Greenpoint is my home, and while there are a few boutique hotels in the area (The Boxhouse and The Franklin) if you’re interested in staying in the neighborhood I suggest one of the Williamsburg hotels (The Hoxton, The Wythe, The William Vale, or The Williamsburg). The beauty of Greenpoint is that it’s more challenging to reach from Manhattan than other popular Brooklyn hoods like Williamsburg or Dumbo, keeping it fairly quiet and less prone to tourists. It has retained a small town atmosphere, thanks to its residential history. Yes, there are still industrial areas turning into apartment buildings, but with most of the area having been established decades ago, you can still find old tree-lined streets and parks, independent shops and charming restaurants serving the close-knit community of locals. I truly love most of the places in this part of Brooklyn, but below are my favorites!
Alameda: Dine outdoors during the summer, or grab a stool at the nostalgic bar and order the burger and fries. The best in the neighborhood, hands down.
Chez Ma Tante: Show up at opening time for a delicious brunch of refined, gastropub cuisine. The menu is eclectic and divine, and be there early or prepare for a line.
Glasserie: My go to for Middle-Eastern inspired dishes. Great mezze and flatbreads, with the menu changing seasonally.
Diandi: A hip spot for your Pho fix. This Vietnamese restaurant also leaves you with decor goals, from the palm tree wallpaper to the serious plant gang along the walls and hanging from the ceiling.
Le Gamin: An old-school French bistro, ask for the off-the-menu steak. Perfectly seared, and served with typical French sides of fries, salad, and ratatouille. Go with a group so that you can share - the steak is huge - and ensure room for the hearty onion soup, and tarte tatin dessert.
Little Dokebi: Cool Korean. The raw wooden booths are fun place to hang in the winter, but the tables overlooking the McGolrick Park are lovely from spring to fall. More than kimchi and bulgogi, this place has an array of small dishes (dumplings, fried chicken) and sophisticated rice or noodle-based classics.
Norman: This Scandinavian restaurant is housed in the A/D/O design institute (BMW/Mini concept space). The design is minimal, and the food is excellent, but the lighting is a bit too bright to make this a nice place for dinner. Instead, head here for an indulging breakfast - the egg sandwich is killer, as are the pastries. Luxury versions of Ikea’s cafeteria food in a fancy, design-forward space.
Paulie Gee’s: Best pizza in New York. Some may disagree. But most agree. Skip the line if you see a bar spot to snag. You can eat pizza at the bar and avoid waiting the two hours for a table. If you’re not able to get in, try Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (they do take-out) or head over to Fornino - the latter has fantastic gluten-free pizza.
Oxomoco: This elevated Mexican restaurant is a nice place to take friends, the decor is impressive and the dishes are sophisticated. But if you’re craving street-food style Mexican this is not for you - the dishes err on the fancier side. The dessert is outstanding, so another option is to come here just for the rich chocolate cake, topped with dulce de leche and spicy cinnamon ice cream.
21 Greenpoint: Perfectly lit for a quiet date, and a variety of cozy seating options from the sleek bar and side tables along the wall, to the charming booths in the back. A mix of dishes for whatever you’re craving, the burger, pasta, and pizza plates are all solid.
Achille’s Heel: From the Tarlow empire (Marlow & Sons, Diner, She Wolf Bakery, Reynard’s, Roman’s etc) this low-key spot on West Street in the northern side of Greenpoint feels like a dive bar, but they don’t mess around. The cocktails are expertly crafted and the menu of small plates changes daily. A serious place for quality drinks.
Elder Greene: The dark wooden bar feels cozy, but the crowd can get rowdy. Come earlier in the evening for a pre-dinner beer.
Le Fanfare: Check their calendar for live music nights, a lovely place for post-dinner drinks and fun 1930s-style jazz bands.
Northern Territories: Most of the rooftop terrace bars are found in Williamsburg, but Greenpoint has there’s atop this restaurant just on the border of these neighborhoods. Head upstairs for a drink and great Manhattan skyline views.
Ramona: Just off of Greenpoint Avenue this bar is centrally located near many of the area’s best restaurants. Nice drinks and a sleek bar make it perfect pre- or post- meal.
The Brooklyn Barge: Picnic style drinks and food on the water, crowded and busy, but precious riverside real estate means everyone’s out enjoying the view.
Threes Brewing: A large selection of artisan brews to choose from. The inside isn’t much, but the sidewalk tables are positioned for prime people watching.
Coffee & Treats
Alula: All-day cafe serving Middle-Eastern sandwiches and salads. For fans of tiles, the floors here are amazing.
Bakeri: Artisan bakery that’s perennially busy. Try the tasty breakfast and lunch plates to stay, or savory and sweet pastries to go. I love the floral walls in the cafe, and check out the bathroom too!
Davey’s: When you don’t want to wait in line for ice cream at Van Leeuwen, head here for old-school style cones and shakes.
Frankel’s: Who needs Katz's Deli when you have Frankel’s. Bagels, pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup. The perfect hangover food, when you don’t mind paying over $10 for your bagel fix…
Maman: Part of the small chain of French bakery cafes featuring shabby chic interiors and pretty toile-inspired packaging. Aside from being eye candy, the pastries are good too - go for the pistachio pain au chocolat.
Ovenly: The award-winning bakery that supplies many of the best coffee houses around town with treats. Head to the source for their savory scones, salted chocolate chip cookies, and dense cakes. The Brooklyn Blackout is my favorite.
Van Leeuwen: The Best ice cream in New York, and they know it. You may pay dearly for that scoop but it’s worth it. The vegan and regular flavors are creative yet always satisfying, and the quality of the ingredients really make a difference.
Adaptations: Vintage furniture and cool decorative objects
Bembien: Straw handbags from exotic locales - for those who can’t make it to Bali, Mallorca, or Mexico directly, Bembien imports and designs the most fabulous little bohemian “it” bags.
Brooklyn Ceramics: Chic hand-made pottery, reminiscent of Japanese wabi sabi style pieces. The studio uses pretty color palettes of ivory, grey, pastel pinks, greens, blues - and also offer classes so you can make your own wares.
Brother Vellies: I’m not sure if I love the space or the products more. The space is heavenly, filled with plants and vintage bamboo furniture, contemporary art and touches of pink here and there. The accessories are fun and ridiculous, think fluffy pink fur pumps, marabou feather slides, monkey basket bags, and Man Repeller-friendly Batsheva dresses.
Duke’s Liquor Box: Looking for purveyors of niche liquor? This is the place. There’s a rotating, well curated edit of cool bottles from around the world, nothing commercial. The perfect stop for a unique host/hostess gift.
Feng Sway: An Aladdin’s cave of plants, vintage furnishings, second-hand fashion, jewelry, and zen crystals. It’s fun to get lost and play dress up in this wacky concept store.
Homecoming: Cafe/Plant shop, it’s a lovely place for floral inspiration. The price per stem is steep, so choose wisely!
Home of the Brave: This shop’s selection of high-end home accessories is like a fancy, hipster World Market. African baskets and Japanese ceramics, stunning rugs and textiles. Invest in a trip to find these souvenirs and bring them home, or just invest in buying them here.
Porter James: Experts in mid-century modern vintage furniture - their prices are competitive and the selection is constantly rotating as pieces sell quickly.
Rooted: Plant shop housed in an industrial garage. They have a good selection of larger indoor trees and cacti, as well as minimalist vases.
Tend: Newer to the neighborhood, and blossoming literally. With a strong assortment of indoor and outdoor plants, warm and friendly service, and fair prices this is your go-to for expanding your plant gang and creating your at home jungle. They also have a nice mix of green thumb accessories including design-forward pots, gloves, and gardening tools.
Walk the West: vintage and second-hand clothing with an edge. The shop does a nice job of curating its assortment; there’s a good mix of old denim and fun, trendy pieces.
Primp & Polish: In need of a manicure or pedicure, something nice without having to go into Manhattan? You can trust this chain of nail specialists with locations throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Massage Greenpoint: This simple spa has excellent massage therapists specialized in the kind of body work that gets the kinks out without making too much of a fuss. Hipster interiors - think African mudcloth, Scandi mid-century modern furniture, and of course plants.
Maha Rose: A bohemian zen space offering a variety of new-age therapies, including my favorite sound baths. They also sell a wide array of crystals for all your mental ailments.