There was a time when New York City was just another way of saying Manhattan, but that time has long since passed. We're not telling you anything new here, are we? Brooklyn's been one of the coolest places to be for years now—and NYLON editors should know—although NYLON's offices are right in the heart of downtown Manhattan, many of its editors live in Brooklyn—and there's an insane amount of amazing things to do there, from DIY music shows and down and dirty dance spots to beautifully appointed bars serving impeccable cocktails and some of the most innovative restaurants around. Honestly, if you can think it up, Brooklyn has it—and has, in fact, probably had it for a long time now. The only difficult thing about finding yourself in BK is figuring out what it is you want to do. There are that many choices to be made.
Never fear, though: We're going to help you narrow it down with our ultimate guide to the borough of Kings. Here's everything you'll want to do, eat, drink, and shop for while you're there—all broken down by neighborhood, naturally, because Brooklyn is many things and, like, super big is one of them.
Where to Eat
In the last few years, Brooklyn's been challenging Manhattan for the crown of best place to eat in New York City. A quick sampling of the following 22 places will quickly make it clear why that is. From West Indian down-home delicacies to some of the best pizza in the world, you won't have a hard time finding good things to eat in Brooklyn—it's just a question of narrowing it down.
1) A&A Bake and Doubles (Bed-Stuy): Bed-Stuy has a big Trinidadian population, and you will find 80 percent of it in line to get into this to-go hole-in-the-wall shop each and every Saturday morning. They specialize in doubles (which are basically chickpea pitas), which are the most addicting, richly seasoned, bite-size treats you’ll find. Try them now, (with tamarind sauce) ask questions later.
2) Peaches Hot House (Bed-Stuy): Home to some of the best fried chicken in... the world? Probably the world, Peaches will satisfy all your crispy-skinned cravings.
3) Saraghina (Bed-Stuy): If you can't afford to go to the Italian countryside—and, okay, even if you can—go to this rustic little Italian spot and get ready to eat your weight in homemade pasta made by angels and pizza that'll make your heart sing. There's usually a wait, and the service isn't the best, but if you have any tastebuds at all, it's worth it.
4) Pitanga (Bushwick): Perfect for a post-workout healthy meal, Pitanga serves all of your açai bowl, avocado toast, and fresh pressed juice needs.
5) Lucy’s (Bushwick): If you’re looking for great authentic pho with vegan options, Lucy’s is the place for you. While there’s usually nowhere to sit at the tiny restaurant’s one communal table, it’s worth the wait (or just do takeout!).
6) Roberta's (Bushwick): This is the spot that made Bushwick a famous culinary destination (seriously, when we were there a few years ago, we were seated next to the Clintons), and it still holds up. The pizzas are all perfectly made and come with inventive toppings. Don't sleep on the garlic knots though; we have dreams of those.
7) Berlyn (Fort Greene): Stop into this ornate, European-style restaurant and bar for a Hefeweizen and meat plate before checking out The Magnetic Fields show at BAM (it’s across the street).
8) Habana Outpost (Fort Greene): Come for the frozen margaritas, stay for the grilled corn.
9) Paulie Gee’s (Greenpoint): There are many great pizza institutions in Brooklyn, and Paulie Gee’s will always have a leading place among them. Offering the most delicious pies, piping hot from the oven, as well as the biggest selection of vegan pizzas you’ll ever find at a joint of this caliber, this place begins filling up as soon as they first open their doors for dinner.
10) Doughnut Plant (Park Slope): America may run on Dunkin’, but Brooklyn runs on Doughnut Plant.
11) KITH TREATS (Park Slope): Fuccbois love KITH for its streetwear. Snack-hungry folk love it for its ice cream and cereal bar.
12) Talde (Park Slope): The inventive Asian cuisine served at Talde (think pretzel dumplings, everything bagel-spiced roti, and breakfast ramen) is never less than totally delicious; it's what we crave on a weekly basis. And if you're there for brunch, don't skip out on the massive and delicious bloody mary, which comes garnished with bracing pickled ginger.
13) Tacos el Bronco (Sunset Park): New York in general doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to Mexican food, but this low-key spot busts any and all negative perceptions. We love the tacos and over-stuffed burritos, but our favorite dish is the steak nachos, which come heaped with plenty of perfectly spicy pickled jalapeños.
14) Hometown BBQ and Brooklyn Crab (Red Hook): Going to this distant waterfront neighborhood feels like leaving New York City, so it stands to reason that the best, Texas-style barbeque in town sits next to a tri-level seafood shack straight out of New England seaside town central casting.
15) Pok Pok Ny (Red Hook): This Thai food spot is not for those who don't love spice, but for those who do? It's heaven. Get the larb salad, the turmeric catfish, the chiang mai sausage, and the mussels-strewn broken crepe—oh! and the chicken wings—and wash it all down with a refreshing vinegar-spiked soda water and for just a second, you can close your eyes and think you're in downtown Bangkok instead of downtown Brooklyn.
16) Champs (East Williamsburg): The best vegan junk food to ever exist. Whether you’re in the mood for a fried “chicken” sandwich or are craving cookie dough pancakes, they even have your non-vegan vegan cravings covered.
17) Black Flamingo (Williamsburg): This incredible spot not only serves some of the best and most inventive Latino food around (and it's all vegetarian!), but the cocktails are on-point, and it is one of the best places to dance in North Brooklyn. We could have categorized this spot anywhere, really, since it's an excellent place to both drink and party, but we put it under restaurants because, really, you've just got to try the Savory Shroom tacos.
18) Loosie Rouge (Williamsburg): If you like not being able to move amongst a packed-in crowd of beautiful people with French accents, then this too-cool restaurant and bar in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge will very much be your jam.
19) Emmy’s Squared (Greenpoint): Speaking again of pizza, Emily Hyland recently opened her second restaurant in Williamsburg, and it’s just as popular as the Clinton Hill original Emily. The upstairs features a full pizza menu that boasts delicious slices of Detroit-style pizza with cheese-burned edges, while the downstairs is reserved for one of the best burgers that you will ever have in your life: Le Big Matt, a double-stacked patty creation on a pretzel bun with sauce that you will want to drown your every single meal in.
20) Win-Son (Williamsburg): You will have some of the best Taiwanese-American food at this unpretentious spot in east Williamsburg. The Big Chicken Bun fried chicken sandwich has made many a list, and is as delicious as many claim it to be, and the Flys Head and pork buns are not to be missed.
21) East Wind Snack Shop (Windsor Terrace): This tiny restaurant right by Brooklyn's majestic Prospect Park is possibly our favorite place to eat in Brooklyn. The menu is tightly edited but literally every item on it is a foodie gem; plus, you can order pretty much every dish and still be spending under $50, so that's exactly what we recommend you do. You won't regret it, because you'll be busy chowing down on succulent, glazed rib bites and crispy skinned dumplings filled with luscious pork or funky dry-aged beef. Try it, you'll love it. Just don't forget to end with an order of Honk Kong hot cakes, which are like mini lemon-scented pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar—aka heaven.
22)The Chinese Club (Williamsburg): If it wasn’t for this husband-and-wife-run restaurant, one would probably never know how good a fusion between Chinese and Indian food could be. And it is so good. Mushroom tempura comes coated in the most fragrant of salt, pepper, and butter mixes, while the main entrees boast tender butter chicken and Kung Pao chicken prepared tandoori-style that can and should be paired with one of the many delicious noodle and rice dishes. We would say the proof is in the pudding, but it’s really in the Hong Kong-style bubble waffles flanked by Pocky sticks Fruity Pebbles, and purple yam ice cream
Where to Drink
Brooklyn was once known as the borough of homes, but it could just as easily have been called the borough of bars. There's so many of them! Like, multitudes. Check out some (or all??) of our 20 favorites, below.
1) Lovers Rock (Bed-Stuy): If you enjoy reggae music, this is the place for you. If you enjoy cheap but great drinks, this is the place for you. If you enjoy cute outdoor backyards where you can drink said drinks with friends, this is the place for you.
2) Moloko (Bed-Stuy): Moloko is the kind of bar you always wish you could find and never actually can. Dimly lit but not dark, cute but not twee, not pretentious but definitely A Nice Bar with Nice Drinks—there's a reason almost everyone in the surrounding up-and-coming area of Bed-Stuy considers it their personal favorite spot. Cute for a date, friend hang, or solo wine time.
3) The Brooklyn Inn (Boerum Hill): The name says it all. A legendary establishment that embodies the kind of Brooklyn that might appeal to someone who grew up on the movies of Noah Baumbach and the books of Jonathan Ames.
4) Alphaville (Bushwick): Alphaville is always a good time. While it may seem like a no-frills bar when you walk in, their food is incredible and the back door leads to a venue space, where they have shows and DJs almost every night. If you’re looking for a few drunken laughs with friends, definitely check out Monday night karaoke.
5) Gotham City Bar (Bushwick): If Kevin Smith opened a dive bar in the bowels of Bushwick, it might look like this comic book-themed drinking hole. Get drunk, nerd out.
6) The Rookery (Bushwick): Aside from the gorgeous art deco decor (complete with a taxidermied peacock), the friendly staff is always willing to serve you the finest cocktails and yummiest comfort food, and there’s usually a fire pit burning out front during the warmer months. Check it out on a Monday for a night of vinyl-only shoegaze.
7) The Three Diamond Door (Bushwick): Three Diamond Door has not one bar, but two! The back bar always tends to turn into a dance party, while the front room is perfect for catching up with friends. They also have an expansive backyard that’s perfect for outdoor drinks after a boozy Sunday brunch.
8) The Keep (Bushwick): The keep sort of reminds me of what one's grandmother’s attic probably looks like. Complete with antiques of all sorts, from chandeliers to vintage motorcycles, there’s always something cool to see. While it may sound cluttered, it’s actually warm and cozy, perfect for a date night.
9) Clover Club (Cobble Hill): Home to some of the best cocktails in New York City, this cozy spot is also immaculately designed, with lots of dark wood and tufted leather seating. In the winter, grab a seat by the fireplace in the back. And in all seasons, enjoy one of their exceptional concoctions, like the spicy sweet Smokestack Collins made with mezcal, pineapple, and ginger.
10) Leyenda (Cobble Hill): This pan-Latin cocktail bar is the place to go for all things tequila, cachaça, pizco, mezcal... really just everything. All the drinks are insanely good (it's no wonder it's one of Esquire magazine's 18 best bars in the world), and the food (think: empanadas and pupusas) is also spot-on.
11) Sycamore (Ditmas Park): It's a bar and a flower shop. Need we say more??
12) Achilles Heel (Greenpoint): The northwestern stretch of Greenpoint that borders the East River was once the home of warehouses and dockworkers. As those are slowly being replaced by start-ups and “creatives,” this cozy and curated cocktail bar pays tribute to the neighborhood’s past. Spend a stormy day here sipping a negroni and reading a book, or a steamy night dancing the night away. It’s that kinda place.
13) Black Rabbit (Greenpoint): The word cozy is thrown around a lot these days, but what‘s once more time. This British-style pub is cozy AF. If you don’t get caught up in some very competitive games of Jenga, then you’re a better human than us.
14) Tørst (Greenpoint): Despite Scandinavian food happening for the last few years in New York, Nordic love for brews still remains relatively unknown. Enter this brewpub from a notable Danish brewer and former head of Momofuku’s test kitchen. Aside from serving a 20-plus rotating draft list, the bar is also incredibly Instagram-friendly with a white marble bar, wood taps (that go from darkest to lightest to coordinate with the beers), and a mirror board.
15) Sunny’s (Red Hook): Tucked away on a dilapidated cobblestone street is this unpretentious oasis of cold drinks and good vibes that feels of another era. That it opened in 1890 might have something to do with that.
16) DRAM (Williamsburg): This all-wooden hideaway on the border of Williamsburg is comfort defined. Ask for the bartender’s special. They somehow know your personality and likes better than you do.
17) Soft Spot (Williamsburg): There isn’t lots to recommend at this no-frills bar except a very chill back patio and a 2-for-1 happy hour from 12-8 every single day of the week. Do with that info what you will.
18) Tonita’s Caribbean Social Club (Williamsburg): Ugh, we so don’t want to tell you about this deeply special bar in the middle of Williamsburg™, because it feels like a true discovery in a neighborhood where that no longer exists. But Tonita’s, as the regulars call it, is one of the final bastions of this gentrified neighborhood’s Puerto Rican roots, and might come as a culture shock to those who stumble across. We mean that in the best possible way.
19) Double Windsor (Windsor Terrace): Not only does this bar have an amazing selection of beers, but it also has some of the best fries around, all the better to soak up that beer.
20) Connolly’s Bar (Far Rockaway, which is technically Queens, but whatever): That the best frozen piña colada in the city is located right next to the beach makes total sense. That it comes from this old-school Irish bar makes none.
What to Do
What isn't there to do in Brooklyn? Seriously, you've got an abundance of choices here, we've narrowed it down to some key institutions and newer, cooler places and activities. Enjoy!
1) Catland (Bushwick): Catland is here to fill all of your occult needs, whether you’re shopping for crystals and spell books or looking to sit down with one of their renowned tarot readers for a bit of guidance.
2) Gallery Walk (Bushwick): There are a ton of great gallery spaces in Bushwick, so spend a day walking around this vibrant neighborhood taking in the art and scenery. Here's an excellent map to help you sort everything out.
3) Then She Fell by Third Rail Projects (Bushwick): Despite several years of running, this immersive theater experience still remains perpetually sold out if you don’t book at least six weeks in advance, in part due to its 15 members-per-show maximum. Surpassing the popularity of even Sleep No More, Manhattan’s most popular immersive show, Then She Fell is set in a hospital ward and loosely based on the writings of Lewis Carroll.
4) Coney Island Amusement Parks and Boardwalk (Coney Island): Go spend the day at the beach! Visit the aquarium! Ride one of the world's oldest and legit scariest roller coasters, the Cyclone! Eat a hot dog at Nathan's! Just have fun you crazy kids. This is the place to do it.
5) Brooklyn Bridge Park/Jane's Carousel (DUMBO): The beautifully restored Brooklyn waterfront resides at the foot of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges and boasts downtown Manhattan's skyline in the background, making this the perfect place to take all your iconic Instagram shots. (You will also see, like, a ton of people getting wedding photos done here. A ton.) Make sure to take a spin on Jane's Carousel, a vintage merry-go-round housed in a glass cube, that feels like a larger than life jewel box and is a super-special addition to any trip to Brooklyn.
6) Minus Space (DUMBO): This awesome gallery hosts fascinating installations and is a must-visit for any art lover.
7) Brooklyn Academy of Music (Ft. Greene): Home to the best in theatre, dance, comedy, literary talks, and cinema, BAM (as it's known in Brooklyn) is the borough's cultural crown jewel. It's hard to narrow down just one thing to do here, but if you get a chance to see one of the theatrical productions, take it. Years later, and I'm still reeling following seeing Derek Jacobi in King Lear and Kevin Spacey in Richard III.
8) MoCADA Museum (Ft. Greene): This museum plays host to the contemporary art of the African diaspora and is a valuable asset to Brooklyn's cultural institutions, filled as it is with provocative, important works that you won't find anywhere else.
9) Maha Rose Spiritual Center (Greenpoint): If you're looking for a spot to do a little internal work, look no further than our beloved Maha Rose, where NYLON staffers have experienced both reiki and hypnotherapy. The ultra-soothing spot offers lots of classes and services, and also has a beautifully curated gift shop for all your crystal needs.
10) The Lesbian Herstory Archives (Park Slope): This place is a genuine treasure trove of lesbian historical artifacts, home as it is to the "world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities." Go spend an afternoon exploring and learning; geek out, you have our full permission.
11) Prospect Park (Park Slope): Despite its name, Manhattan's Central Park is not so central—especially if you're in Brooklyn. Good thing Brooklyn has its own verdant wonderland, and it was even designed by the same folks who did Central Park. Plus, Prospect Park is just as pretty and it never gets crazy crowded the way its sibling does on the weekends. And, in the summer, you can partake in a great concert series there called Celebrate Brooklyn! Don't mind if we do.
12) Brooklyn Museum (Prospect Heights): Home to notable exhibitions like the current Marilyn Minter and Georgia O'Keeffe shows, the Brooklyn Museum is usually host to at least one destination exhibit and is always worth wandering around. Take advantage of First Saturdays, if you can, where admission (which, admittedly, is always suggested donation) is totally free and there's lots of fun, extra programming.
13) Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Prospect Heights): Survive winter in the greenhouse, welcome spring with the cherry blossom festival, walk beside a lake in the summer, and learn a whole lot about plants you didn’t even know existed in New York (or otherwise!) all year round. FREE on Tuesdays!
14) Skateboard in Cooper Park (East Williamsburg): Cooper Park may not be huge, but it has quarter pipes and rails for those of you who like to shred. Conveniently located next to the dog park, so you can check out lots of cute dogs. Win/win.
15) Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg (Williamsburg): Though it started small, in the parking lot of a high school, the Brooklyn Flea is now a huge enterprise, spanning multiple neighborhoods in the borough (and beyond; one will open in Manhattan this year). It's still super fun to walk around though, deals can often be found, and the wares are always very cool. Plus, you can eat at Smorgasburg, always full of delicious and often quirky food. Ramen burger, anyone?
16) Knitting Factory (Williamsburg): While it's a great place to catch a concert, we're partial to seeing comedy at this venue. Despite the low-key vibe, high-caliber talent comes here, like Hannibal Buress and Chris Gethard.
17) Cooking Classes at Milk Bar (Williamsburg): While chance are you’ve been to Momofuku’s bakery, Milk Bar, plenty of times, you’ve probably never attempted to recreate their signature crack pie or birthday cake truffles, thinking it to be an impossible task. Not so much if you register for a cooking class, available only at their Williamsburg location, where Milk Bar’s bakers will instruct you every step in making of their most popular creations.
18) National Sawdust (Williamsburg): This insanely gorgeous space (you sort of feel like you're in a UFO when inside) is home to some of the most innovative art and performance pieces in Brooklyn. We saw an opera there last year during which dinner was communally served on long wooden boards. We know that might sound confusing to you, so believe us when we say we were semi-baffled while we were experiencing it and yet we also loved it? It was delicious, and the opera was grand.
19) Nitehawk (Williamsburg): Going to the movies has once again become an experience thanks to a number of theaters offering a full menu and alcohol and themed parties. Retro-esque Nitehawk cinema has been the leader of the movement since 2011, showing movies both new and classic, as well as hosting special events like its monthly brunch series and Spoons, Toons & Booze, an uber-popular and perpetually sold-out showing during which you can get an all-you-can-eat cereal bar, cocktails, and a Saturday dose of cartoons.
20) Northside Festival (Williamsburg): Now entering its ninth year, this North Brooklyn festival takes over for a handful of days in June, bringing some of the best curated music lineups. Here's the thing: We currently exist in a major Festival Era; every day seems to bring news of some insane lineup featuring only the biggest names in music, all playing in some obscure location where the only draw is really the music. And that's all great! Really. But what makes Northside Music so special is the way in which it maintains the DIY aesthetic that was once emblematic of all of Brooklyn's music scene. So, while, yeah, Northside has some big names playing this year (Dirty Projectors, Miguel, Thursday), what it really does so well is ensure that every one of the 400-plus bands that are on its lineup is worth seeing, even if you've never heard of them before. You just never know which of these acts will be the next Chance the Rapper, who just so happened to play his first-ever NYC show at Northside.
Where to Party
What do you get when you combine "what to do" with "where to drink"? You get "where to party." Check out our picks, below.
1) Bossa Nova Civic Club (Bushwick): Newbies be warned: Bossa Nova Civic Club is not a club that plays bossa nova music. Rather, it's a dark, steamy little bar with a dance floor that pumps out some of the best house and techno in Brooklyn. Go for a good dance, an amazing cocktail made with fresh juice, a quick bathroom make out, etc.
2) The Glove* (Bushwick): This place is sort of a hole in the wall, and that’s what makes it so great. One of the last DIY music venues left in Brooklyn, you’ll catch everything from local punk acts to experimental noise bands. *They don’t have a real website because DIY.
3) Baby’s All Right (Williamsburg): Baby’s All Right is one of the better venues in Williamsburg proper. Not as large or intimidating as Williamsburg Music Hall, you can catch great local and touring bands—including some bigger acts—in a much more intimate atmosphere. They also have killer weekend brunch.
4) Output (Williamsburg): Output is definitely not for everyone, but this multi-floored Williamsburg venue is something you should definitely try at least once. Getting out of the fray of lyric-less techno music and escaping to the roof with a cocktail is half of the fun.
5) Kinfolk (Williamsburg): Dancing the night away is never out of season at this spot. There’s almost always an event going down, but you definitely want to pop in for the Ting & Ting parties. If Kinfolk 94 is a little too lit for your liking, hop next door to Kinfolk 90 where the vibe is super low-key.
Where to Shop
Sorry to tell you this, but Brooklyn wants to take all your money. It's sad but true. Luckily, though, if you're spending it at any of these 21 incredible independently owned boutiques, you'll know your money is going to a good place.
1) Sincerely, Tommy (Bed-Stuy): You’ll find pieces from this coffee-shop-slash-clothing-boutique, owned by the always-stylish Kai Avent-deLeon, that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. It’s on the pricier side, but the pants, necklaces, bags, whatever it is you pick up, will last way longer than something from a fast fashion establishment ever will.
2) Installation Brooklyn Vintage (Bed-Stuy): For a more affordable shopping option, stop into Installation Brooklyn. It’s tiny—and hard to miss if you’re not privy—but robust in selection.
3) Molasses Books (Bushwick): this unassuming little book shop is a Bushwick staple. Filled to the brim with literature of all sorts, there’s usually a number of events happening there every month, from readings to charity events. Plus, you can always pop in for a coffee or beer, even if you’re not in the mood to read.
4) Worship (Bushwick): Worship is possibly one of the best vintage shops in Bushwick. Not only is the well-curated space filled with the coolest fashion from decades past, you can also find jewelry from local designers and walls filled with local artists’ work.
5) Shen Beauty (Carroll Gardens): This absolute haven for natural beauty products (yes, everyone from May Lindstrom to Amanda Lacey are in the house) is one of our favorite spots in the borough. Owner Jessica Richards is a genius at beauty curation, and always on the forefront of what we'll want from our beauty and skin-care lines. To top it off, Shen offers incredible beauty services like facials, microdermabrasion, and makeup application. We love it.
6) Article& (Cobble Hill): Long one of our favorite clothing stores, Article& always manages to carry the perfect array of cool, yet totally wearable clothes, shoes, and other accessories, all at affordable price points. We'll take one of everything, please.
7) Greenlight Bookstore (Ft. Greene): Bookstores are like a second home to many in Brooklyn, and Greenlight is a prime example of this. It's an amazing place to hang out, browse the shelves, get great recommendations, and catch any and all of your favorite writers on tour promoting their books.
9) Word Bookstore (Greenpoint): Okay, okay, we're not going to just highlight every indie bookstore in Brooklyn (though there are so many good ones... Community Bookstore, powerHouse, Terrace Books... we could go on). We did want to highlight just one more, because Word is truly special. It's been around for 10 years now, which is quite an achievement in the Age of Amazon. And we know it'll be around for another 10, and 10 more after that, because it's just that vital of a spot.
10 Items of Interest (Park Slope): Mid-century modern lovers and interior design pornographers, this 5th Ave location is dangerous for your wallet.
11) Antoinette (Williamsburg): This little vintage boutique is a true gem (thanks in particular to its kickass owner, Lexi Olivera), and it's always stocked with everything we want to wear, from vintage pieces to some up-and-coming Brooklyn designers.
12) Bird (Williamsburg): One of the first boutiques to bring high-end fashion to Brooklyn, Bird is a borough-wide icon and renowned for its perfectly curated stock. Think: Lauren Manoogian and Raquel Allegra, as well as jewelry by artists like Pamela Love.
13) Brooklyn Fox Lingerie (Williamsburg): You'll never go back to big brand lingerie after delving into the beautiful and delicate wares at Brooklyn Fox. We want it all.
14) Catbird (Williamsburg): Before Catbird has become the uber-popular jewelry retailer known for some of the most daintily beautiful jewelry around, it was a tiny boutique in Williamsburg. Well, the boutique is still there (and fashion-forward as always), plus some in the form of their wedding annex location.
15) Mociun (Williamsburg): Home to some of the most beautiful and inventive jewelry and home goods around, Mociun possesses the exact aesthetic we're going for in our lives.
16) Rough Trade (Williamsburg): This massive store is heaven for music geeks, and also plays host to an excellent small venue for shows. We saw Frankie Cosmos play there last year, and it was transformative. (She was singing Liz Phair songs. We died.)
17) Scosha (Williamsburg): We own several bracelets by Scosha, and we literally never take them off; they go with everything and have become part of our actual identity. See for yourself at this lovely little store (the workshop is in the back), which also offers cool housewares like blankets and candles.
18) Small Home (Williamsburg): If you need to pick up a gift while in Brooklyn, here's where to do it. This eclectic little spot offers up tons of interesting homemade goods, from diorama lamps to zodiac embroideries.
19) Spoonbill & Sugartown Books (Williamsburg): There ain’t no better place in Brooklyn to find art books, queer zines, and unique titles than this Bedford Avenue staple.
20) Urban Jungle (Williamsburg): If you’re looking to score some killer vintage on the cheap, this is the place for you. While it may take some digging, their expansive collection of denim, leather, and frilly ‘80s dresses is always worth a glance.
Where to Stay
You're gonna need a place to rest your head, right? Here are our favorite places to stay when we need a home away from home. (Even if our home is just a few blocks away.)
1) Akwaaba Mansion (Bed-Stuy): Because when are you going to get the chance to stay at a mansion-turned-B&B in the middle of Brooklyn again?
2) Arlington Place B&B (Bed-Stuy): Not only are the rooms in this three-story renovated brownstone super cozy, there’s also a bar in the basement for all of the night caps you could ever need. Fun fact: It’s also the family home in Spike Lee’s Crooklyn.
3) Urban Cowboy B&B (Williamsburg): When we think "Brooklyn," we think "cowboy." Well, okay, maybe not. But we do think of the Urban Cowboy B&B, because of how beautifully designed it is and how comfortable it is for a few nights stay. Check it out for yourself the next time you're in town.
4) The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg): A new addition to the Brooklyn skyline, this towering boutique hotel looks like a spaceship landed on the Williamsburg waterfront. Inside, every room is gorgeously appointed and all have them have balconies for that awesome, sunset-over-Manhattan view.
5) The Wythe Hotel (Williamsburg): Home to an excellent art collection (and that heavily Instagrammed "HOTEL" sign), the Wythe is a great place to stay if you want to be in Williamsburg. It's also host to Reynard, a restaurant that has one of our favorite burgers in the borough and which also happens to serve up a mean martini.