5. Pete’s Candy Store, Williamsburg

Photo Courtesy of Delia Cabe

A more contemporary addition on the literary bar scene is Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store. This refurbished storefront (originally a 1920’s general store called Funzi’s), is now home to the bimonthly “Pete’s Reading Series.” Many a present-day author’s including the likes of Jennifer Eagan and Gary Shteyngart have taken to the small stage in the back of the bar to share their work. Other events include a monthly poetry reading series called “Pete’s Big Salmon,” open-mic showdowns, and in 2015 the start of an annual “prose bowl” for both published and novice writers.

As Cabe reports of Shteyngart describing the Pete’s Candy Store atmosphere, Pete’s is “the most intimate reading space in Brooklyn. Think of a pre-war dining car with an endless supply of booze.”

Signature drink: Black Russian (for Pete’s Candy Store regular, best-selling novelist Caroline Leavitt).