25 Best Bars in Williamsburg, New York City

Donna

Fodor's choice
This cocktail bar bills itself as "an elegant space for dirty kids"—that is, just because you like nice things doesn't necessarily mean you want to dress fancy. And Donna certainly is elegant, with a white vaulted ceiling, a long curved bar, reclaimed-wood benches and tables, and beautiful people drinking fabulous cocktails like the signature frozen Brancolada (a piña colada riff with Branca Menta). Tacos and other Latin fare provide the terrific, appropriately downscale nibbles. DJs spin most weekend nights.

Hotel Delmano

Fodor's choice
It's easy to miss the unmarked entrance to this cocktail bar on Berry Street, but head to the entrance on North 9th Street and you'll feel whisked away to an old-world parlor. Despite the name, this isn't a hotel, though the owners were inspired by lobby bars. Patrons imbibe cocktails around marble-top tables or at the curved bar, where bartenders blend fresh fruit and homemade syrups into classic and original libations. Jazz and dim lighting make the place feel intimate.

Maison Premiere

Williamsburg Fodor's choice

Transport yourself to New Orleans in this dimly lit, yet lively cocktail and oyster bar, known for an extensive absinthe selection, a food menu spanning light fare to hearty braised beef cheeks, and above all, an impressive selection of oysters hailing from both east and west coasts. Cozy up at the horseshoe-shape bar or dine at a cast-iron table inside—or in the back garden on warm days.

Recommended Fodor's Video

St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club

Fodor's choice
On Grand Street nearly abutting the highway is the 1920s-style St. Mazie, which presents excellent gypsy jazz and flamenco music to a crowd that favors listening over dancing. The cocktails are simple but done right. The intimate cellar, a speakeasy during Prohibition, serves European-inspired cuisine for dinner and weekend brunch.

Baby's All Right

You'd be hard-pressed to categorize this eclectic place. With a diner up front, a '70s German disco–inspired music venue in the back, and a full bar in between, Baby's All Right is an amalgam of cool and a magnet for creative types. There's live music most nights, a DJ until 4 am, and "bottomless brunch" on the weekends.

Barcade

Williamsburg

Gen Xers will certainly get nostalgic at this mostly 80s video arcade, featuring classics Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. However, any generation can enjoy the 8- and 16-bit gameplay, or the row of pinball machines, as long as they're adults, since this place doesn't typically cater to children—unless it's a special family day listed on their website's calendar. As the portmanteau of "bar" and "arcade," it's very much as good a beer bar as it is a retro arcade, specializing in dozens of rotating taps from microbreweries around the country. However, this original location has no proper kitchen, so there's no bar food—only bagged snacks are available—so plan on grabbing a bite elsewhere.

Bembe

Williamsburg
Though decorated with salvaged items—including an old redwood front door from a New York State winery—this steamy bi-level lounge is Williamsburg's answer to Miami clubbing.. The crowd is as eclectic as the DJ-spun music, which ranges from reggae to Brazilian—often accompanied by live drumming. The tropical bar menu adds to the place's Latin cred.

Brooklyn Bowl

A former ironworks foundry now houses a setup the original workers might have appreciated: 16 bowling lanes, a cocktail bar, a music stage, and a restaurant. The team behind the Blue Ribbon restaurant-bar empire handles the menu, which features Louisiana-style southern specialties like their signature fried chicken. There's a fine selection of brews on tap. Weekends bring out the crowds—and there are no lane reservations—so it can take a while to get a lane.
61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11249, USA
718-963–3369
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: $20 per lane for 30 mins.

Brooklyn Brewery

Williamsburg

This brewery put the borough's once-active craft beer scene back on the map when it opened in a former matzo factory in 1996. There are free tours on Sunday, while weekday Small Batch Tours offer an in-depth look and a chance to try and give feedback on new experimental beers. Tap offerings in its sizable, convivial taproom include their signature Brooklyn Lager and crowd favorite Pulp Art Hazy IPA.

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Knitting Factory

Rock, indie, and underground hip-hop performances draw crowds at this well-established concert venue that does double duty as a neighborhood watering hole, with a dimly lit front bar offering happy hour specials before and after shows. Sunday is comedy night in the front bar.

Larry Lawrence

It might be hard to find this hidden bar, but traverse the long, bare hallway and you're in for a treat. The high-ceiling space is generally filled with cool locals drinking beers on the chunky wooden furniture, the voice of Johnny Cash on the sound system, and chill vibes all around. Check out the custom-built roof terrace; it has a window that allows you to peer down into the bar below.

LilliStar

Williamsburg

End or start your night with views of the Williamsburg Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline at this new rooftop bar. LilliStar is an Indo-Australian-inspired venue with DJ's spinning vinyl, creative cocktails, and tasty light bites. Make sure to try the Rendang Bao, filled with short ribs that have been braised for 24 hours. The cocktail that's a must try is the Kuya Krusher, made with Ketel One vodka, sorrel (hibiscus) juice, and spiced ginger—it's perfectly refreshing, especially on warm summer evenings.

Lucky Dog

The moniker fits this laid-back, canine-friendly dive bar. With a jukebox, shuffleboard, and a large selection of craft beers (and pitchers) available, it's a great spot for day drinking, happy hour, or pretty much any hour. It's small and narrow inside, but there's a great back patio.

Miss Favela Brazilian Botequim

The flag outside announces Miss Favela's allegiance to Brazil—a favela is a Brazilian slum—and the theme continues inside, where the brick walls are painted green and yellow, and rickety metal tables are covered in brightly colored oilcloth. There are Brazilian specialties for lunch and dinner, but after 10 pm the tables are cleared and the place becomes an all-out dance party, fueled by pitchers of caipirinhas, Brazil's cachaça-laced favorite drink. On Saturday, people dance samba to a live band until the DJ takes over and the vibe becomes more clubby.

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Williamsburg

This intimate tri-level music venue in a former mayonnaise factory has excellent acoustics, so it's no surprise that it draws die-hard fans of rock and indie music with its quality lineups. There's balcony seating and an additional bar upstairs.

Night of Joy

A night out at Night of Joy feels like drinking in a bohemian, slightly run-down fortune teller's den—the kind of place in a novel by Oscar Wilde or Gabriel García Márquez. The spacious lounge is outfitted with plush, mismatched sofas, oriental rugs, antique wall sconces, and a Victorian birdcage; peeling plaster gives it the air of dilapidated luxury. The libations are worth savoring—try the basil-lime gimlet or the rosemary and ginger bourbon. The rooftop patio is the place to be in summer: it has its own bar and patio furniture for lounging.

Output

This is Brooklyn's hottest nightclub and the cavernous converted warehouse draws top DJs spinning for crowds dancing under disco balls until the sun comes up. Stay in the main bilevel space, or head to the smaller Panther Room. The rooftop has great views.

Pete's Candy Store

Nope, it's not a candy store; it's an intimate bar that hosts nightly music performances as well as spelling bees, bingo, and a "quizz-off" contest every Wednesday night. The reading series held here on alternate Thursday evenings attracts high-caliber participants.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten

Williamsburg

The vibe can be boisterous at this sprawling beer hall, where plenty of communal tables foster a convivial atmosphere. The Central European beers on tap pair well with hearty foods like schnitzel, goulash, and giant pretzels from the kitchen, or brats and currywurst from the grill. There's free live music for the brunch crowd on weekends.

Skinny Dennis

This honky-tonk has everything you'd want in a dive bar: peanut shells littering the floor, a vintage jukebox, a long bar with vinyl stools, and cheap drinks. This is Williamsburg, so the quality of beer is better than average—in addition to Coors and Guinness, there are craft beers by Brooklyn Brewery, Allagash, and Sixpoint. Live country music starts around 9 pm most nights.

The Commodore

The door may be unmarked, but this bar is far from unknown: on weekends, it gets packed so tight it can be hard to navigate the sea of hip kids who come for reasonably priced drinks, renowned fried chicken, and nachos piled high with veggies, beans, and cheese. A retro vibe, fueled by the jukebox, enhances the cool factor. There are a few spacious booths, but get here early to snag one.
366 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-218--7632

The Richardson

This corner bar serves classic cocktails, beer, and wine. The decor takes its cues from a century-old saloon, with dark wood, damask wallpaper, and dim lighting. Whiskey-barrel tables and vintage cash registers further set the scene. Though the drinks and the gregarious bartenders who craft them are the stars here, there are some good nibbles, too. An excellent cheese plate—perfect for sharing—comes with your choice of locally sourced specimens.

The Water Tower

Williamsburg

Perched atop the Arlo Williamsburg, overlooking its rooftop pool, this ambitious bar is one of four party venues within the hotel. Not one of New York’s actual iconic water towers, but rather a conical glass structure made in tribute to them, the bar is unabashedly upscale in a “Manhattan” sort of way, with inventive albeit pricey cocktails. The 360-degree views are some of the city’s best, and if you’re looking for a comprehensive night out, starting with drinks and ending with a DJ dance party, this is your ticket.

Union Pool

Williamsburg

A former pool-supply store now serves as a funky multiroom venue, complete with a bar serving beer and simple cocktails, a photo booth, DJs, and a backroom for up-and-coming music acts. It's been around for over two decades, and is still a popular spot on the Friday-night circuit, especially for late-night dancing. Permanently parked within its walled patio is a taco truck.

Videology

Depending on whom you ask, Videology is a bar with a screening room or a screening room with a bar. The laid-back space is divided in two: locals drink craft beer and cocktails—like the Don Draper (a twist on the old-fashioned)—up front, and film screenings, trivia contests, and comedy events unfold in back. The place started as a video rental store and still loans out DVDs, including out-of-print films and new releases.