597 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint
The bar without a name stands out in delightfully unexpected ways. The wood-paneled exterior sets it apart on a bodega and bakery-lined block, the non-existent cocktail list distinguishes it from all the Brooklyn bars preciously muddling this and infusing that.
2. Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg
Maison Premiere brims with Williamsburg’s beau monde looking to sin like it’s 1899, sipping on drinks made with an absinthe selection that would make Toulouse-Lautrec proud. It’s an eclectic spot, with a patently New Orleans atmosphere and oysters from British Columbia.
3. Freddy's Bar
627 Fifth Ave, Park Slope
Freddy’s, and its devoted following of artists, thinkers, performers, and cops, were uprooted from their Prospect Heights home last year in the midst of the Atlantic Yards project. After a hellish relocation process, what Esquire calls one of the “best bars in America” has reemerged in the South Slope with its mahogany bar still enveloped by a string of metal links.
4. Way Station
683 Washington Ave, Prospect Heights
The Way Station has the standard Brooklyn touches—fleur-de-lis wallpaper, red leather banquettes—but is unusually earnest in its aspirations to alternate reality. Nerds come from near and far to see owner Andy Heidel’s model TARDIS in the bathroom and stay for the tap brews, the specialty cocktail list and the obscure sci-fi banter.
5. 61 Local
61 Bergen St, Boerum Hill
61 Local practices locavorism to a heroic degree—it serves local beer and food and is decorated with the help of local artists. The industrial-chic interior is replete with sleek bamboo communal tables and Etsy-fied light fixtures.
6. MikNic Lounge
200 Columbia St, Columbia Water District
MikNic lacks the ubiquitous mustachioed mixologists and vintage taxidermy found in Brooklyn bars. In its place: clipart advertisements and open-mic comedy nights. For once, this is just a bar.
7. Crown Victoria
60 South 2nd St, Williamsburg
Crown Victoria services a smartly dressed crowd of young parents who come, sometime with tots in tow, to enjoy a selection of 24 craft brews and various whiskeys. The patio is great and the interior has the cozy charm of a classic Irish pub.
8. Pearl's Social & Billy Club
40 St. Nicholas Ave, Bushwick
Pearl’s Social & Billy Club is a world of its own. Named after owner Betsy Maher’s great-grandmother, the bar is decorated with scattered nostalgia from Maher’s apartment. Neighborhood guys and girls surround the bar engaging in intimate conversation and enjoying well-improvised cocktails under the soft glow of candlelight.
9. St. Austere
613 Grand St, Williamsburg
St. Austere is the kind of wine bar where the choice is yours: you can either go the bar and have a drink or two or go to one of the communal tables and chow down. Similarly, it can play the role of either neighborhood watering hole or date spot.
570 Henry St, Carroll Gardens
Crave might just be Brooklyn’s best under-the-radar wine bar. Inside, the walls are dark and rich, banquettes line the perimeter, and small groups crowd around small, white pedestal tables. The smiling, unpretentious staff adds to the warmth that pervades the space. The wine list is divided into categories like “voluptuous” and “soft,” and, well, it’s all good…