Known for its strong Italian American population and laid-back, family-friendly vibe, Carroll Gardens is one of Brooklyn’s most sought-after neighborhoods to live in for young families and professionals. Its tree-lined streets and old-school Brooklyn brownstones are a peaceful and charming reprieve from the fast-paced, packed streets of Manhattan.
Visitors will love exploring Carroll Garden’s two main streets, Court and Smith streets, filled with great restaurants, famed neighborhood markets, and fun off-the-beaten-path shops to wander into on a lazy weekend stroll.
Along with an abundance of restaurants and friendly neighborhood cafes, Carroll Gardens also has a great bar and nightlife scene, with the same chill, welcoming vibe characteristic of all Brooklyn neighborhoods.
If you’re looking to enjoy a delectable drink in a fun and inviting atmosphere, I have compiled a list of the best bars in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn to explore. With everything from classy French cocktail bars to casual tiki bars, you’ll find your new favorite spot on the following list of the best bars in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn.
Best Bars in Carroll Gardens
- Travel Bar
- Clover Club
- Bar Great Harry
- Brooklyn Social
- Abilene Bars
- Union Grounds
- Bar Bruno
- Gowanus Yacht Club
- Zombie Hut
- Barely Disfigured
- The Watershed
- Bar Bête
520 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Located two blocks from the busy I 278 that separates Carroll Gardens from Red Hook, Travel Bar is a cozy neighborhood bar owned and run by famed bartender and partner Mike Vacheresse and Joe Sweigart. They have worked as master cocktail bartenders all over New York City’s fine-dining scene. They drew inspiration from their world travels and passion for bartending to create Travel Bar’s extensive and worldly selection of craft cocktails, spirits, and delicious bar fare.
The cocktail and spirit list at Travel Bar is seemingly never-ending and takes customers on a world tour. Their cocktail list alone contains dozens of craft creations, many of which are variations on one classic drink. The most impressive concoction I found was their barrel-aged cocktails, featuring a mix of spirits that the owners age in a gallon barrel for up to 8 weeks.
210 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Clover Club is a classy cocktail bar, jazz club, and boozy brunch spot that offers refined cocktails, fine American food, and live jazz performances in a homey, comfortable space with the characteristically Brooklyn-style casual vibe. Located along Smith Street, Carroll Garden’s main artery, Clover Club is a James Beard Award finalist for its amazing cocktails, food, and atmosphere.
The cocktails at Clover Club are veritable works of art with beautiful fruit and floral garnishes. Whether you come for an evening drink or a boozy brunch, their incredible food menus are a must-try. Their menus feature the finest examples of bar snacks along with large plates. I loved their decadent deviled eggs with four different toppings, including crispy bacon, curry roasted pistachios, paprika-garlic bread crumbs, and house-made hot sauce.
Bar Great Harry
280 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Located two blocks from the lovely Carroll Park, Bar Great Harry is a casual and fun beer and cocktail bar with a rotating set of pinball machines. The mood is lively and entertaining at Bar Great Harry, with plenty of friendly yet rowdy pinball match tournaments.
Bar Great Harry has a rotating tap menu of 15 craft beers sourced from microbreweries near and far, not to mention a vast list of canned beers, hard seltzers, and domestic bottles. Their small cocktail list features classics like gin and tonic, Spritz, and their special house-made Negroni on draft. Seeing as BYOB is obsolete at a bar, they let you Bring-Your-Own food instead.
231 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
June is a natural wine bar and tapas-style restaurant along Carroll Gardens’s old restaurant row avenue of Court Street in the Cobble Hill area. The beautiful interior bar and dining area have wooden arched ceilings lined with theater-style large bulbed lighting. There’s a cute stone patio illuminated with similar bulbed tee lights for an inviting and romantic atmosphere.
Their extensive wine list features whites, roses, reds, and sparkling wine from every region of the world, along with a cocktail and spirits menu. The dinner menu features its own list of wines, beers, and cocktails to accompany delicious small plates like whipped ricotta, fennel, and honey or Spanish mackerel with kohlrabi and nori.
335 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Brooklyn Social lies inside an old Sicilian members-only club from the 1920s heyday of Smith Street that has since become a premier bar and restaurant for Brooklynites in Carroll Gardens and beyond. It may not look like much from the outside, but behind the nondescript exterior lies a perfectly preserved vintage club replete with old relics from the 1920’s bar and a jukebox.
The menus at Brooklyn Social mirror the classic vintage Brooklyn theme with neighborhood favorites like Old Fashioned, Fellini, and of course the Brooklyn, with rye whisky, orange brandy, and bitters. They’ve got some killer hot-pressed sandwiches to accompany a cocktail or draught beer. I loved the soppressata, fontina cheese and pesto panini.
442 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
One of six sister bars around New York’s boroughs, Abilene Bar is a quirky, comfy southern-style bar on the bustling main avenue of Carroll Gardens’s Court Street. Taking inspiration from the small Texas town after which it’s named, Abilene Bar’s antique décor, mismatched country-style wood chairs, vinyl tables, and down-home cooking make for an authentic taste of southern hospitality in the northeast.
They have great happy hour deals 7-days a week on their beer, cocktails, and wine, not to mention weekly trivia nights with awesome boozy prizes. They offer a delicious full dinner menu and weekend boozy brunch. I recommend heading over for brunch for a spicy Smoky Maria with a house-made Bloody Mary mix, chipotle-infused tequila, and a Guinness float. You can soak that up with breakfast sliders with melted cheese, chipotle mayo, and two eggs any style with a side of home fries.
270 Smith St between Degraw St & Sackett St, 11231
Located two blocks from Carroll Park, Union Grounds is a friendly neighborhood gastropub and sports bar. Its cozy wood interior has an ample draft-beer bar, bar-height dining tables, numerous TVs playing all your favorite sports games, and a dartboard. Union Grounds has a no-frills welcoming appeal for a casual post-work beer and snacks with friends.
There’s a rotating 8-beer draft menu along with over twenty bottles and cans, not to mention a full cocktail bar with daily specials written on a chalkboard. The delectable pub food has all your comfort food favorites like burgers, brats, chicken tenders, onion rings, and tater tots.
520 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Bar Bruno is a modern take on a 1960’s Mexican and European cafeteria, offering budget-friendly cocktails, beers, coffee, and Mexican and NY-style bar food in a laid-back, local atmosphere. Located a block from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Bar Bruno invites guests to lavish over a drink with lunch, dinner, or brunch while reading the morning paper or in the company of friends at this favorite European-style sidewalk café.
Since they specialize in Mexican cuisine and drinks, I recommend trying a Michelada, a deliciously spicy and tangy beer cocktail. Their full menu of affordable yet delicious Mexican street foods like grilled corn with cotija cheese, nachos, and super authentic tacos. My favorite is the fish tacos with grilled Mahi, pico de gallo, radish, chipotle, and avocado tomatillo crema.
221 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
“Leyenda” means legend in Spanish, and this Pan-Latin bar and bistro certainly provides a legendary dining and drinking experience. Owned and run by the owners of Clover Club, which is located across the street, Leyenda serves contemporary Latin American cuisine from the Caribbean, Central, and South America. The real star of the show is the Latin-inspired cocktails crafted by award-winning mixologist Ivy Mix.
I highly recommend one of their incredible mezcal drinks. I love the Naughty or Nice seasonal mezcal cocktail with ancho chili-infused Los Vecinos mezcal with Lustau vermut rojo and Moscatel sherry, single malt scotch, cocoa, and coffee. Whether you’re there for brunch or dinner, the food is incredible. You must try their empanadas de Haba filled with fava beans, leeks, and goat cheese.
482 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
True to its name, Minibar is a tiny 375 square-foot cocktail bar along Carroll Garden’s main avenue of Court Street that is one of Brooklyn’s diamonds in the rough. Despite its small size, Minibar’s cocktails are big news and the feature of many a New York City press centerpiece. The Infatuation, TImeout, and the Gothamist wrote rave reviews of this decades-old Carroll Garden gem.
Their eclectic and obscure menu of craft beer, wines, and interesting house cocktails make for a unique drinking experience. I liked the house martini with orange bitters, but they also offer more whimsical martini variations like the Girl Scout Martini with a thin-mint garnish.
Gowanus Yacht Club
323 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Despite its seemingly stuffy and pretentious name, the Gowanus Yacht Club has a cult following amongst the young adult crowd for its trendy-trashy vibe. You can get a two-dollar can of PBR, and a 5$ burger served on a disposable paper plate in this bumping dive bar named for its proximity to the Gowanus canal.
Gowanus Yacht Club is an excellent place for group hangouts in the summer, with a large outdoor area that’s also dog friendly. Great music is always blasting, and beer is cheap. You’ll feel like you’re at a neighborhood barbeque with cheap yet delicious draft beer pitchers, grilled corn on the cob, burgers, and $3 hot dogs. There are veggie burgers and dogs, too!
273 Smith St #4739, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Located two blocks north of Carroll Park, Zombie Hut is Carroll Gardens neighborhood’s favorite tiki bar with the most charming outdoor patio surrounded by large trees with hanging tea lights. The indoor bamboo bar with hanging paper-mâché lights serves delicious tropical-style cocktails for an affordable price.
There’s also a large cache of board games to entertain large groups or couples while they sip their tasty beverage of choice. Their tropical cocktails may be cheap, but they are very heavily poured and don’t skimp on high-quality ingredients.
257 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Barely Disfigured is a sexy speakeasy bar and French eatery located inside an old “brothel” in the historic Cobble Hill neighborhood. Its risky red bedroom area sets a dangerously sensual vibe, while its beautiful 22-person marble bar and giant 1800 square foot outdoor garden add elegance and fun.
Their expertly crafted cocktails have poetic and sultry names like The Little Death and The Harlot’s Progress. I loved George Washington’s Night Out with Hendrick’s gin, kiwi basil shrub, honey, and lemon. They serve a variety of delicious charcuterie and cheese boards along with a full raw bar menu of fresh oysters.
517 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Located right off I 278 is a friendly neighborhood brewpub in a narrow shot-gun-style space with a wood bar, leather bar stools, and a few large wooden tables. They have an epic trivia night every Wednesday at 8 pm with original trivia questions. The winner gets 50$ off their bar tab.
The Watershed has a rotating menu of 12 draft beers on tap, along with a wide selection of imported cans and bottles.
263 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Located on Carroll Garden’s old restaurant row area of Smith Street, Bar Bete is a cozy and romantic French bistro, wine, and cocktail bar. Its classy wooden dining room has quaint tasteful décor and large old street lamp style hanging lights that create a dimly lit, cozy ambiance.
Bar Bete has one of the most extensive wine lists on my list, with close to 100 different bottles and by-the-glass options, not to mention craft cocktails and beer. The menu has refined French dishes that are as rich and luxurious as the atmosphere.
I loved the crispy duck fat potatoes to start. I had the perfectly executed black bass with grapes, toasted almonds, and a decadent brown butter sauce. Save room for dessert at Bar Bete because you’ll be raving about their riz au lait rice pudding with Medjool dates and candied walnuts for months.
Whether you’re looking for a friendly neighborhood pub, scandalous speakeasy, or tropical tiki hut, you’ll find the best options for delicious cocktails, beer, bar fare, and wine on my list of the best bars in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn.
While this list covers you for a great late-night or happy hour outing, you’ll want to check out Brooklyn’s amazing restaurants to complete the experience.
Did we leave out your favorite Carroll Gardens bar? Let us know down below by leaving a comment!
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