by Fernanda DeSouza
posted on December 19, 2018
Williamsburg has morphed into its own little city, attracting even those too afraid to set foot inside Brooklyn. The once-industrial neighborhood still has remnants of the past—the heavily Hasidic Jewish population, what’s left of the Domino Sugar Factory, old warehouses. But with a young, hip crowd now taking over the area, Williamsburg’s become a tourist attraction in and of itself. Enjoy it like a local by spending the day at neighborhood favorites
Photo Courtesy: annastamatic
If you find well-dressed hipsters and their pretty dogs lounging outside what appears to be an old garage to be your cup of tea (or, well, coffee), then you’re in the right place. Toby’s is an Australian transplant serving a sustainable, high-quality brew worth traveling for. For the coffee fiends, there’s a pour-over brew bar and even brew school classes. For the masses, there’s a small food menu with pastries and breakfast classics. It can be hard to find a table to park yourself at, so if you’re in a hurry, grab that to-go order and venture north to your next destination.
Small batch coffee and espresso
Photo Courtesy: felixleneko
McCarren is no Central Park, but is the central green space for the residents of Williamsburg. On a nice day you’ll find hundreds of tattooed, dyed-haired crowds lounging or picnicking on the grass. There’s a track, two busy baseball fields, a skate-park, a famous pool (the same pool featured in the 90s cult film, Kids), and tennis courts for all to enjoy. If you’re visiting in the summertime, don’t forget to catch a movie screening on a Wednesday night in July and August. P.S., keep your eyes peeled for the infamous McCarren Hawk (who even has his own Instagram page).
Photo Courtesy: iknowwhereto
Wipe the dirt off your knees and head south on Bedford—it’s lunch time! Oasis is probably the least fancy place in Williamsburg, so a couple bucks goes a long way here. Located at the mouth of the L train, this divey Middle Eastern joint will amaze you. The seats aren’t very comfy and the neon lights are harsh, but the overstuffed, tahini drenched sandwich will satisfy you for hours. It’s a rookie mistake if you forget to bring cash at this cash only spot. Make sure to try the falafel.
Falafel sandwich, falafel platter, shwarma
Photo Courtesy: jaimiewith2ey
This next location is a few minutes walk away from Oasis. It may look like any other hip Williamsburg storefront, but The City Reliquary is a treasure trove of past and present New York City artifacts. The tiny museum showcases an eclectic mix of animal bones, city history and community exhibitions. Push your way through an old subway turnstile as you enter and get your history on.
Photo Courtesy: bundokiaruaru
Double back to Grand Street to shop your refined little heart out at Bird. This Brooklyn-based mini-chain specializes in sophisticated, wearable designer fashion from local indie labels to big names. Of course, the hand-selected pieces come with steep price tags but, hey, a Bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.
Photo Courtesy: nymag
Rest those legs and relax as you take in the latest independent film hits at this hip theater (potentially named after the McCarren Park hawk?) The first-run indie films here may be handpicked, but the menu also features carefully crafted cocktails and dinner that you order from the comfort of your seat. Special drinks and fun food options are named after movies currently screening at the theater. Get there early before tickets sell out!
Photo Courtesy: radegast_hall
Now that you’re feeling refreshed and full from your burger and tots, swing by this beer garden only one block away. If you love all things German (with a Slovak twist), order up some wursts, pretzels, and spicy mustard (if you have room for more) to round out your time here. Just know that your clinking steins may be drowned out by the folk songs performed at this lively beer garden.
Smoked Polish kielbasa, Munich pretzel, La Trappe Dubbel
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