Bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn are plentiful and exist in almost every variety. You may be asking why we need so many bars? For many Brooklynites, bars are extensions of our small living spaces—opportunities to mingle and enjoy a range of aesthetic environments—and of course, to kick back a few. Our bar guide begins in the easy-to-reach area close to the Bedford Avenue L subway stop. Here are some of our regular haunts.
The Soft Spot
Best Bar for Happy Hour. You’ll feel right at home at this homey slice of a bar with friendly barkeeps and eclectic decor. Pull up a seat at the curvy bar, affording you a view of the large stylized painting of a female nude, or take your drink to the backyard patio. Happy hour specials include 2-for-1 beers and well drinks. (128 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-7768; Website: http://softspotbar.com.)
Best Bar for Cocktails. This stylish gastropub wows with a rustic elegance. Known primarily for its oysters and specialty cocktails, The Bedford is a great bar to get you in the mood. (110 Bedford Ave., at North 11th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-1002; Website: http://thebedfordonbedford.com).
Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
Best Dive Bar. In the middle of Bedford Avenue’s busy stretch of new bars and concept restaurants, sits this classic “drinking-man’s bar.” The bar’s owner, Rosemary Bleday, has been serving up drinks and smiles at this Williamsburg institution for 53 years. Her old-timer customers hold their own among the younger crowds, who all enjoy the cheap drinks, jukebox, and abundance of holiday lights that illuminate this unpretentious retro space. (188 Bedford Ave., near North 7th St.; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-9539.)
Best Neighborhood Bar. A favorite among locals, this bar has it all: dim lighting, cozy leather banquettes, superior house cocktails and draft beers, affable bartenders, pinball, pool tables, and darts. What’s not to like? (107 North 6th St., between Wythe Ave. and Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-1903.)
Best Wine Bar. The wines here are smooth and highly drinkable, with hints of flavors like apricot, blueberry, and fennel. Ordering a tasting flight is a great way to sample the winery’s range. Try the deliciously rich red variety, the Royal Tannin Bomb. You can pair your wine with snacks and small plate meals, and enjoy this sophisticated yet welcoming space. Also on offer are wine-tasting classes, distillery tours, and make-your-own wine blend sessions. (213 N. 8th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-763-1506; Website: http://bkwinery.com.)
This n’ That
Best Bar for Dancing. This bunker-like gay bar draws in a young spirited crowd, both gay and straight, to drink on the cheap, cheer on drag shows, and dance the night away to a bootie-shakin’ soundtrack. (108 North 6th St., near Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-5959; Website: http://www.thisnthatbrooklyn.com.)
Best Upscale Bar. Despite its name, the Delmano is not a hotel, but an elegant cocktail bar designed with an authentic vintage speakeasy ambiance. (82 Berry St., near North 9th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-387-1945; Website: http://www.hoteldelmano.com.)
Two Door Tavern
Best Non-hipster Bar. A friendly crowd of young professionals fill the barstools in this welcoming neighborhood tavern where beer is generally preferred to cocktails. Better-than-average food; excellent brunch. (116 North 5th St., between Bedford Ave. and Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-1903; L subway to Bedford Ave.; Website: http://twodoortavern.com)
Photo by Star5112, used with Flickr Creative Commons license