The best of the best in my borough.


  • Brooklyn Inn; 148 Hoyt St (bar) —go here for: historic ambiance, solid cocktails and beer selection, a late 20s/early 30s crowd
  • Rucola; 190 Dean St (restaurant) —go here for: fresh, creative cuisine, dim-lit ambiance, vegetables (especially the fried cauliflower, roasted carrots and eggplant caponata)


  • Damascus Bakery; 195 Atlantic Ave (Middle Eastern bakery/grocer) —go here for: baklava, flatbreads, spices and mezze


  • Brooklyn Natural Foods; 49 Bogart St (grocery store/deli) —go here for: solid/hearty sandwiches, health foods
  • Open Studios; 56 Bogart St (artist studios/exhibitions) —go here for: bizarre, intriguing contemporary art
  • Tutu’s; 25 Bogart St (bar/dancing) —go here for: amazing DJ sets with a live rhythm section
  • Tandem; 236 Troutman St (bar/dancing) —go here for: solid food, quirky customers, electronic music


  • The Green Building; 452 Union St (event space) —go here for: an upscale farm vibe, large dinner parties
  • Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain; 513 Henry St (ice cream parlor) —go here for: chocolate milkshakes, egg creams, retro vibe
  • D’Amico Foods; 309 Court St (coffee shop) —go here for: the house-roasted drip coffee
  • Caputo Bakery; 329 Court St (bakery) —go here for sfogliatelle, lobster tails and “bones of the dead” cookies
  • The Jake Walk; 282 Smith Street (cocktail bar) —go here for: top-notch modern cocktails, bartenders who know how to stir & shake off the beaten path
  • Moscot; 159 Court St (eyeglasses shop) —go here for: mod eyewear, back-garden concerts
  • Bien Cuit; 120 Smith St (bakery) —go here for: slow-fermented loaves (like their iconic miche), well-toasted puff pastries
  • 61 Local; 61 Bergen St (public house) —go here for: a few hours of freelance work, local booze and snacks
  • Stinky Bklyn; 215 Smith St (cheese shop) —go here for: smelly and odd cheeses, local/artisanal foodstuffs
  • Hunter’s; 213 Smith St (farm to table restaurant) —go here for: seasonal fare, especially the spring menu’s red quinoa risotto and brook trout
  • La Vara; 268 Clinton St (tapas restaurant) —go here for: shareable small plates influenced by the multi-cultural flavors of Southern Spain,  like the crispy eggplant with melted cheese and nigella seeds
  • The Clover Club; 210 Smith St (speakeasy) —go here for: fresh takes on classic cocktails, seasonal specials (like the gin-based Green Giant with snap peas and tarragon) and live 1920s jazz (selected nights)
  • Nightingale 9; 345 Smith St (Vietnamese restaurant) —go here for: shaved collard salad, fried rice, anything & everything pork, unique lemonades


  • Ox Cart Tavern; 1301 Newkirk Ave (American restaurant) —go here for: my favorite NYC burger (blended meat, creative toppings), especially “la Vaca”


  • Vinegar Hill House; 72 Hudson Ave (farm-to-table restaurant) —go here for: fresh/local better-than-homestyle cookin’, salted caramel custard
  • Smorgasburg Sundays; 26 New Dock St (market) —go here for: artisanal vendors, historic architecture (housed in a gutted Tobacco Warehouse)
  • Jane’s Carousel/Brooklyn Bridge Park; Dock St (park) —go here for: Manhattan views, a few lazy hours lying on the grass
  • West Elm Market—go here for: useful and well-designed home goods, culinary classes
  • Gran Electrica; 5 Front St (Mexican restaurant) —go here for: Mezcal/Tequila drinks, aquachile, whole roasted fish, spicy chocolate pudding


  • BAM Café; 30 Lafayette St (bar and performance space) —go here for: Fri/Sat happy hour & free concerts, beautifully lit vaulted ceilings
  • Cornerstone; 271 Adelphi Street (bar) —go here for: a see-and-be-seen patio, weekend or afterwork drinks
  • Dino; 222 Dekalb Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: seasonal, simple, fresh cuisine; escarole salad, veal polpettini, outdoor seating


  • Purple Yam; 1314 Cortelzou Rd (Asian restaurant) —go here for : savory ribs and marinated meats, pickled veggie accents


  • The Bell House; 149 7th St (concert hall) —go here for: small venue headliners, indie up-and-comers
  • Lavender Lake; 383 Carroll St (bar/restaurant) —go here for: elevated bar food (especially the tomato soup and grilled cheese), spacious dance floor, cocktails
  • Halyards; 406 3rd Ave (bar) —go here for: a non-dive neighborhood bar, nice people, games
  • Littlefield; 622 Degraw St (bar/concert venue) —go here for: Monday night comedy, concerts
  • Four & Twenty Blackbirds; 439 3rd Ave (pie shop) —go here for: decadent pie by the slice, like the irresistible black bottom oatmeal
  • Brooklyn Boulders; 575 Degraw St (rock climbing) —go here for: a fun alternative to your gym routine
  • Runner & Stone; 285 3rd Ave (bakery/restaurant) —go here for: sprouted spelt and other fresh-baked breads
  • Lucey’s Lounge; 479 3rd Ave (bar) —go here for: vintage living-room flair, quirky artwork, well-balanced and inexpensive cocktails


  • The Gutter; 200 N 14th St (bowling alley) —go here for: affordable, low-fi bowling in a dive bar space
  • The Diamond; 43 Franklin St (beer bar) —go here for: unusual craft beers, shuffleboard, the backyard ski gondola


  • Get Fresh Table and Market; 370 5th Ave (locavore bistro) —go here for : seasonal specialities, local produce, a 3-course, $30 savory prix fixe.
  • Tea Lounge; 837 Union St (café) —go here for : live quirky music, hipsters with macs, delicious hot drinks
  • Café Steinhof; 422 7th Ave (Austrian restaurant) —go here for: an eclectic, cozy ambiance and mouth watering sausages
  • Teddy; 89 5th Ave (clothing) —go here for: vintage-inspired dresses with modern cuts
  • Cafe 474; 474 4th Ave (coffeeshop) —go here for: a lazy morning brew, relaxed front porch
  • Union Hall; 702 Union St (bar) —go here for: high-ceilinged, urban cabin ambiance; bocce and local bands
  • Commonwealth; 497 5th Avenue (bar) —go here for: free popcorn (with old bay!), games and a low-key, friendly crowd
  • Oaxaca; 250 4th Ave (taqueria) —go here for: inventive tacos, like beef cheek, cactus and “korean”
  • Piccoli Trattoria; 522 6th Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: risotto, like the cauliflower with anchovy breadcrumbs
  • Talde; 369 7th Avenue (Asian-American restaurant) —go here for: creative twists on pan-asian classics, like bacon pad thai
  • Al Di Là; 248 5th Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: upgrades on comfort classics, from exquisite soups to plate-licking pastas
  • Toby’s; 686 6th Ave (pizza/bar) —go here for: a calm, neighborhood hang and great pizza


  • Weather Up; 589 Vanderbilt Ave (speakeasy) —go here for: bespoke cocktails with hand-cut ice (love their negroni), an enviable playlist, and the perfect late-night lighting
  • Brooklyn Museum; 200 Eastern Parkway (art museum) —go here for: special exhibits, a manageably-sized museum day
  • Breukelen Coffee; 764 Franklin Avenue (coffeeshop) —go here for: Stumptown beans, a simple breakfast, a quiet studying spot
  • Black Tree; 724 Franklin Avenue (sandwich shop)—go here for: locally sourced, seasonal sandwiches
  • Tooker Alley; 793 Washington Ave  (cocktail bar) —go here for: prohibition ambiance, the gin martini menu.
  • Bearded Lady; 686A Washington Ave (bar) —go here for: craft cocktails in a sparse, modern space
  • Crown Inn; 724 Franklin Ave (bar) —go here for: dim-lit banquet seating, Black Tree sandwiches, outdoor space
  • Franklin Park; 618 St. John’s Place (bar) —go here for: bar games, outdoor space and weekend dance parties
  • The Way Station; 683 Washington Ave (bar) —go here for: nerd-inspired ambiance, live music, quirky people watching
  • Franny’s; 348 Flatbush Avenue (pizza/Italian restaurant)—go here for: incredible clam pizza, fried zucchini blossoms, hot pink lambrusco
  • Bklyn Larder; 228 Flatbush Avenue (gourmet grocery) —go here for: cheese, cheese & more cheese; antipasti, the highest quality provisions, a quiet lunch


  • Brooklyn Crab; 24 Reed St (seafood shack) —go here for: killer cocktails (like their spicy margaritas), corn hole, and freshly caught crustaceans (royale platter & fried whole bellies are my faves)
  • Baked NYC; 359 Van Brunt St (bakery) —go here for: pastry chef Molly’s killer creations (from classic cookies to gorgeous, unique cakes)


  • Radegast Hall & Beer Garden; 113 N 3rd St (beer garden) —go here for: brats, sauerkraut, great brews, chill/affordable dining
  • Fatty ‘Cue; 91 South 6th St (Pan-Asian bbq restaurant) —go here for: nasi ulam (rice salad), smoked eggplant nam prik, dragon pullman toast, pickle back chasers
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg; 66 N 6th St (concert hall) —go here for: indie bands or soon-to-be headliners, relatively intimate ambiance
  • Brooklyn Bowl; 61 Wythe Ave (concert hall) —go here for: funk/indie/pseudo-headliner shows, great food, bowling
  • Berry Park; 4 Berry St (bar) —go here for: a hipster-ridden rooftop, meeting & mingle ambiance, great mixed drinks, pickle-back chasers
  • Smorgasburg; 45 Main St (market) —go here for: artisanal food stalls, including Barry’s Tempeh, varied South American fare and drool-worthy BBQ
  • Turkey’s Nest Tavern; 94 Bedford Ave (dive bar) —go here for: absinthe margaritas in styrofoam, McCarren Park-appropriate cups
  • Lodge; 318 Grand St (new American restaurant) —go here for: boozey brunch, holiday/ski-lodge ambiance, comfort food (addictive tater tots)
  • Gwynett St; 312 Graham Ave (bar/restaurant) —go here for: one of my favorite gin cocktails, the Thick as Thieves
  • The Woods; 48 S 4th St (bar/nightlife) —go here for: cheap drinks, an amazing back patio, one of the borough’s best dance scenes
  • Monk Pizzeria & Bar; 291 Kent Ave —go here for: alternative grain pizzas, italian shared plates, spacious warehouse ambiance
  • Post Office; 188 Havemeyer St —go here for: bourbon, rye, unusual cocktails, just-edgy-enough ambiance
  • Maison Premiere; 298 Bedford Ave —go here for: oysters, yes, but also expert cocktails and a Midnight in Paris vibe

2 responses to “Brooklyn

  1. I’m heading to Brooklyn in a few weeks and will hopefully check out some of these on your list. Happy I stumbled on your site!

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