Curated City Guides by Your Favorite Designers and Tastemakers.
Bars & Restaurants
The Commodore is a good neighborhood bar with solid drinks and a few free arcade games, but the real draw is their crazy crispy, crazy delicious fried chicken. Served with sweet and spicy dipping sauce and biscuits with honey butter, it's totally indulgent, but so worth it.
366 Metropolitan Ave
The very best barbecue. I take everyone who comes into town here and it's always a hit. You order your meat (things like beef brisket, pork belly, and pork ribs) by the pound, then take it to any spot you can find on communal picnic tables. Everything's delicious, right down to the pickles and barbecue sauces. The line gets out of control, but if you get there early, it's not bad. If you ever see lamb ribs on the menu order them and then call me. I'll meet you there.
354 Metropolitan Ave
Cozy beer garden across the street from Fette Sau. They have a pretty stellar beer selection and a lovely little yard out back. If you like their beers, they also run a small grocery a few blocks away, inside the mini mall on Bedford Ave.
359 Metropolitan Ave
This place is way off the main Williamsburg drag (just off Metropolitan on Bushwick Ave), but it's worth a little walking. Cozy atmosphere, awesome, inexpensive, pasta made fresh right there and the very nicest waitstaff.
14 Bushwick Ave
Amazing homemade pies (Sweet! Savory! Sweet and savory!), quiches, flakey pastries, homemade lemonade, and lots more. Everything about this place is effortlessly cute, I can never resist it when I walk by. It's one of my happy places in the city.
415 Graham Ave
All you need to know is to order the white pizza. It's got caramelized onions and a sesame seed-topped crust. Yes.
Favorite burger in Williamsburg. Perfect amount of spice, brioche bun, nice cheese — they do it so well. And if you're a mac and cheese fiend (like I am), their version is pretty incredible.
314 Bedford Ave
After four years in Williamsburg, I recently moved to Greenpoint. So far the pierogies are the very best part of my new neighborhood. Lomzynianka (which I have no idea how to pronounce) has my favorite, but you'll do fine to stop by Krolewskie Jadlo, which is open later. If you want a little more than pierogies, KJ's Polish Plate is an epic stack of meat-and-potatoy-awesomeness and a total bargain.
646 Manhattan Ave & 694 Manhattan Ave
This Brooklyn Flea spinoff is a great alternative to Saturday brunch and another fun spot to meet up with friends or out-of-towners (or recently-moved-into-towners, or really just any person with tastebuds...). My favorites so far: Lobster Pound Connecticut-style lobster roll, King's Crumb egg and cheese biscuit, Brooklyn Soda Works apple and ginger soda, Dough's blood orange donut.
No matter how many great, new restaurants we get in Williamsburg, Egg will be my favorite brunch forever and always. I order the Eggs Rothko (a cheesy a piece of toast fried up with an egg in the center) exclusively. Egg also has good coffee brought to your table right in the french press, killer sides (see: carmelized grapefruit and mint), and they run their own farm, where they cultivate produce for the restaurant. And as a girl born and raised in Pennsylvania, I award them an additional 10,000 City Scout points for serving scrapple.
135 N 5th St
Graham Ave Meats & Deli
This neighborhood deli makes the hugest, craziest Italian hoagies -- the kind you order and then talk about all day.
445 Graham Ave
I recently started doing some design work for this new-ish grocery, which sells yummy European junk food like British chips and German chocolates. They do great sandwiches and coffee, too, and have a cheese counter so good I wouldn't turn them down if they wanted to pay me in the stuff.
242 Wythe Ave
There is one reason I drag people here and its not to bowl: Blue Ribbon's Rock & Roll Fries.
61 Wythe Ave
I know several Five Leaves devotees who would begin to question our friendship if I left this one off the list. I love it for brunch, dinner, drinks, or just coffee. It's all well done and consistently delicious. I finally tried their truffle fries last week, and for those alone it's worth a visit.
18 Bedford Ave
The yummiest ice cream. I love the cane sugar and earl grey flavors -- covered in the thickest, most chocolately hot fudge ever. Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmmm.
632 Manhattan Ave
A dog-friendly, dive bar in Greenpoint with a pool table, and decent drink specials. It's totally unremarkable but for one thing — on summer weekends, $5 will get you all-you-can-eat burgers and hot dogs, made with lots of love (and seasoning) on the bar's tiny backyard grill.
579 Meeker Ave
I love Blue Bottle just as much as any other coffee maniac in the neighborhood, but El Beit is an old favorite and I hate to leave them off the list. Either will do you right.
158 Bedford Ave
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
This tortilla factory also runs a small restaurant, with great tacos and the yummiest chorizo tortas.
271 Starr St
A real neighborhood staple with pricey, but pretty fantastic food. The restaurant also has a private backyard with an Airstream you can rent out for parties. A friend had his birthday here in April and it was really special.
One of the my favorite bookstores in the city. Spoonbill has just the right mix of art and design books, novels, indie magazines (they carry Gratuitous Type!), and stationary. Rarely do I walk out empty-handed.
218 Bedford Ave
I'm such a Spoonbill devotee, I avoided this tiny bookshop forever, but I finally visited recently and I'm a convert—great selection, great dollar book rack, and the owner is so friendly, helpful, and excited about what you're looking for that you can't help but be excited, too. Last weekend I overhead such a glowing recommendation for Flaubert's Sentimental Education that it's now found its way onto my own reading list.
100 N 3rd St
Hands down winner of the best sign and best windows in the neighborhood. Neat collection of comics, 'zines, small toys, and handmade prints.
540 Metropolitan Ave
Well-edited woman's boutique selling just the kind of stuff I want to blow my money on. Good selection of clothes, but I think their accessories are best.
148 Bedford Ave
It's pretty hard to visit this jewelry store and not find something I love. I like that a lot of the pieces are by local designers -- so local that they sell work by some of their own employees. They've also got quirky cards and small gifts, so I can walk in and pretend I'm not shopping for myself.
219 Bedford Ave
Covetable furniture as well as smaller home items, gifts and accessories. Good for design ideas, though maybe not for your wallet.
115 N 6th St
10ft Single is an enormous, mid-priced thrift store for men and women, with an equally great selection of clothes and accessories. Next door, Stella Dallas sells vintage home goods with an emphasis on great textiles, like camp blankets, flags, and Persian rugs.
Great jewelry and accessories. Their custom engraved flasks and business cards holders make for fool-proof gift giving.
265 Lafayette St
Lots and lots of kitchen supplies (new and vintage), as well as fresh produce, dry goods, and an on-site butcher (The Meat Hook). Brooklyn Kitchen also offers affordable monthly cooking classes for all skill levels and culinary interests.
100 Frost St
Savino's Quality Pasta
Real-deal Italian homemade pastas, raviolis, and sauces.
111 Conselyea St
I'm a notorious plant-killer, but I love them nonetheless. Sprout has one of the neighborhood's best selections as well as cute home gifts and fresh cut flowers.
44 Grand St
Fun, fun, fun, stationary, accessories, and silly gifts, most of which are super affordable. They're in the middle of moving right now, but they should have a new location soon. In the meantime, you can order online and pick up in person at their warehouse.
Cool clothes, shoes, and accessories for men and women. Alongside pricier pieces, they stock A.OK, a line of house-designed items under-$100, and complimentarily priced accessories.
208 N 8th St
I've been getting my hair cut here forever. All the stylists are really talented and they've got a nice selection of beauty products and perfume, too.
196 N 10th St
Okay, this one's not in my immediate neighborhood, but it's hugely mentionable — Brooklyn Brainery organizes an eclectic mix of culinary, craft, business, and other quirky monthly classes for around $20 a pop. A current sampling of courses: Shibori Tie-Dye, Backyard Chickens, DIY Sandlemaking, and How I Learned to Solve a Rubik's Cube in 2 Minutes or Less. Love it.
515 Court St
Fantastic resource for DIY letterpress, The Arm provides group and one-on-one printmaking classes, as well as studio time for a reasonable hourly rate.
281 N 7th St
Printer right down the street from The Arm. As long as it's got crop marks, you can walk in with a job you've printed yourself and they'll trim it up for you for cheap.
I just started printing with Coeur Noir and I love them. Super quick and friendly, really helpful and full of good suggestions, their work makes my work look good. The studio's not open to the public, but if you've got an excuse to drop by, it's fun to sneak a peek at all the awesome projects they're working on.
242 Wythe Ave
This tiny museum houses a number of local relics, but the highlight is their window displays, which are mini-exhibitions of often banal (but brilliant) collections from local community members -- I've seen pizza magnets, porcelain figurines, and pencils on display, to name a few. It's always fun to see what's on display.
370 Metropolitan Ave
Great gallery in Bushwick with it's it own in-store 'zine shop, Brainwaves.
Todd Patrick organizes lots of awesome indie music shows at venues around the Williamsburg, Bushwick, and the city at large. I've learned about a tons of great bands by checking out his shows.