Best Things To Do In NYC- Brooklyn Edition

 

Ahhh… Brooklyn.

If I had all the money in the world (I’d probably live somewhere in Europe to be honest) but Brooklyn would definitely be top on my list. So many people visit NYC and only venture through Manhattan. Which is great, there’s tons to be seen. But there are FIVE boroughs, people. Having lived there, I still can’t say I’ve thoroughly explored them all. However, from what I have seen- I personally fancy Brooklyn more than Manhattan (but that’s just my opinion). Brooklyn is where I’ve created some of the best memories.

Keep in mind that each borough is large and it has several areas/neighborhoods with their own individual character. After sorting through all my favorites from a few neighborhoods I often frequented, without further delay, here are my suggestions for Brooklyn:

Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights

I make it fairly obvious that I like to walk everywhere. If you’re not a fan of that, public transportation is easily accessible (not to be confused with punctual).

Travel tip: if you plan on using public transportation a lot and you are staying more than 3 days you should look into buying the week long metro card ($32 last time I checked but it’s always rising). It’s unlimited and gets you onto buses as well. Getting off and on starts to add up and you can easily spend $15 or more with just sightseeing.

Iris Cafe 

Great place to start off for breakfast, a coffee fix, and is semi-close to the Promenade. To walk off all the delicious carbs you just ate.

Photo courtesy of @iriscafenyc.
20 Columbia Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

I’ve never come across a ton of people here.  Which is not the usual in NYC so we take it when we can find it. A perfect view of the Manhattan skyline is the added cherry on top. The promenade is a nice short walk, lined with beautiful brownstones, and if you start from the bottom it leads you right into a nice area of the neighborhood.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Montague St & Pierrepont Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Kogane Ramen 

There are more than a couple choices for a bite to eat. I find it overwhelming at times but allow me de-stress you, if only for a moment- this is a good Ramen choice.

Kogane Ramen

76 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Neighborhood: DUMBO

Stands for “Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass” and is another one of my favorite areas.

Archway under Manhattan Bridge

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Depending on the season, there is a casual outside bar under the bridge where you can grab a beer and hangout at one of the picnic tables. Click here for the live music schedule held yearly during June- September. On the other side of the tunnel, I occasionally come across a small weekend market in Pearl Triangle.

 

Brooklyn Roasting Company 

I have a true obsession with coffee made correctly. While you always risk being served by a newbie barista (we all gotta start somewhere), if I am mentioning a coffee place- it’s worth trying their espresso drinks at the least. You’ll find BRC in a couple of locations. Coffee, nice bathrooms (something to be noted) and a great resting spot.

Brooklyn Roasting Company

25 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

John Street Park

When I lived in New York I worked evenings which allowed me to spend mornings however I wished. A stop at the Brooklyn Roasting Company then a stroll with my coffee into John Street Park was always a morning well spent.

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Sadly, art installations come and go in NYC before you know it. So you won’t find this Dumbo sign in the park anymore. I did stumble across it again a couple months later in the above mentioned “Archway Under Manhattan Bridge” but as of now I don’t know its exact location.

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John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Maine Street Park

The views from this park are a stunning. Especially at sunset. If you fancy picnics, this is a great spot.

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Brooklyn, NY 11201

 

Washington Street Bridge View

Where to get that famous picture you’ve seen everywhere. Be mindful, it’s an active street. Cars still drive through so be aware and good luck trying to get a picture without anyone else in it. Or perhaps your photoshop skills are up to par?

Washington Street
Photo op with my fiancé and handsome sleeping baby nephew.
39-21 Washington St,Brooklyn, NY 11201

Empire Stores 

Another less well known skyline view is located on the rooftop of a newly renovated warehouse. It homes offices and a couple stores- West Elm and F.E.E.D Cafe.  Facing the cafe, go through the double doors on the left, you’ll see the elevator as soon as you walk in to the right (they’re a tad hidden). Take the elevator all the way up for a great view of both bridges with hardly any other people. F.E.E.D cafe serves great coffee and snacks but my favorite thing about them is their shop. Every purchase in store helps provide meals to families in need.

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Coffee and contemplation inside F.E.E.D Cafe
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

The Max Family Gardens

A nice garden area, great for headshots with a brick wall backdrop.

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Buzz Bar

Quite honestly, I’m only listing this bar for the pier that it’s on. I love the view. But they also serve beer and there’s an ice cream place directly behind it.

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9 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Jane’s Carousel 

Who doesn’t love a carousel ride with great views?

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Old Dock St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Pebble Beach

Right on the other side of Jane’s Carousel, you’ll find Pebble Beach. This would be a more well known area but that doesn’t make it any less special. Perhaps another picnic option?

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Manhattan Bridge Pedestrian Path, Brooklyn, NY 11201

NYC Ferry 

A new and great method of transportation from Dumbo to Williamsburg! They even have a snack bar on board. You can download the “NYC Ferry” App for your tickets.

DUMBO Ferry
Photo courtesy of Google Maps.
NYC Skyline
Walkway going towards the DUMBO Ferry Terminal.
Furman St & Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream 

Just writing about this ice cream makes me want some, pronto. I’m pretty basic when it comes to ordering ice cream. Chocolate. One scoop. In a waffle cone. Happiest girl there ever was. If that’s not what you are into, they have more flavor options. Including vegan, maybe that is your thing. Second suggestion is the affogato, when you need a pick me up but you can’t choose between coffee and ice cream… have both! You’re welcome.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

204 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Two door Tavern 

I initially loved this place simply because it was never overpacked. It seems to have gained a little more popularity but for a good reason. $15 weekend brunch includes a free mimosa, draft beer, or bloody mary. I always order the steak and eggs with a mimosa. It’s worth the couple bucks extra. They have great weekly specials in general and the food is always good.

116 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Blue Bottle Coffee

A minimalist atmosphere with more than a couple locations. Blue Bottle Coffee has never disappointed. Coffee lovers… this is another one of your stops.

76 N. 4th Street, Store A, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Joe’s Pizza 

Every local pizza lover (and celebrities alike) raves about this place. I’d have to agree. Maybe pick one up and window shop at the Mini Mall across the street. There are a few Joe’s locations and most stay open till 4am which makes for a great late night snack if you catch my drift.

216 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Martha’s Country Bakery 

Cheesecake to die for and well, just walk in and browse the dessert options. You can thank me later.

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Don’t let the handsome man with the fox sweater distract you, those are Martha’s desserts in the background.
175 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Pies and Thighs 

Once you’ve had your fill of pizza and bagels maybe its time for some southern cooking. Don’t worry if you’re from the South already. I won’t judge. Peach cobbler and fried chicken. What more do I have to say?

Pies N' Thighs

166 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Pink Olive 

The cutest little gift shop! If you need some authentic “Made in NY” souvenirs- you’re sure to find something here.

Pink Olive

370 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA

Neighborhood: Bushwick

An artsy, hipster neighborhood… I wouldn’t tell you to go out of your way to get to Bushwick but Airbnbs in this area are slightly more affordable (still by NY standards) so if you happen to be staying here, these are my suggestions:

Off of Morgan L train stop

Roberta’s 

Delicious pizza! Usually a wait to dine in but you can order take away just around the corner.

261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA

Swallow Cafe 

The painting of the Swallow on the outside was enough to bring me in but the coffee is an added plus.

49 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA

Off of Jefferson L train stop

Los Hermanos Tortilleria

Cash only (atm inside), they have taquitos that satisfied my craving the entire time I lived there. It’s also BYOB so stop by a bodega, pick up some beer and go grab some tacos.

Los Hermanos

Evolve

271 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Off of Halsey L train stop

Father Knows Best

This place was just around the corner from where I lived in Bushwick. I spent lots of mornings and a good amount of evenings here. So much that the baristas knew me and my roommates. They have a terrace in the back for the warmer months and it’s nice and cozy during the winter. Great breakfast as well (go for the Lumberdad).

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611A Wilson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207, USA

Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant

A neighborhood that has come a long way.  

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BOHAUS 

A couple of my favorite things. Coffee and flowers. Bohaus beautifully combines these two. Can we all just drink some coffee, buy each other flowers and get along? A lovely setting, a perfectly made cup of joe, and beautifully assembled floral arrangements.

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406 Marcus Garvey Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11216

 

 

 

 

Did you find this helpful? Did you try some of these places out? Do you have more suggestions?

I’d love to know!

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Also, stay tuned for the Manhattan Edition.

A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the making of this. Click below to add some fuel & keep me going.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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