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Brooklyn nightlife

Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?
- Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

$1 - €0.91
45 °
Under the disco ball at dance party Mister Sunday.

The Bell House

  • Gowanus, Cultural Center, Theater and Dance, Music, $$$$ $$
  • 149 7th St.
  • Brooklyn, 11215
  • +1-718-643-6510
  • Website | Email

A big warehouse in an industrial neighborhood has been turned into a rustic barn-like ballroom for dance parties, live music shows, intense Trivia nights, and themed happenings. There's a low-lit saloon up front for cozy conversation and beers on tap.

Bossa Nova Civic Club

  • Bushwick, Club, Bar, Music, $$$$ $
  • 1271 Myrtle Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11221
  • +1-718-443-1271
  • Website

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.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

  • Fort Greene, Cultural Center, $$$$ $$
  • 30 Lafayette Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11217
  • +1-718-636-4100
  • Website

A major performing arts venue showcases progressive (in every sense of the word) works on stage, art-house films, and free live concerts in the industrial cafe space. Fresh, exciting, avant-garde.

Brooklyn Inn

  • Boerum Hill, Bar, $$$$ $
  • 148 Hoyt St.
  • Brooklyn, 11217
  • +1-718-522-2525
  • Website

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.

The Commodore

  • Williamsburg, Bar, $$$$ $
  • 366 Metropolitan Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11211
  • +1-718-218-7632
  • Website | Review

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.

The Gutter

  • Greenpoint, Bowling Alley, $$$$ $$
  • 200 North 14th St.
  • Brooklyn, 11249
  • +1-718-387-3585
  • Website | Email | Review

A bar with eight vintage lanes, a rock-and-roll soundtrack, and a low-key '70s vibe.

Habana Outpost

  • Fort Greene, Outdoor Attractions, Bar, $$$$ $
  • 757 Fulton St.
  • Brooklyn, 11217
  • +1-718-858-9500
  • Website | Email

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.

Maison Premiere

  • Williamsburg, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 298 Bedford Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11211
  • +1-347-335-0446
  • Website | Email | Review

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.

Music Hall of Williamsburg

  • Williamsburg - North Side, Music, $$$$ $$
  • 66 North 6th St.
  • Brooklyn, 11211
  • +1718-486-5400
  • Website

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, Terminal 5), including this one in the heart of WIlliamsburg.

Nighthawk Cinema

  • Williamsburg, Cinema, $$$$ $$
  • 136 Metropolitan Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11249
  • +1-718-384-3980
  • Website | Email

First-run films are paired with themed meals 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.

Red Hook Bait & Tackle

  • Red Hook, Bar, $$$$ $
  • 320 Van Brunt St.
  • Brooklyn, 11231
  • +1-718-451-4665
  • Website | Email

Part Appalachian hunting lodge, part taxidermy theme park, part classic NYC dive. Rates high on the kitsch-o-meter, and the drinks are cheap and cheerful. 

Spuyten Duyvil

On Williamsburg's rapidly growing south side, a rustic bar filled with flea market finds serves small batch beers, artisanal cheeses, and interesting wines. On cold nights, cozy up next to the pot of mulled wine. On warm ones, linger for hours with a boardgame in the big backyard.


  • Ditmas Park, Beer Garden, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 1118 Cortelyou Rd.
  • Brooklyn, 11218
  • +1-347-240-5850
  • Website | Email

Florist in the front, cockail bar in the back, performance space to round it out. You can even use the grill in the backyard to cook up a little something to go with your drink.

Weather Up

  • Prospect Heights, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 589 Vanderbilt Ave.
  • Brooklyn, 11238
  • Website

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. Twin sister bar (in Tribeca) serves tasty small plates.

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