The Manhattan Inn
632 Manhattan Ave (at Bedford)
What it is: An unexpected slice of class nestled between the delis and vintage shops on Manhattan Ave., the Manhattan Inn invokes a certain old-world charm when you step through its unassuming entrance. Hardwood floors, quiet clientele and the soft sounds of a piano playing in the back float through the room while you get your bearings.
Why we love it: The Manhattan Inn has one of the best happy hours in the area, offering $3 drafts and well drinks from 5 to 8 p.m. every weekday. The bar prides itself on its house specialty cocktails and decor of all recycled material. A musician tickles the ivories every night, along with live bands and weekend DJs that follow.
Who to bring: Your mom if she isn’t intimidated by young, sophisticated Brooklyn types; your date if he/she is a young, sophisticated Brooklyn type; yourself when you’re in the mood for a few moments of respite with a pint, a piano and maybe some poetry.
What to order: The kitchen serves brunch (classic breakfasts are around $9 to $12, burger is $15) and dinner that ranges affordable (shareable plates like $10 housemade gnocchi) to fancy (free range brick chicken for $21). The rotating draft selection showcases a five-beer mix of locals and small breweries from around the country, the bottle list includes tasty treats like Left Hand Brewing’s Nitro Milk Stout, Hennepin and Brooklyn seasonals.
Fun fact: Manhattan Inn has a free concert series featuring live performances every Wednesday and Sunday. The program showcases musicians from a variety of genres and backgrounds, with past performers including James Chance from the Contortions, Georgia Hubley from Yo La Tengo and Brian Chase from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.—Cat Wolinski