Brooklyn is known as one of the hippest places to live and visit, not just in New York City but anywhere.
It’s a cultural hotspot that brings together artistic talents from all over the globe. The Crown Heights section of Brooklyn is an epicenter of that culture.
Initially known for a high population of Jewish and Caribbean immigrants, Crown Heights now marries that flavor with unique spots like the Brooklyn Museum. And when you have a great culture, you know you’re going to find great bars.
Crown Heights is home to some of the newest, best, and brightest bars in the city, as well as some institutions that have been around for decades.
Crown Heights has bars for every desire and personality, from beer gardens to throwback spots to modern places serving craft cocktails. These bars serve great drinks, great food and promise a fun time whenever you go.
Check out my list of the best bars in Crown Heights, Brooklyn below!
We start our journey off on Franklin Street at Butter & Scotch. When you think “bar,” you might consider a dive or a lively cocktail joint.
However, butter & Scotch is totally different because they’re part bar and part bakery! So go in and get one of New York’s best birthday cakes alongside a cocktail or a glass of wine.
I love the Disco Nap, which is coffee-infused tequila alongside a splash of amaro. It’s sweet and gives you that caffeine jolt.
What makes it even better is to get it with a slide of s’more pie, with a house-made graham crust, chocolate custard, and toasted marshmallow.
1095 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Get yourself down to Bergen Street and visit King Tai for a fun spot with a neighborhood feel. As you might expect from the name, King Tai’s specialty is tropical cocktails.
King Tai also offers pop-ups of local chefs and rotating DJs, so there’s always a great atmosphere.
To me, the classic rum punch is a great way to go. White rum, pineapple, cherry, and lime come together ideally in this concoction.
The Mainlander is a concoction of dry gin, Aperol, and Pimm’s if you like something a bit more bitter. It’s bright with a boozy hit!
730 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Covenhoven sits just steps from the Park Place Metro stop and offers a haven for beer lovers all over Brooklyn.
Covenhoven offers 16 rotating beer taps along with more than 250 bottles and cans at any given time. Guests can enjoy themselves at the bar or head outside to Covenhoven’s peaceful garden.
Covenhoven also has food to match beer. Their ham & Gruyere grilled cheese is salty perfection. But the thing I get every time I go is one of the pretzels.
Available in salted or cheddar truffle, these are great to rip apart, dip in mustard, and enjoy alongside a cold draft.
724 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Crown Inn is on Franklin Avenue and offers great drinks in a Prohibition-era feeling location. Relative to many Crown Heights bars, the Crown Inn is huge and has a comfy, friendly vibe to match.
Signature cocktails rotate by the season, so there’s always something fresh. If you’re going in the winter months, check out the Sunday Morning.
This cocktail has apple brandy, cognac, sweet and dry vermouths, and garnishes of apple and cinnamon. It’s a cold drink, but it’ll warm you right up! The Crown Inn has an impressive spirits list to cover whatever you’re in the mood for.
658 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11216
Nostrand Avenue Pub is, you guessed it, prominently placed on Nostrand Avenue. This casual spot is open until 4 AM and also offers outside sitting.
They’re relatively unique as well in that they have a bring-your-own-food policy. So grab some pizza and head on over.
At Nostrand Avenue Pub, you’re probably going there for the beer. They have more than 20 taps rotating.
They feature local Brooklyn and New York City breweries, some of the best microbrews from the United States, and also some from Europe. It’s a great selection and definitely enough to keep you coming back again and again.
722 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11216
Staying on Nostrand Avenue, we’ll next head over to Super Power. If you’re like me and you’re a fan of fun vibes, a hip bar, and creative Tiki drinks, you’ll absolutely love Super Power. The cocktail menu focuses on twists on Tiki classics.
For me, the hit is the mezcal mai tai. Instead of rum, this treat comes with mezcal, tequila, orange liqueur, spiced plantain, lime, and mint.
It takes the mai tai flavors I love and kicks them up with a hint of smokiness. I like to pair that with the banh mi dog with pickled veggies and aioli.
686A Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Right off St. Marks Avenue, Bearded Lady is a throwback in all the best ways. When you walk in, you’ll feel like you’re in a ‘50s-style diner. Bright colors, huge windows, and creative cocktails await you every time you visit.
The menu features upscale versions of classic cocktails. For example, the island sazerac, made from brandy, aged rum, absinthe, triple bitters, cinnamon, and grapefruit oil, brings a sweet twist.
I also love Bearded Lady’s coffee drinks, especially the Third Shift. That combines cold brew, bourbon, and grapefruit juice into a bitter yet smooth delight. The bar bites at Bearded Lady are also a hit!
1433 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Catfish, near the corner of Prospect Place and Bedford Avenue, brings a distinctly New Orleans feel to Crown Heights.
With an ambiance that screams modern country and a kitchen focusing on craft beer, cocktails, and Cajun food, Catfish is an excellent experience.
I always get the Hot Blooded, a mezcal-based cocktail with some smokiness behind it. Catfish also has tons of Southern entrees as well that are worth checking out.
Mine’s the catfish & grits. Available blackened or fried, the fish is always perfectly cooked and served alongside creamy garlic cheese grits. Don’t forget to finish your time at Catfish with their beignets!
641 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Friends and Lovers sits on Classon Avenue and is one-of-a-kind in Crown Heights. It’s as much of an experience as it is a bar.
Friends and Lovers is a community space and a performance venue, so it’s a great spot to see live bands and DJs, as well as great theme nights and dance parties.
But what’s a party without a cocktail? My personal recommendation at Friends and Lovers is the Scofflaw. It’s a mix of rye, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and grenadine.
It’s sublime! The bar also offers a good selection of beer and wine if you want something a little more traditional.
753 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11216
Two Saints, on the corner of St. Johns Place and Nostrand Avenue, has a very old-school look and feel. But the Caribbean-inspired cocktail menu is anything but out of date, and Two Saints is a great, quiet spot to kick back and have a few drinks with friends.
The Montenegro Mule is fantastic. It’s a spicy, boozy delight made with Tito’s vodka, Montenegro, lime, and ginger beer.
Next, check out the You’re Old Fashioned Darling for another twist on a well-known cocktail. It starts with a base of your choice of rye whiskey or dark rum, then combines with sugar and bitters.
766 Franklin Avenue, 618 St Johns Pl, 11238
Brooklynites despaired when Franklin Park, a popular beer garden on Franklin Avenue, closed in December 2020.
Fortunately, the closure was temporary, and Franklin Park reopened in March 2021, giving another fun, local spot where the beer flows cold.
Franklin Park offers a huge rotating tap list and bottles. They’re also well known for Dutch Boy burgers, their house burger.
These are perfectly griddled, coming on a soft bun with pickles, onion, and lettuce. Get it with waffle fries! Beers, burgers, outside seating. What else do you need?
793 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
If you’re ever visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or Brooklyn Museum and need a cool, retro spot, take a trip over to Tooker Alley. Tooker Alley is a very intimate spot with a neat vibe. Craft cocktails and excellent bar food are the fares of the day.
For an incredible bite, look no further than the Your Date Bites. These are dried dates that come stuffed with manchego cheese and wrapped with prosciutto before being served alongside olive oil and balsamic. No matter what your drink of choice is, these are the perfect side for them. Kick back and relax!
608 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11216
Sweet Brooklyn is a relaxed sort of bar sitting just a few steps off of Atlantic Avenue. The decor is steampunk inspired and a lot of nights have live music. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends, have a drink, and waste the evening away.
The rum punch is a classic, coming with coconut rum, rum, orange, and pineapple juice, and finished with grenadine.
For something a little different, check out the Flowerbomb, a vodka drink that combines Elderflower, peach puree, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. It packs a punch!
645 Sterling Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Altar is a newer cocktail bar sitting over on Sterling Place. The man behind Altar, Phil Ward, helped usher in the tequila and mezcal renaissance of the early 2010s, so you know that you’re going to a place with fresh ideas in a classic vibe. Altar is a great experience.
The Femme Fatale is one of my favorites. Made from passion fruit pear vodka, campari, manzanilla, and verjus, it’s a refreshing and complex drink.
When I’m at Altar, I will often get their ciabatta melt as well. It comes with bacon-prune jam and is the perfect salty-sweet meal for my cocktail.
100 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Over by the Monarch Butterfly Garden is our final stop: Kingston Public House. This newer spot has a great selection of beer and wine, as well as specialty cocktails. It’s an airy, relaxed space perfect for happy hour or just a quiet drink.
At Kingston Public House, I like to stick with the classics. The Manhattan, Tequila Sunrise and classic Margarita are all awesome.
When I’m feeling a little more adventurous, I will get the Between The Sheets, a cognac-based drink with white rum, cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. Very smooth, very tasty, very addictive. Be sure to check it out.
Those are my Crown Heights favorites, but believe me when I tell you that there are a ton more bars, pubs, and taverns in the area.
Whether you’re coming to Brooklyn to check out the bar scene or grab some pizza, Crown Heights is always an amazing experience.
I love spending time in Crown Heights and checking out new places because I know that I’m almost guaranteed a great night no matter where I go. Definitely try out all of these bars, and then find some more local favorites.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!