Bars, Cocktail bars Carroll Gardens
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 (Filip Wolak)
Filip Wolak

Tia Mia at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
Filip Wolak

Hail Mary at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
Filip Wolak

Goat tacos at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
Filip Wolak


 (Filip Wolak)
Filip Wolak


True to her name, Ivy Mix stirs an incredible cocktail, especially in the company of Julie Reiner. The drink pros made quite the formidable pair at the Clover Club, Reiner’s Cobble Hill cocktail institution where Mix served as head bartender, but they’re testing if lightning strikes twice at this Pan-Latin follow-up. (Spoiler: It does.) In a mystic-cool space fitting for such bartender worship—rigged with Indio candles, cathedral-pew booths and a golden tin ceiling imprinted with crosses—Mix takes the reins on the cocktail menu and proves she’s worthy of the title leyenda (Spanish for legend).

ORDER THIS: South of the Border cocktails that go well beyond tequila. Pulling from her time spent living and working in Guatemala, Argentina and Peru, Mix pours the pisco-charged Hey Suze ($12), which soothes gin, absinthe and the biting Peruvian liquor with sweet, subtle sugar snap peas, and the Maiden Name ($12), which plays up sugary cachaça with a warming fusion of coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Groups are well suited to pitchers like the pineapple-and-grapefruit ¡Oye Rubia! ($38), splashed with fino sherry, sauvignon blanc and blanco tequila.

GOOD FOR: An alfresco evening. Grab one of Mix’s more tropically minded numbers—like the Mia Tia ($13), a riff on a mai tai made with mescal, rum, lime, orgeat and curaçao—and head for the breezy, tree-filled, salsa-soundtracked patio out back. You’ll feel less like you’re in central Brooklyn and more like you’re in Central America.

THE CLINCHER: Rounding out the fierce female-driven team is former Sueños toque Sue Torres, who turns out characteristically fiery Latin eats to complement Mix’s cocktails. Of note are the goat-picadillo tacos ($16) with braised, gently gamy meat loaded into a corn tortilla with black currants, briny olives and a bright squeeze of lime juice, and a refreshing ceviche ($13) of ahi tuna and watermelon, fragrant with cucumber and citrus in a grapefruit-forward dressing. Larger appetites should opt for Grandma Torres’s pernil and mofongo ($15), starring a 48-hour braised pork shoulder that shreds with the single swipe of a fork and is served piping hot beside garlicky smashed green plantains. The only thing more scorching at Leyenda is the crew behind it.

By: Ariel Kanter


Venue name: Leyenda
Address: 221 Smith St
Cross street: between Baltic and Butler Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 5pm–2am; Fri, Sat 5pm–3am; Sun 5pm–1am
Transport: Subway: A, C, G to Hoyt–Schermerhorn; F, G to Bergen St
Price: Average cocktail: $13. AmEx, MC, V
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4.3 / 5

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Leyenda is located in the adorable neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. I highly suggest coming here for their happy hour. Ask to sit in the outdoor garden on a nice summer day. I suggest the empanadas and guac for happy hour food. The drinks taste yummy and are reasonably priced during happy hour.


I am a HUGE fan of Leyenda given that it's almost impossible to find cocktail happy hours anywhere in Brooklyn. They have a great deal- craft cocktails under $10 for happy hour! But all of their cocktails are delicious. I am a fan of mezcal lately and they do not disappoint. I've had the food here as well and could not complain! Definitely a great spot to stop at if you're on Smith street and looking for a drink!


For whatever reason, Smith Street hasn't been too hot these days, especially with Char No. 4 closing (though some stalwarts--Clover Club, Cafe Luluc--stand by), so Leyenda is a very happy edition to the area.

Strong, well-made cocktails, fun vibe, good small bites and a killer bartender/owner (Ivy Mix) and you can't go wrong. Worth a trip if you're in the area or going to Brooklyn Bridge Park.