Manhattan may be the grand dame of NYC, but there’s an over-the-bridge belle with equally impressive street-cred, vying for your time.
Now firmly on the sip, sup n’ shop map, Brooklyn is a honeypot for the hip set with its laidback dining scene, cultural attractions and endless shopportunity. Here’s how to sample the best sites in just one day.
So you’ve ticked off The Met and its big-name sibs, now for something a little different… Begin your gander at the Museum of Food and Drink (aka MOFAD) for a true taste of Brooklyn’s culinary heritage.
The country’s first ever museum dedicated to foodie culture is a full-blown sensory spectacle, with rotating exhibs enabling visitors to not only learn about, but sample a melting pot of international cuisines. If you’re passing through the city in September, don’t miss Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant at MOFAD Lab which plays host to chef-designed tastings and live demos of a fortune cookie machine alongside a collection of fascinating artifacts which also spotlight immigration and cultural identity.
You must be famished after that tastebud-teaser! Just a 7min amble through vibey McCarren Park is Heath Ledger-brainchild and casj sunrise coffee joint Five Leaves. As charmingly dishevelled as the heartthrob himself, this quaint nook sports subtle maritime touches with a menu riding the same wave: think all-day flat whites, brine-fresh oysters, homestyle Amish chook and leafy salads.
Forget Barneys, Brooklyn is all about indie boutiques. A post-lunch shopathon awaits at nearby Scandi-esque fash stash Concrete + Water, eschewing big brands for a neat edit of his n’ hers upcomers (including YMC, Wood Wood, Fort Standard and Han Kjobenhavn). Meanwhile, Mociun is the place for quintessentially Brooklyn keepsakes, such as dreamy stoneware, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and other arty bobs; and nest-featherers will squeal with glee for Sharktooth’s original Swedish shags, Amish rags, Persian carpets, Turkish kilims, and LatAm flatweaves.
Still got juice in your caboose? Hail a 20min cab downtown for a gentle, revitalising stroll through the lush grasslands, greenhouses, rose gardens and pretty Japanese ponds of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is especially spectacular come autumn when the foliage turns fiery red/orange. Peepers peeled for an array of seasonal events and festivals dovetailing with shows at the nearby Brooklyn Museum.
Is it that the time already? Back in a cab you hop for Paulie Gee’s mobbed pizza parlour, where traddy crusts meet on-trend toppings. Whether you’d rather a Reuben-sarnie pie or a scrummy vegan slice, these hearty servings come complete with an array of deal-sealing sauces (hello, sake-reduction) and cheery, old-school service. Then cap off your eve (a mere 5min drive away) at hip ship Tørst, with its swell lineup of small-batch artisan brews.
For more ways to while away a day in New York, nab a copy of the LUXE New York guide…