For more of the best places to drink, check out our other City Guides.
Northwestern Brooklyn encompasses several neighborhoods that offer their own individual feelings; you can find the home of the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, as well as the historic Admiral’s Row. From the trendy streets of Fort Greene to the quieter nooks of Red Hook, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a great place to grab a drink and bite to match.
Garnering attention from weekend visitors as well as locals, this cluster of neighborhoods is the ideal place for a memorable outing, day or night.
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Here Are 8 of the Best Places to Drink In Northwestern Brooklyn
Best Place to Taste and Learn About Natural Wine: Lalou
Whether you’re new to natural wine or call yourself the category’s biggest fan, you will find something new at Lalou. The by-the-glass wine list of this modestly dressed restaurant is an exciting mixture of beloved natural types and classic grapes like Cabernet Franc. The staff is friendly and ready to give suggestions or even a small lesson if you find the list too enticing to choose just one glass. The restaurant’s minimalist charm also extends to its straightforward food menu, which includes an assortment of wine-adjacent snacks like marinated anchovies and larger bites like head-on prawns and Toulouse sausage.
Tip jar: Come for the wine, but be sure to grab a Martini before leaving.
Address: 581 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11238
Best Place for Low-Key Weeknight Hang: Leyenda
In a seemingly residential neighborhood, Leyenda stands out with its intimate interior and creative drinks. Co-owned and operated by award-winning bartender Ivy Mix, the vibe here is a mellow one, accented by craft cocktails featuring Latin American and Caribbean spirits. Perusing the menu, you’ll find a few liquors you’ve likely never heard of playing the starring role in some of your favorites, such as a Mexican corn whiskey Old Fashioned, or the Leyenda Daiquiri made using house-blended white rums. It’s a perfect atmosphere for catching up with a friend over weeknight drinks.
Address: 221 Smith St, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
Best Place to Start Your Night: Long Island Bar
Looking for a diner feel with cool drinks to kick off your night? Head to Long Island Bar. Originally opened in 1951 as a local neighborhood restaurant, Long Island Bar has become well known for its Martinis and Gimlets. With reasonably priced cocktails and comfort-food classics like fried cheese curds and deviled eggs, Long Island Bar is the perfect way to start a night of drinking.
Tip jar: We highly suggest trying the “A Martini” made with Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo Sake. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!
Address: 110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
Best for Pretending You’re in Paris: Café Paulette
At first glance, Café Paulette may seem like the kind of place people go just to be seen, but Fort Greene locals know the fare at this bistro is well worth the wait to get in. The classic Parisian bistro, located on a sidewalk directly across from Fort Greene Park, features a concise but thoughtfully crafted menu (think Nicoise salad and duck à l’orange) and a curated selection of natural French wines from some of the country’s best producers, as well as a slew of bottles from Spain, Italy, and the United States. On a sun-filled weekend, the outdoor seating is the ideal spot for people-watching while enjoying a croque monsieur.
Tip Jar: Pétit Paulette, located just next door, is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a few oysters while you wait for a table at the main restaurant.
Address: 1 S Elliott Pl, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Best to Feel Like a Local: Seaborne
The final project of the late cocktail legend Sasha Petraske (formerly of Milk & Honey), Seaborne is a Red Hook landmark that honors the esteem and passion he had for great cocktails. Enthusiasts may recognize the interior design, as it’s modeled after his famed speakeasy. In this intimate setting with close-quarter seating, patrons will find well-balanced cocktails with Petraske’s signature Prohibition-era mixology that are affordably priced and equally exciting.
Address: 228 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
Best Place for Pasta and Italian Wine: Terre
There’s just something special about a piping bowl of well-made pasta and Italian wine to sip with it, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Park Slope’s Terre. This casual restaurant offers traditional dishes and an array of delicious small plates perfect for sharing with a group of friends. Its dedication to Italian agriculture and small producers is at the forefront of its wine list, which features over 100 natural wines. Even more appealing, each of the wines is offered by the glass so you’re free to try them all over the span of several visits, which we’re guessing won’t be hard to resist.
Address: 341 5th Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215
Best Place to Try Something New: Bar Goto Niban
Bar Goto Niban is the Brooklyn extension of the original Lower East Side location. If you’ve never experienced izakaya-style dining, you’re in for a treat with this mixed menu of custom and Japanese-influenced American dishes. And while you’re enjoying your korokke, a traditional Japanese croquette, you can wash it down with an inventive cocktail like the Hakumai Highball. If cocktails aren’t what you’re looking for, Bar Goto Niban offers a curated selection of sake, shochu, and Japanese whisky. No matter what you choose, the unique experience will be one to write home about — or at least share in your group chat.
Address: 474 Bergen St, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Best Place for Date Night: The Binc
Nestled on Henry St., the atmosphere inside The Binc is the perfect setting for a first, second, or even anniversary date. A dimly lit room filled with candles and chill music gives a romantic feel to the space, as bartenders swiftly work in black aprons, white shirts, and neckties. The classic charm extends to the cocktail list, which boasts complex cocktails served in Art Deco-style coupe glasses. You’ll find the bar top lined with various multi-colored tinctures and bitters, and though they’re used for cocktails, they easily add to the romantic mood and experience of The Binc.
Address: 60 Henry St, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201