If you are visiting NYC and staying in Manhattan, you must at least dedicate 1 day to go out and explore Brooklyn. I’m starting here with Williamsburg, which is a quick bike ride over the Williamsburg bridge, or a quick shot over on the L train.
If you are here in the Spring, Summer, Fall I recommend you also swing past Smorgasburg, Williamsburg’s Food Festival/Markets held on Saturdays which features food, drinks and more from awesome local vendors.
If you are coming from Manhattan, I recommend you bike over the Williamsburg bridge (weather permitting). You can rent a Citi Bike from a bike rack at any of the stations around the bridge (i.e. Broome & Forsyth near the Bowery subway station). I have an annual membership, but you can rent them for $10 for one day or $25 for a 7-day membership. The short-term membership gives you access to the bike for 30 minutes, and charges you an extra $4 if you need it for a full hour to get over the bridge. I can’t remember how long it takes to bike over, but I would be shocked if it had taken me more than 30 mins. It’s a great view and a bit of a workout to justify the eating and drinking you will be doing later today. You can just rack the bike at the exit on the other side of the bridge. Easy!
Williamsburg is undeniably the most hipster spot in an already pretty hipster Brooklyn. There is so much to do, it is almost overwhelming, so I have pulled together a few highlights that you could use as a good start in figuring out what to do and where to start.
Start the day with a cappuccino at Sweatshop, an Aussie-run coffee shop with seriously good coffee. Here you can load up on some caffeine and breakfast or a light snack. I am a huge fan of the jaffles (essentially a toasted sandwich) and the co-yo acai bowl… YUM… It’s hipster, but not too hipster (know what I mean?). Once you have loaded up, it is time to explore the cute stores and businesses along Bedford Ave.
2+3. Explore Bedford Avenue
Head North on Bedford Ave and explore the vintage stores along the way.
“The Brooklyn Mecca for all things sparkly and exciting”. Catbird is genuinely my FAVORITE store in Brooklyn. Spend a while wandering Bedford Ave perusing the vintage + other cute stores, but make absolute sure to stop in here. They have beautiful + delicate jewelry, candles, skincare products and it is just so beautiful. I want everything from this store. If you are looking to buy me a birthday present, start here.
Primp & Polish
Walking along Bedford Avenue, you will see Primp & Polish, an adorable nail salon. Stop in for a regular or gel mani (starting around $24 from memory) or a pedi (starting from $28 from memory).
4. Stop in for lunch at Five Leaves
Continue walking along Bedford Ave and continue into McCarren Park! After a short walk along to the other end of the park you will see Five Leaves, an Australian-American fusion of cocktails and amaaazing food. My recommendation if you are in a pair is to order a cocktail each, split the Pulled Chicken Curry Sandwich to start (legit AF!) and as a second course split the Ricotta Pancakes. Yes. Do it. Now that you are fed and hydrated, either sit in the park or walk in the direction of the Wythe Hotel.
5. Grab a Matcha Latte
On your way to the Wythe hotel, stop at Matcha Bar for a caffeine and antioxidant boost. I am a huge Matcha fan (tastes delish, so good for you). Grab an Earl Grey Almond Milk Matcha Latte and take in the incredibly busy and hipster vibe of this place.
6. Sunset + Skyline View Martinis at The Ides
A stone’s throw away is the Wythe Hotel, home of the Ides Bar with sweeping skyline views of Manhattan. Settle in and order a few of their classic cocktails. I’m a sucker for their daiquiri, and Mike for a gin martini. Come fairly early as it gets busy around sunset. Once the sun sets, head to Brooklyn Winery’s wine bar for a bottle of their best vino and some light fare (if it is not closed for a private event that night), or to Miusa Wine Bar for an incredible degustation.
7. Drinks and Spectacular Food at Miusa Wine Bar
This candle-lit restaurant is a culinary experience of local, organic, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. We were lucky enough to enjoy the unlimited degustation menu. For a party of 8, you can have unlimited food, wine and beer for 2 hours for $60 a head (before tax and tip)! A deal like this at a place this high-end and gorgeous is unheard of. The food was stunning and we drank way, way too much.
… From there, if you are up for it there is incredible nightlife to explore (which I will cover another time!)
Love, Louise xx