In the second of two parts (the first is a tour of Manhattan), Gregor Telfer shares his favourite places to eat and drink in uber-cool Brooklyn with a nod to the rich and vibrant music scene to be found there. Music and food – sounds great, doesn’t it!
Gregor’s Eating & Drinking Tour of Brooklyn, NYC
Firstly Brooklyn is gigantic, larger than Manhattan. Did you know that? I’ll break it down into two main areas – north and south. North Brooklyn encompasses uber-trendy Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and south Brooklyn is where you will still find super-hip, but slightly more refined areas like Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. Park Slope is where we live. There’s also Red Hook. It’s a bit out of the way, but a great place to spend some time once you journey there.
There’s a tonne of music that goes down in Brooklyn, lots of it in B’Burg, G’Point. (Ahem… editor intervention… that’s short for Williamsburg and Greenpoint)
Where to find live music
Bowery Presents is the best place to find gigs across the whole city. Have a look before you travel, there’s always a load to see. Most of the venues listed are worth a visit.
Venue – Brooklyn Steel
If you’re looking for a gig check out what’s happening at Brooklyn Steel. London Grammar, Clean Bandit and Metronomy are due to play there.
Venue – Saint Vitus
For an alternative music experience, head to Saint Vitus. It calls itself a metal/rock bar, but really, it’s just a real cool and dark, late night spot with live music and a young buzzy crowd. Wear black. You’ll find a load of other heaving places in the vicinity. It’s all a bit young and loud, but if that’s your thing, follow the crowds and take your pick!
In the B’Burg area, the main drag for good eats is Grand Street. There’s a myriad of small hip places. Try The Four Horsemen, by the guy who brought you LCD Soundsystem. Small plates, great wine and an informal vibe. It can add up, so be careful.
Around the corner there’s Havemeyer Street. Again, loads of smaller spots to choose from. Try Have and Meyer. A quality Italian bar and restaurant focused on seasonal organic and delicious food and wine.
Introducing our Atlantic BlueFin Tuna Tartare marinated w/lemon & basil pesto served on a bed of #organic salad & Umbrian chickpeas ? • Enjoy it with a glass of #natural orange wine! ? #haveandmeyer #vinerianaturaleconcucina #vinerianaturale #williamsburg #brooklyn #cimettiamotantapassione #tartare #wine #naturalwine
Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens
Let’s head south to the more adult areas! If it’s beautiful brownstone filled streets you want, this is where you head. Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens are right beside each other. I’ll give you some places around there. If you go from one to the other, you’ll get to see the hoods!
June is a wine bar/eats place. Organic and cool. Or, why not French Louie for brunch?
Want a delicious reuben? Head to Mile End Deli. There are a few, but this is the Brooklyn outpost. You’ll find homemade cured meats and lovely seasonal salads.
To round off the night in this part of the world it’s got to be a trip to Grand Army. The food is imaginative and delicious and the cocktails are top notch. Their seafood is great too. The little condiments you get with the oysters are awesome.
I forgot to mention Prospect Heights. It’s just a bit North of where we’ve just been.
The main drag for eats etc. is Vanderbilt Ave. Start at Chuko is a daytime place where you can eat delish ramen then head up Vanderbilt (up the hill). You’ll find book stores, clothes shops and ice cream parlours – go for a wander and explore!
Eventually you will come to Grand Army Plaza. It’s right at the entrance to beautiful Prospect Park. A gorgeous green space. On Sunday they have Smorgasborg – a festival of food. It’s delish and plentiful – so plan on spending an afternoon there and bring an appetite too! (There’s also one in B’Burg). The Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are to be found here and both are well worth a visit.
Prospect Park is where Park Slope gets its name from. 7th and 5th Ave are the two main arteries of this neighborhood…Head to Blueprint for a well-appointed cocktail and Al di la for some of the best Italian food in the borough.
This is a very family friendly hood, so maybe not best for solos. If you are meeting a friend with kids though, this is the place….there are play parks, kid friendly pizzerias and one of the best ice cream joints in the city – Albero Dei Gelati.
ZUCCA BIO DI PROSSIMITA’ CON MARRONI IGP DEL MUGELLO La coltivazione dei castagneti da frutto nella zona del Mugello può farsi risalire all'epoca romana diventando un’importante fonte alimentare e di reddito per le popolazioni locali, fino alla fine degli anni '50; dopo un periodo di forte regresso di circa 30 anni, durante il quale si è assistito ad un marcato spopolamento della montagna, dagli anni '80 si sta assistendo ad una diffusa ripresa di questo prodotto. I marroni sono ben diversi dalle castagne: in primo luogo si distingue per il gusto, più dolce e profumato; la pezzatura è molto maggiore della castagna e da ultima la buccia che li copre è più sottile, rendendola più semplice da asportare. Assieme alla zucca bio di prossimità (az agr La Runa erba) formano un matrimonio di gusto, da provare su un cono con il fico oppure a casa con dei formaggi saporiti. #zuccabio #gelatocontadino #marronglacé #natura #cimettiamotantapassione
Red Hook on the waterfront is a bit difficult to get to, but fun once you are there. If you take the IKEA ferry from lower Manhattan you will get near to all the spots.
Good views on the journey add to the trip! Have an amazing lobster roll, a Bloody Mary, or a Bloody Mary with a lobster claw in it!, at Red Hook Lobster.
There’s an top notch BBQ place. Big, smoky and definitely not veggie friendly. If that suits you just fine, head to HomeTown BarBQue.
Beside it, is the Brooklyn Crab with a great outside bar.
Around the corner there’s one of the most quirky and fun bars in the city. Amazing bluegrass and folk music in the back. It gets going late though, so it’ll be a taxi home! Seek out Sunny’s Bar.
There are no yellow cabs in Brooklyn, so best to use a car service. Wherever you are eating and drinking, they will have a number. Just ask. There are green cabs to hail, but they’re not as reliable as the yellow ones!
There’s Coney Island at the very far tip of Brooklyn. It’s quirky. Eat before you go though. The food down there is awful!
That’s enough to get you started.
Read Part 1: Eating & Drinking in Manhattan