Dec 2, 2021
8 min read
A Guide to NYC's North Brooklyn
“That’s so Brooklyn” is a bit of a ridiculous saying, being that the famous borough is made up of 77 neighborhoods and 2.7 million people. That’s right – if Brooklyn were its own city, it would be on track to surpass Chicago.
Between the brownstones of Fort Greene, the famous Chinese restaurants in Sunset Park, and the bars loved by everyone in Williamsburg – it’s pretty hard to categorize Brooklyn as one thing. The sheer diversity of people, food, and fun here is unmatched, and we could probably dedicate several guides to Kings County alone. We aren’t going to do that, but we are going to break down a few of our favorite Brooklyn spots by area.
This our guide to the north Brooklyn hoods, which include Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Bed-Stuy. Whether you are here for vacation, a work trip, or have decided to make the move, go forth and explore.
Where to stay in Brooklyn
We mostly love this place due to the location. Set in the middle of Franklin Street in Greenpoint, it’s harder to find a better stretch of shops, restaurants and bars, all within a few blocks. You can choose between studios or suites – both designed as airy lofts and complete with kitchens. Hit the McCarren Park Greenmarket on Saturday mornings to make yourself brunch.
As you’d expect from The Hoxton, the lobby here could be mistaken for a Brooklyn co-working space – mostly because the coffee, food, and general vibe is so good. We love the perfectly designed rooms and the drinks they are serving at Klein’s. Plus, in the summer they have the perfect patio to kick back in the sun.
Where to eat in Brooklyn
Answering a question like “where to eat” in Brooklyn is nearly impossible, but Diner is almost always a great option. Owned by the same people behind Brooklyn mainstayMarlow & Sons
, this has one of our favorite burgers in the city. Bonus: you are consuming said burger in a train car. If you don’t like burgers, everything else is fantastic, too.
This isn’t the hole-in-the-wall dumpling spot you’d find in Sunset Park or Queens, but it’s still really damn good. They recently opened a Manhattan location, but the Williamsburg outpost is better
the original. Make sure to order the soup dumplings (off-menu) and at least three of the vegetable dishes. And the noodles. Just order everything.
For a really good fish taco – or really good fish anything – come here. Part fish market and part restaurant, it’s a great lunch option when you want something light but delicious.
On a corner in Bed-Stuy, this is one of our favorite spots in Brooklyn: a wine bar, restaurant, and bakery combined. Outside seating is romantic, inside is equally so, with perfect rustic decor. Order the pizza and all the wine.
One of our new favorites in Greenpoint. You’re not coming to Chez Ma Tante for jaw-dropping design (it kind of looks like everything else in Brooklyn); you’re coming here for excellent food. The caesar salad changes lives, their falafel is to die for, the drinks are incredible.
With two locations – one in Bushwick and one in Bed-Stuy – this is some of Brooklyn’s best ramen. It’s best for a solo lunch or when there’s just two of you (big groups are better served elsewhere), and there are minimal bells and whistles. Samurai Papa means business, and that business is really good ramen.
Where to drink
You could easily miss Achilles Heel, as there is no signage and the door looks like it belongs to a Western film that lost funding. All of this only adds to the charm, though – setting the mood for a second, seventh or too-many-to-count date night. Inside, you will find a wood-burning stove, great drinks, and fantastic small plates. We love their wine selection and seasonal menu.
Our favorite wine bar in north Brooklyn, Four Horsemen was opened by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. It has a great selection of natural wine on rotation, and excellent small plates, all served in a slick, modern space. You could easily spend hours here, perched on a stool, talking wine with the bartender.
Ramona wins our hearts due to its spacious, acoustically calm, beautiful design (ie. you aren’t crammed into 500 sq ft with 100 other people, unable to hear the person you’re with, as is often the case elsewhere in Brooklyn). Order the Self Portrait.
Make sure to get to Bar LunÀtico on the earlier side, because it fills up. There is live music almost every night, and if you are lucky, you’ll secure a small table and make yourself comfortable for a good while. If not, it’s still worth popping your head in for a quick drink.
Grimm Brewery in Bushwick is a treat for beer fans. Serving up grade-A artisanal ales, you could spend hours in their taproom, or head here for a casual meet-up before dinner atMisi
orMarlow & Sons.
Where to dance
This Greenpoint spot hosts DJs most nights of the week, and is our kind of club. You won’t find $1k table service here, but they do have a disco ball, dim lights, and some of the best house music around.
Bar in the front, party in the back. Friends & Lovers is technically at the intersection of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, but we are including it because you should go here either way. It’s one of our favorite bars to dance in. Head here late, and see who is scheduled to DJ.
C’mon Everybody is set up the way a lot of bars in NYC are – part bar, part music venue. It hosts everything from live music to comedy shows, and makes for a great place to drink and dance on the weekends. We love it for its proximity toChilo’s
– a food truck, serving some of the best tacos in Bed-Stuy.
Where to get coffee
This sleek coffee shop in Bushwick looks like it was built for Instagram. The interior is bright, airy, and everything we want when it comes to good light. The coffee is also fantastic (and very strong).
This Italian cafe sits on a quiet block in Williamsburg. Run entirely by real-deal Italians, you can trust the piadinis, and their espresso bar is on our regular rotation. In the summer, take a seat on the benches outside their coffee window for excellent people watching.
One of the most beautiful coffee shops in New York, Devocion Williamsburg looks like an architectural wonder that just happens to be a cafe. The coffee is expensive, but good. We mostly come here for the ambiance, though.
Maman has several locations throughout NYC, but this one is our favorite for the shabby-chic interior, the matcha (or lavender) lattes and fresh pastries.
Where to shop
One of our favorite vintage stops, Stella Dallas is Williamsburg stalwart. Though it isn’t the cheapest, you’re almost guaranteed to find something great to take home here. Their denim selection is top notch, as are the graphic tees.
Where to work
As we mentioned up top, the Hoxton Williamsburg could easily be confused with a Brooklyn co-working space. Locals come here for breakfast meetings, followed by good coffee and chill music, while they plug away.
Stonefruit almost went into our “Where to get coffee” and “Where to eat” categories, and then we realized that both of those things mean it’s a great place to spend the day working. With a cafe in the front and a flower store in the back, it serves great espresso-based drinks and healthy food. The large table among the plants is our favorite seat to type from.
What to do in Brooklyn
Chelsea isn’t the only place in NYC with great art going on. A few times during the year, Greenpoint opens up its various warehouses and invites the public to see what artists in the area are up to. This includes small fashion brands, multi-media designers, and fine artists.
If you are in the mood for an evening in (or it’s way too cold outside for anything that involves walking), head to Syndicated. As the name suggest, this movie theater plays great films that range from older French cinema, to cult coming-of-age comedies, to recent releases. The best part? The menu is excellent, and you can order booze and food while watching the movie.
On the Williamsburg waterfront, Domino Park has an incredible view of the city. It’s a perfect location for a picnic – or the Brooklyn equivalent, tacos from the nearby stand (there’s always one on hand in this hood). The park has fountains in summer, a dog run, a playground, and benches for taking in the Manhattan skyline.
Where to see live music
,Music Hall of Williamsburg
, and the smaller venues that can be found in bars across Brooklyn, it would be hard to find a better neighborhood to listen to all different types of live music. Check out the calendar for the larger venues, or pop in to low-key spots for newer acts.
Where to work out
Modo has locations across the city, but we prefer the Williamsburg outpost. The studio is nicer and newer, we love all the teachers, and the vinyasa classes are great to work up a sweat.
This is our favorite pilates studio in Brooklyn. The bright interiors are welcoming, as are the instructors. Choose from mat, reformer, or cardio classes. All of them are great.
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