Venetian plaster walls and plush upholstery make the tiny tea atelier feel like an oversized jewel box. Jewels indeed — teas are sourced from all over the world, and everything, from the teas to the canisters they come in, is custom made.
A small, remote, vaguely tropical-themed Bushwick dive bar is the center of action for the Brooklyn dance scene. The dance floor is small. The kids can get sloppy. But the DJ lineup is typically excellent and the energy is palpable. The crowd goes wild.
A dark, cheap, bare bones, 19th-century tavern for serious drinkers. You may have to push a few bros out of the way to get to your pint of Old Speckled Hen, but it'll also give you a good look at the gorgeous wooden bar. We hear it's currently getting a facelift, but should be open again come May.
An unassuming neighborhood bar is the starting line for an awesome night. Great people watching, kitschy drinks (amaretto float!), and a killer bar menu (it's all about the fried chicken with itsy biscuits and honey butter). Service can be a bit all over the map, but the festive music and vibe more than makes up for it.
A South Williamsburg roaster where "farm-to-table" is almost an understatement. Beans are sourced (fair trade, of course) from select rural Colombian plantations and shipped to the U.S. within ten days. The huge space has a rustic-meets-industrial feel: high ceilings and concrete floors, exposed brick, wooden tables, and a plant wall.
The most innovative coffee in Industry City, maybe even New York. They have all the latest equipment, most notably Steampunk vacuum brewers whose glass canisters give the coffee shop a real laboratory feel.
Owned by LCD Sound System frontman James Murphy, the hype surrounding the unpretentious wine bar isn't dying anytime soon. Reasonably-priced natural wines, table wines, and unusual varietals comprise the wine list, while cedar and burlap comprise the minimalist decor.
If a "friend" tries to take you to Brooklyn Bowl, run far away — to this dive bar with eight cool and cozy vintage lanes, a rock-and-roll soundtrack, and a low-key '70s vibe.
You know it's summer when Habana Outpost opens up its chain link gate, fires-up the food truck grills, and flicks on the bike-powered smoothie machine. The seasonal hangout serves cheap beer and Cuban sandwiches in its open lot; has a DJ, film nights, and crafts for kids; and welcomes a fun, laid-back crowd that spills out onto the streets and nearly turns every day into a block party.
Old-school Japanese cocktail culture is alive and well at the 1920s-style izakaya speakeasy where the drinks are more "ceremonial" than "handcrafted." To get there: Pass through bustling, light-filled Walter’s to the quieter, darker, swankier back room hideaway.
An old stevedore haunt of yore, the appeal of the mid-century institution is its decided aversion to trends. The original neon signage, red leather barstools, and classic cocktails help the bar retain an easy authenticity that’s hard to come by.
Pull up a hammock and order a matcha at the sunny daytime iteration of nighttime bar Loosie Rouge on the south side of the ‘burg. (Yes, that’s right, there are hammocks. And plants. Many, many plants.) Morning coffee and spirulina doughnuts turn into kale-matcha margaritas and dollar oysters when happy hour starts…at noon.
The sibling to nearby Prospect Heights Mexican hotspot El Atoradero has nearly 50 mezcals to choose from at all price points. Sip slowly and admire the Mexican talavera tiles that line the counter opposite the bar — the owner brought them back from Puebla herself.
The more mollusks the merrier is the unofficial motto of the super popular Williamsburg oyster bar. Inspired by the parlors of Paris and the saloons of the Big Easy, it’s a darling jewel box crammed with Belle Epoque references, glistening bivalves, and delta blues sounds.
The Bowery Presents, a concert promoting/booking business in NYC, pretty much has its finger on the pulse of every must-see indie band, which they'll book at one of their many venues (Mercury Bar, Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Steel), including this one in the heart of WIlliamsburg.
First-run films are paired with themed drinks and food and served in a theater (yes, you may have an adult beverage with your movie). Think signature series like Country Brunchin (live country music, The Longriders, fried chicken), and one-offs like Spring Breakers served with a sex on the beach.
The two DJs behind Mister Saturday Night have opened a big backyard on Ridgewood/Bushwick border. There’s ample outdoor space (full of New York’s hottest commodity — grass), trees, hills, a a ping pong table, and string lights along the perimeter at night. Play games, eat dinner, have drinks, watch a movie. And check out Mister Sunday, the duo’s epic daytime dance party every Sunday during the summer.
A Parisian-style restaurant from the folks behind nearby Maison Premiere that spills outside in warmer months. Along with chef Lisa Giffen, they’ve brought with them head bartender Will Elliott, whose unrivaled commitment to cocktailing means he keeps several types of ice and some hundred-plus small-batch liquors on hand.
Juice so fresh it always feels like summer. Surfer-bro-comes-to-Brooklyn is the vibe at this juice bar, where the cold-pressed beverages are simple, the smoothies are superfood-packed, and the egg sandwiches make you forget drinks are the star.
Red Hook's clubhouse is a dive bar well-worth the transit trouble you'll encounter getting there (it's a 1-3 mile walk from the nearest train stations). Being that it's an old mariner's hang, it's weathered, cozy, salty, and filled with live bluegrass in the back. Excellent for catching up and/or canoodling any time of year.
American Nouveau in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Sit at the slender bar with piano key stools to watch mixology in action. Take your precious cocktail to the back patio for mingling.