A guide to explore Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, has already been considered the coolest neighborhood in New York. Today, there is controversy over how much the region still deserves this title. Although there are still plenty of alternative people, the area has been invaded by big corporations – Whole Foods and Apple, just to name a few – which, in the opinion of many, ends up taking away that local vibe of the area. Rentals in Williamsburg are also already more expensive than many places in Manhattan. Polemics aside, you can not deny that the neighborhood has its charm – and much to offer. Many tourists have included the neighborhood in the script when it comes to leaving the island – and all on behalf of Smorgasburg, the famous food fair. Believe: Williamsburg goes beyond Smorgasburg! In today’s post, I suggest several must-see spots in the area!
Let’s start with restaurants! Whether for lunch, dinner or brunch, Williamsburg is packed with nothing obvious options, with good prices and delicious food.
Diviera Drive – Open daily for lunch, dinner, and brunch. It has indoor and outdoor space – have a seat outside weather permiting, for a happy hour. Besides being a delight, the decor is all charming. It is worth mentioning that there is still a games room. Diviera’s menu includes pizzas – average $15 and you can share it – $14 burger, $12 salads and $12 sandwiches, plus other appetizers. See the website and check out the full menu.
Address: 131 Berry St.
Cafe Mogardor – this super charming place serves Mediterranean food and was the location for one of the episodes in HBO’s Girls series. The food is delicious! They serve cuscus, falafel and kebab, just to name a few of the delights. Best falafel I have ever eaten! It’s a great deal for brunch – you have a choice of dish + coffee + juice for $ 18. In the back of the restaurant, there is an indoor garden, beautiful! Check out the menus.
Address: 133 Wythe Ave.
Cheeseboat – Cheeseboat is a Georgian cuisine restaurant. The specialty of the house is the Cheesebreads. Their price ranges from $ 10 to $ 20 and they have varying formats – some resembling a pizza, some reminiscent of lasagna. The most famous of them is the Cheeseboat. The dough is delicious – the Cheeseboat is like an open calzone and the filling has lots of cheese. It is enough for two people. Check out my post about this place.
Address: 80 Berry St.
El Almacén – Argentinean restaurant, open only for dinner every day, and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays . Great option for a dinner for two and for those who appreciate good meat – it will be your best choice here! When we were there, we ordered the Churrasco – steak + fries – and it was enough for the two of us. The empanadas are also delicious! Access the website and check out the full menu.
Address: 557 Driggs Avenue.
How about some good drinks? There are two must-see spots in Williamsburg for those who want to have a drink and hanging out!
Westlight Rooftop – my favorite rooftop in New York City. There is no other rooftop with a view most beautiful than Westlight! Located on the 22nd floor of The William Vale Hotel, it offers nothing less than the city skyline – with buildings like Empire State the One World Trade Center, not to mention the East River, resulting in a spectacular image. The bar has an indoor area – which will be great for those who want to visit the place during the winter months – and a wide open area, surrounded by glass, which makes the experience even more complete. In addition, there is also the second floor with artificial grass and ample space. Westlight is a bar, so, the menu offers choices of wines (glasses and bottles), well-served drinks (with average prices of $14) and also a selection of beers (with average prices of $ 7) . If you get hungry, there are also some options like burger, fries, salads and other appetizers. But remember that it’s a bar, not a restaurant. If you want to get out of there very satisfied, the ideal is to ask several plates to share. Prices range from $ 6 to $ 20. Oh, and there are some dessert options as well. Check out my post about the place.
Address: 111 North 12th Street.
Brooklyn Brewery – is a brewery located in the neighborhood – its beer is one of the best-known breweries produced here in New York. The place has a Tasting Room where you can try the more than 10 beers available (5 for $20 or $5 each). You can also order a pizza. Tasting Room is open on Fridays, from 6 pm t0 11 pm, Saturdays, 12 pm to 8 pm, and Sundays, 12 pm to 6 pm. They also offer tours! Monday- Thursday, 5 PM sharp- 7 PM – Reservation Only – $15 – Book here. On Saturday, they offer free tours on the half hour from 12:30pm – 6pm – and Sundays on the half hour from 1pm – 4 pm.
Address: 79 North 11th Street.
Restaurants, ok! Drinks, ok! Do you want more experiences? Check it out!
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – this Ice Cream place started in 2008 out of a buttery yellow truck on the streets of NYC. They make all their ice cream from scratch in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Classic scoops are crafted with nothing more than fresh milk and cream, cane sugar, and egg yolks. The Vegan scoops are made with housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean. There are a lot of flavors and it is delicious!
Address: 204 Wythe Ave.
Martha’s Country Bakery – sweet lovers paradise! This bakery is very famous here in New York and the Williamsburg is huge! They offer everything: cakes, puddings, muffins, cookies, besides coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Awesome! And the slices are huge! When we’ve been there, we shared the warm chocolate cake with ice cream.
Address: 263 Bedford Ave.
Mast Brothers Chocolate – the local brand has a shop and factory in the neighborhood – and the coolest thing is that you can take a tour to learn more about the manufacturing process of chocolate. Mast Brothers was founded by two brothers, Rick and Michael Mast, in 2007 and now there are stores in New York and London – and soon in Los Angeles. The highlight of the brand is the manufacturing process. With cocoa from Tanzania and Peru, chocolates recipes take few ingredients – and all organic – and do not have preservatives – they are super natural. The production follows a ritual to make chocolates with intense flavor and texture that melts in your mouth. The formulas are not filled with a lot of sugar. Those who loves more intense flavors will surely enjoy. It is a gourmet concept. Public tours available every day. Reservations can be made online. Monday to Friday, 4 pm Weekends, 12pm, 3pm. Check out my post about the place.
Address: 111 N 3rd St.
Smorgasburg – Smorgasburg is certainly the most famous street food fair in New York. It happens all year in Brooklyn, but it’s cooler in the summer when the event is outdoor. There are more than 80 vendors that offer the most diverse types of dishes and snacks, sweet and savory. From April to October, on Saturdays, Smorgasburg takes place in Williamsburg. Visit the website to see more details.
Address: 90 Kent Ave.
Shopping time! Williamsburg has a lot of stores! Here, some highlights!
Soap Cherie – Focused on body and bath products, Soap Cherie is a Brooklyn based brand with a store located in Williamsburg. The products are handmade, using natural and organic ingredients. They offer a lot of products such as soaps, bath bombs, bath salts, body wash, body lotion, bath foam, as well as diffusers. As if the fact that the products are handmade was not enough, there is still the design of the packaging: the foam bath resembles a sparkling wine. The bath salts resemble a bottle of milk. And the soaps … oh, the soaps! In addition to the traditional bars, Soap Cherie creates “baked goods” for your bath. If you’re in the mood for cheesecake, ice cream cones, cupcakes, or even whipped cream, Soap Chérie has you covered. Even more, the ingredients are just perfect: sweet almond oil, shea butter, coconut and olive oil, and cocoa butter. Soap Cherie also offers Soap making class. More information on www.soapcherie.com
Address: 218 Bedford Ave.
CatBird – it is one of the most famous stores in the neighborhood. In 2004, Rony, the founder opened Catbird as an ever-changing shop of her favorite things. She sold some clothes, elbow patches, iron-ons and pretty ribbons. She also carried jewelry that she either made or got from jewelers. Little by little, her curatorship of accessories became famous – and they are what makes the store a reference in jewelry not only in Williamsburg as in New York. Check out the website.
Address: 219 Bedford Avenue.
Artists & Fleas – art, fashion, jewelry, design and vintage in one place. That’s how we can summarize Artists & Fleas, that happens Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 7 pm. More than 30 vendors.
Address: 70 North 7th.
Bulletin – Created as a direct response to the current political climate, Broads supports female-run businesses by showcasing 40 completely female-driven brands and featuring products made for women, by women. Ranging from graphic tees to feminist zines, every product carries a message of empowerment and celebrates individuality.The curation of products is incredible and super diverse. From shirts that always have something to say to pins, from earrings to chains, from cards to calendars, from decorative objects to keychains: everything in the Bulletin is super empowering
Address: 145 Wythe Avenue.
To get there: use the L line or NYC Ferry.
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