By Sage Lazzaro
Ready for a night on the town? With all that Williamsburg has to offer, there’s no need to end up at the first Irish pub you see. RoomZoom rounds up seven Williamsburg gems that check every box, from the perfect wine-and-cheese spot to the throwback combo of Bud Light and Pac-Man.
135 Graham Ave
Walk in the door, spot the giant feather, and follow the arrow to access this speakeasy joint that’s intimate but not overtly romantic. Acclaimed for its alluring ambience of mystery and class, Featherweight serves up drinks to match. With its top-notch mixology program featuring competitively priced concoctions, you’ll be missing out if you come in looking for a G&T. Guests are always invited to name their favorite ingredients, so the bartenders can whip them up something special.
388 Union Ave
This Willamsburg haunt may not seem like much from the outside, but walk through the doors and you’ll be jolted back in time to a retro arcade housing dozens of classic games like Frogger, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong. These seemingly archaic machines aren’t for decoration, though—everyone is playing, for only 25 cents. To match their roomy warehouse space, Barcade touts a huge variety of drinks that includes 20 rotating microbrews on tap. If you’re ever wanting to embrace nostalgia, Barcade on Williamsburg’s north side (or one of its sister locations in Jersey City or Manhattan) is the place to go.
609 Grand St.
Photo: Noorman’s Kil
This place is known for two things: whiskey and grilled cheese sandwiches. With over 400 varieties of the former and eight delicious offerings of the latter, both are plentiful. If that sounds intimidating, though, don’t worry. Noorman’s Kil can also keep it simple with an expertly written menu and approachable bartenders who make sure connoisseurs aren’t the only ones who feel welcome in this venue’s inviting wooden bar and outdoor courtyard.
161 Montrose Ave
No neighborhood is complete without a dive bar that’s quirky and easygoing. With its half-and-half blend of church pews and leather couches, and of course, yellow duckies scattered around the interior, duckduck fills that role for East Williamsburg. Drinks are inexpensive in general, and during happy hour, beer is BOGO and mixed drinks are discounted. And while there’s no kitchen, they allow you to bring your own food.
298 Bedford Ave
This bar features a cozy atmosphere, a beautiful outdoor patio, and an oyster happy hour, during which 20 or so varieties are served for around $1 each. Their other specialty? Absinthe, and the two are a match made in heaven. Bow tie-clad waiters echo the vintage ’20s vibe as they shed their expertise on eager guests looking for the perfect pairing. This place is a must for all seafood lovers, but make sure to call ahead for a reservation!
113 North 3rd St.
We couldn’t forget this drinking destination, which features as many events as it does varieties of beer, including jazz brunch, beer tasting sessions, and nightly live performances. The venue is huge and is separated into a few areas, including a dark, candlelit bar, a grand beer hall, and a spacious outdoor courtyard. They serve a wide variety of sausages among other foods, and while Radegast is perfect for any night, there’s especially no better place to celebrate Oktoberfest.
639 Driggs Ave
Photo: Sort of Wine Bar
If ever there was a place that managed to feel both fancy and unpretentious, this is it. Sort of Wine Bar is perfect for a wine-and-cheese type of night, but don’t think you have to know a lot about either to swing by. There’s a wide variety of unique organic wines at this neighborhood gem, and you’re always welcome to sample a few. The staff, including the two French men who own it, are always pleasant company.
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