Bushwick has a lot of little spots that you discover and wonder how you possibly lived without them. The Bodega, off the Jefferson Avenue stop on the L train, is precisely that kind of place. It’s dark and cool, with flickering candles and small plates, best suited for reading a book, drinking a beer and picking at a bowl of salted almonds. The Bodega is a prime example of what a neighborhood haunt should be, and it’s been serving the area since 2010, when Bushwick was just Bushwick and not “Jefftown.” Take a closer look, after the jump.
Number of Taps: The collection of taps here is well-curated. You’ll find fourteen or so taps that feature a variety of craft brews, from the likes of Bayou Teche Brewing and Ithaca Beer Co. If you find yourself looking at the list and not recognizing a single beer on tap, ask the friendly bartenders who will surely give you a taste of whatever beer you want to try, and help you make a decision. Also nice: they serve half portions, so if you really do just want a little sip or two of beer, it can be had very easily.
Number of Bottles: Theres an impressive number of bottles here, about 35 or so, ranging from personal to sharing size. Expect a lot of Belgian beers and things of that nature.
Vibes: Let me put it this way: it’s never too crowded, the bartenders are nice, the food is delicious and the last time I was there, they were playing Thelma and Louise on the projector. It’s a gem.
Seating: There’s seats at the bar, and then high tables and stools throughout the space, but since it’s never super-packed, that means that you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place to park your butt.
Music: Innocuous and at the correct volume: loud enough to hear, but not so loud that you have to scream over it.
Price: Excellent. Happy hour will get you a pint for $3, and the rest of the beers hover around the $6 range.
Outdoor Space: There’s no giant patio, but there are a few cafe tables that line the front and the side f the bar, up on a little platform. It’s all very romantic and pseudo-European.
Food: Try the Bodega Tuna Melt. Try the smoked Marcona almonds. Try all of the food they have on the menu, because it is all supremely good and perfectly tailored for a few drinks and a nice time.