A visit to North Brooklyn’s neighborhoods while visiting New York is highly encouraged. Williamsburg, Greenpoint & Bushwick showcase the epitome of positive transformation, all former industrial neighborhoods revolutionized to some of the most hipster and popular destinations for dining, art, attractions, and entertainment. We promise that there is so much more to Northern Brooklyn than Birkenstocks with socks and barista jams. Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick have more to offer every week. Here is our guide to direct you to some of the best facets of these three amazing neighborhoods.
(Photo by Harlem Spirituals)
Whether you are looking for contemporary art or street art, the creative scene will certainly not go unnoticed in these three neighborhoods. Northern Brooklyn is home to several little-known yet superb contemporary art museums, many of which are found in Bushwick, including the Robert Henry Contemporary Art Gallery, C L E A R I N G, and Microscope Gallery. You will also find 106 Green in Greenpoint and Black Ball Projects in Williamsburg. Tour through art galleries such as Space 776, Greenpoint Gallery, Decor Art Gallery, Graphite or The Living Gallery while visiting these three neighborhoods. Want to get your own hands dirty? Check out the Williamsburg studio Painting Lounge, where you can attend a BYOB paint and sip, Paint night or art classes. Also, keep an eye out for Art Fairs! The Other Art Fair, held biannually every Spring and Fall in Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Expo Center, showcases 130 talented independent and emerging artists. We must not forget about Bushwick’s globally renowned graffiti scene. The Bushwick Collective is a must-see when in the area. You can read more about this graffiti movement here. You will find a plentiful amount of street artworks walking through Williamsburg and Greenpoint as well, and it is even incorporated into several popular restaurants, music and nightlife venues such as The Paper Box, where you will find a graffiti gallery on the back patio.
CULTURAL & HISTORIC HUBS
(Photo by Facebook/ The City Reliquary)
Northern Brooklyn is full of history, and the best way to explore the evolution of these now booming neighborhoods is to visit a local museum. During your stay, we recommend checking out The City Reliquary, where the past and the present collide. The Bushwick Loft Museum will take you back in time to an authentic Bushwick Loft, and the Greenpoint Monitor Museum keeps the Civil War and Greenpoint history alive. Check out the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in a vintage-bank dating back to 1876, where you will find an art gallery with diverse shows and events. Aside from historic museums, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick are great neighborhoods to find offbeat and fun museums such as the Museum of Food and Drink Lab and the Dream Machine, where you will surely get an insta-worthy photo. Beyond the hipster-centric coffee shops and stores, Williamsburg is also a multicultural neighborhood, also home to the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community.
(Photo by Harlem Spirituals)
Dining options are endless in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. If you’re looking for a regional Mexican home-style cooking, go to Casa Pública or Mesa Coyoacan in Williamsburg, Acapulco or Calexico in Greenpoint, or Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos in Bushwick. Tasting Seafood? Try Surf Bar or the slightly pricier Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, Greenpoint’s Fish and Lobster Co., or Sea Wolf in Bushwick. For classic restaurants that will please (almost) anyone, we recommend the fan favorite Allswell, Lilia, Annicka, Habitat or Roberta’s. Craving some amazing Thai Food? Bunker, in Bushwick, is the place. What about a mouth-watering, freshly made pizza pie? You must experience Paulie Gee’s. If you are craving finger-licking ribs and savory mac and cheese, try an authentic family-style barbecue at Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquette Hall, Fette Sau or Northern Bell. If you join us on our Triboro Tour from Hip Hop to Hipsters, we will take you through Williamsburg, stopping for a BBQ lunch. Lastly, every Saturday from April through November, Williamsburg hosts the largest open-air food-market in America, Smorgasburg. If you and your friends or family cannot agree on what to eat, this is a perfect alternative, as you will have the option to choose from over 50 local vendors, then eat your meals while taking in the beautiful views of the Lower East Side across the East River.
NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT
(Photo by Marley White/ NYC & Company)
Brooklyn’s Northside is full of world-class beer bars and arguably the best nightlife destinations in the borough. Whether you are looking to dance the night away at a nightclub or lounge, check out Bembe with live cultural entertainment and cheap beers, Output, a renowned neon-lit dance club in a converted warehouse with a killer rooftop deck, The Woods, hosting DJs and live bands every week or Our Wicked Lady, a dynamic space with studios, practice rooms, a music venue, arts complex and a new rooftop bar. For a more local experience at a friendly, low key and inexpensive dive bar, check out Luv Story, Lone Wolf, Wreck Room, Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern or The Abbey. You will likely stumble upon small live music performances and authentic, quirky atmospheres to have few over a game of pool, Connect Four, or Uno. Northern Brooklyn has an extensive list of renowned live music venues, some including Baby’s All Right, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, National Sawdust, Knitting Factory Brooklyn, Rough Trade, C’mon Everybody, Brooklyn Bazaar and Brooklyn Bowl. Want to spend time outside? Find a beer hall, an outdoor garden patio back deck or rooftop views at Iona, Night of Joy, The Ides, Berry Park, Union Pool, Brooklyn Barge Bar, Northern Territory, Spritzenhaus, Forest Point, or Three Diamond Door. Lastly, after sampling all of that beer, why don’t you take a free tour at the Brooklyn Brewery to get an inside look at the local brewing process? A good ol’ Brooklyn Summer Ale will do ya well, but always drink responsibly (must be 21+).
(Photo by Malcolm Brown/ NYC & Company)
Although you won’t find large, well-known department stores in these neighborhoods, unless you consider Friends in Bushwick to be an “indie department store”, you will find authentic and trendy boutiques that’ll make you question if you ever even had any style. Stroll down Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue, where you will find a mix of both name brand stores such as Urban Outfitters and J. Crew, but also many independently owned creative boutiques. Between N. 4th and N. 5th you’ll find the Bedford Avenue Mini Mall, where several local businesses are joined together. You’ll find MeMe Antenna Gifts & Music, Sugartown Books, and The Market NYC, a bazaar where around 20 vendors showcase their work. Every weekend, the Artist & Fleas multi-merchant marketplace is open in Williamsburg, offering an extraordinary alternative to mainstream shopping. You will find artesian products created by artists that represent the culture and craft of the neighborhood. For all of you music-junkies out there, the oldest record shop in Williamsburg, Earwax Records, is still up and running and well worth your while. You will not fall short of Vintage and thrift stores in Northern Brooklyn. Spend a day sifting through second-hand gems at Urban Jungle, Fox & Fawn, Dusty Rose Vintage Warehouse, Olly Oxen Free Vintage, ZP Vintage Stuff, or The Mobile Vintage Shop. Before you know it, you’ll leave Brooklyn lookin’ like you were meant to be there all along.
It would be a pity for you to overlook Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick when visiting New York City. These three neighborhoods have so much to offer, and located just across the East River, a quick and easy train will land you right in the heart of it all. For a stress-free experience while touring these neighborhood gems, consider booking either our I Love Brooklyn Sprinter Van Tour or our more extensive Triboro Tour for personal guidance through some of Brooklyn’s most desirable neighborhoods and beyond. If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions, and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.