NYCGuide

The Best Bars In Bed-Stuy

From a skate-themed spot to one of our favorite beer bars, here's where to drink in Bed-Stuy.

Bed-Stuy isn't just one of the top restaurant neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It also has some of the best bars. Whether you want to catch some live music, have a birthday party at a place that feels like a roller rink, or nerd out over some beer before squeezing yourself onto a very small dance floor, here's where to go.

THE SPOTS

This list isn’t ordered in any way, but Tip Top felt like it should be at the top (and not just because of the name). It’s the oldest bar on the list and probably our favorite. Technically this is a dive bar, but it’s friendlier than your average dive. The same family has owned this place for decades, and the decor consists of some Christmas lights, a good amount of Obama memorabilia, and an old jukebox in the corner with a solid playlist. Overall, it feels like someone turned their basement into a bar and refused to renovate it for 40 years.

If you're into nostalgia, neon, and strong frozen painkillers, All Night Skate is for you. This Bed-Stuy spot is heavily themed around the late-night roller rink parties you may or may not have attended as a child. There’s an entire room dedicated to retro arcade games, a second-floor balcony for people who are presumably very cool, and a jukebox that plays music you legally must dance to. Despite all of the fun decor, we feel a need to clarify that there is no actual roller skating to be done at All Night Skate. (Our server told us that insurance probably wouldn’t take kindly to mixing alcohol with shoes with wheels.)

We once walked into Zig Zag at 9pm on a Saturday night, and the bartender looked at us as if we were lost. It may have had something to do with the face that there were only about about five other people here. Whatever the reason, we're into this place. Zig Zag has an elaborate tropical theme—with leafy wallpaper, lots of plants, a shark hanging behind the bar, and a painting of a tiger. The (mostly rum) cocktails occasionally come in cat-shaped cups with big ass straws, and there's a plastic flamingo in the corner that someone will probably steal one day. Anyway, come here. It's fun, and it doesn't get too busy too early in the evening.

A "queer space for all," Oddly Enough is a good time all around. Most of the space is covered in tables, so you won't find any dancing here, but you'll probably hear some very loud funk or disco when you stop by. This is a great place to meet up with a friend, share a few small plates, and drink a glass of wine or a pepperoncini-infused martini. Try the whipped ricotta with a side of a focaccia, and grab a seat on the sidewalk patio if you'd like to feel a breeze.

Cocktail Brooklyn (previously Bed-Vyne Cocktail) wins two awards: Hardest Bar To Google and Friendliest Staff. That first award isn't too important, but you should know that the hospitality here is top notch. The bartenders know what they're doing (and have a bunch of fancy ingredients at their disposal), and someone might just check in on you and see if you need another drink while you're hanging out in the little backyard. The space is long and narrow, with brick walls and a few tables in the back, and there are some snacks here in case you get hungry.


Part cocktail bar, part restaurant, part coffee shop, and part live music venue, Bar Lunatico is easily one of the most fun places to hang out in Bed-Stuy. It’s a very narrow little space, so if your priority is to settle in for a night of drinking and snacking and music-enjoying, show up on the earlier side. That said, if you stumble into Bar Lunatico under any other circumstances, you won’t be disappointed. There's live music every night, and you can see the schedule of upcoming performances right here.


Dynaco imageoverride image

Dynaco

$$$$
Hours:FRIDAY5:00PM to 4:00AM

If you live in Bed-Stuy and don’t find yourself at Dynaco regularly, you might want to consider a major life change. This bar is warm and welcoming (without feeling “cute”), relaxed but not boring, and cool enough for just about anyone. There’s an impressive beer list, the cocktails are great, and the space feels like a dark cabin in the woods. The little back room is great for a first date, although the big round table at the end of the bar is technically the best place sit. Bring a small group, and claim it.


Chilo’s serve some killer tacos, and you can get those tacos from the truck that's parked on the back patio of this divey mezcal/tequila bar. Inside, it kind of feels like a place you’d see on CSI: Miami. By which we mean, there’s a lot of black and neon. They make a solid margarita and michelada, both of which are best enjoyed on that back patio (with lots of tacos). If you’re in the market for Happy Hour, they also do some drink specials.


C’mon Everybody is a few feet from Chilo’s, and you’re probably wondering how two bars can exist right next to one another. Well, Chilo’s has tacos and C’mon Everybody has music. This queer bar and venue has a space up front where you can have a casual drink as well as a room in the back where they host live music, comedy, DJs, and the occasional themed dance party. The events are ticketed, but they generally don’t cost much—and if you don’t feel like buying a ticket, you can just drink at the bar up front. The music up there won’t be live, but it will be very loud.


photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Do or Dive review image

Do or Dive

$$$$

Do or Dive was built to look it’s been around for decades, and it feels like sort of place where you’d want to get a drink after you lost a lot of money betting on horses. Inside, you’ll find a bunch of vintage beer signs, a few antique lamps, and some vinyl bar stools that look like they were stolen from a strip club or a bowling alley. Appropriately, the drinks are pretty cheap, and they also make some decent cocktails, like the boozy frozen coffee drink they serve in a paper cup. Expect young-ish crowds and general shenanigans.


photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Lover's Rock review image

Lover's Rock

$$$$

You should never not be in the mood to drink a rum punch and listen to reggae. If you feel like you aren’t in the mood, go drink a rum punch and listen to reggae. That’ll put you in the mood. You can do this at Lover's Rock. This a cocktail bar on Tompkins Ave where they make some good drinks and keep the lights dim. Reggae isn’t the only music they play, but don’t expect your standard Top 40. For a fun night out that isn’t too wild or high-maintenance, we highly recommend this place. When it’s warm, hit their backyard.


This place stays busy, and maybe that’s because of the bird art. There are 20+ paintings of birds here, and everyone knows that the bar with the best bird art wins. Bird art aside, people also come here to eat, drink, and talk to other folks who live in the area. This is a neighborhood bar, and they serve things like nachos, mozzarella sticks, and a fried chicken sandwich. It’s a nice little place to drink, snack, and hang out, and you can stop by for brunch on weekends.


Most nights, you’re going to find a crowd at Doris. So if you want to meet someone or just hang around a bunch of people and pretend they're your friends, come here. This place has a backyard, they often have a DJ playing vinyl, and the disco ball here seems to turn on at 11pm sharp. The space is attractive, with high ceilings and a vaguely-Southwestern theme, and it works just fine for a fun first date.


Glorietta Baldy pours some hard-to-find craft beers, but you can also get just a Narragansett here. They make some good drinks as well, although this place isn’t as fancy as your typical cocktail bar. So it’s the best of both worlds. There are even a few pinball machines for when you have a few beers and suddenly consider pinball a compelling game. Come here when you’re looking to have a calm, low-key night.


The vibes here are pure basement party. Bed-Vyne Brew is a dark, tiny space with some seating along one wall and a DJ booth in the back. It’s beer-and-wine-only, and you often see a crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk. Come here to nerd out over some beer, or stop by for a dance party. The little dance floor will fit maybe 10 people max. Be one of those 10 people.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Swell Dive review image

Swell Dive

$$$$
Perfect For:Late Night Eats

If bar food is the priority, go to Swell Dive. This Filipino/Tex-Mex spot serves great tacos on flour tortillas with ingredients like pork adobo, chorizo, cauliflower, and grilled fish. But we think you should get the taco with chicken-fried Spam. Pair it with a margarita, then see if a few of your friends want to play a board game. If you can't find a table in the relatively small indoor space, check the back patio.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

.
Lover's Rock review image
Review
Lover's Rock

Lover's Rock is a rum-and-reggae bar in Bed-Stuy where you can listen to music and hang out in a nice backyard.

Captain Dan's "Good Time" Tavern review image
Review
Captain Dan's "Good Time" Tavern

Captain Dan's is a Bed-Stuy bar with funky decor and some solid bar food.

Swell Dive review image
Review
Swell Dive

Swell Dive is a surf-themed bar in Bed-Stuy where you can get a Spam taco and play some board games.

Kings County Brewers Collective review image
Review
Kings County Brewers Collective

KCBC is a brewery and taproom in Bushwick that’s suitable for dogs, children, and adults.