Brooklyn is one of the hottest, hippest spots to see in the entirety of New York. There is nothing quite like the diversity that Brooklyn delivers. The borough is full of incredible nightlife, cuisine, cultural attractions, and events. Here’s our guide of things to do in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is directly to the south of Manhattan island, with Queens and Long Island to its east. It is the second-largest of all the New York City boroughs. It connects to the Manhattan by the famous Brooklyn Bridge and by several subway lines. There is also a ferry from Manhattan that brings people from one borough to another. Brooklyn is vast and has a wide variety of different neighborhoods. Spots like Williamsburg and Greenpoint are home to younger crowds. DUMBO and Fort Greene are thriving neighborhoods with vibrant art communities. Park Slope and Town Heights have superb bar and restaurant scenes. Brooklyn is a borough with plenty to offer. Here’s a breakdown of some of the best things to do in Brooklyn.
Where to Eat in Brooklyn
Pizza is the first thing many think of when it comes to Brooklyn, and for good reason. The borough is full of extraordinary pizza joints that serve the city’s trademark slices and pies. Lucali in Carroll Gardens is at the top of many people’s lists when it comes to Brooklyn pizza. This intimate neighborhood favorite is a no-frills spot with a bring-your-own-alcohol policy. The menu has only two choices. Diners can get either pizza or a calzone. Both are some of the best in the entire city.
Great Italian restaurants also abound in Brooklyn. Lillo Cucina Italiana is one of the standouts. This is a small, cash-only spot with an ever-changing made-to-order menu. Squeeze into the restaurant for dinner, or head in for lunch and get one of Lillo’s hearty Italian sandwiches.
Chavela’s in Crown Heights is a superb Mexican option within the borough. The brainchild of chef Arturo Leonar, this hot spot has a menu of Mexican favorites and an expansive list of tequilas to go with them. Head in on the weekend to try Chavela’s excellent brunch specials, all accompanied by a plate of the restaurant’s Mexican sweet bread.
Places to See in Brooklyn
One of the best things to do in Brooklyn is to see some of the borough’s great sights. Coney Island is at the very bottom of the borough, right on the Atlantic. It’s home to two amusement parks and several iconic rides, including the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone roller coaster. Coney Island also contains the New York Aquarium and the KeySpan baseball park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most memorable sights in the world. There are fabulous views of the bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Empire Fulton Ferry Park. Try the Pier 2 Roller Rink by the Brooklyn Bridge Park for some family fun.
There are several excellent museums within Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Museum on Prospect Park has a large collection of antiquities, international art, and American art. The New York Transit Museum is in a renovated 1930s-era subway system in Brooklyn Heights. It has a collection of subway and bus cars as well as artifacts and exhibits.
For those with a green thumb, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Prospect Park boasts thousands of varieties of plants to enjoy. Head there for the flowering of the Garden’s famed cherry trees. Visitors should also stroll through the sweet-smelling Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden.
A Brooklyn Movie Experience
If you’re a cinephile, Brooklyn is the place to go for an unforgettable movie-going experience. The Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg is a true gem. This fun spot includes dining options and a full bar and has a genuine arthouse vibe. Its schedule includes brunch films, “midnight” movies, and special series.
Along with the Nitehawk, the Alamo Drafthouse at the City Point Shopping Center is another must-visit location. The Alamo shows first-run, classic, and indie films and offers in-theater drinks and food. Sit down and enjoy a film with a giant bowl of the Alamo’s flavored popcorn and a local beer. Afterward, stop into the ghoulish “House of Wax” bar. This hot spot features creepy horror movie artwork and props alongside excellent cocktails.
Must-Visit Bars in Brooklyn
If you’re going to Brooklyn to have a good time and a few drinks, there are plenty of exciting venues throughout the borough. The Full Circle Bar in Williamsburg is a fun spot that offers Skee-Ball to its patrons. Thirsty patrons can enjoy the classic boardwalk game with a selection from the Full Circle’s excellent beer list or a few specials from its Happy Hour menu.
For a high-end cocktail, try Blueprint between Gowanus and Prospect Heights. It’s an ideal place to stop before or after an event at the Barclays Center. Blueprint features creative cocktails like “Satan’s Bell.” This spicy drink includes chile liquor, red bell pepper, and gin.
Williamsburg is also home to the exceptional Burnside bar. This neighborhood favorite offers a 14-foot shuffleboard table and great local craft beers. The menu is full of Midwestern-style comfort food. Try the “Jucy Lucy” burger, a patty stuffed with cheese, or the fried cheese curds.
A Brooklyn Brewery Tour
In recent years, Brooklyn has become a haven for some of the most exciting new breweries in the United States. A brewery tour of the borough is one of the best things to do in Brooklyn.
Try Other Half brewing for the first stop. Other Half is between Park Slope and Red Hook. This spot has become one of the most buzzed-about breweries in the world. It serves up hoppy and potent IPAs alongside stouts and experimental variations at its Circle Street location. Nearby Park Slope is home to Threes Brewing. This local favorite serves its house-made brews alongside beers from international breweries. Don’t leave Threes without trying its enormous pretzel.
Moving north into Greenpoint, Brooklyn Brewery has a superb selection of beers to consume on-site in their lively tasting room. For those who would like a different taste in Brooklyn, try the All-Wise Meadery. Located right by the Brooklyn Brewery, this intriguing spot has several different varieties of the honey liquor.
No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn
Brooklyn is an exciting and expansive section of New York City that has everything anyone trekking to the Big Apple could want. From roller coasters and baseball to museums and breweries, there is a diverse and fun variety of things to do in Brooklyn.
Enjoy your visit!