9 Best Bars in Brooklyn

The top cocktail lounges, dives, rooftop bars and more in the Borough of Kings.

Brooklyn has become the place to imbibe—cheaper rents mean cheaper drinks and more chance-taking concepts. The borough of 2.6 million people is filled with cocktail lounges, rooftop bars, dives and more. Below, check out the best of the best brooklyn bars.

View an interactive Google Maps list of all the best bars Brooklyn has to offer.

1. Bearded Lady

The Bearded Lady
The Bearded Lady (686A Washington Ave). The Bearded Lady

This Prospect Heights bar exudes a retro vibe that'll have you feeling like you're sipping a Sazarac in an airport lounge sometime during the Johnson administration. The cocktail program is serious, but the atmosphere is supe casual. The menus is a throwback, too, offering raw oysters, Chicago hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches stacked with beer cheese and half-sour pickles.

686A Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights.

2. The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit - Getty
The Black Rabbit (91 Greenpoint Ave). iStock/Getty Images

Clad in dark wood and lit by candles and lamps, this Greenpoint bar opened in 2007 looks like it could have been pouring pints in 1807. With wooden snugs, a garden and a working fireplace, the Black Rabbit is an ideal date spot.

91 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint.

3. Brooklyn Inn

Brooklyn Inn
Brooklyn Inn (148 Hoyt St). Brooklyn Inn

In 2007, there were rumors this historic Boerum Hill bar was going to close and Brooklyn drinkers took a collective gulp and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the handsome wood-clad, high-ceilinged 19th-century bar is still with us. Come on a Sunday afternoon and join the local regulars sipping beer and sifting through the New York Times.

148 Hoyt Street, Boerum Hill​.

4. Clinton Hall Rooftop Beer Garden

Clinton Hall Rooftop Beer Garden
Clinton Hall Rooftop Beer Garden (247 Metropolitan Ave). Clinton Hall Rooftop Beer Garden

An extension of street-level Clinton Hall, this rooftop garden makes for a great warm-weather drinking session: There are 20 craft beers on tap, plus a list of refreshing mezcal, vodka and gin cocktails, and a menu of tummy-filling bites (try the mountainous nachos) to prolong a day or evening of drinking.

247 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg​.

5. Freehold

Freehold
Freehold (45 S 3rd St). Freehold

This spot in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge bills itself as a hotel lobby without the hotel. It has an earnest cocktail program—with drinks like the CBD-spiked Lavender Spritz and the Salad Bae, packed with tequila, spinach juice and matcha. Pair a cocktail with an order of pork-fried rice, deep-fried Brussels sprouts, Nashville hot chicken or even an Impossible Burger.

45 S 3rd Street, Williamsburg​.

6. Hunky Dory

Hunky Dory
Hunky Dory (747 Franklin Ave). Hunky Dory

A cocktail-forward spot with great food to boot, this Crown Heights bar is helmed by ace mixologist Claire Sprouse, who shakes up libations with ingredients like fermented cinnamon, cucumber seeds, sunflower seeds, turmeric and grapefruit zest. The result is one of the most innovative cocktail lists in Brooklyn. Meanwhile in the kitchen, talented chef Krysten Brewer is whipping up dishes like chicken-liver mousse, apple-cider pancakes and mackerel escabeche.

747 Franklin Ave.

7. Lemon's

7 Lemon's
Lemon's (80 Wythe Ave). Lemon's

If you wandered onto an Italian beach in the 1960s, it would look and feel a lot like this rooftop bar atop the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg—only with an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. Drinks come from Slowly Shirley/Happiest Hour owner Jon Neidich, with many veering toward the refreshing side—pairing gin, mezcal, tequila and vodka, for example, with mangos, guavas, pears, and raspberries. (There's also an Aperol spritz on tap and a refreshing frozen margarita.)

Need a bite? The kitchen is helmed by Aidan O'Neal and Jack Leiber of nearby Chez Ma Tante.

80 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg.

8. Swell Dive

Swell Dive
Swell Dive (1013 Bedford Ave). Swell Dive

This Bed-Stuy watering hole isn't really a dive but it is quite swell: Munch on Filipino tacos while sipping a Karate Kid (mango and orange juice, Cointreau and vodka) or the eponymous Swell Dive (spiced rum and coconut water), among other boozy concoctions.

1013 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy

9. The Springs

The springs best bar brooklyn
Instagram @thespringsbrooklyn

The Springs feels so Californian you half-expect the staff to slip you their headshots. When the weather is nice, grab a spot in the colorful back patio and sip on a Burt Reynolds (a Narragansett and rum shot) or an Aparol spritz slushy.

224 Franklin Street, Greenpoint.

9 Best Bars in Brooklyn | Culture