Williamsburg Brooklyn could be described as “hipster” if it were possible to sum it up in one word. There are many vintage shops and trendy beards in Williamsburg. Uber drivers will tell ya that Williamsburg used to be a crime-ridden area. But, it has been transformed and boasts Whole Foods, Apple stores, and many other boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
Williamsburg, New York’s most popular area for nightlife, is second only to the Lower East Side. You can feel the vibrancy and bustle of this neighborhood as soon as you get off the subway at Bedford Avenue. This is a vibrant area full of unique shops, bars, restaurants, and creatives.
Here’s my top list of things to do in Williamsburg, regardless of whether you’re coming from abroad or a local.
These bars are worth a visit
Williamsburg doesn’t have any boujis bars but you can find plenty of nightlife, including speakeasies and pubs, as well as a variety of bars, dive bars, bars, and cocktail bars. These are my top picks.
Freehold- A fun place to have a boozy brunch, or go out on weekends. Freehold has a large bar and restaurant and is known for its high ceilings and lush outdoor spaces. Fridays and Saturdays can get quite rowdy.
Lucky Dog- Looking for a companion dog? Lucky Dog Williamsburg Brooklyn is the most dog-friendly bar. All local residents are welcome to bring their dogs. The courtyard is located out back, with a shuffleboard board table inside.
Midnights- This bar is close to the Bedford Avenue L train station. They serve great cocktails and are very friendly.
The Commodore – Low-key bar on Metropolitan Ave that serves Southern food, including biscuits and fried chicken.
Spuyten Duyvil- Spuyten Duyvil is one of my favorite bars in Williamsburg. They have a wide selection of Belgian beers, as well as cheese and charcuterie plates. You can also enjoy the beautiful outdoor courtyard in summer.
Grn Torino: If you want to relax outside in the sun then Gran Torino has it. It boasts a large, open-air garden with benches and long tables for larger groups. This bar and restaurant serves wood-fired pizzas, beers as well as wines, cocktails, and wine.
Union Pool is a popular bar in Williamsburg that offers a large outdoor patio and a taco stand that’s open until late. You’ll also find a black-and-white analog photo booth, pinball machines, and DJs spinning music every night of week.
Fresh Kills is a stylish cocktail bar that serves carefully crafted cocktails using fresh ingredients, homemade syrups, high-quality booze, and hand-outs ice. It has a speakeasy-style atmosphere.
Hotel Delmano A prestigious bar in a lobby of a hotel. It has an “old New York” feel that makes it feel like you are there. The bartenders create seasonal cocktails and offer a 100-bottle wine selection at Hotel Delmano. You can pair your drink with raw bar items like oysters, shrimps, caviar, crab, and caviar.
Many companies paint murals on Williamsburg Brooklyn buildings to promote their businesses. You’ll see many of them as you walk around the area. You can find permanent murals as well. They are often updated regularly. The most well-known is the “Mona Lisa of Williamsburg”, which stands over 4 stories high at the intersection of Broadway, Avenue and Bedford.
Shop at Bedford Ave
Bedford Avenue is Williamsburg’s main thoroughfare. It runs north to south, beginning at McCarren park and ending at Broadway. This street is great for weekend walks and is always bustling.
Relax in Domino Park
Domino Park was built on the former Domino Sugar Refinery site. It spans about a quarter mile along Williamsburg’s waterfront. It is ideal for sunbathing and picnicking, as well as people watching. You’ll find a playground for children, a beach volleyball court, fountains and a counter-serve Mexican eatery called Tacocina.
Get coffee at one the best coffee shops in Williamsburg
There are many cafes in Williamsburg that offer a great cup of coffee. The top coffee shops in Williamsburg are Copper Mug and Black Brick Coffee. Partners Coffee is also available. Blue Bottle Coffee is another great option.
I love Butler for its simplicity and Lion’s Milk for the strategic placement of plug sockets all over the walls.
The P:53 Coffee House & Record Store, formerly Etiquette, is a great place to work. It boasts a spacious space with plenty of tables and comfy couches.
Have dinner at Lilia
Lilia consistently ranks among the best Italian restaurants in New York. It is difficult to find a table at this restaurant and they book up months in advance so make sure you plan ahead. You’ll find many modern Italian dishes on the menu, including pastas as well as wood-fired seafood.
Plants for sale
SproutHome is much more than a place to buy plants. It’s an experience. Although the prices are higher, the plant selection is good. They also have a wide range of succulents and other plants like elephant ears and money trees. You will also find a wide selection of handcrafted plant pots that will look great on any windowsill.
Google has announced that Sprout Home is now closed permanently. Other great Williamsburg plant shops include Chelsea Garden Center, Jungle NYC.
Avant Gardner/Brooklyn Mirage: Catch a live concert
Love techno music? Avant Gardner, a massive entertainment venue covering 80,000 square feet in East Williamsburg, has both indoor and outdoor areas. Brooklyn Mirage is an open-air area that hosts DJs from all over the globe. It’s surrounded by tall walls that you can climb to see the crowd.
Enjoy a picnic at McCarren Park
McCarren Park, located at the top of Bedford Avenue is Williamsburg’s biggest park. It is a popular spot to have picnics or run meetups. Two dog runs are available for both small and large dogs.
Brooklyn Brewery offers beers
Are you a fan of craft beer? Brooklyn Brewery brews beers you will find in bars across New York and the United States. You can try their Brooklyn Lager, PulpArt Hazy IPA and Bel Air Sour all year. You can also enjoy some of their limited-edition seasonal beers like the Brooklyn Oktoberfest and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. You can also stop by the brewery on Sundays for free tours, or book a Small Batch Tour during weeknights, which is $23.63 per person.
Barcade offers arcade games
You don’t always want to go out for drinks. So if you’re looking to have a different experience with your friends, visit Barcade. This is a mix of an arcade and a bar, offering craft beer and old-fashioned video games like Pac-Man, Ghostbusters, and Donkey Kong.
Bushwick Inlet Park
Bushwick Inlet Park is located on the east bank between North 9th Street and North 12th Streets. It has a multipurpose field that can be used for football, lacrosse and field hockey. There’s also a covered viewing platform for passers-by. The park also has a playground and a dog park. There is even a small beach for people to let their dogs roam. This park is a hidden gem of Williamsburg.
Radegast offers Sunday fundays
Radegast, a large German beer hall, is always a great time. There are long tables and live bands every weekend. There are many German classics on the menu, including Bratwurst and pretzels. Weekends can be very chaotic and you feel like you are in Munich’s Oktoberfest. The hall is a popular venue for large groups and birthday parties due to its size.
Shop for clothing and crafts at Artists & Fleas
Artist and Fleas are a marketplace with over 45+ sellers selling art, clothing and jewelry. It is open Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-6pm. This marketplace is located in an old dry goods and provisions warehouse at North 7th Street. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and vintage clothing.
Drinks at Williamsburg Hotel’s Water Tower
The Williamsburg Hotel’s circular bar is located on the top of the hotel. It offers views over Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the East River. You’ll find a few overpriced cocktails and murals inside. It’s still a beautiful view. It’s a great place to stop by on Sundays, as they often have DJ’s up until the early hours.
Ride a bike along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
You can bike along the Greenway, which runs along Kent Ave past Domino Park, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Dumbo. This bike path is easy to follow and is suitable for beginners.
These brunch spots are worth a visit.
There are many good brunch places in Williamsburg if you enjoy a good brunch. Sunday in Brooklyn serves Shakshuka and avocado toast as well as pancakes, steak and eggs. There is always a line so make sure you arrive early.
Cafe Mogador (12 chairs), Egg Shop, The Butcher’s Daughter and Randolph Beer are all popular options.
These restaurants are worth a visit
Williamsburg is home to many restaurants. These are my top choices:
St Anelm Cozy spot with brick walls, serving steaks and seafood.
Cafe Mogador Amazing Moroccan restaurant that serves tagines and lamb shanks with a fall from the bone.
Llama Inn is an airy restaurant that serves modern Peruvian cuisine and craft cocktails. Portions can be shared and are available in tapas sizes.
Birds of a Feather – Chinese restaurant owned and operated by Yiming & Xian, who are also behind Cafe China (my favorite Chinese spot in Manhattan). This restaurant’s interior is beautiful, with a long communal table at the center and several booths along the edges. You will be delighted by the variety of Sichuan dishes on this menu.
SEA Thai – If you want a dinner with a vibe, head to SEA Thai. The elegant interior features a pond and statues, as well as floating chairs suspended from the ceiling. It’s the ideal place to begin your evening with Thai food, sushi, and Lychee cocktails.
Ako Sushi is my favorite spot for sushi in Williamsburg. Ako offers sushi rolls and sashimi, in a casual setting. You can dine outdoors or indoors in the intimate courtyard.
Tabare is a Uruguayan restaurant that serves empanadas and sandwiches in a cozy, dimly lit setting.
The Four Horsemen is a restaurant and wine bar that serves small plates, which change daily.
Peter Luger Steakhouse A landmark Brooklyn restaurant, Peter Luger offers dry-aged steaks, chops, and burgers in an authentic German beer hall setting.
Maison Premiere The best place to get oysters in Williamsburg, Maison Premiere offers a $1 oyster happy hours from 4-7pm Monday through Friday.
Indulge your sweet tooth
Martha’s Country Bakery serves delicious pastries, cakes, and desserts after dinner. Two stores are located at the top of Bedford, near N 8th Street, and one farther down at Metropolitan Ave.
There are many other sweet shops in Williamsburg, including Martha’s. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream offers vegan icecream and ice cream made with carefully selected ingredients. TaiyakiNYC provides Instagram-worthy icecreams in cute fish cones.
You should also check out milk bar located on Metropolitan Avenue. They sell a wide variety of unique cakes, desserts, and other one-of-a kind treats.
Get a slice Joe’s Pizza
Joe’s Pizza has been a New York landmark for many years. There is always a line at Joe’s Pizza on Bedford Avenue, no matter the day. The pizza is great and it moves fast.
Nitehawk Cinema – Watch a movie
Nitehawk Cine offers a unique movie viewing experience. Begin your evening with a drink or cocktail at the bar. Then, make your way to your seats, where you will be served by servers who walk down the aisles.
Visit Elsewhere Rooftop
Elsewhere is the only place you will want to be when you visit. Elsewhere, a multi-level music venue located in East Williamsburg near Brooklyn Mirage, has several indoor spaces. Elsewhere’s rooftop can be used in summer for casual Sunday sessions listening to live DJs.
How to get to Williamsburg Brooklyn
It is easy to get from Manhattan to Williamsburg. Take any subway to stop on 14th Street (e.g. Union Square, 6th Ave., Union Square, 3rd Ave., 1st Ave.) then take the L train in Canarsie Rockaway Pkwy direction. You’ll be right at the heart of the action if you get off at Bedford Ave.
Stay in Williamsburg Brooklyn
Williamsburg Hotel- Located on Wythe Avenue in Manhattan, The Williamsburg Hotel offers views of Manhattan from its rooftop pool and elegant rooms with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves dishes from Alberto Gomez.
The William Vale offers 183 rooms with private balconies and custom artwork. It also boasts incredible views from floor-to-ceiling windows. There is also an outdoor pool and Westlight Rooftop Bar.
The Hoxton is a hip hotel that offers 173 rooms and modern bathrooms. It also features plush velvets, brass details, plush velvets, and linens designed by Dusen Dusen, a local Brooklyn designer. The hotel’s rooftop bar Summerly is a great place to enjoy drinks with a stunning view. Or, for a casual brunch with your friends, visit the lobby bar Klein’s.
Wythe hotel – This boutique hotel is located in an old brooklyn factory building and offers rooms with high ceilings and exposed brick walls. You’ll enjoy stunning views of Manhattan from your Manhattan View King or loft room when you book a Manhattan Loft King or Loft.
Is Williamsburg Brooklyn Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Williamsburg is well worth the trip. Don’t skip it! This is a fun and vibrant neighborhood that has lots to offer. This extensive list shows that you could easily spend an entire day or more here, exploring the many bars, restaurants, and parks. If you are looking for something a little more laid-back than Manhattan, this is a great place to be.
Williamsburg Brooklyn is a good place?
Williamsburg is an excellent area to stay or visit when visiting New York. This hipster neighborhood is well-known for its many bars, restaurants, and cafes. Williamsburg Brooklyn was not a safe neighborhood in years past, but it has been gentrified over the years and is now a popular place to live, especially for those in their 20s or 30s. It is very fast and easy to access the city by the L train, which runs right through Manhattan.