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Food + Drink

The Best Bar Bites in Brooklyn

Grab a cold one and try not to let your tummy rumble too much – we're talking primo pub fare from the epicenter of NYC's bar scene: Brooklyn.

No longer are the days of pawed-over peanuts and pretzels, subpar burgers and soggy fries. A new wave of gastropubs, oyster houses, and tapas joints has officially changed the bar food game, pairing long lists of craft cocktails and beers, with inventive, often artisanal, plates.

In NYC, the movement can best be seen in Brooklyn, the indisputable it borough when it comes to elevated pub grub and general tavern culture. In Brooklyn Bar Bites: Great Dishes and Cocktails from New York’s Food Mecca, BK-based food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman dives into the ever-evolving scene, going spot to spot to meet the mixologists and chefs behind the neighborhood’s finest food and drink.

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Scott-Goodman’s bar crawl takes her through every corner of Brooklyn: from the hip (and totally expected) enclaves of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick, to quickly diversifying corners of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, and Park Slope, and even the neighborhoods people too often sleep on, like Red Hook and Crown Heights.

She crosses paths with Old-World New Orleans-inspired oyster houses, no-nonsense American kitchens and bars, 1920s-style speakeasies, and laid-back cocktail lounges, all in pursuit of the borough’s absolute best.

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Left, the Adonis cocktail from Maison Premiere in Williamsburg. Right, the grilled cheese plate from Tooker Alley in Crown Heights.

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A classic old-fashioned from Bar Below Rye in Williamsburg

Between the glossy pages you’ll find her efforts (and photographer Jennifer May’s) amount to mouthwatering snaps of Korean tacos from Little Dokebi, braised pork belly from Dear Bushwick, and ricotta crostini from Colonie; thirst-inducing images of the Singani Spritz from Grand Ferry Tavern, the Lucky Dog from Achilles Heel, and the Cold Toddy from Bar Chuko.

Beyond the pretty pictures and fun bar anecdotes, you’ll uncover the best part of the book: exact food and cocktail recipes straight from the mixologists and chefs, so you can whip up your very own replicas. So cheers to crafting your own night out, even if you feel like staying in!

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Ground pork rice bowl from Bar Chuko in Prospect Heights

Brooklyn Bar Bites, published by Rizzoli, is available in bookstores and online at Amazon

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