20 Reasons You Must Visit Williamsburg, Brooklyn November 04 2017
Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Williamsburg has cultivated a worldwide reputation for its unique brand of cool, which mixes renovated warehouses, bizarre, yet delicious artisanal foods, and a sense of fashion and style deeply rooted in a love for all things quirky and retro. Some of New York City’s most creative minds have staked their claim on Williamsburg, opening offbeat, brilliant entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, and shops. Still, the neighborhood’s held on to its sense of history, and its diverse representation of cultures. Here are twenty reasons to visit Williamsburg, and the unmissable stops to check out while you’re there:
To Dance Until You Can’t Feel Your Face
74 Wythe Avenue
If you’re patient enough to deal with the long line, stern bouncers, and mandatory coat check, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible show from the hippest new DJ acts. Wander through the maze-like, multiple-story dance club and lose yourself in the music!
To See The Next Great Music Sensation
Baby’s All Right is basically universally acknowledged as the gold standard for booking music in Brooklyn. Come here to see the next big indie music star get discovered.
To Hear Some Real Cowboy Music
152 Metropolitan Avenue
Throw on your cowboy boots and head to Skinny Dennis, where you’ll hear the best genuine country music in all of New York! You’ll come for the honky tonk tunes, and stay for the seriously delicious coffee-and-whiskey slushie.
To Go Bowling With Questlove (kind of)
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn Bowl is the restaurant, bar, music hall and bowling alley you didn’t know you’ve always wanted. They have a famous weekly show by DJ legend Questlove, and book everything from folk to jazz to hip-hop the rest of the week. If you need a one-stop encapsulation of the Williamsburg aesthetic, look no further than this joint.
To Stuff Your Face With Delicious Food
Williamsburg’s East River Park, 90 Kent Avenue
When: April through November, Saturdays from 10AM-6P
Join the 20,000-30,000 people who venture to Williamsburg’s waterfront park every Saturday from April through November. Featuring artisanal foods from over 100 local vendors selling everything from specialty pickles to gourmet churros, it’s no wonder The New York Times has called Smorgasburg “The Woodstock of Eating.”
To buy souvenirs from Brooklyn’s most talented artisans
70 North 7th Street
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 10AM-7PM
This weekend market is a gathering place for over 100 artists and designers to sell their wares. Wander the converted warehouse through aisles of hand-dyed kimonos, all-natural soap, and handmade watches.
For The Best Vintage Shopping Trip Of All Time
74 Guernsey Street
This store is technically in neighboring-Greenpoint but it’s worth the walk for the endless racks of modern and retro vintage wares at surprisingly reasonable prices. You can make a day of it by checking out Williamsburg’s other notable vintage stops including Armacord (22 Conselyea Street), Monk (496 Driggs Ave.) and Olly Oxen Free Vintage (137 Montrose Ave)
To Update Your Record Collection
64 N 9th Street
Scoop up your next vinyl obsession at this enormous record warehouse. They’ve got a music venue in back, and a hefty supply of new releases and a well-preserved oldies in front.
To Rifle Through Junk (Seriously.)
567 Driggs Avenue
Picture 10,000 square feet packed with vintage wonders, and Junk will still outdo your imagination. From racks of 1960s dresses to piles of quirky table lamps, there’s certain to be something for everyone in the family. You’ll have fun browsing for that perfect, classically-Williamsburg souvenir.
To See It’s Unique History
370 Metropolitan Avenue
Image: The City Reliquary
This quirky museum lets you experience the story of Williamsburg through unusual, fascinating ephemera, from cute postcards to subway tokens. Browse through historic photographs and precious artifacts for a view of the city unlike any other.
To Watch An Art-House Film Over Delicious Snacks
136 Metropolitan Avenue
Nitehawk is New York’s finest dine-in theater experience, screening hip repertoire films and old classics and midnight horror films alike. Nosh on delicious gourmet food and sip on specialty cocktails custom-designed to match the film you’re watching. Each screening begins with a house-made thirty-minute “pre-show” filled with amusing content inspired by the film.
To Find Your Perfect Scent
318 Maujer Street
This Williamsburg perfume store lets you design your very own perfume, with over 700 essential oils in stock that will inspire your nose and your creativity. After you’ve chosen your ingredients, watch your own signature scent be created right before your very eyes.
To Look At The Best Sketchbooks In The Entire World
28 Frost Street
When: Wed-Sun, 10AM-6PM
This isn’t your typical library: Instead of literary works, you’ll get to peruse more than 36,000 sketchbooks from 100+ countries. Home to tons of community art projects, this place is a true heart of Williamsburg’s creative energy. Get inspired by sketchings from their international coalition of artists, and maybe consider donating a sketchbook of your own!
To See the Manhattan Skyline
162 North 12th Street
Sip fancy cocktails at this bar atop the Wythe Hotel, one of Williamsburg’s trendiest spots. The open expansive space overlooks the beautiful East River, and offers a stunning, panoramic view of the Midtown skyline.
You can join your rooftop Tour, we visit Rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens KLICK
For Beach Culture in the Heart of Brooklyn
64 Frost Street
If you don’t have time to travel down to New York’s beach, The Rockaways, stop by Battery Harris for a taste of its breezy, laid-back culture. Enjoy fun, Caribbean-inspired drinks and scrumptious burgers beneath brightly-colored umbrellas as Island tunes play in the background.
To stock up on one-of-a-kind comic books
540 Metropolitan Avenue
Desert Island is a one-stop-shop for comic book lovers and graphic novel snobs alike! Offering an unparalleled collection of illustrated wonders from all over the world, this shop is certain to have your next big obsession on its shelves. With decorations right out of a whimsical children’s books, this place is certain to capture your imagination.
To Drink a James Murphy-Approved Bottle of Wine
295 Grand Street
A must-see for LCD Soundsystem fanatics, this wine bar was dreamt up by the frontman himself. The Four Horseman offers an unparalleled menu of 250 natural and biodynamic wines in a homey atmosphere decorated by cedar-wood planks and burlap bags.
For the best meal in New York
81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Marlow & Son’s is the original Williamsburg fine dining establishment, a trailblazer in the farm-to-table, rustic vibe that has become ubiquitous in this foodie-haven of a neighborhood. A coffee shop by day, it transforms into a delicious gourmet restaurant by night. With it’s constantly-changing seasonal menu, you’re sure to feast on inventive new concoctions made from the freshest, local ingredients.
For the beautiful Classical Revival Architecture
834 Driggs Avenue
This historic landmark and former bank dates back to 1875, when it was built as part of the Classical Revival movement. It’s worth a peek during the day, but is a particularly stunning view at night, when its facade is illuminated by colorful lights.
To See The One-of-a-Kind Hasidic Jewish Community
Where: Area bounded by Division Avenue, Broadway Avenue, Heyward Street and the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Explore Williamsburg’s cultural diversity on a walk through its Orthodox Hasidic community, where you’ll feel as if you’ve travelled back in time. The street signs are written in Yiddish and Hebrew, and residents dress in traditional garb, complete with yarmulkes and hats. As you walk around, be aware that this is an isolated community that abides by strict, religious rules, particularly those governing public interactions between men and women. Be respectful, and don’t expect a particularly warm welcome. Still, it’s a fascinating, unique place to wander through. Here are a few stops to make:
Go on a walk past the yellow-bricked main synagogue for the Satmar sect of Judaism (150 Rodney Street) and take a quick peek inside the windows. Stop by the Oneg Heimishe Bakery (188 Lee Avenue) and sample the scrumptious chocolate babka. Then, finish your tour with a hearty meal at Gottlieb’s (352 Roebling Street) where you can nosh on delicious kosher, Hungarian delicacies like pastrami egg rolls or goulash.
Williamsburg is a place unlike any other, an endless adult playground filled with with quirky, one-of-a-kind venues. Have fun exploring!