The Best Bars In Crown Heights & Prospect Heights
Where you should be drinking in Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
Different bars are good for different things. Dancing, for example. Some bars, you just can’t dance at. Plus, not every bar does a good cocktail. And if you just want to grab a beer with friends, you’ll need a quiet, laid-back place. Variety - it’s wonderful, and Crown and Prospect Heights have plenty of it. Any type of bar you could want, these neighborhoods have. So the next time you go out in the area and you’re looking for something specific, use this guide. It’ll help you find places to dance, drink, or play pool. Although you probably aren’t as good at those things as you think.
You could make the case that Crown Heights is the new Williamsburg, and King Tai would make for some pretty solid evidence. It’s a tiny bar that feels like a soda fountain for adults, and it attracts the sort of people who look like they should live in Williamsburg but can no longer afford to (because no one can). It’s a nice place to get a drink. Weekends are fun and lively, and they somehow fit a DJ in the corner.
Bearded Lady is the best of both worlds. It’s nicer than your average bar, but they also have a pool table. They also make good cocktails (but also serve cheap domestic beer). So you can either sit at a table and have a nice cocktail while you talk about how the latest “Shouts and Murmurs” was really funny (but not, like, laugh-out-loud funny), or you can loiter around the pool table like you’re in some hipster remake of The Hustler. Do what you want here. It’s an ideal neighborhood hang.
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Weather Up is the closest thing to a Death & Co in Prospect Heights. It’s a discreet little cocktail bar with fancy ice cubes and fancier bartenders. If all you want is a relatively quiet drink, come here. The cocktails are excellent, and the odds are slim that anyone will puke on your shoes. Bring a date. It’s a good place to sit and talk.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
The Crown Inn
If Crown Heights has a neighborhood bar, it’s currently Crown Inn. This place is a pub, but not a sleepy one. Weekends are, in fact, very loud and pretty crowded. The crowd skews a little older than a place like Friends and Lovers or Franklin Park, however, and that means it doesn’t get as stupid. (No one’s going to ask you for a light while holding a lighter then trip into a wall.) It’s a good place to drink with friends, and you could even meet a Tinder date here. It’s dark enough for that.
Speaking of Friends and Lovers, it’s a mess. But sometimes you want that. All of these bars serve a different purpose, and the purpose of this place is to have a few too many drinks and dance. There are two rooms here and, on weekends, the back room turns into a dance party with a rotating DJ. Expect people fresh out of college as well as the types of people who still feel like they’re fresh out of college. Just know that it’s cash-only and they might charge a cover.
Franklin Park is like a younger version of Union Pool. In the daytime or on weeknights it might feel like a neighborhood beer garden, but on weekends it turns into partytime. There’s an outdoor space in the front where people can hang out, but the action happens in the main bar area (that turns into a dance floor). If a large, slightly drunk crowd is your priority, come here. Also, your friend visiting from out of town might like it. (New York City!)
When you want something between a quiet bar and a place where people are getting sweaty on each other, try Two Saints. On a slow night, you could bring a date and have a few drinks, but on weekends it’s a little too busy for conversation. The bar itself isn’t huge, but there are a decent number of tables and a nice sitting area in the back corner. They also have a DJ. Which makes us think that this neighborhood has a surplus of DJ’s. We aren’t complaining.
Dear beer nerds, we give you Covenhoven. Get a craft beer on tap or pick an obscure bottle from their fridge. There’s a big selection, and they’ll even pour you a taste. Non-beer nerds should know, however, that this is actually a nice place to hang out. There are a bunch of tables inside, but the backyard is truly where it’s at. It’s a little fenced-in area with patio furniture, and if you dress warm on a cool night, you might get it all to yourself.
Berg'n is permanently closed
In Prospect Heights, Berg’n is the default place for a large group hang. Why? Because it’s big. They have a huge indoor space with long tables and there’s an outdoor patio space as well. There are also a few vendors serving sandwiches, barbecue, and Filipino food. It’s sort of like a (good) food court with a full bar and lots of craft beer.
Ode to Babel looks like your living room if your living room had a bar. It’s a little hybrid shop/venue/lounge, and it’s a sleeper candidate for the best first-date spot in the neighborhood. There might be a DJ (naturally) playing some good music in the corner, but there won’t be a ton of people shouting at one another. There are also a few nice couches, a couple of tables, and they host live music some nights.
Gold Star Beer Counter
Beer nerds, we’re back. And now we have Gold Star for you. They have 16 beers on tap at any given time, and they’re all of the relatively obscure craft variety. So go ahead and collect them all like they’re Pokemon. You can even take a growler to go, and nothing says I might probably live in Brooklyn like a growler. They also have bottles, cans, and snacks like meat and cheese.
If you thought the ecosystem of Nostrand Ave could only house one tiki bar (King Tai is technically tiki), you were wrong. Super Power is as tiki as they come. Stop by and get a drink with an umbrella in it. On weekends, it’s full of young people sipping drinks with umbrellas in them. The vibe is dark-hipster-beach-party, and there’s a pinball machine in the back. You can bet it will be taken.