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.
The Best Bars In Bed-Stuy image

photo credit: Nikko Duren

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.


photo credit: Noah Devereaux

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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.

We find every possible excuse to go to this red-lit bar on Nostrand Ave. Need a spot for a group that enjoys gin and having a good time? Get a pitcher of negronis at Bad Luck Bar. A place to slurp Happy Hour oysters with someone you love? There's a table in the window at Bad Luck Bar. And a place to be alone, but not too alone? Take a seat at the round marble bar, for a thick slice of pan pizza. Just don't bring your first dates here. You don’t want your new favorite spot ruined by someone who might suck.

Frog isn’t just any wine bar. It’s a natural wine bar, which means the glasses are stubby, the vibe is casual, and the clientele look as if they spend the majority of their time watching Tiny Desk Concerts on Youtube. If you’re looking for a place to read a book or chat with a date while you drink a chilled red that tastes like grape Kool-Aid with a hint of jockstrap, Frog is a wonderful choice. There’s a bright red pool table in the back of the little space, and the tree-lined backyard looks like a miniature Jardin du Luxembourg.

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.

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 on 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 fact that there were only 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.

A "queer space for all," Oddly Enough is a good time all around. The café-like room is filled with tables, and it’s a great place to meet up with a friend, share a few small plates, and drink a pepperoncini-infused martini. Grab a seat on the sidewalk patio if you want to feel a breeze, and check their IG for upcoming events like tarot readings, dance parties, and queer cocktail hour.

Hidden in a narrow, brick-lined space on Halsey, Cocktail Bed-Stuy makes some of the most impressive drinks in the neighborhood. The bartenders here know what they're doing, and they have a bunch of fancy ingredients like lychee liqueur and paprika honey at their disposal. If you’re going on a first date or would like to eavesdrop on an awkward first date, stop by and grab a barstool. When the weather’s nice, you can also hang out in the little backyard with string lights and wooden benches.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux




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 round table at the end of the bar is technically the best place to sit. Bring a small group, and claim it.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Chilo’s serves 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 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. 

Do or Dive feels like the 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 the surprisingly decent cocktails are reasonably priced as well. Expect a youngish crowd and general shenanigans.

You should always be in the mood to drink a rum punch and listen to reggae. If you feel like you aren’t, go drink a rum punch and listen to reggae. That’ll put you in the mood. You can do this at Lover's Rock, 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, head to the backyard.

Captain Dan’s is a low-key bar filled with paintings of birds, and it’s a nice place to eat, drink, and talk to other folks who live in the area. They have a great selection of bar food, and it’s all above average, so come by if you want to enjoy a casual meal that consists of loaded cheese fries, pulled pork sliders, and a pimento grilled cheese. There’s also brunch on weekends until 4pm.

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 has high ceilings and a vaguely-Southwestern theme, and it works just fine for a fun first date, although you should know that there isn’t much seating.

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.

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