Prospect Heights is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but it’s got a big style all its own. The neighborhood has a long and rich history of cultural diversity, and in recent years has experienced an influx of new bars, restaurants, and retail shops.
Where should you go if you want a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine in Prospect Heights? The neighborhood has many awesome options, including vibrant places to party with friends or quiet, low-key spots where you can try craft brews from around the country.
Here are the best bars in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, including bars with sophisticated and trendy cocktails, wines from local winemakers, and even joints with jukeboxes where you can get Miller High Life in a can.
No matter what type of bar you want to hang out in, you’ll find it in Prospect Heights!
589 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Weather Up is a small, stylish bar with an unpretentious and classic style inspired by Prohibition-era cocktail lounges. You’ll find this modern-day speakeasy at the corner of Dean Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.
In true prohibition style, you won’t find much in the way of signage, but the large front windows will help you confirm you’re in the right place.
Their signature cocktails have some lofty goals, but the bartenders are more than skilled to deliver the good. I admit that some of the ingredients can seem a bit out there, but they combine well to create delicious drinks. Try the RGB, one of the local favorites.
Gold Star Beer Counter
176 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Gold Star Beer Counter is a bright and welcoming bar with high ceilings, light wood paneling, and a long counter that lends itself to friendly chats with fellow patrons. They’re just a few blocks west of the Grand Army Plaza at the intersection of Sterling Place and Underhill Avenue. You can sit inside, outside, or even order from the to-go window.
They’re one of my favorite places to hang with friends and enjoy a brew or two. Gold Star has 16 beers on tap plus over a dozen more in cans and bottles. You’ll find a rotating range of craft beers, including Sidra Natural, Cherry Abyss, and Augur Porter. They also serve sandwiches and snacks, such as a shareable meat-and-cheese tray.
686A Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Bearded Lady is a hip, friendly bar/café known for cocktails and classic eats. It’s a small, cozy spot built around a horseshoe-shaped bar. You’ll love the padded, yellow chairs! You can also sit at tables inside or out.
It’s a few blocks north of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Saint Marks Avenue.
Their menu changes each season, but you’ll always find plenty of expertly-crafted house cocktails and upscale but traditional bar food. If you’re looking for something with an extra kick, stop by on the weekends for the Third Shift, with bourbon and cold brew, or an Irish Coffee.
Ode to Babel
772 Dean St, Brooklyn, NY 11238
When I’m in the mood for a low-key night out, I head over to Ode to Babel. It’s a cool, relaxing bar with good food, delicious drinks, and a commitment to local arts.
You’ll find paintings, music, and more from the local arts scene. They’re between Atlantic Avenue and Prospect Park on Dean Street near Washington Avenue.
Are you a gin fan? Ode to Babel distills their own right here in town. Their citrus-forward gin features makrut lime, jasmine, ylang ylang, and juniper. If you want to know a secret, I’ve actually ordered this gin in other bars around the neighborhood! Aside from their gin-based drinks, they also offer a rotating menu of cocktails, beer, and wine, along with sandwiches and other light fare.
556 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
If you’ve never had a night out in Prospect Heights before, BierWax is a place I definitely recommend, as it delivers a fun and cool Brooklyn bar experience. They bill themselves as NY’s “premier vinyl record craft beer bar.”
Not only do they have over a dozen beers on tap, but they also have over 5,000 vinyl records, making it the perfect place for fans of music, beer, and good times. The bar is a few blocks west of Barclays Center on Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street.
Their beer menu features beer from local, independent breweries found throughout the state. The taps rotate frequently, so you’ll always find something new, and the knowledgeable bartenders are more-than-capable of helping you choose something you’ll love. The most recent time that my friends and I stopped in a BierWax, some of our favorites included the F1 Brett Gordon Ale and the Jelly King.
730 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Covenhoven gets my vote as the bar with the most fun name! It’s actually named after a historic farm once found in the area. Today, Covenhoven is known as the neighborhood clubhouse, where everyone is encouraged to pull up a seat and leave their troubles at the door. It’s found just four blocks up from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Classon Avenue Park Place and Prospect Place.
The beer selection rotates on a regular basis, but they always have 16 different options. Most beers are from within New York, but they also have some options from as far away as Oregon. Besides what’s on tap, Covenhoven also has over 250 different brands in bottles and cans.
Covenhoven always has a combination of classic and obscure brews. It’s one of my favorite places to take beer lovers!
71 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Sweet Polly is a cozy, contemporary Brooklyn bar with soft lighting, comfy leather booths, and a spacious, covered outdoor dining area. I recommend it for first dates or casual dining with friends. They’re right at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and 6th Avenue near Dean Playground.
They’re a cocktail bar with a series of custom creations like the Storm King, with rye whiskey and apple brandy, and the Joliet, with gin and absinthe. I’m a big fan of their Dracula Parrot, a rum drink with cold brew coffee liqueur, pineapple, and lime.
793 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Tooker Alley is a contemporary cocktail bar near Washington Avenue and Lincoln Place. The vibe inside is chill, the decor is retro, and the staff is friendly. If you’re looking for artisanal cocktails, this is one of my top recommendations.
Their best-known drink is the mysteriously-named and strong, Return of the Desert Samurai. Other popular faves include the pleasantly-sweet Peach Bourbon Belle and the orange-flavored El Lumo. Tooker Alley shares an outdoor seating area with an Asian restaurant next door, and you can order from the menus of both no matter where you sit.
353 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
If you want the full Brooklyn “dive bar” experience, check out Sharlene’s. It’s not fancy or flashy, but they have a cool, low-key environment where you can relax and enjoy one of their many one-of-a-kind cocktails. The bar is only two blocks north of Grand Army Plaza on Flatbush Avenue, right around the corner from the 7th Avenue Station.
Sharlene’s lets you bring in your own food. They also have board games and a jukebox. I love meeting friends here at a moment’s notice because you can walk in no matter what you’re wearing. They serve cocktails, craft beer, and dive bar classics such as cans of Miller High Life.
603 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Branded Saloon is a Brooklyn institution dating back over a decade. They’re a bar, live music venue, and home to Switch N Play, an innovative drag and burlesque show. You’ll find them on Vanderbilt Avenue at Bergen Street, near the Stylebox Salon and the Brooklyn Watch Shop.
There’s always a party at Branded. They have hot drinks, shots, specialty cocktails, wine, and even party-sized cocktails, including quartz or spicy margaritas and white sangria. You can hang out with friends, make new ones, or enjoy their many events, such as open-mic comedy, drag shows, and live music.
Shaka Shaka Tiki
64 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
If you’re visiting Prospect Heights from out of town and feeling a little lonely, stop by Shaka Shaka Tiki, where owner Garrett Mukai and his staff treat everyone like family. With lots of plants and macrame hangers, the place feels like you’re enjoying drinks at a friend’s house. They’re located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Bergen Street, right next to the Bergen Street Station.
Fresh ingredients are the name of the game here. They serve classic and signature cocktails, many with a Hawaiian theme. Keep in mind the place only seats about 12 people inside, so you might want to head over early in the evening. While enjoying your drinks, don’t forget to order Garrett’s famous Shaka Shaka Popcorn with butter, salt, and furikake seasoning.
406 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Beer, wine, or cocktails – whatever you fancy, you’ll find it at Bar Meridian. They’re a casual bar and restaurant with a stylish but cozy environment. It’s a social place with a large u-shaped bar that lends itself to conversation. They’re right on Washington Avenue in the midst of other popular neighborhood bars such as The Winey Neighbor and Washington Commons.
They’ll make you just about anything you want, but I recommend trying their signature cocktails. I love to pop in on a cold day for one of their hot drinks, such as the Warm Tight Hug, with rum and Benedictine, or the Hot Drink, with rye, Braulio, lemon, and honey.
Beer Street South
550 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Beer Street South is one of the most inviting bars in Prospect Heights. With its large windows and soft strings of lights, I started to unwind even before I set foot inside. They’re on Vanderbilt Avenue across the street from the Chabad Jewish Center.
Draft specials change daily, but they always offer up plenty of local options. I’ve had some truly great beers here, like the Farmhouse Pale Ale from Oxbow and Choppin’ Broccoli from the Other Half. Stop by for happy hour, which runs from five to seven during the week and from two to five on the weekends.
581 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
I don’t mean to whine, but so many bars in Prospect Heights focus on beer and cocktails yet seem to forget about wine. But not LaLou. They focus on biodynamic and small-production wines. Owners Joe Campanale and Dave Foss have created an inviting place for both wine newbies and vino veterans. The wine bar is two blocks south of Atlantic Avenue on Vanderbilt Avenue near Dean Street.
Their wine list includes over 150 bottles, with the menu arranged by region. Don’t worry if you’re like me – you love wines but don’t know much about them – because the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and not the least bit snobbish. Aside from wines, they also have cocktails, beer, and a full and dinner menu.
Do you love wine but don’t live in Prospect Heights? Members of their Wine Club receive between three and six hand-selected wines sent directly to their homes each month.
The Bilt Bar
583 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Bilt Bar is a casual neighborhood spot with a friendly staff, lots of music, and TVs so you can watch the game. They’re on the corner of Dean Street and Vanderbilt next door to the Chabad Jewish Center. They’re one block north of Weather Up, another one of the best bars in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
If you’re familiar with the neighborhood, you might recognize Bilt Bar as the former home of Woodwork. They have new owners with a new menu that focuses less on sports and more on creating a casual environment. You can choose from various beer and cocktail options plus upscale bar food like chicken wings.
I love the bars throughout Brooklyn, but if I have to pick, I’d say my favorites are in Prospect Heights. The neighborhood has many new bars opening up, but you can still see and feel the area’s connection to the past. It’s a fun, vibrant community with a thriving bar scene.
After spending time in the best bars in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, you’ll likely want to start the next day off nice and easy with brunch. Check out Our Favorite Downtown Brooklyn Brunch spots for local recommendations.
Bars in Prospect Heights aren’t always easy to find – some of the hippest joints don’t even have signs – so it’s safe to assume I might have missed an excellent place or two. If your favorite bars were left off the list, let me know in the comments below so that I can check it out!