What it is: A cozy spot dedicated to art, food, drinks, and great live music in the heart of Crown Heights.
Why we love it: We come for the drinks and the tapas-style bar food, but stay for the nightly live music. Owned by a chef/ resterateur and a successful music promoter, this bar/ restaurant/ music venue is the best of all three worlds.
What to order: If you’re a seafood fan, order a heaping helping of mussels or a highly recommended serving of shrimp and grits. If you’re not a seafood fan, order any of their amazing tapas-style small plates. Be sure to check out their long list of beers and wines for a good pairing (or, if you’re like us, something cheap.)
Regular tip: Check their Facebook before you visit for a list of nightly live music acts.
What it is: Adorable, kitschy neighborhood spot with bar food, patio, and open mic night.
Why we love it: Prices are reasonable, there’s a full menu of southern-inspired bar food, staff is friendly. Pretty basic stuff.
What to order: Begging the eternal question “did you eat yet,” D’jeatjet offers up some substantial answers with bar food favorites like fried mac n cheese balls. Let me say that one more time: FRIED MAC N CHEESE BALLS.
Regular tip: If you’re in the neighborhood on a weekend, stop by for brunch and $10 bottomless mimosas. Just be sure to line your belly with some of their delicious brunchy type fare like chicken and waffles.
What it is: This neighborhood spot is a pretty, but cozy wood-oven Italian joint with an extensive list of wines and whiskey cocktails.
Why we love it: Located off the Q train, this neighborhood spot for some will quickly become a destination for others. Plus, Michelin rated Lea one of its Bib Gourmand restaurants in 2015– meaning, fancy restaurant people think that this is a great place to go to get high quality, cheap eats. Also, it’s named after the owner’s grandmother. How cute is that? Pretty cute.
What to order: Come for a drink, but stay for the menu of Mediterranean-Italian fare. Lea has a full menu, ranging from favorites like cheese ravioli or your standard sauce-n-cheese margherita, to more eclectic choices like grilled squid or cauliflower pizza topped with pine nuts and ricotta. Grab a cocktail like the Sophia, made with mezcal, blood orange liquer, and Brooklyn’s own Sorel hibiscus liquer, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Regular tip: Pizza, pizza, pizza. Order one. They’re super good. If you’re up for a stroll, you can check out The Castello Plan nearby, a bar run by the same folks who run Lea.
Third and Seven
3622 Quentin Road
(Corner of E. 37th Street)
What it is: Go-to sports bar and grill of Marine Park.
Why we love it: It’s an unpretentious neighborhood hang where you can watch sports to your heart’s content while putting back brews and getting your grub on. Friendly service and a welcoming crowd round off the experience.
What to order: There’s a full restaurant menu with items ranging from entrees like meatloaf, shrimp scampi, and mac and cheese to bar food regulars of burgers, wings, jalapeno poppers and more. The buffalo chicken wrap and a side of fries, washed down with a pint of what’s on tap, will definitely satisfy.
Regular Tip: If you’re not in the mood for sports, you can avoid the cheering fans by sitting in the restaurant area in the back.
What it is: A rocker joint with loud music, cheap beer and ample seating inside and out back.
Why we love it: The music is loud, the bartenders are friendly and the cheap beer comes in a chalice.
What to order: It’s hard to pass up a $3 Bud in a goblet, so go ahead and get that out of the way. Pickled eggs are a customer favorite and a nice (albeit somewhat strange) alternative to pretzels.
Regular tip: The Endless Summer truck may not be in the backyard any longer, but you don’t have to worry about going hungry at Rocka Rolla. The bar serves up savory pies from Dub Pies, including a pie/mug of beer/chips deal for $9.
What it is: Real deal neighborhood dive with daily complimentary buffet, nightly karaoke and an Islanders fan base.
Why we love it: Free food! No peanuts or pretzels here, we’re talking hefty portions of pasta, chicken strips, lentil soup—hearty drinking food. Plus, a dive bar that also has karaoke is a dream of ours.
Who to bring: Your singing partner who is always on the hunt for a new spot to drop the mic; a friend who’s die-hard for dive bars.
What to order: Take your pick from four drafts and over 20 domestic and international bottles, and enjoy what’s for dinner that night!
Fun fact: Originally called the Log Cabin Bar, the watering hole is rumored to have been Brooklyn’s first karaoke bar—the owners purchased an early Japanese model of a karaoke machine for $6,000 at an entertainment expo at Javits Center in the mid 1980’s.
What it is: Red Hook dive bar supreme with an in-house meat smoker, 60 plus beers from around the world, a classic jukebox, a bevy of board games to play in snazzy red vinyl booths, a backyard in which to drink the day away and friendly bartenders and regulars to welcome you in every day of the year, holidays included.
Why we love it: We’ve got proof of our love: the Ice House has been a Beer Book participant for five years strong, harkening back to our 2010 debut with Beer Book 1.0! It’s the kind of place you don’t forget, where you’ll make the long haul out because you know it’s worth it.
What to order: One of the aforementioned sixty plus beers from around the world! Two pulled pork sandwiches for $5 and a side of onion rings.
Regular tip: Help yourself to Hershey’s kisses on the bar, because the Brooklyn Ice House loves you.
What it is: All-things-Florida-themed shuffleboard court with a full bar and rotating food trucks.
Why we love it: For those of us who spent grueling family “vacations” with our grandparents in retirement homes across Florida, the prospect of going to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court might sound like a major trigger. Fear not! Going to the spacious Royal Palms is like the real kind of Florida vacation, heretofore depicted in daydreams and vintage postcards: aqua colored everything, flamingo wall paper in the bathrooms, shuffleboard puns and cabanas. This venue is best enjoyed in small groups so you can take advantage of your hour of court time and still have a couple people on your team’s side to chill with. Note that the courts are long and you play next to an opposing team member. It’s a great way to have some flirty competition with a work crush, while literally being on the same team as your conveniently far away boss. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play, as a staff member will give you a complementary tutorial. Weekly activities range from drag queen bingo to a new monthly Funk & Soul Dance Party (finally, South Brooklyn)! Check their Facebook and Twitter periodically for one-off parties that are usually free. Even if you don’t shuffle, it’s still a great place to bring a pal and escape the cramped and pretentious bars of NYC.
What to order: As you would expect, Royal Palms specializes in fun, fruity cocktails. However, they have several craft beers on tap for your Beer Book pleasure. One of the most unusual and delightful features of this space is that the nosh is provided by a different food truck every day. A member of their delightful waitstaff will serve you drinks, so you’ll never miss a second of the game.
Regular tip: League nights are Monday and Tuesday, so don’t expect to reserve a court! Also, the guy on the scooter is a co-owner, so no snickering.
What it is: A neighborhood bar focused on great tunes and cheap drinks.
Why we love it: Dardy Bar is as unpretentious as it is unassuming, nestled on a quiet block in South Williamsburg that’s off the worn and beaten path of Bedford Ave. It’s one of the newer places on the scene, but Dardy Bar has already found its niche with the locals. Jimmy and Brian, who own the joint, are often tending bar and making friends with patrons while rotating through a well-curated playlist that stretches from rock ‘n roll standbys to full-on R. Kelly dance parties. Challenge some new amigos to a friendly game of shuffleboard or call up some old buds and gather round Connect Four and a selection of other tried-and-true boardgames, all while getting increasingly tipsy on homey, feel-good vibes and a great selection of beer & spirits.
Who to bring: This place is practically designed for a no-pressure first date on a weeknight, where the volume of patrons isn’t overwhelming, the atmosphere is relaxed and casual, and you can always play Jenga if you run out of things to talk about.
What to get: You’re gonna want a beer. With $2 Coors Banquet Drafts all night Tuesdays, 2-for-1 draft & well options all night Wednesdays, and great draft beers under $6 all week long, you definitely can stretch your dollar at Dardy Bar. And what pairs better with a cheap, great beer than hot wings, nachos, and more delicious noms to help aide the destruction of your gastrointestinal system?
Regular tip: Dardy Bar is quickly becoming a go-to filming location! Check out Dardy Bar in a new Showtime series 3am.
What it is: By day Erv’s is a cute little coffee shop where you can get your early morning, or late afternoon pick me up. At night, it transforms into a cocktail bar where you can wash away the hours before your first sip of fruity alcoholic goodness.
Why we love it: Usually we complain about a space where only a handful of people can fit inside. However, the small size (300 sq ft.) of Erv’s is part of its appeal. Plus even though the place is small, the options are not. During the day you can pick up your cup of coffee and grab yourself snack as the shop is always stacked with cookies and small cakes from local bakeries. When you hit the bar in the evening you have your choice of not one, not two, not 10, but 21 different cocktails. With so many options it may be hard to choose, but the bartenders can quickly figure out which cocktail is the right fit for your tastebuds.
Who to bring: Because of it’s intimate spacing, you can bring along that one friend you have been meaning to catch up with, or the friend you need when you don’t want to talk about yourself: a book. The small crowd and non-deafening music means you don’t have to worry about your conversations or thoughts getting drowned out.
What to order: Rambo’s Revenge. That has to be the most badass cocktail name we’ve even seen.
Quick Tip: From Wednesday to Saturday you can pick up $2 tamales from the cart parked right outside the bar.