Meaning “town in the woods,” Bushwick has transformed from pristine forests belonging to the Lenape tribe, to Dutch territory, to an immigrant neighborhood, to a dangerously gritty industrial district, and finally to the hippest, most sought-after neighborhood to party in for young New Yorkers.
Bushwick’s colorful and turbulent history still shines through its architecture and multicultural demographic. Old warehouses and chemical plants are now urban canvases for murals and street art, housing vibrant art galleries and performance spaces, coffee houses, and one of New York’s best nightlife scenes.
For a neighborhood that has become synonymous with “hip,” you can expect a bar scene to match. Bushwick’s bars are as original and diverse as its history, with atmospheres ranging from giant outdoor beer gardens to underground speakeasies. If you’re looking for the ultimate bar-hopping experience during your next visit to NYC, check out my epic list of the best bars in Bushwick.
The Cobra Club
6 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
No bar epitomizes the hipster spirit of Bushwick better than The Cobra Club, a punk rock cocktail bar, yoga studio, coffee shop, and musical collective all in one.
Located right in front of the Jefferson metro stop, The Cobra Club offers weekly events for young and old New Yorkers like karaoke, baby music classes and coffee, rock DJs, burlesque shows, and metal yoga classes.
You can get fancy espresso drinks in the morning and cocktails named for Misfits songs at night at The Cobra Club. They have a small menu of trashy-trendy bar fare like Frito pie and Cheetos and pickle plates. Apart from a list of punk rock-themed cocktails, The Cobra Bar also has a long list of imported and domestic beers on tap and in bottles.
1037 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Located a block from the Green Central Knoll Park and playground on the busy Flushing Avenue, The Narrows is quite literally a narrow bar with a bare-bones décor of a few old mirrors, wax candles, and layered coats of shiny black paint. Its dive-like interior opens out onto a massive, green, and bumping outdoor patio where patrons can enjoy artisanal beer and unique craft cocktails.
Paying homage to Bushwick’s history as a 20th-century brewery hub, The Narrows has a rotating variety of beers on tap from local Brooklyn breweries along with an interesting menu of creative cocktails. I loved their float-like cocktail called Caulfield’s Dream, with spearmint, Demerara syrup, lemon, cava, and rye whiskey.
308 Bleecker St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
You’re sure to fall into this Boobie Trap willingly! Boobie Trap is a dive bar with cheap, simple cocktails, a lot of personality, and plenty of irreverent decorations.
Teetering between the Bushwick and Ridgewood neighborhoods, Boobie Trap’s makeshift “front yard” has a corral of fake plastic flamingos and skeletons to greet you. Upon entering the bar, you’ll encounter a giant pink neon sign of an expletive phrase we’ll let you see for yourself.
Cocktails are as trashy as the bar’s name, with concoctions like Grape Crush, with grape soda and Tito’s vodka, or a Root Beer float spiked with Baileys. I went for the sinfully sweet Caramel Coke with butterscotch booze and coke.
1211 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Happyfun Hideaway is an LBGTQ, arty snack and cocktail bar across from the Freedom Triangle Park in a flamboyant, quirky space cluttered with seemingly random pieces of kitsch, antique light fixtures, Christmas lights, and a giant chalkboard menu of the day’s specials.
The staff is super friendly, and there’s always great music playing, making for a great spot to hang out with friends.
In keeping with arty flamboyance, Happyfun Hideaway makes delectable and cheap tropical cocktails and a slew of frozen margaritas on a tap shaped like a unicorn. They also have a decent selection of beers on tap and some messy yet yummy snack bar nachos to accompany your margaritas and pina coladas.
369 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Located a block from Maria Hernandez Park, The Johnson’s is a casual neighborhood cocktail bar with a friendly atmosphere, a great soundtrack, and a funky outdoor patio replete with Astroturf and mini barstools a few inches off the ground. The bar is a fun place for happy hour, offering deals on draft beer and cocktails along with some delicious bar food.
Their cocktail menu has a great mix of innovative takes on classic mixed drinks, and they also have a well-rounded beer selection with imported favorites from around the world.
I liked the Johnson Gibson cocktail, with dry gin, dry vermouth, and a splash of pickle juice with a baby gherkin and cocktail onion as garnish. They also make delicious, loaded kettle-cooked potato chips with sharp cheddar and horseradish.
236 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Mad Tropical is a colorful cocktail bar and eatery right in front of Maria Hernandez Park in an industrial-chic Brooklyn-style, old wooden bar with stained glass windows adorned with lush tropical plants, bright, tropical-colored paint, and funky light fixtures.
Mad Tropical is a fun oasis amongst Bushwick’s concrete jungle where friends can enjoy a delicious meal and cocktail with friends.
The food is as delicious as the cocktails at Mad Tropical, with a menu that offers unique takes on comfort food favorites worldwide. They also have a menu of booze-infused pastries like Irish cream puffs and vanilla rum eclairs. I highly recommend their crispy pork belly sliders on a fresh steam bun with pineapple hoisin and topped with a fried egg and pickled cucumber.
Kings County Brewers Collective
381 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Located half a block from the Jefferson L stop, Kings County Brewers Collective is Bushwick’s only local brewery.
Ironically, Bushwick used to be one of the U.S.’s prime beer producers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, suffering a total shutdown during the period of prohibition. Luckily, Kings County Brewers Collective has carried on the legacy with its brewery and taproom in an enormous 5,000-square foot warehouse.
Kings County makes over a dozen beer varieties, and their taproom has 12 rotating beers brewed in-house, not to mention a long list of bottled and canned brews to enjoy with artisanal snacks like aged-dried beef and fresh chips and salsa. Each beer on the tap and bottle menu has a complete description of flavor and ingredients in enticing and clever blurbs.
1215 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Located right across Myrtle Ave from Freedom Triangle, Birdy’s is a retro-style, sleazy, Miami vice-Esque dive bar with cheap cocktails, snacks, and numerous indoor bar games. Birdy’s is the best spot to share a few rounds with friends while competing in epic foosball and pinball tournaments and taking silly photos in the retro photo booth.
You can find $6 raspberry daiquiris, beer, and whisky shots, and margaritas, along with cheap frozen tropical cocktails like cherry bombs and Blue Hawaiis. Bar food includes Nathan’s beef franks with onions and sauerkraut, beef patties, potato chips and dip, and my personal favorite, cheese arepas.
153 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Located in Bushwick’s neighboring Williamsburg, duckduck is a casual, friendly cocktail bar and taproom in a cozy industrial-chic space with exposed brick walls, mismatched old-school cloth, and leather couches, and exposed beam ceilings. The happy hour specials are hard to beat, and there are live DJ sets on the weekends.
There’s a rotating tap menu of 10 artisanal beers, not to mention your favorite domestic and imported brews. The mixed drinks are cheap and well-poured, and there’s a monthly special cocktail for a discounted price. The drink of the month when I was there was “The Gambler” with Casamigos reposado tequila, smoked chili bitters, orange bitters, and orange peel.
1260 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Another ‘70s retro lounge and cocktail bar, Mood Ring, offers a more cosmic vibe with astrology-themed cocktails and a seductively dim-lit bar with turquoise backlights.
Located a few blocks from the Myrtle L stop, Mood Ring has an inviting lounge in front with a dance room in the back replete with an old-school photo booth for capturing a fun night out.
The tasty cocktails have names inspired by astrological events or ‘70s pop culture references. For example, The Gucci Belt was a combination of both themes and had gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, pomegranate, cardamom bitters, and rosemary. I went for the more menacing Mercury in Retrograde with gin, vodka, tequila, blue curacao, sour, green tea, infused ginger ale, and grenadine.
351 Evergreen Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Sunrise/Sunset is a café, natural wine bar, and craft cocktail bar in the heart of Bushwick that sources all ingredients for their delicious food from organic farms. They also have a small grocery section with coffee, natural wines, and packaged sandwiches.
Their “sunrise” menu features delicious breakfast and lunch items and craft coffee drinks, while their sunset menu offers small plates, natural wines, and high-quality seasonal cocktails. You can stop in for a delicious plate of brioche French toast with fresh barriers and a foamy cappuccino on the weekends and pick up a fine bottle of wine for later on in the evening.
Bossa Nova Civic Club
1271 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Located across the Street from Mood Ring dive bar, Bossa Nova Civic Club is a hip Brooklyn nightclub throwing the best dance party in New York seven days a week. The house lights are always down, and the bar and DJ stand are backlit in tropical pinks and greens.
Bossa Nova Civic Club is a full cocktail and spirits bar with a modest beer selection. They have a happy hour around 7 pm to get you going, but the real fun starts in the late-night hours when the DJ set is at its peak, and everyone is shaking and grooving to the music.
1089 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Lone Wolf is a dimly lit, cool Bushwick dive bar and prime hangout spot for locals. Located a block from Kosciuszko Park on the border of Bushwick and Bed Stuy, Lone Wolf has cheap drinks, great background music, a lovely back patio, and a pool table. There are live DJ sets on the weekends and fun happy hours featuring free burritos with the purchase of a drink.
Lone Wolf has a wide array of frozen tropical drinks at affordable prices, along with local artisanal and domestic beer. They also have yummy seasonal cocktails like boozy hot chocolate.
411 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Lot45 is an artsy cocktail lounge and restaurant in a giant 5000 square foot artist collective with a heated garden and food truck, a giant living-room-style lounge with local art pieces lining the walls, and the main bar room with a stage, lounge seating, and a custom-made bar crafted from old bowling alley wood planks.
Located inside the famous Bushwick Collective, Lot45 is a bar and restaurant supporting local artists in a highly artistic and creative setting.
The menu at Lot45 features a slew of fruity cocktails with a tropical flair like the Tropical Bushwick with Tropical Red Bull, coconut rum, passionfruit juice, and club soda. Their food menu features the most decadent and refined bar fare like bacon-wrapped hot dogs and truffle mac and cheese.
214 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Starr Bar is a venue with a cause, offering its 2100 square foot event space as a home to parties, concerts, mixers, karaoke nights, film screenings, and fundraisers of all kinds to support local social justice movements. Their giant space is located half a block from the Jefferson L stop and has a kitchen, a giant projection screen, various seating areas, a dance floor, and a full bar.
Their full bar serves a creative cocktail menu with signature concoctions, classic cocktails with a modern twist, beer, wine, and mocktails. The food menu comes from Monks Vegan Smokehouse, with a wide variety of barbeque that even meat lovers would commend.
If you’re looking for the hippest, coolest nightlife in the five boroughs, you’ll find it in Bushwick. My eclectic list of the best bars in Bushwick features dive bars, cocktail lounges, artists collectives, beer gardens, and even a boozy yoga studio. Using my list as a guide, you can hop from one bar to the next for the most epic tour of Bushwick’s iconic bar scene.
If you’re looking for some fantastic eats to cure your hangover, check out my list of the best brunch spots in Bushwick.
Did we miss out on your favorite watering hole? Leave us a comment and let us know!