Brooklyn’s epicenter of cool has no shortage of indie coffee and tea shops, quick and delicious lunchtime eats, and a host of other meet-up worthy destinations. Wandering is encouraged: Detour off the main thoroughfares and you’ll find that many blocks are home to tucked-away shops and restaurants just waiting to be discovered.
Quick Breakfast: While it’s easy enough to grab a coffee and a breakfast sandwich from any corner bodega, two of Williamsburg’s newest offerings are upping the quick breakfast game. Light-filled and minimalist chic Sweatshop brings a Melbourne-style vibe to the neighborhood with a menu of distinctively Down Under coffee options (read: espresso) and a “brekkie and jaffles” menu that’s available all day. Nearby, the star of the show at Lion’s Milk is traditional Turkish coffee brewed with locally roasted Devoción beans. For breakfast, Turkish feta puffs, assorted Balthazar Bakery pastries, baguette sandwiches, and an amply stocked market pantry round out the offerings.
Breakfast and Lunch Meeting: For those conversations best had over the course of a casual, sit-down meal, consider The Rabbit Hole and the Brooklyn offshoot of Cafe Mogador, two perennial favorites that offer both breakfast and lunch menus all day. The menu at jewel box-sized House of Small Wonder, a cozy atrium cafe, rounds out its all-day brunch offerings with Japanese bowls including udon and the Okinawan specialty “taco rice.” Relative newcomer Divera Drive (lunch only) is pure Italia — wood fired pizzas, antipasto, and a variety of salads and sandwiches built with top-notch imported ingredients.
Lunch To-Go: Just a stone’s throw from WeWork’s future Williamsburg offices, the first Brooklyn location of seasonally-driven, salad-focused chain Sweetgreen is sure to be a go-to lunch option for members (as will Whole Foods after it opens in late Spring 2016). The neighborhood is also home to a number of excellent sandwich shops, including Depanneur and nautical-themed Saltie, which gives a chef’s treatment to what goes between house-made focaccia (and naan). Portland, Oregon import Bunk Sandwich Shop, which has won awards for its variation on the classics, and Fromage Garage “Grill Shop & Belly Repair” are both new to the neighborhood.
Coffee or Tea Break: Beloved by single-origin coffee devotees, local roaster Devoción operates by a “Farm Fresh Timeline” that promises “green to cup in 10 days” — an impressive feat, indeed. Located in a closet-sized room in the back of Persons of Interest barbershop, Parlor Coffee takes its espresso very seriously, precisely measuring the grounds for each shot that goes into its five beverages. Tea devotees will appreciate the depth of selection of loose leaf teas at Roebling Tea Room as well as the menu at Matchabar, which makes a case for the green tea powder’s range with both signature and classic drink options.
Something Sweet: Satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth with a quick stop at the local outpost of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar—cereal milk soft serve and “crack pie” are best sellers—or linger over a pot of green tea and delightfully creative Japanese-inspired desserts at Patisserie Tomoko, including black sesame creme brûlée or Earl Grey-infused dark chocolate ganache. Just last month Schmackarys cookie shop opened on Bedford Avenue. The shop changes its selection of cookies daily, rotating through 60 recipes on file. Milkshakes, brownies, and ice cream sandwiches are also on offer.
After-Work Drinks: Williamsburg has happy hour destinations to suit any occasion, including Brooklyn Winery—a working winery with a cozy restaurant-bar—and Radegast Hall & Biergarten, an authentic German beer hall with live music nightly. Maison Premiere is something of an oyster-and-absinthe mecca, while Extra Fancy offers raw bar specials and $2 Budweiser drafts (or $6 house wine). While the neighborhood’s dive bar count is slowly dwindling, The Commodore and country-tinged Skinny Dennis are among those still carrying the torch: Draft beers clock in at less than $5 during happy hour, and proper cocktails are priced in the single digits.
Photo Header Credit: Lauren Kallen
Photo Credits: CoffeeMeetsTea (Sweatshop), SpottedSF (Rabbit Hole), LoveLifeEat (House of Small Wonder), Morgan Ione Yeager (Saltie), Mary Fama (Schmackarys), Brookyn Winery