Bed Stuy! It’s the hippest, latest thing! If you’ve lived in the area for a while, you are most likely rolling your eyes as you scroll through this list, patting yourself on the back for living here before the influx of post-grads with a glimmer in their eye and $50 to their names rolled through. We are very happy for you for settling before it became A Thing. Use this list to convince your friends who never leave the cocoon of Montague Street, or Carroll Gardens to join you on an adventure of beer, barbecue and the best dive bar in Brooklyn.
Start somewhere easy, somewhere low-key, somewhere with good, strong coffee and pillowy, light donuts the size of a fist. Reward your friends for getting on the train to finally see the apartment you’ve lived in for over two years by making a tiny pit stop at Dough. Sure, you can get these donuts at Smorgasburg, or at Whole Foods, but theres nothing like ordering them fresh, still warm and gooey from their place of origin. Argue with your friend about what kind of donuts are the best, eat as many as you can and then walk it off to your next destination.
Dough – 448 Lafayette Avenue
Settle in with a pitcher of something frosty at the Bed-Stuy mainstay, The Black Swan. An auto body shop turned gastropub, this neighborhood spot has a robust menu of Caribbean-inspired food and hearty beer list. If the multitude of choices gives you anxiety, you can build your own beer flight of any four 16 oz pours for $12, which is a killer deal. Chase pints with the Camden, 7am, which is french fries, house baked beans, a fried egg and optional bacon — purportedly a favorite of John Lennon, but also just the thing for sharing.
Black Swan – 1048 Bedford Avenue
Next up, walk on over to Glorietta Baldy, a new spot from the folks that bright you Bar Great Harry and Mission Dolores, that boasts an impressive beer menu, friendly bartenders and a Metallica pinball machine, all the way in the back. Step around the couples stroking each other’s faces in the dim light, and order a round of local darling Other Hand Brewery’s Cool Summer, Bro, which is the best name for any beer, ever. If you’d prefer to enjoy your fancy beer in the solitude of your own home, these guys sell bottles of some rarities, like the Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold Dry, which is a fancy American tripel, brewed in the style of the Belgian triple, but hoppier.
Glorietta Baldy – 502 Franklin Ave
Surely, it is time to eat food. Any food other than the donut and the weird but delicious plate of french fries with baked beans you had earlier. Exit blinking into the light and follow the smell of barbecue to Beast of Bourbon, a big ol’ warehouse with meat by the pound and a staggering 43 beers on draft. Enjoy the singular pleasure of eating ribs with your bare hands and chase it with a big swig of the Bayou Teche LA 31 Boucanier, which is an ale brewed with cherry-wood smoked wheat. If you’re lucky, there’s live music, everything from soul to rock to bluegrass. We bet you’ll feel like dancing after a few cold ones.
Beast of Bourbon – 710 Myrtle Avenue
“I like, love it over here,” your friends tell you, giggly and free in the waning sun.”It’s so cute!” Harness their energy and wrangle the group to One Last Shag, where you can sit in the backyard and sip on an EDC Beer Bong — beer, lime juice, hot sauce, poured into a frozen margarita. The DJs here usually spin some stuff that’ll make even the stodgiest, pretzel-armed dance-hater get up and do a casual, begrudging two step.
One Last Shag – 348 Franklin Avenue
The best place to end any night, regardless of how it started is at the Tip Top Bar and Grill, a family-run, dive-y little place with dirt cheap beer and a killer jukebox. Throw $5 into the jukebox and cue up twelve songs, dance if you wanna dance, or just chat with the owners, who are good people. Tip Top is really the best place to start a night, too, but we’re pretty sure you’ll like it much more on the late-night tip. Tip your bartenders well, finish that $4 beer and saunter off into the night.
Tip Top Bar and Grill – 432 Franklin Avenue
Follow Megan Reynolds on Twitter @mega_hurt