The Best Bowling Alleys in NYC’s Outer Boroughs

No longer marginalized as an utterly un-cool pastime reserved for children’s birthday parties, bowling has become the “it” going-out activity. These five bowling alleys around the boroughs—yes, there is bowling beyond Bowlmor—combine the nightlife elements you seek on a Friday or Saturday night with the good, old-fashioned fun of everyone’s secret favorite sport.

Williamsburg | Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bowl | 61 Wythe Avenue | 718.963.3369 |
Nearest subway:
L train to Bedford Avenue; G train to Nassau Avenue
Brooklyn Bowl is the ultimate in the nouveau bowling experience, with 16 lanes, rockin’ live music, and food by Blue Ribbon. However, if actually knocking down a few pins is your true Saturday night objective, I wouldn’t recommend making this your first choice. Rolling in around 10pm, don’t be surprised if you hear it’s a “half a day’s wait” to bowl.

The Gutter | 200 N. 14th Street | 718.387.3585 |
Nearest subway: L train to Bedford Avenue; G train to Nassau Avenue
Only a few blocks from Brooklyn Bowl, the Gutter offers a similar experience without the wall-to-wall crowding. Expect a small wait for drinks as people tend to cluster around the bar and a long wait to bowl (on a Saturday night without prior planning, the wait-time for a lane could be anywhere from two to three hours), but bring some friends and the time will pass painlessly.

Sunset Park | Brooklyn

Melody Lanes | 461 37th Street | 718.832.2695 |
Nearest subway:
R train to 36th Street
While this Brooklyn alley may err on the side of kitschy with its Starburst-color scheme, arcade, and themed nights, Melody Lanes offers a much more relaxed (family-friendly too) and “authentic” bowling atmosphere than you’ll find in Billysburg. Their Midnight Madness special is worth the slowish commute on the R train. Every Friday and Saturday from 12am to 3am, enjoy all you can bowl for $22 per person (shoe rental included).


Ball Park Lanes | 810 River Ave. | 718.665.5800
Nearest subway:
4/B/D train to 161st Street/Yankee Stadium
Given its close proximity to the MLB Mecca Yankee Stadium, it’s only natural that this Bronx bowling alley would bleed blue for the Bronx Bombers. The alley comes alive during baseball season, where bowling takes a backseat to cut-out Yankees clippings and 32” television screens broadcasting the game. Monday nights are reserved for beginners, in case you plan on improving your score before spring training starts.

Flushing | Queens

Whitestone Lanes | 30-05 Whitestone Expressway | 718.353.6300 |
Nearest subway:
7 train to Main Street. (Approximately a 15-minute walk from the station.)
As you never know when the bowling bug will strike, Whitestone Lanes has got you (gutter) guarded: this Flushing alley is open 24/7, seven days a week. Whitestone has all the trappings of a traditional bowling alley, including a sports bar and snack bar.