New York City

5 of the Most Unique Bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

by Jessie Frizzell  |  Published March 5, 2024

Williamsburg has emerged as one of New York’s most popular neighborhoods to live in and go out. It is also home to some of the most fun bars in the city. 

(Photo: Fresh Kills Bar)

Getting lost in the flood of places to go out in Williamsburg is easy. This hip Brooklyn neighborhood has the second highest number of bars per capita in New York City and offers unique, bibulous experiences for every social occasion. With a slew of nightlife options, the competition to stand out is steep; however, each bar on this list steps beyond the typical New York pub. From an elevated cocktail lounge to a German-inspired beer garden, these drinking dens are some of the most fun bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Skinny Dennis 

Skinny Dennis is an enduring Williamsburg watering hole. This dive bar brings a little bit of the South to the North with all the twang of a Nashville honky-tonk in the heart of Brooklyn. Beers hail from the many microbreweries around Brooklyn, and their limited cocktail list includes southern inspirations like a refreshing bourbon mint sweet tea or their ever-popular coffee drink. This beverage is served in an iconic New York to-go coffee cup and imitates an espresso martini in a far larger cup loaded with whipped cream. But the real draw to this bar lies in the live music. Weeknights tend to be quieter and highlight golden-age country classics or bluegrass tones; weekends are packed wall-to-wall with everyone singing and dancing to country favorites. This bar may be the last place in New York where you can wear cowboy boots without being mistaken for a hipster. 

152 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

BK Backyard Bar

(Photo: BK Backyard Bar)

(Photo: BK Backyard Bar)

BK Backyard brings the American pastime of tailgating into the city, covering the ground with AstroTurf and field markings that turns into a dance floor on summer weekends. During the day, BK Backyard Bar supplies all the energy of a mid-July barbeque. They have cornhole, lawn games, and a massive projection screen. The team turns part of the lot into a beach volleyball court when the weather is warm. Instead of a traditional bar menu, the property’s southern border is lined with food trucks, offering rotating fare options for guests, from crispy southern fried chicken to tangy pork buns. BK Backyard shines during summer, but they’re open all winter with a heated barn and plenty of screens to catch Sunday’s game or Monday’s episode of The Bachelor. It’s like hanging out in your backyard but in the middle of Brooklyn.

86 N 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

The Woods 

The Woods is a local secret. It is one of those cool bars that college students and tourists haven’t discovered yet, and it’s one of the last places in Brooklyn to get inexpensive drinks. Every Friday and Saturday is ‘Power Hour’ from 8 pm to 9 pm, where cocktails, drafts, wells, and tacos are only $5 each. This place is humming on certain weeknights, and they have the best DJs remixing anything from early 2000 favorites to modern beats and reggaeton. You can stay updated on visiting DJs, music acts, and themed nights by regularly checking their Instagram page, where they actively post. The party starts at about 8 pm and doesn’t end until late, usually at 4 am, sometimes even later.

48 S 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Union Pool

(Photo: Union Pool)

If dancing is the goal, Union Pool is the place to go—large pleather booths and a modest dance floor line the walls of the first room. The music is more mainstream but always a blast––expect to hear “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at least once. A parked food truck sells amazing handmade tacos––their tomatillo salsa is mild, but the bright citrus flavors add a zing that pulls the whole dish together. It’s a must-try. After filling up (or just re-fueling) on tacos, you can dance it off in the back room. There’s a massive projector displaying curated graphics or retro MTV music videos, and the music is always killer. What’s cool about Union Pool is everyone coming here to meet new people. You could walk in with one friend and walk out with five more and brunch plans for Sunday afternoon.

484 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Fresh Kills Bar

(Photo: Fresh Kills Bar)

(Photo: Fresh Kills Bar)

Velvet-curtained windows sink into the unassuming facade of an old brick townhouse at Fresh Kills Bar, the sister bar to the acclaimed Long Island City establishment Dutch Kills. The menu features “meticulously and fastidiously” crafted cocktails, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your order. If nothing on their inventive cocktail list suits your mood, a mixologist can create a bespoke drink to fit any flavor palate. They use only the freshest ingredients: handmade syrups, top-quality spirits, and hand-cut ice. Fresh Kills Bar takes its cocktails so seriously that, along with listing the flavor notes, its team credits the drink’s inventor. The chic, minimalist interior and intimate seating arrangements make this an excellent place for a one-on-one catch-up or date night. Drinks are on the more expensive side, but they do not disappoint. 

161 Grand Street, Brooklyn, 11249

Radegast Hall & Biergarten

Radegast transports you back in time to the German beer halls of old–– either that or it evokes a perpetual Oktoberfest celebration. They have over 20 beers, some of which you can order by the pint or stein. This beer garden specializes in importing brews from Germany, Belgium, and Austria with over 10 on draft and a fabulous wine list showcasing Eastern European vineyards. A beautiful outdoor patio is perfect for summer, but it’s most known for its massive picnic tables resembling a classic Bavarian Biergarten. Most days, they entertain with live music and always feature a killer DJ on weekends. On packed Fridays and Saturdays, people dance on the tables, toting massive steins. They also host a gigantic Oktoberfest party in the fall, where people show up in full Bavarian garb, lederhosen and all.  

113 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249