The flavors of Latin America stretch from the ocean to the jungle, and Bungalow 31 Bar & Grill captures them all. Chefs sizzle up salmon filets with a citrus marinade and slather pork with a passion-fruit-rum sauce that recalls coastal beaches. Some of their seafood even comes with more seafood stuffed inside: the jumbo shrimp, for instance, holds a blend of seafood marinated in a spicy ginger brandy sauce.
Bungalow's ambiance also helps bring the more tropical aspects of Latin America to the Northeast. On warm evenings, guests can step onto the stone patio, shut their eyes, and pretend they've crossed the border as the breeze or a loyal friend with a palm frond fans their food. And once dishes are removed, guests can retreat behind the white sheer curtains of the patio's romantic couch area. There, they can sip tropical drinks while mingling long into the night.
Though Bud's Ale House lives up to its name—its locations boast up to 80 beer taps, more than 16 bottled varieties, and up to 60 televisions—this versatile eatery has something for everyone. As tasty brews pour from taps, including a daily special of $2 Bud and Bud Light drafts, bartenders deftly mix up top-shelf margaritas, colorful martinis, and classic cocktails. These adult libations wash down a hearty menu that spans the entire spectrum of American cuisine: habanero barbecue wings, steamed local clams, and meaty burgers are served up daily alongside gooey quesadillas and German-style bratwurst. Bud's desserts threaten to steal the spotlight, capping feasts with deep-fried Oreos and tangy key lime pie.
In Carioca Grill's open kitchen, skewers of sirloin, sausage, and short ribs roast in the fiery churrasco. Steam rises from a nearby buffet, forming stratus clouds above hot dishes including fried yucca and shrimp stew. At the back of the dining area, a cashier weighs fare by the pound after taking off its shoes. Though the restaurant has a minimalist, casual vibe, its food brims with complex flavors and tropical ingredients prevalent in Brazilian cooking.
With large parties, weekend DJs, and a menu of traditional fare, Déjà Vu celebrates Bulgarian backgrounds. Within its cavernous, dimly lit bar, liquor bottles hang upside down like glowing, drinkable stalactites. Happy-hour specials, which include $2 off any drink and two-for-one drink specials, are available Monday through Friday between 5 and 8 p.m. Those craving Bulgarian bites can enjoy dishes from its Mediterranean-influenced menu, such as tarator, a chilled cucumber soup common in the region ($5). For heartier hunger-havers, the kitchen cooks up its Déjà Vu Grille, where a grilled, flat meatball shares plate space with homemade skinless sausages and a red-vegetable spread ($11). Cleanse a hopeful palate with the sweet-and-savory Vesuvius, which includes honey and walnuts atop thick yogurt ($5), a veritable stratovolcano for the mouth, sans only the accompanying Roman ruins.
Metropolitan has a face for all seasons. In warmer months, bargoers flock to the outdoor patio for weekly barbecues, nestling into picnic tables and resin chairs set amid draping vines. When the chill of winter descends on Williamsburg, two crackling fireplaces keep the bar’s interior nice and toasty. Whatever your preferred season or style, you’ll find a laid-back vibe at the spot that Out magazine describes as “Brooklyn’s best full-time gay bar.” There is, no doubt, a lot to love, from the live indie DJs and jukebox-in-residence to the skee-ball machines and photo booth.