With the best street art, pizza parlors, artisan shops, rooftops, brunch spots and local music scene, it’s easy to see why *some* people think Brooklyn is the best (nay, the only) borough. While we won’t duke it out over which pizza shop has the best grandma slice or which neighborhood has changed the most in the last decade (fighting back opinions here, y'all), what we can tell you is that there’s a ton to do and see in Williamsburg alone, not to mention the rest of Brooklyn.
If you’re coming here with a group of friends and looking to stay at a towering townhouse in Williamsburg or a cushy hotel in Dumbo, we got you. Trying to find a brunch spot that stands out from the rest? We’ve got that too. Come along as we explore a little slice of Brooklyn in the summertime.
Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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Brooklyn, New York
Urban, industrial and cutting edge: Brooklyn stays are a city dwellers dream. From sprawling hotel rooftop bars to intimate boutique finds, there's something for every new or current Brooklynite.
Set below the Brooklyn Bridge, along the edge of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, 1 Hotel promises a luxurious escape with gorgeous views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. With walls of windows, in-room hammocks and stone bathtubs, the stay here is decked out to the nines.
This two-bedroom townhouse in East Williamsburg has a balcony, a clawfoot tub and a rooftop deck. Rent out this bad boy and you’ll get a real feel for what it’s like to soak up that Brooklyn vibe in a space where you can really spread out and stay for a while.
If you’re looking to feel like a Brooklyn local but don’t want to rent a tiny apartment for your group, check out the rooms at The Williamsburg Hotel. You’ll be front and center to one of the hottest neighborhoods and you can borrow bikes from concierge to get around sans subway. You can even bring your pooch along for the stay.
Williamsburg mecca of cool, the Wythe Hotel sits right in the middle of all the Williamsburg action. Head here for a good night’s rest in a gorgeous room overlooking the city skyline, and be sure to get on up to the rooftop bar for cocktails.
If you’re planning to entertain during your Brooklyn stay, this 4-bedroom Western style townhouse in Williamsburg could be the one for your group of 8-10. A spacious floorplan on the main level extends into an urban courtyard space just off the open-plan living and dining area.
There’s an almost universal of love of eggs in this borough, and Egg Shop brings the best of the dozen to this Williamsburg eatery. There’s more than eggs on the menu, but we highly, highly recommend getting your mitts on one of their ten egg sandwiches.
Looking for a chill wine bar with a beautifully vintage vibe and a full dining menu too? Look no further than this Williamsburg gem. Brooklyn Winery has been a major player in the Brooklyn wine scene since 2010 and offers tours, tastings and lots of event spaces just in case you’re planning something special for your group while in BK.
Location wise, take your pick between Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn. Both locations of Café Devoción are stunning, sun-filled and spacious. But the real showstopper? The coffee, of course. This crew roasts some of the borough’s best.
A favorite for oysters and absinthe cocktails, Maison Premiere is the kind of spot where you might show up for a quick drink with a friend and end up sticking around for hours. Whether you sit at the bar or in the courtyard, it’s always a pleasure throwing back Pimm’s Cups and cracking Dungeness crabs open.
When a Michelin-starred chef opens a bakery, we take note. And when that bakery offers sticky date muffins, breakfast empanadas, salted caramel babka and rosemary ham pressed sandwiches, you better believe we’re first in line at opening hour. Butler Bakeshop is crushing the Williamsburg scene and will soon be adding a Dumbo location too.
All you really need is tacos, cocktails, a good space and really good friends. Donna offers all of the above, with a big emphasis on the cocktails. You can even order them by the pitcher. Because, really good friends.
A casual American bistro, Harvey at The Williamsburg Hotel offers a comfortable, industrial space with a menu that fits the vibe. Here you’ll find hand tossed pizzas, wood-fired fish and delicious baked goods from Brooklyn Bread Lab fit to feed everyone in your posse.
This vintage schooner is parked right on pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park and turns heads on the daily. Head to Pilot when you’re looking to enjoy the sunshine, enjoy some freshly shucked oysters and toast with the best of ‘em.
This South Williamsburg hangout combines indoor spaces and out, all with the feel of a backyard lounge space. Loosie’s is a laidback, creative space where there’s something or someone interesting around every turn. These guys do all-day dining, brunch included on the weekends.
Sunday in Brooklyn’s charming Williamsburg space is bright with sunlight by day, making it a perfect 7-days-a-week kinda brunch spot. Fair warning: once you’ve had a bite of the malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter, you’ll never go back to any other brunch haunt.
Carroll Gardens and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
The brilliant brainchild of celebrity chef Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar is a New York must for anyone with a sweet tooth. The Crack Pie, cereal milk soft serve, and funfetti birthday cake here are of legendary status, and for good reason. Brooklyn is home to two locations, one in Carroll Gardens and the other in Williamsburg.
A stunner of a space on the waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, Cecconi’s offers classic Italian fare in an elegant New York setting. Open daily, this restaurant does lunch, cicchetti, dinner and brunch. Read more about Cecconi's Dumbo →
Calling all Francophiles, Juliette in Williamsburg is très bien. On the menu you’ll find French classics like escargots, steak tartare and tarte tatin, served in a space with a familiar, traditional bistro vibe.
A real neighborhood spot in Carroll Gardens, Frankie’s 457 Spuntino does lunch and dinner, Italian-American style. Think house-made pastas, crostini, cured meats, cheeses, meatballs and all those mouth-watering eats this borough is known for.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great place to visit year-round, but summer brings extended hours in the gardens every Tuesday with live music, cocktails and bites available. For those interested in learning more about garden upkeep and home gardening, there are tons of resources here you might find helpful.
Taking a cooking class at Cook Space is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The beautiful culinary and kitchen space in Prospect Heights offers a series of culinary confidence classes and one-time classes on baking, knife skills, pickling and more.
This hot, hot, hot music venue will see its share of headliners come through this summer and fall, and we’re 99.9% positive you’ll want to check the lineup while you’re in town. Head to Brooklyn Steel to check out Regina Spektor, Cold War Kids or Lord Huron this summer or book the entire venue for a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Wander the walking path along the East River, go for a carousel ride at Jane’s Carousel or head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for an evening movie with snacks courtesy of Smorgasburg. This Dumbo park also offers yoga classes, basketball clinics, dance workshops and plenty more reasons to get outdoors.
You’re going to want to lay eyes on the calendar of Music Hall of Williamsburg before you head to Brooklyn, as there’s always something going on at this hotspot. Located in the heart of the neighborhood, this music venue is a great place to catch up-and-comers and the heavy hitters of the local scene or rent the entire venue for a corporate or private event.
What trip is complete without a momento? Instead of a cheesy souvenir, opt for a treasure that you will cherish (and use!) for years to come from one of the many artisan boutiques located in this borough.
If you’re looking to style out your home after seeing all the gorgeous spots in BK, make a beeline to this beautiful ceramics shop in Williamsburg. Located on Wythe, Mociun Home offers a gorgeous range of tableware, serveware, drinkware and decor, all curated by the brand that also brought us Mociun Fine Jewelry.
With about a gazillion vintage shops in Brooklyn, it’s hard to say which is the best, but Other Times Vintage is a total stand-out. A great go-to for sideboards, mid-century sofas, dressers, plants and pots, this spot is too legit to quit.
Jeweler extraordinaire Catbird has been on the Brooklyn scene for well over a decade now and continues to wow us with their stunning creations and curated collections. Head to the shop on Bedford for the good stuff, or if you’re in the market for a wedding set, check out their wedding annex on Metropolitan.