In this article, we will explore the vibrant nightlife scene in Brooklyn, New York. From trendy bars and hipster hangouts to live music venues and dance clubs, Brooklyn offers something for everyone. We will delve into the various neighborhoods and their unique offerings, as well as highlight some of the must-visit spots to experience the local nightlife. Whether you’re a local looking for new places to explore or a visitor wanting to make the most of your trip, we’ve got you covered with insider tips and recommendations. Get ready to discover the exciting and diverse nightlife that Brooklyn has to offer!
Nightclubs and Bars
Popular nightclubs in Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York, is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene. There are countless options for those seeking a night out on the town, from trendy bars to popular nightclubs. Let’s dive into some of the most popular nightclubs in Brooklyn.
One of the top spots for clubbing in the borough is Output. This multi-room nightclub is located in Williamsburg and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With world-class sound systems and renowned DJs spinning the latest beats, Output offers an unforgettable experience on the dance floor.
Another popular nightclub in Brooklyn is Bossa Nova Civic Club, located in the Bushwick neighborhood. Known for its intimate atmosphere and underground vibe, this club attracts a diverse crowd of music lovers. With a focus on techno and house music, Bossa Nova Civic Club keeps the party going into the early hours of the morning.
For those looking for a taste of the Caribbean, House of Yes is a must-visit nightclub in Brooklyn. Located in Bushwick, this vibrant venue offers a unique experience with its immersive and interactive performances. From themed parties to aerial acrobatics, House of Yes is a playground for those seeking an out-of-the-ordinary night out.
Trendy bars in the area
If you’re more in the mood for a laid-back night of socializing and enjoying great drinks, Brooklyn has no shortage of trendy bars to choose from. Here are a few of the best:
The Four Horsemen is a popular wine bar located in Williamsburg. With an extensive list of natural and biodynamic wines, this cozy spot is perfect for wine enthusiasts looking to expand their palates. The bar’s knowledgeable staff can help guide you through the selection and suggest pairings to enhance your tasting experience.
For craft cocktail enthusiasts, Weather Up in Prospect Heights is a must-visit. This sleek and stylish bar offers a curated menu of classic and innovative cocktails. The knowledgeable bartenders take pride in their craft and create drinks that are both visually stunning and delicious.
If you’re looking for a unique drinking experience, head to Barcade in Williamsburg. This bar combines two of Brooklyn’s favorite pastimes: drinking and playing arcade games. With a wide selection of vintage arcade games and an extensive beer list that features local craft breweries, Barcade offers a fun and nostalgic night out.
Live Music Venues
Brooklyn’s renowned music venues
Brooklyn has long been a hotbed of musical talent, and its live music scene is thriving. Whether you’re into rock, hip hop, jazz, or EDM, there’s a venue in Brooklyn that caters to your taste. Here are a few renowned music venues that you should check out:
Brooklyn Steel, located in Williamsburg, is a spacious venue that hosts a wide range of musical acts. With its state-of-the-art sound system and capacity to accommodate large crowds, Brooklyn Steel has become a go-to spot for both up-and-coming artists and established acts. The venue’s industrial aesthetic adds to the unique atmosphere of each performance.
If you’re a fan of jazz, Smalls Jazz Club in Clinton Hill is a must-visit. This cozy and intimate venue showcases some of the best local and international jazz talent. From late-night jam sessions to renowned jazz ensembles, Smalls Jazz Club offers a one-of-a-kind experience for jazz enthusiasts.
For those who enjoy a more eclectic mix of musical genres, National Sawdust in Williamsburg is the place to be. This innovative venue focuses on experimental and genre-defying performances. From classical to electronic, National Sawdust provides a platform for artists who push boundaries and challenge traditional notions of music.
Local bands and artists
Brooklyn is home to a thriving local music scene, with talented bands and artists showcasing their skills at various venues throughout the borough. Here are a few local acts that you should keep an eye out for:
One of Brooklyn’s most beloved bands is the indie rock outfit Big Thief. Known for their introspective lyrics and captivating live performances, Big Thief has gained a dedicated following both in Brooklyn and beyond. With their emotionally charged music, they have become a staple of the local music scene.
If you’re a fan of hip hop, you won’t want to miss the dynamic duo of Flatbush Zombies. Hailing from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, this rap group has gained recognition for their energetic live shows and thought-provoking lyrics. With their unique blend of hip hop and psychedelic influences, Flatbush Zombies are pushing the boundaries of the genre.
Another local act to watch out for is the soulful singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. With her haunting vocals and introspective songwriting, Van Etten has become a beloved figure in the indie music scene. Her emotionally charged performances resonate with audiences and have solidified her place in the Brooklyn music community.
Rooftop Bars and Lounges
Panoramic views from rooftop bars
One of the best ways to take in the breathtaking skyline of Brooklyn and Manhattan is by visiting one of the borough’s rooftop bars. Here are a few that offer panoramic views:
Westlight, located in Williamsburg, offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline from its rooftop terrace. This chic bar and restaurant is housed in the William Vale hotel and is known for its creative cocktails and upscale atmosphere. Whether you’re enjoying a refreshing drink by the outdoor pool or savoring a delicious meal while overlooking the city, Westlight provides a memorable experience.
Another rooftop bar with spectacular views is The Ides at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Perched on the sixth floor of the hotel, this trendy bar offers breathtaking vistas of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. With its modern and sleek design, The Ides is a popular spot for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy a drink with a view.
For those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere, Berry Park in Williamsburg is a great choice. This spacious rooftop bar offers unobstructed views of Manhattan and a relaxed vibe. With its extensive beer selection and outdoor seating, Berry Park is the perfect place to unwind after a long day and enjoy the scenery.
Chilled-out lounges with a view
If you prefer a more intimate setting, Brooklyn has plenty of chilled-out lounges that offer great views along with a cozy ambiance. Here are a couple of notable options:
The Brooklyn Heights Social Club, located in the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. This sophisticated rooftop lounge features a stylish indoor space as well as an outdoor terrace, where guests can enjoy craft cocktails and small bites while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club in Williamsburg is another hidden gem with a relaxed and nostalgic vibe. This intimate lounge offers live jazz performances and serves up craft cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era. With its dimly lit interior and rustic charm, St. Mazie provides a cozy setting for those looking to enjoy a night of live music and good drinks.
Underground and Alternative Scene
Hidden gems for alternative music
Brooklyn’s underground and alternative music scene is thriving, with a wide variety of venues and spaces dedicated to showcasing emerging artists and experimental sounds. Here are a few hidden gems that should be on your radar:
The Silent Barn in Bushwick is an experimental art space that hosts a range of events, including live music performances, art exhibitions, and film screenings. With its DIY ethos and commitment to showcasing marginalized voices, The Silent Barn provides a platform for artists who push boundaries and challenge the status quo.
Trans-Pecos in Ridgewood, just a short distance from Brooklyn, is another must-visit venue for fans of underground music. This intimate space features a laid-back atmosphere and hosts a diverse range of performances, from punk and noise rock to electronic and experimental. Trans-Pecos has become a hub for the local DIY music community and is known for its inclusive and welcoming environment.
Market Hotel, located in Bushwick, is a beloved institution in the Brooklyn music scene. This warehouse-turned-venue is known for its gritty and raw aesthetic, as well as its commitment to showcasing emerging artists. Market Hotel has a rich history of hosting memorable shows and has become a gathering place for music lovers who appreciate the underground and alternative scene.
Experimental art spaces and venues
In addition to the thriving music scene, Brooklyn is also home to a vibrant community of artists and experimental spaces. These venues push the boundaries of traditional art forms and provide a platform for innovation and creativity. Here are a few notable spots:
The Knockdown Center in Maspeth is a multidisciplinary art space that features immersive installations, performances, and exhibitions. Housed in a former factory, this sprawling venue offers a unique setting for artists to showcase their work and engage with audiences. From large-scale sculptural installations to interactive performances, The Knockdown Center invites visitors to explore the boundaries of contemporary art.
Wonderville, located in Bushwick, is an art and arcade bar that combines gaming with cutting-edge digital art. This innovative space features a curated selection of indie video games and showcases interactive works by local and international artists. Wonderville offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience art in a playful and interactive way.
For those interested in exploring experimental film and video art, Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg is a hidden gem. This microcinema showcases a diverse range of screenings, from obscure cult classics to avant-garde works. Spectacle Theater provides a platform for filmmakers who push boundaries and experiment with narrative and visual storytelling.
Laugh out loud at Brooklyn’s comedy clubs
If you’re in the mood for some laughs, Brooklyn’s comedy clubs are sure to deliver. From established comedians to up-and-coming talent, these venues offer a night of side-splitting humor. Here are a few comedy clubs worth checking out:
The Bell House, located in Gowanus, is a popular venue that hosts a wide range of events, including comedy shows. With its spacious interior and excellent sound system, The Bell House provides a comfortable and intimate setting for comedians to connect with their audience. From stand-up performances to improv nights, there’s always something hilarious happening at The Bell House.
Littlefield, also located in Gowanus, is another comedy club that offers a diverse lineup of comedic talent. This versatile venue hosts stand-up shows, improv nights, and comedy podcasts recordings. With its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, Littlefield provides a welcoming space for both comedians and audience members.
Comedy at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg is a weekly comedy showcase that features a mix of established comedians and up-and-coming talent. This intimate venue is known for its laid-back atmosphere and has become a magnet for comedy lovers in Brooklyn. With its affordable ticket prices and consistently great lineups, Comedy at the Knitting Factory is a must-visit for anyone looking for a night of laughter.
Stand-up performances by local and famous comedians
Brooklyn is home to a vibrant community of comedians, both local and internationally recognized. Here are a few names you might recognize:
Hannibal Buress, one of Brooklyn’s most famous comedians, is known for his deadpan delivery and hilarious observations. With appearances on popular TV shows like “Broad City” and his own Netflix specials, Buress has become a household name in the comedy world. Born and raised in Chicago, Buress made Brooklyn his home and continues to perform regularly in the borough.
Jena Friedman, a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer, is known for her sharp wit and fearless approach to comedy. With her provocative and thought-provoking material, Friedman has gained critical acclaim for her stand-up performances and her work as a correspondent on “The Daily Show.” She regularly performs at comedy clubs throughout Brooklyn, showcasing her unique blend of humor and social commentary.
Jo Firestone, a beloved figure in the Brooklyn comedy scene, is known for her offbeat and whimsical style. With her playful and energetic performances, Firestone has won over audiences with her creative and absurd humor. She hosts a popular monthly show called “Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow” at Union Hall in Park Slope, where she showcases a mix of local and established comedians.
Craft Breweries and Beer Gardens
Brooklyn’s craft beer scene
For beer enthusiasts, Brooklyn offers a thriving craft beer scene with a wide range of breweries and taprooms to explore. Here are a few notable options:
Threes Brewing, located in Gowanus, is a popular destination for beer lovers. This spacious brewery features a taproom where visitors can sample a variety of innovative and well-crafted brews. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, Threes Brewing offers something for everyone’s palate.
If you’re looking for a brewery with a neighborhood feel, check out Other Half Brewing in Carroll Gardens. Known for their hazy and juicy IPAs, this small and unassuming brewery has gained a dedicated following among beer enthusiasts. With their ever-changing selection of beers, Other Half Brewing keeps customers coming back for more.
For a taste of German-inspired brews, visit the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg. This iconic brewery has been a staple of the Brooklyn beer scene since it opened its doors in 1988. With its spacious beer hall and outdoor courtyard, the Brooklyn Brewery provides a welcoming atmosphere to enjoy a pint of their classic and seasonal brews.
Relaxing atmosphere at beer gardens
If you prefer to enjoy your beer outdoors, Brooklyn has a variety of beer gardens where you can relax and soak up the sun. Here are a couple of noteworthy options:
Greenwood Park in Gowanus is a sprawling beer garden that offers a lively and festive atmosphere. With its picnic tables, umbrellas, and large outdoor space, Greenwood Park is the perfect spot to gather with friends and enjoy a cold beer. The venue also hosts live music performances and sports screenings, making it a great destination for both day and night.
Berry Park, in addition to its rooftop bar, also features a cozy beer garden. This laid-back spot offers a relaxed atmosphere and is a popular spot among locals. With its ample seating and friendly staff, Berry Park’s beer garden is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a refreshing pint.
Speakeasies and Cocktail Bars
Secretive and stylish speakeasies
For those looking to step back in time and experience the allure of the Prohibition era, Brooklyn has a number of hidden speakeasies that offer a secretive and stylish atmosphere. Here are a couple of standout options:
Attaboy in the Lower East Side is a hidden gem that is worth crossing the bridge for. Although not technically in Brooklyn, this speakeasy offers a unique and intimate experience. With its unmarked entrance and intricate cocktail menu, Attaboy transports visitors to a bygone era of clandestine drinking. The bartenders at Attaboy are skilled mixologists who can craft a personalized cocktail based on your preferences.
Another speakeasy worth mentioning is The Moonlight Mile in Greenpoint. This cozy and dimly lit bar pays homage to the Prohibition era with its vintage decor and classic cocktails. With its intimate setting and attentive service, The Moonlight Mile offers a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere for those seeking a quiet night out.
Mixologists crafting unique cocktails
Brooklyn is home to a vibrant cocktail scene, with mixologists who are passionate about their craft and constantly pushing creative boundaries. Here are a few bars where you can find unique and expertly crafted cocktails:
Clover Club in Cobble Hill is a classic cocktail bar that has garnered national recognition for its impeccable drinks and elegant setting. With its extensive cocktail menu and knowledgeable staff, Clover Club has become a go-to spot for cocktail enthusiasts looking to try something new. The bar’s timeless charm and attention to detail make it a must-visit for those seeking a sophisticated night out.
If you’re looking for a bar with a focus on seasonal ingredients and innovative techniques, check out Leyenda in Carroll Gardens. This Latin-inspired cocktail bar offers a menu that combines traditional flavors with modern twists. With its vibrant and lively atmosphere, Leyenda provides a memorable experience for those looking for unique and well-crafted cocktails.
For a taste of nostalgia, head to The Rusty Knot in Red Hook. This dive bar offers a laid-back atmosphere and a menu of classic cocktails with a twist. From their signature piña coladas to their inventive takes on the Moscow mule, The Rusty Knot is the perfect spot to enjoy a casual drink in a kitschy setting.
Delicious food options after-hours
After a night of exploring Brooklyn’s nightlife, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Luckily, the borough offers a variety of late-night eateries that will satisfy your cravings. Here are a few options:
For those seeking a taste of the Mediterranean, Mamoun’s Falafel in Williamsburg is a go-to spot. This iconic shawarma joint serves up delicious falafel sandwiches and platters, along with other Middle Eastern favorites. With its convenient location and late-night hours, Mamoun’s Falafel is the perfect place to grab a quick and satisfying meal before heading home.
If you’re in the mood for a slice of New York-style pizza, Sizzle Pie in Bushwick has got you covered. This punk rock-inspired pizzeria offers a variety of creative pies, from classic pepperoni to vegan options. With their late-night hours and takeout options, Sizzle Pie is a favorite among locals for a quick slice on the go.
For a taste of Latin flavors, head to El Almacen in Williamsburg. This Argentine bistro offers a late-night menu that features traditional dishes like empanadas and choripán, along with a variety of enticing cocktails. With its cozy and inviting atmosphere, El Almacen provides a welcoming setting for a late-night meal with friends.
Food trucks and late-night diners
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more casual, Brooklyn’s food truck scene and late-night diners have got you covered. Here are a couple of options:
Calexico, a popular food truck that can be found in various locations throughout Brooklyn, offers a mouthwatering menu of Mexican-inspired dishes. From their signature carne asada burritos to their flavorful tacos, Calexico’s food truck provides a convenient and delicious option for those looking for a late-night snack.
For a taste of traditional American diner fare, head to Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights. This iconic diner has been a staple of the Brooklyn community since it opened its doors in 1936. With its retro decor and friendly staff, Tom’s Restaurant offers a nostalgic and comforting atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic burger or a stack of fluffy pancakes, Tom’s is the perfect place to satisfy your late-night cravings.
Festivals and Events
Celebrating arts, music, and culture
Brooklyn is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, and there are numerous festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate the borough’s diverse creative community. Here are a few annual events that you won’t want to miss:
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is a week-long celebration of hip hop music and culture. This annual event features performances by both established and up-and-coming artists, as well as panel discussions and workshops. The festival aims to highlight the impact of hip hop on the local community and promote positive social change through the power of music.
The Northside Festival, held in the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, showcases a mix of music, art, and innovation. With its lineup of local and international bands, art exhibitions, and tech conferences, Northside Festival provides a platform for emerging artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their work. The festival attracts a diverse crowd and offers a unique opportunity to experience the cutting edge of music and technology.
Another notable event is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a whimsical and colorful celebration of all things mermaid. This annual parade brings together artists, performers, and spectators for a day of creativity and revelry. Participants dress up in elaborate mermaid and sea-themed costumes and march through the streets of Coney Island, creating a spectacle that captures the imagination of both young and old.
Annual events and street festivals
In addition to the larger festivals, Brooklyn is also home to a variety of annual events and street festivals that showcase the borough’s unique character and cultural diversity. Here are a few that you should mark on your calendar:
The Atlantic Antic is one of Brooklyn’s oldest and largest street festivals. Held in the heart of Boerum Hill, this lively event features live music, food vendors, and craft stalls. With its family-friendly atmosphere and diverse offerings, the Atlantic Antic is a great way to experience the vibrant spirit of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods.
If you’re a fan of indie music and local art, make sure to check out the Bushwick Block Party. This annual event features live performances by local musicians, art installations, and food vendors. With its DIY ethos and inclusive atmosphere, the Bushwick Block Party embodies the creative spirit of the neighborhood.
For a taste of Caribbean culture, head to the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade in Crown Heights. This vibrant parade showcases the rich heritage of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn, with colorful costumes, music, and dancing. The event attracts thousands of spectators each year and offers a unique opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Caribbean culture.
Brooklyn, New York, offers a diverse and vibrant nightlife scene that caters to a wide range of tastes and interests. From popular nightclubs to trendy bars, live music venues to comedy clubs, and speakeasies to craft breweries, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a comedy lover, a cocktail connoisseur, or a foodie, Brooklyn has you covered. So grab your friends, explore the borough, and immerse yourself in the exciting and ever-evolving nightlife of Brooklyn.