lucky residents of Prospect Heights. The tiny, breathtakingly beautiful bar — the subway tile ceiling is an interior designer’s dream — has been gracing the neighborhood with Sazeracs and Presbyterians since 2008 and convincing even the most skeptical of Manhattanites to make the pilgrimage to its unmarked Vanderbilt door. It’s not cheap, no, but why would it be? At Weather Up, you’re paying for perfection.

706 Bar

706 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights

706 is a down and dirty drinking man’s bar, with a few TVs for sports, a few pinball machines and bargain specials every day of the week, and as such, it stands in sharp, divey contrast to its poshier Washington Avenue neighbors. With a cast of speedy, no nonsense bartenders behind the sticks, Thursday’s $6 beer-and-shot combos have been the root cause of more than a few Friday sick days and that’s they way the like it. No matter who you are, 706 will give it to you straight.

The Saint Catherine

660 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights

Big, square windows span the entire exterior of this quiet corner cafe, making The Saint Catherine one of the top Prospect Heights spots for sipping toddies and watching the snow fall. The staff is charming, the vibe is Sunday morning-style relaxed with plenty of room to spread out your New York Times and the food is full of shareable comfort staples like homemade mac & cheese, antipasto plates and baked brie. Brunch is a highlight and the 2-for-1 brunch happy hour alone is worth the trek up Washington Avenue. Rotating craft beers on draft and excellent Bloody Marys don’t hurt, either.

Bar Sepia

234 Underhill Avenue, Prospect Heights

A narrow, cavernous space at the center of a calm Underhill block, Bar Sepia oscillates between a sleepy neighborhood bar with classic cocktails and a diverse, laid back clientele and, after almost any Brooklyn Museum happening, a bustling late night hangout fit for post-event imbibing. Regardless of the crowd size, however, this charmingly decorated Prospect Heights bar can be trusted to supply you with all the tools you’ll need for a fantastic evening out — affordable drinks, lovely bartenders, interesting company, and even free WiFi.

Gold Star Beer Counter

176 Underhill Avenue, Prospect Heights

A new kid on the increasingly craft beer-focused Prospect Heights block, Gold Star Beer Counter is an efficiently run beer hall with touches of eye-catching class like a slate grey marble communal table and custom wood paneled ceiling. Smart and cheery beertenders deftly guide inquisitive patrons through the rotating 16 taps and 30+ bottle offerings while a collection of vintage vinyl provides a soothing soundtrack. In true beer nerd fashion, the clientele is both sophisticated and laid back, waxing poetic over pints of hoppy Amber or kicking back with a roasty stout.

Woodwork

583 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

Are you a diehard soccer fan? Do you also enjoy being shoved up against a sweaty, shouting European man while trying to order a Guinness over the roar of a completely hype EuroCup audience? If so, Woodwork (and possibly therapy) is for you, my insane friend. Even the most insignificant of soccer games seem to convert this unassuming Vanderbilt Avenue pub into a holding pen for local hooligans. When it’s not jammed with fans, Woodwork is a solid spot for sharing a few Sunday beers with the buddies or withstanding that Chuko wait time. Also, brown sugar dusted “snack bacon?” Enough said.

White Tiger

601 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

Vanderbilt Avenue newcomer White Tiger serves some of the best locally sourced Korean food in Brooklyn alongside some of the borough’s most unique cocktails. A favorite is the Naughty Kimchee, an intoxicating, Martini-like mix of Titos vodka, housemade kimchi juice, Vermouth and garnished with a blue cheese and kimchi stuffed olive. Toss back a few of those suckers while hanging out in White Tiger’s brightly colored and eclectically decorated central bar and you’ll find yourself packing your bags and heading for Seoul in no time.

Ode To Babel

772 Dean Street, Prospect Heights

Ode To Babel is a tough bar to pin down. It’s a wine bar, yes, but it’s also a cocktail lounge, a private event and pop-up restaurant space, a workspace, boutique selling gorgeous African scarves and homegoods as well as a music and performance venue with a focus on celebrating local artists and musicians. If that wasn’t enough, it’s impossibly beautiful inside, showcasing locally made art on clean white walls, lit by the soft glow of hanging Edison bulbs. Whatever it is, it’s clear that Crown Heights’ vibrant community is at its core.

Nostrand Avenue Pub

658 Nostrand Avenue, Crown Heights

Nostrand Avenue Pub is a good old fashioned watering hole with a straight shooting, casual vibe, a decent rotating tap list and all the Jameson shots you can stomach. The crowd is the definition of diverse — the old and the young, the naive and the OG, you name it. The only thing everyone at Nostrand Ave Pub has in common is a thirst for liquor and a desire to kick back and take it easy. New York teams on the flatscreens, deep wooden booths and a big backyard for summertime congregating only add to the pub’s chill.

Friends & Lovers

641 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights

Located a bit off the beaten path, Classon Avenue Friends & Lovers has been busy putting on shows and getting folks dance-level drunk on the northern edge of Crown Heights since early 2014. A small, cozy bar sits just inside the front door, with gorgeous custom shelving and plenty of places to hole up with a bottled beer and cruise the crowd. Concerts, performances and dance parties of all kinds keep the back room popping where the unfailingly excellent sound quality attracts impressively diverse hordes of Brooklynites primed to party.

Fort Defiance

365 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

Tucked away in the heart of Red Hook is Fort Defiance, the fastidious, brilliant brainchild of St. John Frizell. The bar and restaurant has evolved into something of a town hall, helping the neighborhood’s denizens weathers storms both physical and emotional, while retaining a cocktail program that rivals any of Manhattan’s most elegant speakeasies. For brunch, try any of their updated classics, like the New Orleans hat-tip Ramos Gin Fizz, or drop by every Thursday evening for their signature Sunken Harbor Club, an award-winning Tiki cocktail night. Finish off any cold, cold Brooklyn evening with the Irish Coffee as a nightcap. According to the New York Times, it’s the finest in the known world. Locals and tourists alike are inclined to agree.

Sunny’s

253 Conover Street, Red Hook

A holdover from Red Hook’s earliest days, Sunny’s bar is a worshipped historical artifact and a beloved watering hole. The bar is family-owned, and has been since as early as 1890 and remains relatively unchanged, aside some renovations following damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. The bar’s owner and namesake Sunny Balzano grew up in the upstairs apartment—where he still lives—and remains a presides over Sunny’s even when he’s not around via various knickknacks that decorate the walls. Stick in front for whiskey on ice and spacious booths, or take your beer to the back and sip or strum through what the Times dubbed a “multigenerational bluegrass jamboree.” Either way, folks who don’t “do” country need not apply—Sunny’s is as rural as Gotham gets.

Bait & Tackle

320 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

While there isn’t really any fishing gear for sale or loan at this corner bar, the walls are covered in eye-opening taxidermy and hunting memorabilia to satisfy even the most curious visitor. Originally a makeshift bait shop for local fisherman, the Bait and Tackle has morphed into a neighborhood dive that hosts occasional live music or comedy nights, and always has a shot and a beer when you need one. This is not the place to go for cocktails, but it is the perfect place for a long conversation with an unassuming bar fly over several ice cold pints.

Rocky Sullivan’s

34 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook

Rocky Sullivan’s is an Irish bar all the way down to the bone, even if the patrons it serves in Red Hook are much more diverse than plenty of its neighboring counterparts. Between a weekly trivia night, lots of live Irish music in the backroom, a constant stream of broadcast sports, the expansive place has something for literally everyone. The Guinness comes correct in a 20 oz tulip glass, and once you get to know George the bartender, he’ll usually insist that the first round’s on him.

Brooklyn Ice House

318 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

Though it’s right next door to Bait & Tackle, neither of these neighborhood staples ever lack patrons. Get the $4 Stevedore shot special—an old nickname for the neighborhood’s once omnipresent dockworkers—for a PBR and Evan Williams combo to sip out in the expansive gravelled backyard that’s full of long picnic tables perfect for summer lounging. If you get hungry, smoked pulled pork sliders are 2 for $5 and a gorgonzola and beet salad is $7. It’s a cheap, casual and classic bar that possesses all the potential amenities a bar could possibly have — including Jenga. You’ll find few reasons to live, especially when you’re surrounded by friends, sitting in the backyard looking up at the stars.

Botanica

318 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

This seasonal, gorgeous old bar is located next door to owner Daniel Preston’s distillery and chocolate factory, Cacao Prieto, making it an attractive pit stop for out-of-towners and residents alike during the summer tourist season when it’s open. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows, Italian-inspired decor that includes an Venetian chandelier, and decadent cocktail menu increase this elegant outpost’s appeal.

B61

187 Columbia Street, Red Hook

One of the strongest draws of waterfront Red Hook’s B61 bar—named for one of the secluded neighborhood’s most reliable bus lines—is its dedication to playing in-demand sports games. B61 is always a reliable place to grab a beer or simple cocktail, but it’s particularly full of football lovers in the fall and early spring, who flock to the bar’s numerous TVs to cheer their teams on via the extensive NFL Ticket streaming services.

Alma

187 Columbia Street, Columbia Waterfront District

Alma’s spacious rooftop has the best panoramic vantage of the Manhattan skyline that you’ll find in a public place anywhere in South Brooklyn. The heated roof features indoor and outdoor sections, and the view comes equipped with a bar that offers 20+ kinds of tequila in various renditions of margaritas, along with the best chilaquiles this side of the Mexican border.

The Good Fork

391 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

Ben Schneider and Sohui Kim were pioneering spirits in Red Hook’s culinary and cocktail scene, installing their quirky, customized restaurant on the neighborhood’s main drag Van Brunt Street back in 2005. Over a decade later, the tiny bar and sumptuous, eclectic outdoor space remain veritable havens for those who want to imbibe wine by the draught, or finely-balanced booze concoctions. Try to get tipsy without ordering some of Kim’s signature pork and chive dumplings, I dare you.

40 Knots Bar

200 Columbia Street, Columbia Street Waterfront District

Formerly Miknic Lounge, 40 Knots Bar carries on much of the same ethos, incorporating pool, cheap beer and a roomy backyard into an excellent, hidden dive bar blocks from the waterfront. Of course, the new name pays homage to the omnipresent seaside culture that still inhabits most of the local haunts alongside the Red Hook coastal strip.

Jalopy Tavern

315 Columbia Street, Columbia Street Waterfront District

The music will always be the main draw at Jalopy Tavern, a honky-tonk and blues bar that’s helped keep the local live music scene alive in South Brooklyn. The folk and country vibes are accompanied by cozy, southern-style eats and a full bar. Get there early to make sure you get a good seat.

Hometown Bar-B-Que

454 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

Hometown BBQ opened right near the Red Hook waterfront back in 2013 and has basically had a line out the door ever since. Delayed a year by Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, Billy Durney’s Texas-style brisket and ribs are formidable, as is the folksy, reclaimed warehouse where they’re served. What else is served there aside from delicious barbecue? Plenty of beer and a full liquor bar, of course, the ideal accompaniment to live music sessions in the back room, or for avid sports watchers to sip on at the back bar.

Brooklyn Crab

24 Reed Street, Red Hook

Perched high above street level, clambering up the stairs to Brooklyn Crab past the mini golf course can sometimes feel like entering an adult treehouse. Some treehouse too, the higher vantage point affords delicate sunset views of the waterfront, the perfect place to drink away a Sunday, rain or shine.

The Red Hook Winery

Pier 41 325 A 175 – 204 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook

For those craving a quiet, more intimate venue, perhaps purchasing a bottle of wine and sipping it at the Winery tasting room along the waterfront’s pier will prove ideal. The tasting room is designed for trying a variety of different wines, but it’s also more than suitable for buying a bottle and drinking it there, while munching on the selection of cheese and cured meat plates the winery offers.

Pok Pok Ny

117 Columbia Street, Red Hook

This Portland transplant restaurant is best known for its fiercely authentic Thai cuisine, which hews closer to traditional, indigenous preparations than most American outposts. But, the drinks at Pok Pok—oh the drinks! From traditional Thai drinking vinegars to Thai chilis, the cocktails list incorporates a host of unusual flavors into familiar standbys, like Korean yuzu-honey tea in the hot toddy, or the tamarind and palm sugar in the whiskey sour. Of course, a wide selection of American and Japanese whiskey is also available, along with reliably sharp and sour Asian beer and other standard bar drinking fare though. Adventurous palates will be rewarded here, but the cautious will also find ample recourse.


The Double Windsor

210 Prospect Park West, South Slope

I’m not at all kidding when I say that The Double Windsor is my favorite bar in all of Brooklyn. A neighborhood institution on the corner of Prospect Park West and 16th Street, the space is large yet warm, full of communal tables centered around a massive horseshoe-shaped bar. Behind the taps, the bartenders are friendly, hilarious and always efficient, cranking out quirky house mixed drinks like the My Two Dads (a rich, spicy blend Dad’s root beer & Old Grandad whiskey) and pints of hard-to-find, super fresh craft beer with the kind of speed and grace reserved for Olympic ice skaters. The food? It’s pub food for foodies — giant, grass fed and perfectly seared burgers, insanely amazing shoestring fries and possibly the best Asian-style wings in all of south Brooklyn. Welcome to your new local — I’ll see you there.

South

629 5th Avenue, South Slope

South is a real drinking man’s bar — down to earth, no frills and consistently heavy on the pour. Inside the 5th Avenue mainstay, it’s dark and approachable, with a deep wood bar, exposed brick walls and plenty of booths for more intimate imbibing. The beer selection is great, erring on the import side with offerings from as far away as Sri Lanka, The Netherlands and, of course, Belgium. Pressed sandwiches and snacks make up the food bill here (served right up until 4am) and the enclosed back patio is an excellent place to waste away a summer Sunday. Did I mention there’s $1 off happy hour every single day from 6-9pm? If you didn’t have a reason to venture into the South Slope before, now you do.

Freddy’s Bar

627 5th Avenue, South Slope

Freddy’s is part local dive bar, part restaurant, part venue and fully awesome. The main area is dark and quiet, with window seating, a wrap around bar and oversized wooden booths along the wall. There’s a patio for smoking, bright, mesmerizing fish tanks in the back and up front, an old TV continuously plays a VHS-quality mashup of super weird old movies and commercials. Crispy tater tots and juicy burgers from the kitchen will sustain you through whatever comedy show or bluegrass jam is popping next door in Freddy’s event space, and don’t forget to wash it all down with plenty of cheap bottled beer.

Quarter

676 5th Avenue, South Slope

When Quarter bar opened back in 2007, let’s just say that the neighborhood wasn’t quite the drinking destination it is today. The guys behind this cozy, candle-lit 5th Avenue cocktail den paved the way for a new wave of South Slope boozehounds, thirsty for custom cocktails, craft beers and a date-worthy atmosphere. The backyard, with its wooden built-in benches strewn with Christmas lights, is a summertime favorite while inside, the large storefront window and line of private two-tops create a warm and intimate winter ambiance perfect for sipping hot buttered rum and watching the snow fall.

Sea Witch

703 5th Avenue, South Slope

With its 5th Avenue-facing facade built to resemble a ship out of water, Sea Witch sure is a unique addition to the South Slope roster. The dark, cavernous space is lit by the turquoise glow of a giant fish tank looming behind the small, central bar, where reasonably priced classic cocktails and a diverse lineup of craft beers are handed over to thirsty seafarers of all types. In keeping with the nautical theme, there’s a pretty decent seafood-heavy menu served up front and it’s best enjoyed outside while lounging amongst the koi ponds that line Sea Witch’s lush backyard patio (beware of snapping turtles!).

Supercollider

609 4th Avenue, South Slope

This 4th Avenue hideaway is a bit of an odd duck for what is generally a low key, dive bar-leaning part of South Slope. Bare bones in the back with a long bar up front, Supercollider is a coffee by day, booze by night kind of joint. A curious lot of framed posters and original artwork hangs from the walls, advertising everything from 1950’s surfer flicks to a local artist’s latest colorful masterpiece. Whether you’re in the mood for a strong shot of espresso or a cold craft beer, the prices are as low and inoffensive as the conversation-permitting background music. It’s no wonder why neighborhood freelancers make up the majority of Supercollider’s clientele — there’s nothing like starting with a coffee and, a few hours later, filing your latest article with a high-gravity IPA firmly in hand.

Buttermilk

577 5th Avenue, South Slope

Buttermilk’s just like a childhood best friend — you’ve both undergone some big changes over the years, and maybe you’ve even grown apart at some point, but you know, when it comes down to it, you can always depend on her to lift you up and set you straight when your spirits are down. The humble 5th Avenue dive has been addressing the beer-and-shot needs of South Slope residents since before the term South Slope existed. Nothing fancy under this roof, just friendly bartenders, cheap drinks, a trusty pool table, excellent tunes and plenty of good old fashioned conversation.

Bar 718

718 5th Avenue, South Slope

Pickle juice and vodka shots! Foosball! No, this isn’t your college frat house — it’s Bar 718, a homey little late night sports bar stationed on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street, just north of Greenwood Cemetery. The bartenders are friendly and helpful, chatty without ever venturing into annoying territory, and the clientele is as chill and welcoming as 718’s consistently low prices. Stop in for a game — they project the big ones onto the wall for maximum viewing pleasure — and watch your evening transform into a jumbled, giggly mess of beer-and-popcorn-fueled happiness.

Greenwood Park

555 7th Avenue, South Slope

There’s no denying it — Greenwood Park is huge. The block-long sports bar took over a former auto shop lot just north of Greenwood Cemetery and, with its wrought iron bars and wooden pallet fence, the industrial vibe still permeates the space. The front patio is divided into two sides, one littered with heating lamps and picnic tables for late night sipping under the stars and the other dedicated to the bar’s main draw, bocce ball. Inside, the walls are cluttered with flatscreens airing every sport imaginable while the speedy bartenders keep busy filling pitchers of craft beer beneath the TV glow. A small, decent menu of fried pub food can be found in the far corner, and there seems to always be some sort of bargain special going on (including 50 cent wing night, thank you very much). On weekend nights, Greenwood Park is frequently crowded with overeager college-aged kids bopping to Biggie, so stick to weekdays if you prefer a more mellow scene.

American Cheez

444 7th Avenue, South Slope

You know those bumper stickers that say “Keep [insert city name here] Weird?” If American Cheez were its own city, every truck in town would sure as shit be rocking one of those stickers. That’s all to say that this relatively new 7th Avenue dive is weird — and damn proud of it, too. The front is lined with large panelled windows, illuminating the wacky posters and knick knacks that cover every inch of space inside (think: suburban TGI Fridays, but on acid). Despite the questionable ambiance, the free personal pizzas while you drink are a huge draw and you could do worse than to finish a sloppy Slope night in the company of this gregarious and reliably boisterous crowd.

Mary’s Bar

708 5th Avenue, South Slope

Mary’s is a dive bar with undeniable class, its pressed tin ceiling, warm art deco-inspired lighting and maze of custom shelving behind the bar coming together to create a satisfyingly balanced high brow-low brow atmosphere. On any given night, a chilled out, Brooklyn chic crowd can be found mulling around this 5th Avenue corner bar, hustling at the pool table, tossing darts in the corner or sipping whiskey gingers at a candlelit table. Beware: like any good dive bar, Mary’s is cash only, so be sure to bring plenty of greenbacks along to ensure a successful night of hard drinking.

Toby’s Public House

686 6th Avenue, South Slope

The only remaining member of a now shuttered pizzeria chain, Toby’s feels like a true neighborhood joint. The cozy restaurant-bar sits on the corner of 6th Avenue and 21st Street, enticing a regular cast of South Slope characters with gourmet Italian dishes like shrimp wrapped in smoked pancetta, beef carpaccio and thin and crispy brick oven pizza — and plenty of drinks, of course. The bartenders err on the side of old school, serving up plenty of attitude alongside pints of craft beer and mixed drinks. Little known fact — Toby’s is a die hard Rangers bar, so drop by during a game to see the place in full effect.

Iron Station

683 5th Avenue, South Slope

An extensive cocktail list, local craft beer on tap, tons of whiskey and tasty Southern fare prepared with all the belly-busting love and charm of a Sunday supper at Grandma’s makes Iron Station a welcome new addition to South Slope’s booze-heavy main drag. During the warmer months, escape into the quaint backyard with a glass of rose and a plate of authentic pimento cheese and house-pickled okra and join in on a few rousing games of cornhole. You’ll be saying y’all, asking for sweet tea and talking college football strategy in no time flat.

Brooklyn Pub

689 6th Avenue, South Slope

While this space has seen its fair share of tenants over the years, it seems as though Brooklyn Pub, with its surprisingly delicious bar food and hordes of devoted regulars, might be here for the long haul. At first, this unassuming 6th Avenue watering hole looks like any old dive, with Jets paraphernalia lining the brick walls, giant flatscreen TVs and a long wooden bar littered with bottles of Bud and pints of Guinness. But, truth be told, Brooklyn Pub is serving up some of the best bar food in the neighborhood. The kitchen’s crispy baked clams oreganata, juicy, braised BBQ ribs and perfectly fried Buffalo wings completely offset the generic Irish pub atmosphere and place Brooklyn Pub firmly on the South Slope bar map.

McCaren Hotel Bar

160 N 12th Street, Williamsburg

Nestled among the ever-expanding ecosystem of hip restaurant and bars that dot Williamsburg, the redesigned rooftop bar at the McCarren Hotel offers a respite from the influx of tourists and Manhattanites who flock to the hipster mecca every weekend. Reimagined as Sheltering Sky by “nightlife impresario” Nur Khan, the creative director behind Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, integrates Khan’s love of north African motifs with low-sitting benches and carpets and topped off with a delectable menu of exotic cocktails. But the best part of this spot is the location: The rooftop provides a stunning view of Brooklyn’s rooftops — and the chaos below.

Whiskey Brooklyn // Whiskey Annex

44 Berry Street, Williamsburg

The underground Whiskey Brooklyn is the very model of a modern American bar. Ringed with a massive curved bar and boasting entertainment from shuffleboard to skee-ball to an array of flatscreen TVs hanging above the bar, this spot is more of a man-cave than local dive, perfect for after-work outings or a gathering of friends on Game Day. But the real secret of Whiskey Brooklyn isn’t the location or the games, but the menu. The flavorful reimagining of American gastropub classics like buffalo chicken nuggets, fried pickles, pizza bread and the classic bacon cheeseburger will leave your mouth watering.

Counting Room

44 Berry Street, Williamsburg

Hidden away on Berry Street in Williamsburg, this roomy, vibrant watering hole isn’t just one bar, but two. The ground floor consists of wine and beer, while the venue’s signature potent potable are resigned to a cozy basement lounge. But don’t think that the Counting Room wants to keep its signature mixtures out of sight: The bartenders can whip up a complex but refreshing cocktail like the King’s Ransom (rum, lemon, prosecco, amontillado sherry, and a smattering of bitters) and breathe new life into even the most tired drinks. Here’s a secret: Swing by on Mondays for bartender Maks Pazuniak’s experimental cocktail series, “Something Like This.” If you’re looking for some of the most creative bartenders this side of the Hudson, make the Counting Room your base of operations.

Mable’s Smokehouse

44 Berry Street, Williamsburg

The large, homey communal space may have some of the best barbecue in Brooklyn. Run by husband and wife duo Jeff Lutonsky and Meghan Love, the recipes are all family classics handed down by the matriarchs in Lutonsky’s family, including the secret sauce that tops most meats you’ll shovel into your mouth. The food isn’t just delicious, but fresh: According to New York, Mable’s gets its hot links Fed-Exed in from Oklahoma City to maintain their authenticity. Wash down your your savory meats with a spiked cherry-limeade or a dirt-cheap beer from the bar and you’ll find yourself in meat heaven in no time.

Brooklyn Brewery

79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg

The Brooklyn Brewery is way more than just home to the favored East Coast brew. The yellow-brick brewhouse plays home to one of Williamsburg’s most upbeat beer halls, surrounded by brewing equipment and some of the brewery’s award-winning beers. If you get tired of sitting, never fear: the hourly tours are both fascinating and free.

Kinfolk

94 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

Kinfolk isn’t really a bar, per se. During the day, the open Williamsburg entertainment joint is part cafe, part bike company, and part something to do with marketing. But at night, the high-ceilinged haunt plays home to delicious Japanese beers and more up-and-coming musicians than you can shake a house margarita at.

Brooklyn Bowl

61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

There’s no finer combination of spaces (except for Pizza Hut/Taco Bell) than a music venue and bowling alley. Established in an abandoned iron foundry, Brooklyn Bowl offers up delicious barbecue, a welcoming cocktail bar, and 16 lanes of pure bowling heaven. But the lanes and games aren’t the only draw to this sprawling bar; this popular music venue plays host to almost every must-see musician to enter the city limits, complete with frequent visits from none other than Questlove himself.

Wythe Hotel

80 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

The Wythe Hotel has been described as the Platonic ideal of modern Brooklyn since it opened in 2012, and with good reason. The ultra-modern hotel doesn’t just host some of the most luxurious rooms that balance functionality and aesthetics wrapped up in a historic red-brick former factory, but some of the swankiest watering holes in all of Williamsburg. Stop in at Reynard on the ground floor for fried quail or fire-roasted guinea hen. Or, if you’re waiting for a table, take the elevator to the 6th floor for a cocktail in the trendy (and crowded) Blue Room, the Art Deco-inspired rooftop bar that offers the perfect chaser for your Old Fashioned: incredible views of both Manhattan and the Brooklyn skyline. When you’re drinking here, you’ll never want to leave.

Kent Ale House

51 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg

Kent Ale House has all the makings of your favorite neighborhood dive: a scarred wooden countertop, well-worn stools, and a staff and regulars who seem like they’ve been there forever. But once you look past its modern trappings, this brewpub has a few hidden treasures, from a spacious patio and open front that make it perfect for people watching, and a hidden ping ping tale that’s the perfect compliment to a few rounds after work.

Noorman Kil’s

609 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Noorman’s Kil may be the most welcoming bar you’ve never been to. Jammed into a well-worn wooden space, the Grand Street fixture feels like a tavern where weary travelers go to hang their hat. But it’s got the best menu of any tavern out there, with more than 250 whiskeys and bourbons from around the world for your tasting pleasure. But the best part of the whiskey is the pairing: Noorman’s Kil specializes in putting a creative spin on the classic comfort of the grilled cheese in a way you’ve never experienced before. If there’s one bar that can make such an unusual combo sing on your tongue, it’s Noorman’s Kil.

Grand Ferry Tavern

229 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg

This cozy waterfront tavern, set just off the East River, prides itself on two things: its cocktails and its owners. The raw bar serves up these succulent morsels all year round with some great deal (like six Littlenecks and a half-pint of Bud for a paltry $15), as well as some more exotic nautical fair, from Gulf shrimp to clams casino. Don’t overlook the cocktail menu, though, and chase down your oysters with exquisite experimental cocktails like the Barrel of Monkeys, made from grapefruit and pineapple juice, coffee syrup, spices, and some Cuban-inspired 151-proof rum.

The Camlin

175 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg

Since this boozy neighborhood spot opened its doors in February 2015, it’s been keeping patrons warm with a simple and satisfying combination of good drink and hearty fare. The brainchild of Mandy Oser and Amorette Casaus (the duo behind the delectable) Ardesia in Hell’s Kitchen, the chalkboard menu is jam-packed with intricate interpretations of classic comfort food, from the bourbon-glazed lasagna to grilled jerk wings, paired with more than 100 varieties of wine. Served up in a sleek, homey space, The Camlin is like a home-cooked meal without ever heading home.

Croxley’s Abbey

63 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Croxley’s Abbey seems new, but it’s actually a long-time New York fixture. The Brooklyn outpost of the Long Island ale house offers up sleek tables, delicious wings, and a slew of TVs perfect for watching the game on. Just remember, though: Despite a varied menu of some 48 craft beers, this spot adamantly refuses to carry Bud, Coors and Miller — and they’re damn proud of it.,

The Woods

48 South 4th Street, Williamsburg

To enter The Woods on a weekend is to enter sweaty, steamy chaos in the cavernous concert hall. With a sprawling stage and DJ booth, the venue’s a hotspot for live music and dance parties fueled by a dirt-cheap menu (High Life and whiskey, anyone?). If you can’t stand the heat, never fear: the spacious back patio is host to beloved Smorgasburg vendor Landhaus, proprietors of the infamous Bacon on a Stick topped with maple syrup and secret spices. Yum.

Miss Favela

57 South 5th Street

What the Brazilian eatery lacks in fancy decor, it makes up for with a colorful menu of unforgettable delicacies. If you’re craving a hit of some South American flavor, try to eatery’s signature moqueca de peix e pirao and wash it down with a delicious coconut-cachaca cocktail. Miss Favela’s the perfect spot to hold body and soul together before venturing out for a night drinks at Williamsburg’s numerous nightspots.

Bembe

82 South 6th Street Williamsburg

Walking into Bembe is like walking into a steamy Miami nightclub, far from the grit and grim of Manhattan and the indistinguishable dives of Williamsburg. The unusual venue, decorated with “mostly found and recycled objects” from around NYC and and a slate of Caribbean cocktails, exudes an exotic, worldly vibe, a rare multicultural experience in increasingly white Williamsburg crammed into a friendly brick bar that plays home to DJs and musicians from around the world. If you can’t afford airfare to Cuba or the Dominican Republic, consider a trip to Bembe next week.

Loosie Rouge

91 South 6th Street Williamsburg

There’s always something happening at Loosie Rogue, the sister restaurant to Southern comfort joint Loosie Kitchen. Festooned in panties, this hipster cocktail bar serves up a rotating cast of piano men, open mic performers, and open-air jam sessions to keep you downing your drinks and tapping your foot all night long.

East River Bar

97 South 6th Street

This campy and fun Bedford Avenue drinking hole has enjoyed a long and strange history: Our friends at New York note that it was once an underground biker bar before turning into a Latino speakeasy. With the addition of a disco ball and some odd cowboy motifs, East River Bar is probably the most fascinating dive you’ve ever visited, replete with the usual amenities of pool table and Big Buck Hunter and a handful of beers on tap. It’s not the most upscale place, but it’s certainly one of the most comfortable and welcoming this side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Gordon Bennett

109 South 6th Street

Gordon Bennett is a slice of Ireland come to Williamsburg. Established by Iona owner Robert Hannah and friend Lee Papo, the 6th Street saloon beckons with the prospect of traditional Irish grub: fish and chips, cottage pie, and Cheddar toasties dot the unusual menu, a departure from the Latin restaurant Vinas the previously occupied the premises. Wash down a hearty meal with one of the many beers on tap, including the Belhaven Scottish Stout that’s almost too thick to drink.

OTB

141 Broadway

OTB (short of “Off the Books”) has stayed true to its name, festooned with racing props inspired by the old racetrack gambling parlors where businessmen and workers could mingle and bet amid a sea of good food and drink. OTB offers both, with a robust selection of bar food and burgers topped with a hint of seafood on the menu. More importantly, the lengthy cocktail menu and man cave aesthetic have somehow managed to keep this spot hipster-free, according to our friends at the New York Times, updating the bar’s off-the-path vintage vibe to a respite from the patchy mustaches and ridiculous wardrobes of the surrounding neighborhood.

Have & Meyer

103 Havemeyer Street

Italian cocktail joint Have & Meyer bills itself as a “chatteria,” slang for the art of “chiacchierare” (chatting) while sharing savory tapas with your friends. But despite the promise of simple small bites, Have & Meyer offers a bold menu of both breads, cheeses, and meets (the formaggi menu items, which come with raw honey and fresh fruit, are particularly refreshing) and more filling seafood dishes, including octopus. If you’re more in the mood for the chatting than eating, the creative menu boasts unique takes on crash cocktails, from the Buttero Old Fashioned (mixed with maple syrup to the Phar Lap Julep seasoned with Chipotle pepper. When in doubt, there’s nothing wrong with a Negroni on tap.

Full Circle

318 Grand Street

This Grand Street spot has a simple motto: Let the good times roll. With a menus jam packed with cheap beers (including over 40 canned brews), this boozy hotspot is a valhalla for skee-ball obsessives, hosting several machines and a semi-competitive league known as Brewskee-Ball Monday through Wednesday. For the rest of us, there’s at least the prospect of a $4 Genny Dog (a hot dog and Genesee Cream Ale) and free dogs with a drink on Sundays and Thursday. Just try to stay away.

Street, Mazie

345 Grand Street

Street Mazie describes itself as both a bar and supper club, and the venue delivers. The outside garden lounge may resemble church cloisters and the walls reportedly covered with wood liberated from a nuns’ residence at a Catholic girls’ school, but below the live music and savory bar menu lies the real gem of Street Mazier: the titular Supper Club, nestled in Street Charles Cellar, that feels like something out of monastery’s wine cellar. But don’t expect to eat modestly like a monk: take in some live music with a slow cooked short rib or risotto and let your mind wander.

Bill Baker’s

364 Grand Street

While Bill Baker’s seems like just another “libation-friendly seasonal American menu” dotting the facades of Grant Street, the menu is more alluring than the name lets on. The menu ranges from loving twists on classic bar munchies like the mini burger and fries loaded with pulled pork, cheese, and bacon to more upscale delicacies like huckleberry miso, duck confit, and Hawaiian butter fish. Wash it down with a tasty selection of local brews, and you’re in business.

Brooklyn Star

593 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg

A taste of SOUTHERN cooking and an ample beer list is never a bad combination, and Brooklyn Star manages to nail both aspects with an ease that seems intuitive. There’s ample room in the front half to sit and chat at the bar, and you can always head to the restaurant in the back if the simmering smell of mac and cheese becomes impossible to resist. Any place you can get a pitcher of Mimosas, an IPA cocktail, fried pig tails, and duck wings is a place to keep in your drinking rotation.

Alligator Lounge

600 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

Alligator Lounge is a great place to go if you skipped dinner and went straight to drinking, because they offer complimentary mini pizzas with every beer. Plus, there’s a karaoke room in the back, a pool table in the front, and tables outside for Williamsburg people-watching. It’s a dive, but it’s an interesting one.

Jackbar

143 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg

If you’re into pinball, chances are you’ll love this unassuming Williamsburg bar. It boasts an array of pinball machines and nearly 20 beer lines, so if you’re a fan of either of those things, Jackbar is a great place to spend time. It opens at 1am daily, and somehow is never really that crowded, even though it’s in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s most-visited boroughs.

Xixa

241 S. 4th Street, Williamsburg

Xixa functions as a waiting room for its sister restaurant Traif’s inevitable spillage, but to consider it secondary in any way would be a disservice. It’s fair to say Traif is usually too packed to visit just for drinking, but Xixa isn’t, and their drink menu is dedicated to deconstructed South American classics like the michelada, margarita, and sangria. The extensive wine list may even lure patrons intending to visit Traif later in the evening into staying put in Xixa’s cozy confines.

Dram

177 S 4th Street, Williamsburg

Hands down, Dram is one of the best cocktail focused bars in Williamsburg. If nothing on their extensive, intricate cocktail list catches your eye, you’re safe here opting to select a spirit of your choice and let the bartender customize a beverage for you. Sure, mixology has morphed into an annoying catchall phrase for alcoholic snobs, but sometimes, even the humblest palette wants to be wowed. That’s when you should go to Dram.

Midway Bar

272 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Ah, the pull of a beloved dive bar! On a recent night, the bartenders were playing only old country tunes, and from the bar’s general feel, it seems like this might be a regular occurrence. There’s big wooden tables perfect for large groups, and your standard beer and shot specials for long, lowkey drinking nights. Careful though, this is one of those bars with a mind of its own, and a personality to boot. You might end up staying out much longer than you anticipated, strictly because of Midway’s charms.

Baby’s All Right

146 Broadway, Williamsburg

There’s a lot going on in this music venue/bar/restaurant, but everything happening is bound to be good. If you come on a particularly packed show night, it can be hard to snag a table in the bustling front room, and even harder to snag a viewpoint in the venue where you can actually see the band — but the crowd is bound to be worth the struggle. Baby’s has quickly earned a reputation for booking all the best, rising bands to come through New York, which guarantees a clutch of media and music industry types are usually hanging around. And if that doesn’t pique your interest, then maybe the excellent Thai-inspired food and cocktail menu will.

Rabbithole

352 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Post Office

188 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg

Rabbithole is a quaint, rustic restaurant hidden away among Bedford’s many, many options. It boasts an interior decorated with fascinating old-fashioned items that provide a perfect backdrop for long conversations over one of their many seasonal cocktails. The menu is a sterling example of how to keep classics updated with personal twists, and though the service is excellent, the staff is also happy to leave you be. No one will rush you out the door at Rabbithole, and that’s half the appeal.

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Even diehard New Yorkers get a craving for the country life, and Lady Jay’s backyard is almost big enough to qualify as one of those wide open spaces the Dixie Chicks sing about. Beer, whiskey, and the occasional live band keep this lowkey bar rollicking well into the night, reminding transplants of their past lives without making Brooklyn seem any less desirable.

Zabloski

107 N 6th Street, Williamsburg

One plus of this bar is that no one will ever forget the name. Another is that the drinks are dirt cheap, and the space is big enough to accommodate those nights where your group keeps growing and growing. And if you’re trying to avoid certain members of your party, well, there’s always pool and darts to distract you.

Esh

98 N 6th Street, Williamsburg

Esh is located above Williamsburg’s middling Urban Outfitters location; what could’ve been a haven for sale racks and accessories instead stocks a plethora of Anthropologie spinoffs, why? Regardless, the bar itself soothes a weary shopper’s frustration, offering a host of Israeli barbecue dishes along with some delicious cocktails and a great wine list. Even if you didn’t find anything that fit in the store below, you’ll find something that fits perfectly up here.

This n’ That

108 N 6th Street, Williamsburg

This ‘n That — affectionately called TNT by regulars — is a bawdy, beloved gay bar that hosts weekly drag nights, among other delightful things. It is easily one of the most accepting, safest spaces in the surrounding neighborhood, and a haven for anyone who needs a dark enclave to get drunk in. Whether you come for solace or celebration, TNT will show you just how wonderful the queer community in Williamsburg is — not that they need anyone’s approval.

Commodore

366 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

While it’s not the place to go if you want to have a conversation, The Commodore offers a wealth of options for the already inebriated and those in search of that state. Fried chicken and nachos are tried and true snacks for the drunk or hungover among us, and their blended-to-order Piña Colada would make Garth Brooks himself sigh with happiness. No matter the night, this bar is constantly thrumming with young people looking to snack and slurp the night away.

Kellogg’s Diner

518 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

Aside from being one of the most conspicuous 24-hour restaurants in Williamsburg, Kellog’s is notoriously the place to go when you’re in the mood for some drunk eating. When you’re craving plain old American diner food, head here, they’ve got a full bar until 4am too, if you need to keep your buzz going.

Macri Park

462 Union Avenue, Williamsburg

As one of the closest bars to the crucial Metropolitan/Lorimer subway stop, Macri Park has a lot going for it strictly based on location. But, there’s also a nice selection of beers, the dark, cozy booths and unfinished feeling that give the place its own sense of unvarnished charm. Recently, the bar pivoted to position itself as a gay bar, and a sister location to the nearby Metropolitan. While the move surprised some — mostly because the staff was abruptly let go — the transition seems like it’s been a smooth and welcome one overall.

Rocka Rolla

486 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

The space right on the corner of Metropolitan and the BQE itself was formerly occupied by a subpar dive called Brooklyn Stable, but Rocka Roll has brought an influx of new life to that perilous corner. From enormous mugs of beer to the clever hair metal reference, this corner haunt is always packed with Williamsburg’s music-obsessed young people.

Union Pool

484 Union Avenue, Williamsburg

Union Pool is practically a legend in Williamsburg mythology at this point. Though it may be the butt of plenty of jokes about the neighborhood’s rapid gentrification, and the darker side of non-stop drinking, the built-in venue still hosts killer shows, and the huge backyard still comes complete with a much-needed food truck. It’s one of those places you love to hate, what’s more Brooklyn than that?

Harefield Road

769 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

There’s nothing fancy about Harefield Road, but there is something particularly welcoming about the dark, cave-like bar. It’s got wine, beer, cocktails, plenty of liquor, and bartenders willing to direct you to a new vintage or proof if you need advice. If not, they’re more than happy to stay out of your way, so you can focus on getting lost in the whiskey-fueled conversation at hand. It’ll be 4am before you know it. Luckily, an L stop is just a block away.

Ba’sik

323 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg

Though “basic” has come to take on a negative quality denoting lack of intricacy, this bar is anything but. According to the owners, the bar’s concept emerges from a desire for a return to the “public house” feeling; a place where the community at large could gather to feel at home in a public space. Delicious, fairly priced cocktails (around $10) and a generous food menu ensure that once you’ve got a group here, they won’t want to leave. The indoor space is extra cozy, but it’s the gorgeous garden out back that will have you hooked — basic or not.

Knitting Factory

361 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

Though the venue is mostly dedicated to serving drinks to those who arrive to see the show, the front room provides a standalone bar that’s nice enough to grab a drink at even if you’re not heading in to see some comedy or live music after. It’s not super fancy, but it is spacious, and they can provide you with a vodka soda or a beer with as much aplomb as the next place. A few sips in, you might even find yourself drawn into the show after all.

Spuyten Duyvil

94 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Spuyten Duyvil is the sister bar to Metropolitan’s infamous steakhouse, Street Anselm, and functions as a well-stocked waiting room for guests sitting out the hour-plus lag between putting down a name and getting seated. But what a place to spend an hour! The bar is beer and wine only, but is stocked with so many rare, well-curated vintages and off-the-wall, obscure beers, that the time passes quite quickly. It’s a great place to stop in even if you’re not getting a steak next door, too, and in that case, their cheese and charcuterie selection is great for nibbling.

Turkey’s Nest

94 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

It feels more apt, somehow, to refer to Turkey’s Nest as a “liquor restaurant” than a bar. Maybe that’s because it’s one of the few holdovers from the ghost of New York City past that allows the baffling “to go” cup. That’s right, for $7 — or $14 for the super size — a bartender will serve you a margarita in a styrofoam cup with a lid and a straw. It’s not like anyone will ask you to walk out the door with it, but no one will stop you either. So ignore that sign by the door about no drinks leaving the premises, take your margarita, and stroll casually over to McCarren Park. Takeout never tasted so good.

Trophy Bar

351 Broadway, Williamsburg

Trophy Bar is one of the few good spots on Broadway’s overly-commercial strip under the JMZ train. The place is marked by their very own neon trophy sign, and inside, you’ll find a couple of drinks that are almost worth a medal. Like The Verdita, a house special shot of tequila chased with a shot of pineapple-jalapeno-cilantro-mint juice. No, we’re not making this up. Yes, it’s way better than a pickleback.

Lucky Dog

303 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Lucky Dog is one of the most beloved bars in Williamsburg because, well, dogs are welcome inside! The backyard contains several different tiers, and usually you can find dogs tucked away in more than one of them. So whether you’re a dog owner or a dog lover, this is a great place to get hammered with canine company in tow.

DuMont Burger

314 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

If for no other reason than their foolproof alcoholic milkshakes, DuMont Burger belongs on any Brooklyn drinking guide. Of course, these pair marvelously with their Mac and Cheese — that includes bacon lardons — or their signature succulent burger. And if you’re in the mood for some non-ice cream booze, their generous cocktail list and beer selection is all right there at your fingertips.

Fabrica

44 N 6th Street, Williamsburg

Kent Avenue has become a bustling mini-neighborhood within itself thanks to the multiple condos that have popped up along the waterfront over the last decade or so. Most of the accompanying bars and restaurants are well-below the high standard set by the rest of the neighborhood, but Fabrica is a cut above the rest. It’s an Italian restaurant in a giant space with a fine selection of grappa, dessert wine and amari alongside standard bar fare. Oh, and if you’re around anyway, the Italian food is worth a try too — especially the Burrata.

Berry Park

4 Berry Street, Williamsburg

If you’re in search of a great place to watch sports, a rooftop bar, or a decent pickleback, then Berry Park is your place. It’s the kind of bar that out of towners make a beeline too, but sometimes mingling with those who don’t care about craft beer is as much a breath of fresh air as drinking on a roof is. The projector inside will satisfy any sports fan, and there’s plenty of standard bar fare in case you get hungry, too.

The Metropolitan

559 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg

Billed as one of Brooklyn’s original gay bars, The Metropolitan is one of those places where it always feels like anything could happen. The indoor area is decked out with Christmas lights, and centers around a pool table that oozes cheery warmth. Then, there’s the gorgeous back patio, replete with greenery and an open feeling that fosters groups to mix and mingle in a way many other bars prevent.

Videology

308 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

The name is a dead giveaway for this bar’s double purpose: to screen and host film or film-related events. But whether you’re interested in cinema or not, Videology’s prime location on Bedford Avenue practically guarantees that you’ll find a friend or two already inside, or can easily convince them to come meet up. And if film and booze aren’t tantalizing enough, the iconic Vanessa’s Dumplings has a location right next door.

Clem’s

264 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Tucked away on the corner of Grand and Roebling, Clem’s is the quintessential no-frills yet somehow unmissable spot to drink the night away. It’s a dark, narrow bar with standard alcoholic fare, but there’s something about the spirit of the place that makes it easy to get lost in the moment here. Also, deadheads take note, the joint recently started a monthly gathering for your kind. Maybe it was the spirit of Garcia all along that made this bar feel so special.

Rosamunde’s

285 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Before it was Rosamunde’s, this Bedford Avenue space was a little restaurant called Masten Lake that opened in 2011 and sadly, quickly failed (In 2016’s iteration of Bedford Avenue, it would probably succeed). When God closes a restaurant though, he opens a sausage place, and (probably) never was there a sausage place as beloved as Rosamunde’s. Yes, it’s a chain, with several locations in the bay area, but the beer list is impeccably curated and they keep grilling up bratwursts and kielbasa well into the wee hours of the morning.

Soft Spot

128 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Some bars are all about location, and though Soft Spot is well-positioned during one of busy Bedford Avenue’s most highly-trafficked areas, that’s not what makes this bar great. What makes this bar great is the two-for-one well drinks and drafts before 4am, the $6 margarita (in a pint glass), and the fact that they serve mini Budweisers and Coronas with a shot alongside also for a measly $6. You can head in at 4 PM and stay there, soft and happy, for the full twelve hours until closing time.

Iona

180 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Remember, some bars are all about location. Iona is one of those bars. It’s one of the few Scottish bars in the area, and has a massive outdoor beer garden, along with a vested interest in broadcasting football (read: soccer) and rugby games, and the occasional live band. All these things are wonderful, of course, but they’re augmented by the bar’s prime location on Bedford and Grand.

The Gibson

108 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Toward the Greenpoint side of Bedford Avenue is a dark, cavernous bar called The Gibson. It’s the latest bar in a handful of iterations for the space, replacing the rowdy and raucous Triple Crown before it. Perhaps because of that history, this space is modest and unassuming, never packed or thundering. There’s a beautiful backyard where you can sit and sip a beer, or drink glass after glass of red wine inside, all with minimal fuss or fervor.

Featherweight

135 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg

Hidden away behind a curtain and up some stairs is this teeny tiny cocktail bar that will empty out your pocketbook and keep you up all night. The bar is decked out in vintage Tiki decor, and the smallness helps the bar feel elegant, even when packed. These are cocktails are so carefully concocted, and so lethally potent, that after a night spent investigating their effects, all it will take is a feather to knock you into a cab to find your bed.

The Anchored Inn

57 Waterbury Street, Williamsburg

The Anchored Inn and The Acheron are two halves of the same hole, inextricably linked to the metal and hardcore bands that travel through their doors on a revolving basis. And if you’re not into the heavier stuff, there’s still a burger and a beer for $15 from 5-8am. There’s nothing more metal than a good deal.

Post No Bills

253 Bushwick Avenue, Williamsburg

Named after one of New York’s most ubiquitous — and most often ignored — scolding pronouncement, Post No Bills is an unassuming bar off the Montrose L that’s decorated in the very bills it claims to denounce. The bar is one of the pioneers in this neighborhood, and opened eight years ago in 2008, but has remained a staple for both those who have staked a claim to East Williamsburg for years, and those who have just begun to warm up to its charms.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten

113 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg

Though there are plenty of beer halls scattered throughout Brooklyn, few feel as vast, or as authentic, as Radegast. From the stoically German name down to the daily selection of live music, the Biergarten’s vibe is synonymous with its European counterparts. Head in on a Tuesday for beer tastings starting around 7pm, or a Thursday for $6 half liters and a free bratwurst with every liter purchased. This is also the best place in the whole city to get a beer cocktail, may we recommend the ginger-spiked Shandy-Gaff?

The Levee

212 Berry Street, Williamsburg

A couple of years ago The Levee closed down for a bit without much explanation, and the neighborhood flipped! Luckily, the matter at hand was simply a case of expired paperwork, and after taking a month or so to do so much needed updates, the bar reopened. It’s a testament to this divey, cheap watering hole’s place in the community that a bar’s temporary closing could cause such a stir, and it’s unlikely that locals will take the spacious backyard, dart boards, and excellent country jukebox for granted ever again.

Skinny Dennis

152 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

Country music is slowly but surely seeping its way into Brooklyn’s mainstream — not that it wasn’t lurking under the surface all along — and Skinny Dennis is formidable proof of this. The honkytonk bar serves up peanuts, live music and a quirky, extensive drinks menu with down home aplomb. The unmissable alcoholic entry here is their perfect coffee-and-whiskey drink called Willie’s Frozen Coffee. If you don’t know which Willie, you’re in the wrong place.

The Richardson

451 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg

Nestled right up to the edge of Brooklyn’s thundering cross-borough freeway the BQE is the wallpapered grace of The Richardson. It’s the kind of bar that keeps a rotating Amari on draft, and presents a cocktail menu with names like King Ink and Seaworthy, a 101 proof Bourbon drink and a lime, grapefruit, ginger and rum blend, respectively. If you’re looking to fulfill someone’s assumptions about what a nice coc

Donna Cocktail Club

27 Broadway, Williamsburg

The rum-driven craft cocktail menu at Donna is redefining the “fruity cocktail” with tropical flavors expertly combined with selections from its carefully curated bar for a sophisticated drinking experience on Williamsburg waterfront. For bites that compliment the sophisticated but fun cocktails, the selection of tacos does not disappoint. Cathedral ceilings frame the airy white-walled room adorned with bright images and dark woods, the Central American aesthetic offering a brilliant backdrop to the lounge vibe that takes over when Donna’s late-night crowd arrives to hear top DJs spin.


The Adirondack

1241 Prospect Avenue, Windsor Terrace

Though a relatively new arrival to this bar-starved corner of Windsor Terrace, the Adirondack has quickly become a go-to for locals. In warmer months, the handful of outdoor tables are always crowded with drinkers amiably chatting with local passersby; and in the winter? There’s really no cozier indoor spot, thanks to the abundance of natural wood and a secret-feeling, tucked-away booth for two. Oh, and then there’s the beer list. It’s smart, comprehensive and fairly priced; it’s also complemented by a full bar (stick with the classics, and enjoy an excellent old fashioned) and a small selection of wine.

Della

1238 Prospect Avenue, Windsor Terrace

This newcomer is primarily a restaurant (try the house-made pastas! and the lamb ribs!), but one of the best spots in Della is a perch at the bar, where you can watch the bartender work his magic on a variety of carefully constructed, wildly inventive cocktails, like the Hellblazer, a blend of Breuckelen Distilling wheat whiskey, coriander smoke, Laird’s apple brandy, and sarsaparilla bitters, all topped with a deliciously smoky float of Ardbeg. Hell has never been so tempting. Wines by the glass are all $8 or $9—an affordable rarity these days—and the selection is smart and varied. This tiny gem, with its ultra-flattering lighting, beautiful domed ceiling, and cozy booths for two is also the perfect date spot. The staff is super-friendly and attentive, and diners and drinkers should expect a warm greeting from the owner upon entering, making even newbies feel like the most seasoned regulars.

The Double Windsor

210 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace

Ever since this bar opened back in 2009, it’s been a popular—and for a time, the only—haunt for neighborhood residents who want something more from a bar than Bud Light in a styrofoam cup. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) The Double Windsor specializes in craft beer, but also has a full bar, though skip fancy cocktails and go for classics, like whiskey and ginger or the like. There’s also a small, but well-edited food menu, featuring some of the best french fries in Brooklyn. The atmosphere is always lively and convivial, and, frankly, the Double Windsor is pretty much the Platonic ideal of a neighborhood bar—welcoming, friendly, and full of good food and drinks. Windsor Terrace is lucky to have it.

Farrell’s

215 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace

This bar has been around for decades (and famously only started allowing women to enter in 1979, when none other than Shirley Maclaine walked on in), and even if it couldn’t be easily identified by its neon sign, the constant presence of off-duty police- and firemen standing outside its doors during warmer months would be a solid tip-off that you’d arrived. But don’t be intimidated by Farrell’s reputation as an “old man bar;” this local institution is a fine place to knock back some cheap beer (long-served in giant styrofoam cups), watch the game, and shoot the shit with the bartenders, just like people (well, male people, mostly) have been doing for the better part of the last century.

Hamilton’s

2826 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Windsor Terrace

This spot was one of the first on the once-desolate-of-restaurant-and-bars (and now heavily populated with same) border of Windsor Terrace and Kensington, and it’s been steadily popular ever since, even now that there’s more competition. The reasons it stays filled are manifold, but probably the primary one is the comprehensive beer selection. There’s always reliably good options, like Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale and Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner, as well as not so usual suspects like Lefthand Sawtooth Ale and Southern Tier Warlock, featuring malty, pumpkin pie spice notes and a 10.0 ABV!

Krupa Grocery

231 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace

Sidle up to the marble bar here (or take a seat in the beautiful backyard during warmer months) and enjoy some really excellent cocktails (we love the Cold Bruise, not only for its name, but also because it’s a sweet, caffeine-laced blend of cold brew coffee, amarena cherry syrup, cynar, and gin), or wine by the glass, carafe, or bottle. The bar snacks are spot on; there’s excellent charcuterie and cheeses, as well as beautifully blistered shishito peppers, and parsnip fries (!) with a pungent, garlicky aioli. Plus, everything on the menu is marked as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free where applicable, which is really important in Brooklyn circa now.

Rhythm and Booze

1674 10th Avenue, Windsor Terrace

Sure, it’s divey, and then only real drinks to order here are two-ingredient mixed drinks or pretty basic beers, but R&B still has charm. We’ve found the bartenders to be reliably friendly, even if the crowd can get get a bit rowdy while watching whatever game happens to be gracing the big screen. The real reason to head here, however, are the burgers, which are a neighborhood staple—and had been a bit of a secret, till now.

Denny’s Steak Pub

106 Beverley Road, Kensington

Sitting right atop the Church Avenue F/G, Denny’s feels like a relic from the neighborhood’s past. And while this is true (the sign, for example, is most assuredly from a bygone time; the food on offer is of the hot tray variety, with some bar snacks like pretzels thrown in for good measure), what Denny’s lacks in newness (and correct signage), it makes up for in authenticity and strong, well-priced drinks. Plus, Denny’s offers a remarkably open environment; the neighborhood’s newer residents are as welcome here as those who have been here since the pub opened its doors in the 70s. And perhaps most important of all: Places like this have been around for decades obviously, but it certainly feels like they’ll be harder to find in decades to come.

Shenanigans

802 Caton Avenue, Kensington

This bar is super old school and no frills; we hesitate to call it a dive, though, since it doesn’t have a dive’s requisite griminess, and the staff is friendly and generous (particularly with its pours). There’s a little backyard for warmer months, and regular karaoke, which is very popular with locals. Don’t go expecting fancy cocktails, but do go expecting a good time—nothing fancy required.

Werkstatt

509 Coney Island Avenue, Kensington

This German-Austrian neighborhood newbie has quickly become a popular spot with locals who want to have their schnitzel and eat it too. And for drinks? Well, the cocktail list is small, but solid; however, the real draw is the beer list, filled with brews from Germany, Belgium, and the Czech Republic that aren’t so easy to find everywhere in the neighborhood, or even the borough. There’s also several wines on draft for a very decent price (glass for $8, ½ L. carafe for $22), and seltzer is available for spritzers. Schnitzel and spritzers? What could be better? Or at least, what could be more fun to say?

The Owl’s Head

479 74th Street, Bay Ridge

Literally Bay Ridge’s only proper wine bar, The Owl’s Head provides a desperately needed (not to mention low decibel) alternative to the shadowy Irish pubs and rowdy sports saloons for which the neighborhood is traditionally known. That’s not to say it couldn’t hold its own in Brooklyn’s more vino-blessed neighborhoods, with unfailingly knowledgeable staff and a small but distinctive menu (try the Owl’s Red, produced in collaboration with Red Hook Winery). Owner John Avelluto has also transformed his establishment into quite the community hub, with gallery exhibitions, release parties, natural wine classes, tastings, a running club and theme nights (Twin Peaks, Star Wars), not to mention the Bay Ridge Poet’s Society; a monthly open mic reading series, hosted by Brooklyn mag alum, Henry Stewart.

Lock Yard

9221 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge

It may have been decried as a dastardly omen of impending hipster Armageddon, but once the dust settled, Lock Yard rather anticlimactically emerged as low-key, agreeably roomy retreat for eating hot dogs and drinking beer. Granted, much of it is craft (Flagship Metropolitan Lager, Gun Hill Barrel Aged Void of Light), but Sierra Nevada and Genny Cream Ale keeps everyone honest, as do blue collar, sweet or hot sausages from Bensonhurst’s own Lioni’s. Why should hipsters have a monopoly on massive, heated beer gardens?

Salty Dog

7509 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

With a gleaming fire truck permanently parked by the entrance, which doubles as a DJ booth in the evenings, you might peg this cavernous pub as a theme bar—and yet, its most faithful patrons actually are firefighters, stopping by for a pint between shifts. Not that you need to be one of New York’s bravest to snag a stool; if you have a thing for a man in uniform (and a penchant for above-average pub grub, such as pulled pork sandwiches, loaded fries and of course, bowls of fiery, 4 alarm chili), you’ll want to make Salty Dog your local.

Longbow Pub & Pantry

7316 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

The only Welsh pub in all of New York City, Longbow divides its love equally between local brews (Flagship American Wit) and British beers (Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale). So tuck a leek in your lapel and settle in for a game of footie on one of the multiple flat screen TV’s, as you sip the whiskey of the week (always priced at less than $10), and tuck into bangers and mash, curry and chips or lager-rich Welsh rarebit.

The Wicked Monk

9510 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

After dispensing suds at the same 5th Avenue location for almost 20 years, the Wicked Monk recently relocated to its current spot, at the far end of Bay Ridge. But regulars needn’t have worried, as the new space has been lovingly and precisely retrofitted with the same, gothic monastery décor; from the pulpit, pews, crouching gargoyles, handsome wood bar and stained glass windows (obtained from a 1897-era chapel in Ireland’s Greenmount Monastery), to the hand painted, 36-foot long mural of mug-hoisting patrons and soused monks adorning the recessed ceiling.

Kitty Kiernan’s

9715 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

As authentic an Irish pub as you’re like to find on this side of the pond, the Dubliner-owned Kitty’s is atmospherically illuminated by gaslight lamps, prompting Spike Lee to feature it in The 25th Hour, notably set in an Irish American community. We can only imagine that its regular patrons—dutifully nursing pints of Guinness, Kilkenny and Smithwick’s from 10-4am—all but eliminated the need for extras.

Lone Star

8703 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge

The ultimate destination for Bay Ridge sports enthusiasts, Lone Star boasts over 40 HD TV’s; many of them installed on a ginormous back patio also equipped with fire pits, for grilling up ribs, chicken, burgers and hot dogs. If you swing by during Sunday games, unlimited barbecue, Coors and Bud can be yours for only $40—make that $50, if you spring for smoky lobster.

Delia’s Lounge

9224 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge has basically bypassed the bespoke cocktail craze, which is why the Appletini (to say nothing of the Key Lime, White Chocolate and Espressotini) is still king at Delia’s, an animal print-draped, fireplace-warmed, cushion-strewn and candle-lit lounge.

Three Jolly Pigeons

6802 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

Essentially the final storefront on the northernmost end of Bay Ridge, before the neighborhood is unceremoniously severed by the rumbling BQE, this isn’t the kind of bar you just stumble across — to the great relief, we imagine, of its stable of dedicated patrons. Operational since 1907 (its back room once served as a speakeasy), drinks are as economical as they ever were, although entertainment options are a bit more modern — think karaoke and trivia nights, art shows, acoustic sets and rock and funk cover bands.

Irish Haven Bar

5721 4th Avenue, Sunset Park

Presided over by a cast of heavily brogued barkeeps (and prominently featured in The Departed), this 50-year-old taproom is indeed a refuge, for the area’s significantly diminished Irish population. Although instead of longshoremen and stevedores, it’s now primarily peopled by electricians and construction workers, flipping through Celtic tunes on the jukebox, and bemoaning the current asking price (raised from $3.50 to $5) for a pint of Guinness.

Tiki Bar

885 4th Avenue, Sunset Park

While there’s no mistaking this dreary brown box of a room (just a stone’s throw from Greenwood Cemetery) for paradise, looking through the lens of neon-colored, uncompromisingly sweet, and assertively boozy tropical drinks certainly doesn’t hurt; especially when it’s warm enough to take advantage of Tiki Bar’s surprisingly spacious backyard.

Soccer Tavern

6004 8th Avenue, Sunset Park

As a consummate dive, Soccer Tavern is, by definition, unremarkable—décor runs to linoleum floors, dartboards and a few flat screens, not necessarily devoted to soccer. What’s important to know is it opens at nine, there are Chinese street meat carts parked outside, and the taps flow with Amstel, sold for a song.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Nice list. Fwiw Barn is not on 7th Avenue, by a few blocks. It’s on St Marks Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and 6th Avenue.

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