The Ultimate Nightlife Guide to Bushwick, Brooklyn’s After Hours Epicenter

The best Bushwick bars and clubs, plus where to go for late-night eats.

The Sultan Room
The Sultan Room | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist
The Sultan Room | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist

More often than not, there's only one inevitable answer when deciding where to go out for a wild night in Brooklyn: Bushwick, of course.

Nightlife has been a core part of the industrial North Brooklyn neighborhood's identity since the late '00s and early 2010s when rapid gentrification brought more young people into the predominantly Latinx community. Warehouses became clubs, musicians and music fans founded DIY spaces, and cocktail lounges for tasteful creatives or dives for local skateboarding contingents began lining streets off the L—and HBO's Girls all but confirmed its party scene reputation, which it's held onto to this day.

There's a whole array of night-out spots to hit in Bushwick, though—like the neighborhood's notable dining scene, which features everything from hotspot eateries to veteran family-owned businesses. There's certainly no shortage of live music venues, and lots of spots to hit the dance floor or grab a late-night bite. For whatever the night has in store, here are some of the best places to go out in Bushwick.

Avant Gardner
Avant Gardner | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist

If you consider yourself a real EDM head, you may as well throw on your best rave wear and head straight to Avant Gardner. The large, three-room venue (technically located in East Williamsburg) is your typical warehouse-turned-party-spot, elevated. Home to indoor rooms The Great Hall and The Kings Hall, as well as the outdoor spot Brooklyn Mirage, Avant Gardner basically matches the energy of festivals like Electric Zoo every night. It's known for impressive light and visual displays and frequent sets headlined by notable EDM artists (in addition to pop, hip-hop, and rock acts who also tour through). And when you need to recharge after reveling in so many beat drops, it even keeps the fest experience going with its Food Court that offers a variety of bites from DJ/chef Chris McLaughlin.

Alphaville bushwick nightlife
Alphaville | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist

Do you want to see a cool band well before their big break? Go to Alphaville and you're sure to get bragging rights, considering the bar books a lot of DIY artists on the rise (even before they play spaces like Zone One). The bar used to be your typical dive, but after it was closed for much of the pandemic, it reopened in 2022 with a charming, chic arcade feel (there's skeeball!), while retaining its local haunt feel. Tickets for most shows are still just less than $15, but now there's specialty cocktails (and killer happy hour deals if you're starting your night out early). Also, enjoy elevated bar food from the fried chicken experts at Lori Jane by chef Sam Braverman.

Bossa Nova Civic Club originally opened in 2012 to combat a rapidly changing North Brooklyn. An anti-twee, hip rave room for devout techno lovers, the now-staple arguably helped define Bushwick nightlife—so much so that it garnered its own memeable reputation. The club has a capacity of only 140 and a notorious amount of fog, inevitably blurring your view of its divey interior adorned in Miami-esque tropicalia and art deco. But it's really all about the music at Bossa—with DJs spinning techno and house beats that'll keep you moving until last call.

Brooklyn Made
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Made

Brooklyn Made is actually as much of a live music utopia for artists as it is for fans. The venue was created by two music industry veterans with touring musicians in mind—offering a more comfortable alternative to other venues, fit with lodging, multiple green rooms, and even a pool. While that's not accessible to the public, that taste for a great live experience does translate to the club. There's sleek lights and retro-futurist design, a craft beer and cocktail bar and its courtyard, and even the connecting, full-menu taco-and-mezcal-and-tequila-cocktail spot Cafe Mez. So basically, come to see popular names in indie, and stay for a chill evening that'll last well into the night.

Food Trucks/Late-Night Eating

All that dancing calls for a late-night bite. Luckily, Bushwick has no shortage of great places to grab something quick. Right along Wyckoff—just a short walk away from many of the spots on this list—you'll find a slew of popular taco trucks open all night long, including birria faves like Derek Food Truck and Peter's Crunchy Red Tacos. For pizza, Artichoke Pizza serves up slices until 4 am on the same block. Other nearby taquerias include Itzel's Taqueria Deli and Taqueria al Pastor (just be sure to make it to al Pastor before they close at midnight). Or, if you like your food and partying in the same spot, LGBTQ+ dive Happyfun Hideaway and tropical lounge Abe's Pagoda serve classic tasty bar food until late.

Gold Sounds may seem like an unassuming, punk dive, but if you walk through the bar to the back venue, you're sure to stumble upon a great show. Whether you're into shoegaze, pop-punk, nu metal, or down to check out something totally genreless, upstarts are always filling out the humble space. Dinner and a show is also an option. The front bar—which has its own quirky flair with a pool table, string-light-and-sticker decor, and TV playing nostalgic DVDs—has a full vegan bar food menu. So when you're done moshing, you can grab some Disco Tots, Mac and Cheese Balls, or even a Chickn Parm Sandwich, which is pretty punk indeed.

House of Yes is Bushwick's resident nightlife wonderland—a cabaret carnival fantasia, if you will. Founded by performance artists Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova, the dual dance hall and artist collective formed in 2007 and settled into its current home on Wyckoff Ave in 2015. It's since staked its claim as the 21st century Studio 54, with decadent theme parties—the more dressed up and glam, the better—and its crew of aerialists who perform overhead. The theatrical discotheque is very communal and queer-friendly, and if you go, channeling your inner club kid, you're sure to find the freest version of yourself on the dance floor.

The Sultan Room
The Sultan Room | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist

If you're looking to be transported back in time to a mid-century club and to an Istanbul oasis without leaving Bushwick, look no further than The Sultan Room and its next-door eatery The Turk's Inn. Sublimely decorated with Arabesque prints and colorful lights, the two-story space includes a venue where you see local or touring indie acts on any given night and an upstairs rooftop bar where you can often catch scenesters DJ-ing (including Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean).

And if you're hungry before or after the gig, The Turk's Inn boasts Turkish cuisine and Midwestern supper club fare. In fact, the restaurant is a recreation of the original Turk's Inn, which was an establishment founded by George and Isabella Gogian in 1934 and owned by their relatives for decades in the laketown of Hayward, Wisconsin. Thankfully, current owners and longtime fans of the Wisconsinite spot Tyler Erickson and Varun Kataria have made the space feel right at home in North Brooklyn (because where else but Bushwick could an extremely trendy Midwestern-meets-Middle-East thrive?).

This bar is a gem. Nestled off the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ stop and full of bright colors, neon lights, and an ample amount of flora, JADE is a kitschy, Spring Breakers-chic favorite amongst local cool kids. Every night is the weekend at JADE, where you could come to sip on one of their selected cocktails (cheekily named things like Strawberry Coochie, Pink Moon on Myrtle, and Mmmmatcha Saay), or enjoy one of their parties and weekly events. Sundays are reserved for karaoke and Wednesday is for bingo, of course. But beyond their scheduled programming, they often throw pop-ups at the nextdoor garden and tongue-in-cheek-themed DJ nights.

Our Wicked Lady
Photo courtesy of Our Wicked Lady

Whether it's the skyline views, breeze, lighting at dusk, or a combination of all of the above, rooftop shows are just always that much more appealing. Our Wicked Lady happens to be one of the most overlooked rooftop bars in Brooklyn, and for most months out of the year, they throw gigs and themed parties on the covered deck. But if you're not looking to groove, that's cool, too, because this industrial bar also hosts comedy nights, movie screenings, and karaoke. Just check the programming calendar and you're sure to find something going on (most of which, in addition to their drinks and eats by House Party Cafe & Lounge, are very reasonably priced).

Sometimes you need a little more sustenance going out, as opposed to just drinks. In Bushwick, Mad Tropical can be your self-described "good vibe oasis" answer to that. With palm tree-esque plants decking out the interior, tropical-inspired cocktails, and a full menu featuring tacos, empanadas, tamales, and more—and even pop-up kitchens with special one-night only menus—it's basically a staycation. Go for the menu available until late, and stay for the vinyl DJs spinning disco, funk, and soul until late.

There aren't too many DIY spaces left in New York City, and not too many all-ages venues either. Market Hotel, thankfully, is both, and a spot that's championed uplifting community and art for decades. The storied DIY spot has existed under different iterations since the '70s and even hosted live-in artists-in-residence for a period in the '00s before it was shut down. Nowadays, it constantly brings in a roster of buzz-worthy talent to play sold-out shows, curated dance nights that span electro-clash to trap to reggaeton, and even community-supporting events. But perhaps above all, Market Hotel gets recognized for its view, as the stage overlooks the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ. See your favorite band play at Market Hotel while the train rolls by and you're sure to feel even more at home in Bushwick in a way you hadn't before.

Mood Ring
Photo by Guarionex Rodriguez, Courtesy of Mood Ring

Are you a fiend for astrology? Do you like hitting a dancefloor where the lighting is dim and the fog is on high, but the house beats always hit? What about craft cocktails, including some inspired by star signs? Well, then it looks like your chart may indicate that you need to have a night out at Mood Ring. The bespoke bar is a stylish Bushwick favorite that prides itself on being both a queer-friendly space and champion of neighborhood artists, with art from Bushwick visual artists on the walls and DJs from the area frequently behind the decks. Whether you're an Earth, Air, Water, or Fire sign, you're sure to feel the planets align at Mood Ring.

Photo by Savannah Lauren, courtesy of Purgatory

If this bar on the Bushwick-Ridgewood border is where you end up en route to the afterlife, so be it! Purgatory is already pretty Heaven-esque, being that it's a women- and queer-owned club that's all about inclusion and uplifting creatives. The neon-lit two-story space is intimate in size but hosts an array of events including drag and variety shows, concerts and DJs, karaoke, and open sets—all calling LGBTQ+ performers to the front. Go and be under the discoball among fellow angels on Earth.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Sadie Bell is the former Culture Associate Editor at Thrillist and former Music and Culture Editor at Alternative Press. She loves live music and supporting local bands.