Think nightlife in Williamsburg is limited to crusty dive bars and pretentious hipster hangouts? Think again–there are actually a number of cocktail haunts servings elegant drinks in cozy settings. Best of all, the drinks are usually less expensive than in Manhattan. Here are some of the best Billyburg bars to explore. By Selena Ricks-Good.

Credit: Dram.


177 S. 4th St.
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 486-3726

Handsome as an upstate cabin, this relaxed cocktail den features a rotating cast of top bartenders, all eager to make your drink just the way you like it. Choose from a menu of classics or go for a tiki concoction served over crushed ice, such as the Pressgang Swizzle (Smith & Cross Rum, Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, ginger syrup, lime juice, grapefruit juice, orgeat and bitters, $9).

Credit: Rye


247 S. 1st St.
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 218-8047

The New American cuisine here keeps this old fashioned joint bustling, but the cocktails are standout as well. All drinks are $10, including the Sufferin’ Bastard (gin, brandy, rye whiskey, house-made ginger beer, lime juice and angostura bitters). Grab a stool at the 21-foot bar made of reclaimed mahogany and enjoy your tipple with a side of oysters.

Credit: The Counting Room

The Counting Room

44 Berry St.
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 599-1860

Downstairs from the wine bar on the main floor, the basement lounge offers a mixed menu of classic and creative drinks, all $10. Get refreshed with A Lazy Spring (Beefeater Gin, rosemary-infused bianco vermouth, lemon juice, honey and black peppercorns). A DJ on Thursdays through Saturdays helps get the party started.

Credit: Huckleberry Bar

Huckleberry Bar

588 Grand St.
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 218-8555

One of the first cocktail bars to open in Williamsburg, this stylish and subtly romantic lounge—complete with backyard seating—churns out an inspiring menu based on classics. Drinks range from $10-$12, including the Brooklyn (Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Homemade Amer Picon, Luxardo Maraschino and dry vermouth). The bar also features a regular rotation of DJs, spirits tastings and hosts a Monday night movie series.

Credit: Maison Premiere

Maison Premiere

298 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
(347) 335-0446

Boasting the largest absinthe selection in NYC, this vintage New Orleans-meets-Paris boite will have you under its spell the moment you walk through the doors. Try an absinthe drip or one of the cocktails designed by head bartender Maxwell Britten. Drinks range from $8-$14, including The Turn of the Century (Kubler Absinthe, Lillet Blanc, creme de cacao and lemon juice).

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Selena-Ricks Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.