the kitty cup at Zig Zag Bed Stuy one of the coolest bars in Brooklyn

The BEST Bars in Brooklyn to Check Out!

In Brooklyn, Eat & Drink, Guides by Guest AuthorLeave a Comment

Looking for the best bars in Brooklyn? You’re in luck. Much like New York bagels, there is a Brooklyn bar for every taste. Low-key, dive bar that’s cash only and has been open since the dawn of time? High-key, curated cocktail joint in a glamorous space worthy of a special occasion? A backyard patio with frozen drinks? Billiards? Bowling? Disco Balls? Brooklyn bars have got ‘em all! 

Whether you’re looking for a place to meet a large group of friends for pitchers of beer, a spot to catch up with your best friend over ice-cold gin Martinis, or a cozy joint to enjoy a hot cocktail by the fireplace wit your SO, New York’s most populous and most party-friendly borough has got you covered! 

The Most Fun Bars in Brooklyn

Diamond Lil 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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179 Nassau St, Greenpoint

Named after an almost-mythic character of the early burlesque scene, visiting Diamond Lil’s website is like time traveling to the inside of a TI-83 calculator.

We’re happy to report that the actual bar is just as delightfully retro in real life, full of green leather booths, wood-paneled seating, funky wallpaper, and soft lighting that make it one of the best bars in Brooklyn for both catching up with friends and impressing a date.

Try the Chaplin (Bourbon, Ramazotti Amaro, Cointreau, Amontillado Sherry) or the hot Spiced Pear Toddy (Whiskey, spiced pear cordial, cinnamon, cloves) in the colder months. 

Tuffet

 

 
 
 
 
 
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286 Graham Ave, East Williamsburg

Can we all agree that there should be a separate brick on the food pyramid for “charcuterie”? If you’re with us, head to Tuffet where, as they so aptly put it, “you can find a friendly bartender, solid tunes, and a cheese plate done right.” This is one of several cool bars in Brooklyn that you can visit on a chill Monday afternoon or a Saturday night and walk away happy — the vibe is that good.

Come here when you want to debrief a break up with your best friend over a cheese plate and martinis or wine, also making it as one of our favorite wine bars in Brooklyn! Also, don’t miss their gorgeous outdoor patio on a pretty day, on a chilly day try to get their highly coveted table next to the fireplace.

Broken Land

 

 
 
 
 
 
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105 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Picture it — summer Friday. Your laptop is shut down. You’re planning to meet friends for a happy hour cocktail and the weather is simply too nice to eat inside. Skip the continually overstuffed Brooklyn bars of Dumbo and head to Broken Land, an unassuming Greenpoint watering hole with lovingly ramshackle furniture and a great back patio.

Order a round of frozen Aperol spritzes and toast to a summer of 4.5 day workweeks!

Zig Zag

interior of Zig Zag a tropical bar in Bed Stuy Brooklyn

382 Marcus Garvey Blvd, Bed Stuy

If it’s time for a vacation but you’d rather not brave JFK, be sure to try Zig Zag, one of the most popular bars in Brooklyn and “a tropical-themed bar in the middle of Bed Stuy.”

Try some Juice Bomb IPA (on draft!), a Pink Flamingo (Mezcal, Tequila, Guava, Lime) or a Blue Hawaiian (Coconut Milk, Coconut Rum, Curaçao) and snack on incredible empanadas — and never worry about your checked bag fee. 

You won’t want to miss all of their cocktails that come in their fun cups either! From the waving kitty cup, skull cups, tiki head cups, sharks, pineapples, and more with their incredibly fun decor – this is one of those awesome Bed-Stuy bars to visit on the chilliest of days when you’re dreaming of being somewhere warm!  

Doris

interor-design-at-Doris-bar-in-Bed-Stuy-Brooklyn

1088 Fulton St, Bed Stuy

Drink by the soft glow of the disco ball at Doris, a funky, friendly bar that’s perfect for a low-key birthday celebration (you’re turning 29 again!!) or romancing your Bumble date in the gentle ambiance of the patio string lights and subtle southwest decor.

But don’t worry, if you’re looking to dance the night away — there are also copious DJ nights to get your groove on, making Doris one of the most popular bars in Brooklyn for every kind of night out right on the edge of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill!

Pearl’s Social and Billy Club

Pearls social and billy club bar in Bushwick

Inside Pearl’s Social and Billy Club

40 St Nicholas Ave, Bushwick

It’s no secret some of the best bars in Brooklyn are located in Bushwick, heck, we have a whole round up of the awesome bars in Bushwick to check out. The folks at Pearl’s truly understand New Yorkers, anointing their customers with a simple and very true real estate philosophy: “We believe that in NYC, our bars are our living rooms.” When you need to escape your 250-square foot abode for a real NYC living room, come to Pearl’s, one of the best bars in Brooklyn.

Visit the cozy, Bushwick watering hole for a round of Paper Planes (Old Overholt, Amaro Del Capo, Lemon, Contratto Red Bitter) with friends before getting wild at the House of Yes. 

Franklin Park 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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766 Franklin Ave, Crown Heights

Looking for fun bars in Brooklyn where you can feel like you’re hosting your own backyard BBQ without, you know, buying a house? Head over to Franklin Park, a friendly, laid-back joint whose spacious outdoor garden makes it one of the most popular bars in the nabe not to mention their aesthetically cool interiors too!

Try a Franklin Park Lemonade (Vodka, House Lemonade, Splash of Cranberry) or a Blood Orange IPA and order one of their signature burgers. And if you only have time for a snack, be sure to try some fries and some of their famous dips (we love the Truffle Ketchup)!

Covenhoven

 

 
 
 
 
 
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730 Classon Ave, Crown Heights

Are you or someone you love a beer nut? Covenhoven is ready for you. With over 16 taps and 250 bottled and canned beers, Covenhoven is one of those fun Brooklyn bars that really gets brews right. Aside from the knowledgeable bartenders and amicable vibe, Covenhoven is also home to a truly excellent, surprisingly verdant garden, with yes, actual grass on the ground. Gives touch grass a new meaning huh?!

Chilo’s Tacos & Bar

Chilos-on-Franklin-in-Bed-Stuy-Brooklyn

Bed Stuy: 323 Franklin Ave & Greenwood: 740 5th Ave

Chilo’s is just as suited for a breezy, boozy, daytime brunch as it is a summer date night. One of the most popular bars in Brooklyn (now with two locations!), Chilo’s is known for its tacos (we recommend the carnitas), spicy margaritas, and the infamous Frozen Painkiller (we warn you, it’s strong! Made with Light and Spiced Rum with Pineapple Juice, Fresh Orange Juice, and Coconut Cream). Don’t forget to stop by for regular trivia and bingo nights!

C’mon Everybody

 

 
 
 
 
 
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325 Franklin Ave, Bed Stuy

Founded in 2015, C’mon Everybody has quickly become a go-to spot on the queer nightlife scene and a must-visit among cool bars in Brooklyn. Part bar, part dance club, part performance venue, C’mon Everybody is home to incredible drag performers, cabarets, and lively dance nights, all served up with high-quality, bespoke cocktails that will put you in the mood to boogie!

Weather Up

 

 
 
 
 
 
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589 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights

One of the best bars in Brooklyn, Weather Up is a truly ideal date spot. Intimate, well-adorned with exposed brick, bronze fixtures, and subway tile, this softly-lit cocktail joint is exactly where you’d go in a romantic comedy set in New York. Order two Old Fashioneds and remember to reference this place as “the bar where we fell in love” in your vows. 

And on a nice day or evening, enjoy their gorgeous outdoor garden patio space!

BierWax

Bierwax-vinyl-bar-in-Prospect-Heights-Brooklyn

556 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights

Calling all High Fidelity fans! BierWax is your new second home. A gem among Brooklyn bars and one of our favorite spots in Prospect Heights, BierWax is known for its impressive collection of over 5,000 vinyl records and of course, a well-curated drink program.

As they put it, their recipe is “BierWax is malted grains, water, yeast, and hops mixed with a pinch of 45s, a cup of boom-bap, and a heaping tablespoon of funk.” Take your favorite family member (who still remembers 45s!!) or your music industry friends here. 

They have a great backyard space too which you should totally take advantage of on a nice day and they also have a rotating art gallery on display featuring different artists whose work you can purchase. 

Clover Club

The Clover Club in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn a famous bar

210 Smith St, Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens

Now that we’re returned to the Roaring 20s, why not visit Clover Club, one of the most popular bars in Brooklyn for an art deco, Jazz Age-vibe. Belly up to the bespoke, elevated bar at Clover Club for a Tommy Tightpants Tuxedo (Gin, amber vermouth, fino sherry, orange liqueur, orange bitters) or a Fireside Chat (Rémy 1738, Copalli Cacao, Antica Carpano, blueberry amaro, Angostura bitters) while snacking on a sausage and goat cheese crostini or some baked stuffed clams. 

Zombie Hut

 

 
 
 
 
 
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273 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

A spacious, stylish-yet-kitschy tiki bar, Zombie Hut is one of the most popular bars in Brooklyn and an oasis of relaxation in between Gowanus and Cobble Hill. This is the place to go for (strong!!) Mai Tais with friends on a summer’s night — and if you’re really feeling ambitious… try their tasty-yet-dangerous Scorpion Bowls (they warned you, it’s 4 drinks in one!).

They’ve also got a great backyard for those warm summer nights!

Sunny’s 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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253 Conover St, Red Hook

Opened in the 1890s, Sunny’s is one of the older Brooklyn bars and yet still one of the best. Known for their live music, lovingly ramshackle decor (we’d wager a guess that some of it is actually from the 1890s) and affordable cocktails, head here with friends after a day exploring Van Brunt Street or spending the day checking out all the awesome things to do in Red Hook, one of the best Brooklyn neighborhoods to explore on the weekend.

duck duck

153 Montrose Ave, East Williamsburg

If you know the 90s classic “Closing Time”, you know that at some point, all bars sound out the dreaded “last call!”. That being said, if you want to go somewhere where it almost never feels like “Closing Time”, head to duck duck.

This Brooklyn bar is the place to be when you are just not ready to end the night and want to dance, drink, mix, and mingle with the most rowdy crowd in the borough. 

This is a cash-only bar! They have an ATM though!

Lover’s Rock

 

 
 
 
 
 
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419 Tompkins Ave, Bed Stuy

One of the most fun bars in Brooklyn, Lover’s Rock is a rum-themed reggae bar with fresh-squeezed juices and a patio — what more could you ask for on a summer’s night? Show up ready to boogie the night away with legendary DJ sets from the best of the dancehall scene!

Not to mention they have one of the most inviting exteriors too!

Radegast Hall and Biergarten

Radegast Hall and Biergarten in Williamsburg Brooklyn

113 N 3rd St, Williamsburg

Trying to save money on airfare to Germany? Skip Oktoberfest and head to Radegast Hall, a jovial, joyful indoor-outdoor beer garden where the giant glass mugs are always full and the party never ends. Order pretzels for everyone and jam to the frequent live bands (the place has great acoustics!). In the wintertime, Radegast is one of the most popular bars in Brooklyn for its reputation as a cozy spot for your family or company holiday gathering, complete with trimmed trees and seasonal beverages!!

If you love German beer then you’ll want to check out the best German Biergartens in Brooklyn!

Sycamore Bar and Flower Shop

 

 
 
 
 
 
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1118 Cortelyou Rd, Flatbush

Ok, you’ve done all of the romantic, only-in-New-York type things — and your Hinge dates are getting suspicious (maybe your spiel about the moon over the Brooklyn Bridge is starting to sound a little too rehearsed).

Take them to Sycamore Bar and Flower Shop, a bar and floral store that not only has a full, robust beverage program but also a robust assortment of beautiful buds! Not to mention, Sycamore makes the “cool bars in Brooklyn” list for its regular trivia and game nights, and tarot readings. I mean, what better opportunity is there to ask your date what their sign is?? Yes I’m a Leo moon,, why do you ask?!

Oh, and they have pretty darn good burgers too! Come early and be sure to explore the mansions of Victorian Flatbush too!

The Commodore

 

 
 
 
 
 
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366 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg

Looking for Brooklyn bars that serve a bangin’ brunch (one of the best spots for brunch in Williamsburg)? Look no further than The Commodore, the ideal place for a stay-all-day, leisurely-yet-lively day drinking session with your crew. Start with a round of Pimms Cups and biscuits, stay for top-notch Bloody Marys and bottomless coffee. 

Their outdoor seating is also expansive and a great set-up at that with their retro-folding chairs and tables.

Philomena’s 

Philomenas bar in Williamsburg brooklyn

790 Grand St, Williamsburg

On your quest to drink at every one of the cool bars in Brooklyn, don’t forget to grab a drink at Philomena’s, an elevated-yet-casual joint where you should absolutely get their eponymous beverage (prosecco and watermelon rosé!! what a combo!).

Philomena’s is also the kind of Brooklyn bar that you can take your parents to show them that there is Life Outside of Midtown Hotel Bars. 

Besides having a seriously classy and cool interior, they serve up infused ice cubes that elevate their cocktail concoctions!

The Gutter 

The-Gutter-Bar

200 N14th St, Williamsburg

Some folks need an activity to go with their drinking. For said friends, take them to The Gutter for bowling and brews, topped off with tasty pub snacks. Featuring vintage hardwood lanes, The Gutter is the ideal place to spend a cheap and cheerful Thursday night bowling before checking out one of their excellent comedy sets!

TØRST

 

 
 
 
 
 
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615 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

Featuring 21 drafts and over 200 bottles, Torst is a bright, well-designed space that is one of the best bars in Brooklyn where you can also count on the food to be just as good as the brews. A constantly rotating menu, we recommend the Fried Chicken Sandwich (if it’s on!) and a burger with Gruyere. Go here with your friend who wants something beyond bar popcorn.

Goldie’s 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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195 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint

It’s a truth universally known, that after a few beverages, most people want to sing. I’m sorry, it’s just science! Make your gold-record dreams come true at Goldie’s, a funky, retro bar that features frequent karaoke nights in a space filled with glittering silver curtains, neon palm trees, and a leopard print ceiling. Order a margarita and request to sing Last Dance!

The Springs

 

 
 
 
 
 
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224 Franklin St, Greenpoint

A trip to Palm Springs, sans airfare, The Springs is one of the most fun bars in Brooklyn and a direct ticket to the sun-soaked, pink and turquoise-hued Florida of the 1960s. Enjoy their colorful patio on a warm day and be sure to come and check out one of their burlesque shows they host!

Try the Lawn Flamingo (Mitcher’s Bourbon, Hibiscus topped with Ginger) or the Purple Palm (Hiatus Tequila Blanco, Ume Plum Liquor and Agave) in one of their cozy booths or on the generous patio. At Christmastime, the Springs transforms into a kitschy winter wonderland that is not to be missed

Westlight

rooftop-views-at-Westlight-at-William-Vale-Hotel-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

111 N 12th St, Williamsburg

In the category of Brooklyn bars with a view, Westlight cannot be beaten. This is one of the best rooftop bars in NYC at the William Vale Hotel boasts nearly 360 views of the city, including spectacular East River and Manhattan skyline vistas.

But Westlight isn’t just a pretty picture — the bar’s curated, top-notch cocktails are worth a trip on their own.

Try the Amber Glow (El Silencio Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Aperol, Orange, Thai Chili) or the Four Winds (Lost Irish Whiskey, Bardstown Fusion Bourbon, Chai, Black Walnut – perfect drink and excuse to celebrate World Whiskey Day if you ask me) as you take in the twinkling lights of the town. 

Reservations are recommended!

Berry Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4 Berry St, Williamsburg

Stressed out about planning your birthday? Any milestone birthday party? Berry Park is the place to book. Featuring ample space for large groups, a rooftop that’s perfect for taking skyline selfies, and a flexible “bring your own cake” policy, Berry Park is one of the most stress-free, fun bars in Brooklyn with a lively crowd, but not so lively that you can’t hear anyone singing “Happy Birthday.” 

This is also one of our favorite rooftop bars in Brooklyn!

Wonderville

arcade-games-inside-Wonderville-a-fun-vintage-arcade-bar-in-Bed-Stuy-Brooklyn

1186 Broadway, Bed Stuy

Located on the edge of Bed Stuy on Broadway is one of the most fun bars in Brooklyn. This vintage arcade and bar has great happy hour deals plus unlimited free play on their fun collection of video games and arcade games.

Got a group of friends? Bring them! There are even video games here that can play up to 16 people! Don’t worry there are plenty of options for single player, two players, three players, four players, etc.

Wonderville also hosts frequent events. From video game competitions, live music sets, open VHS nights where patrons can bring their own VHS tape to be played inside the bar.


About our Guest Author

Sarah Beling is a playwright, New Yorker, and passionate food enthusiast who is always looking for her next meal. You can find her in an NYC park, enjoying a chopped cheese sandwich and reading about NYC’s best new places to eat.


Did we miss your pick for best bar in Brooklyn? Let us know in the comments below!

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