1. Moonlight Mile
We’re not too interested in the whole “bar with a gimmick” thing, so when we heard that Greenpoint’s Moonlight Mile would only be serving one type of liquor—bourbon—we were a little skeptical. And bourbon’s even our spirit of choice! But the thing is, Moonlight Mile does bourbon so well (the Foggy Mountain Manhattan is smooth yet powerful) that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick at all, rather it feels like a project of pure passion. Of course, bourbon isn’t the only thing you can imbibe; there’s an excellent selection of craft beer available as well. And as you should be able to expect from a bar named after one of the loveliest, most underrated Rolling Stones ballads, the music playing at Moonlight Mile is perfectly on point.
200 Franklin Street, Greenpoint
2. Boobie Trap
What is it we were just saying about not liking the whole “bar with a gimmick” thing? Forget that. Because one of our favorite bars this year has a completely gimmicky theme: boobs. And, look, we never would have thought we’d love a bar whose name has a female-body-part-referencing pun, but we do! Why? Well, Boobie Trap has all the best elements of a dive bar—kitschy decor, cheap drinks, greasy-but-delicious bar food—plus there’s a real sense of happiness abounding. Everyone there seems to be having a really good time, and that kind of joy is infectious. And why wouldn’t they be having fun? Boobs are great. Women are great. Drinking is great. Win-win-win.
308 Bleecker Street, Bushwick
3. Dirck the Norseman
The dine-and-drink outpost of Greenpoint Beer & Ale Company the neighborhood’s only craft brewery—specializes in “industrial comfort dining,” with a menu of hearty European gastropub fare. You’re here for drinks, though, specifically beer, of which there are 16 varieties. The majority are in-house creations concocted by head brewer Chris Prout, like the Milk & Honey, an American blonde brewed with New York barley, wildflower honey, milk, and chamomile.
7 North 15th Street, Greenpoint
The creative studio hOmE reconstituted a seedy strip club into what might be the prettiest bar in Brooklyn, with a nearly forty foot long bar made of Carrara marble, backed by curved mirrors and copper shelving. Up the ironwork-railing, oak-plank staircase you’ll set foot on the balcony landing, made of chestnut laid out in a herringbone pattern. And the five-tier chandelier might be the pièce de résistance. #Nofilter.
113 Franklin Street, Greenpoint
5. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
So maybe it isn’t surprising that a full-scale shuffleboard club is popular in the borough that plays Ping-Pong, bocce, and bowling—Brooklynites do love their leisure ball-sports, particularly if there’s plenty of time to drink between turns. Royal Palms is only a slightly cooler version of your Floridian grandmother’s shuffleboard club, with ten beautiful sky-blue courts, tangs and biscuits, a full bar, and a bevy of food trucks.514 Union Street, Gowanus
We’ve come to expect a lot from craft beer-centric bars in Brooklyn, and Covenhoven measures up to some of the best. Choose from a finely curated selection of rotating taps or peruse the impressive range of bottles from all over Europe and the US. Don’t hold back—the bartenders can tell you everything about each one, and they’re all available to take home or crack open while lounging in one of the greenest backyards in the borough.
730 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights
7. Rocka Rolla
A complete nightmare or an accurate replica of a Midwest dive? Well it depends where you’re from. If the answer is the Midwest, you know it’s one twisted ode to the bars your uncle drags you to after hunting excursions—a Vegas take on Middle America and 80s rock n’ roll—complete with outdated goblets, cheap beer, and one particularly terrible frozen concoction. In short, it’s an acid trip. But maybe that’s exactly why we keep coming back.
486 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
8. Forrest Point
Perched on a triangular plot with a whimsically hip garden, we had our eye on Forrest Point for months leading up to its opening. We could just picture ourselves with a cocktail in hand, vibing so hard in that fucking painfully adorable little garden. And after months of waiting, we weren’t even a little bit disappointed. Intricate and ambrosial cocktails, trendy milk punch, a decent selection of wine and beer, and a food menu that goes far beyond most bar fare makes Forrest Point one of the most welcome additions to Bushwick in awhile.
970 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick
9. Long Island Bar
This bar opened up way back at the beginning of 2014, but it has consistently been a place we’ve gone back to again and again this year. Although technically a new bar, this spacious corner spot has been around for decades, and it’s maintained its historical feel with Art Deco touches and beautifully restored leather booths. Plus, the cocktails are some of the best we’ve ever had, and the food menu is spot on as well. There’s no better spot to reflect longingly upon the neighborhood’s longshoreman past, without feeling totally hopeless about its future.
110 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights
To call Berg’n a bar is not exactly accurate: This new Crown heights fixture is more like an upscale cafeteria meets beer hall, open in the morning for coffee and Dough donuts, and late into the night for craft beers and ramen burgers. The enormous space has a separate room for receptions and parties, or just hanging out away from the often-crowded picnic tables in the front. It’s a spot big enough to hold a raucous birthday party on one end and still have folks toiling over laptops, beer in hand, on the other end.
899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights