Your Brooklyn Guide

30 AWESOME Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn (Local’s Guide + Map)

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Looking for all the cool things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn? You’ve come to the right place. This is hands down one of the coolest and popular neighborhoods within the borough (and entire city) to explore. There’s a reason why when so many people come to Brooklyn for the first time, Williamsburg is on their radar.

The food scene is incredible. The bars in Williamsburg? Well, there are plenty of cool ones to check out from faux dives to themed bars and bars with games. Music venues, art galleries, street art, indie boutiques, and oh, the thrifting and vintage scene are unmatched.

Since rezoning in 2005, Williamsburg has slowly but surely developed into a vibrant, young, and artistic community. It’s heavily gentrified and depending who you talk to, they will tell you they love Williamsburg or love to hate the hipster culture that comes with it.

Oh, and did I fail to mention already that Williamsburg has one of the best skyline views of Manhattan?! Oh, and it’s super easy via ferry or subway to get in and out of Midtown making it one of the less intimidating areas for tourists to the city to get out and explore the other boroughs beyond Manhattan.

Speaking of, that’s what makes Williamsburg one of the best places to stay in the city. Be sure to check out our full guide for the best Williamsburg hotels with skyline views too! On a budget? No worries, there are options here for that too!

There are a ton of incredible things to do in Williamsburg but check out some of our favorite spots in this Williamsburg Brooklyn guide.

Read Next: 100+ Amazing Things to do in Brooklyn

What to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

  • Check Out Domino Park

Cranes in Domino Park in Williamsburg Brooklyn along the EAst River with skyline views

When it comes to looking for things to do in Williamsburg, you have to stop at Domino Park and take in the skyline views from here. This park opened in 2018 and has easily become one of the best parks in Brooklyn for the views alone.

Located just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, this park is on the site of the former Domino Sugar Refinery, hence the name. In fact, Brooklyn is so sweet as it had not one sugar factory, but several sugar refineries during its industrial heydey. You can still see traces of the past here as the architects and designers of the park (who also created the High-Line in Chelsea) purposefully left up some of the old factory equipment to pay homage to the history here.

Domino Park is a popular gathering place for locals, there’s a cute fenced-in dog park, plenty of seating, an elevated walkway, and a tasty taco stand.

And as of 2023, the original refinery has been completely renovated and transformed into The Refinery at Domino, now a luxury office building with prime real estate.

You also can’t beat some of the great offerings to do within steps of Domino Park either. Need a beer break? Head to Other Half Brewing’s tasting room, want something more than tacos to eat? Head to Roberta’s where you can get a taste of some of the best pizza in Brooklyn . Or, if you fancy eating with a view, this. is one of the best picnic spots in Brooklyn .

  • Bowl in Style at Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn-Bowl-in-Williamsburg-brooklyn-bowling-alley

One of the more fun venues and things to do in Williamsburg includes Brooklyn Bowl, a super cool bowling alley and music venue combined! Don’t just take our word for it, Rolling Stone has even named it, “one of the most incredible places on earth.”

Brooklyn Bowl is awesome for a few different things. During the weekends they have family-friendly hours during the day, by night though this becomes a 21 and over hang out spot where you can bowl or bowl during a live music performance.

Brooklyn Bowl often hosts themed nights too, a friend of mine was super excited to go to a Taylor Swift themed night at Brooklyn Bowl and said it was a blast.

Each of the lanes is equipped with plush, leather sofas to hang out in between turns. There’s a full kitchen and bar here too so you won’t go hungry or thirsty while you’re hitting strike after strike!

Now, this is a very popular hang out spot and on the weekends it can get a bit nuts. The lanes are first come, first serve so plan ahead to mitigate your expectations! During the times where there are ticketed events, you have to have a ticket to that event to get in.

Brooklyn Bowl is located right in the center of the nightlife scene on Wythe Avenue and is open until 12 am almost every night. With live music and great food, you’re bound to have an epic time.

Head over to Gutter Bar for some pints and pins!

The-Gutter-Bar

More bowling, yay! For more fun in Williamsburg that revolves around bowling, you have another option that comes without the occasional concert crowd.

The Gutter Bar is more of a traditional bowling alley, compared to Brooklyn Bowl that also has a bar. You’ll find old-school lanes and a more laid-back vibe here. There are only 8 lanes here and it has a much smaller bowling space, but the bar area is more spacious.

You don’t even have to bowl to hang out here too. You can get drinks, play board games, and bar snacks. Then if you do want to bowl, you can head over to Gutter Bar’s vintage bowling lanes for more fun.

Gutter bar is 21+ at all times so if you’re looking for things to do in Williamsburg with the whole family, then try out some of our other ideas for what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that are more age and family-friendly!

  • Games and Drinks at Barcade

Barcade bar and arcade in Williamsburg Brooklyn

One of my absolute favorite places to take friends that visit the city and one of the best things to do in Williamsburg is spend a few hours at Barcade. If you are quick witted you might already know what this place is about, a bar + an arcade = Barcade!

They have a few locations now, including one in Chelsea but there’s something about the Williamsburg space that I enjoy the best. First of all, they have more vintage pinball machines here than the other locations. The Chelsea location has a few pin ball games but they have more vintage digital arcade games. 

The bar has a great selection of beer on draft and that’s where you can purchase tokens to play games. All the old-school arcade games have cup holders so you can drink and play too.

And apparently, this Barcade location is rumored to be haunted. I haven’t noticed any spirits here other than the liquid form that make you feel tipsy, but keep an eye out!

Dive into NYC’s Past at The City Reliquary Museum

inside-the-City-Reliquary-Museum-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

Are you a history buff? If so, this is what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for you! The City Reliquary Museum is a community-run museum that highlights the history of New York City to its visitors and is true hidden gem in Williamsburg !

If an educational experience is on your list of things to do in Williamsburg, this museum is perfect for those who want to learn more about artifacts, community collections and cultural events from both the past and present.

This not-for-profit museum began in 2002 as a window display created by founder Dave Herman.

The museum has a permanent collection including everything from building fragments from landmark structures, vintage postcards from famous monuments in the city like The Statue of Liberty, antique subway tokens, paint chips from the L train platform, and other artifacts from all over the city.

The City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg is located at  370 Metropolitan Avenue and is open every Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 PM

Check out more of the amazing museums in Brooklyn worth visiting!

  • Hang out at McCarren Park

McCarren Park in Brooklyn

Another one of the best outdoor things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn sharing the border with the Greenpoint neighborhood is McCarren Park. This is filled with 35 acres of space and if you’re looking for where the locals hang out, you’ll find them here chilling out on a nice day in New York City.

Their basketball courts and baseball fields make for great pickup games and their barbecuing areas are great for family and friend get-togethers. If you’re looking for a good place to go on a hot day then head over to their free outdoor pools!

Also, in the warmer months, you can find fun activities here like the Renegade Craft Fair, Movies in the Park, and other fun events.

  • Enjoy Marsha P Johnson Park

lawn and NYC skyline view from Marsha P Johnson Park formerly East River State Park in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Marsha P Johnson Park, named after Marsha P Johnson, a transgender woman of color who was a pioneer of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement and a prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, is located along the Brooklyn side of the East River offering amazing views of Manhattan as well as stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.

With the large amount of greenery, this park is a perfect place to lounge and relax. This park has also become home to Smorgasburg – a food market offered during the warmer months.

Just be aware that unlike other parks in the city, this park does not permit bicycles here. Marsha P Johnson Park is dog-friendly (except for on Smorgasburg days), but visitors can only bring in two dogs at a time – just in case the unlikely chance you’re traveling with a large pack of dogs.

  • Take in the Views at Bushwick Inlet Park

View of Manhattan with a bit of mood from Domino Park in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Oh, another park you say? Yes! Another one of the best things to do in Williamsburg is to continue checking out all the cool waterfront parks along the East River with stellar skyline views!

Bushwick Inlet Park is located directly in the center of the Williamsburg waterfront. It’s shares a stretch of waterfront land with Greenpoint, which we highly recommend exploring as well, but it’s the great views here that make it a great place to rest your dogs after walking around all day or bring some food to sit and eat to take in the views.

The park was initially designed to keep the pathway from the south and eventually expand new designs into the north. This park adds a great new look to Williamsburg and provides more green areas to the old industrial neighborhood, transforming it into this family-friendly spot with top-notch views of the city skyline!

Better yet, this park is sustainable! The community center here is powered using sustainable electricity and heating through solar panels, geothermal heating, and a green roof.

Read Next: Best Instagram Spots in Williamsburg

  • Grab a beer at Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery bar in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Calling all beer lovers, you’re going to want to add this stop on your feverishly long list of things to do in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Brewery is the OG of craft breweries in the city. You’d think that the city has an exploding craft beverage scene, and it does now, but it took awhile to get here thanks to antiquated prohibition-era laws that gave us a slow start.

There are so many cool breweries in Brooklyn to check out, but the Brooklyn Brewery is really one of the best and most famous. In fact, the Brooklyn Brewery was one of the first and one of New York’s first post-prohibition craft breweries starting in 1988. 

The tap list ranges from classics to bold new experiments and you are able to try them out in their very own tasting room. I always love the artist collabs they do here with their merch and artwork too.

Their tasting area is a fun space, they have a few games too and seem to be pretty family-friendly during the day as everytime I’ve come on a weekend during daylight hours there are alot of families and adults with kids in here. The vibe does change come night though and is adult-focused.

They also offer guided tours of the brewery , which you’ll need to reserve your spot in advance and it comes with tastings. This is another one of the more popular picks for what to do in Williamsburg among beer lovers, so don’t miss making a reservation if you want to partake in a tour!

  • Enjoy some German Brews & Bites at Radegast Hall & Biergarten

Radegast Hall and Biergarten in Williamsburg

I love good beer, can you tell? And while we do love a good local brewery, we do love a good imported German beer too. Transport yourself to Bavaria here in Williamsburg at Radegast Hall & Biergarten, one of our favorite bars in Brooklyn for German fare and beer.

The setting takes you right into a traditional German beer hall and beer garden serving up great German brews, different types of German food and snacks, as well as live music! The scene here is pretty lively and you’ll find yourself among a friendly and rowdy bunch! This is the perfect place to have a beer and a Bavarian soft pretzel late night!

This is also a part of our German beer garden in Brooklyn crawl!

  • Do Some Shopping at Artists & Fleas

Artists-and-Fleas-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

Another one of my favorite places to shop (whehter it’s for me or for someone else) and best places to visit in Williamsburg is Artists & Fleas. This trendy marketplace is home to over 75 sellers including another NYC location at Chelsea Market in Manhattan.

Located on 70 North 7th Street, Artists & Fleas holds an exceptional reputation amongst international buyers. Here you’re able to discover what’s new and exciting in fashion, design, vintage, and art. Easy access to this marketplace makes it one of the best spots in town.

  • Enjoy Rooftop Drinks at Westlight

view-of-the-empire-state-building-and-nyc-skyline-from-rooftop-bar-Westlight-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

Ok, I am about to go into more on the best rooftop bars in Williamsburg in a minute. But, I am going to say it. Westlight has the best views and is my top recommendation for things to do in Williamsburg if you want to hit up a rooftop bar and only have time for one.

Located on the 22nd floor of the luxurious hotel, the William Vale you’ll find an indoor bar and outdoor terrace with some of the most jaw-dropping skyline views the city has to offer. You get the whole picture here, not just one or two landmarks, but the entire skyline!

This sophisticated cocktail bar is on the more bougie side when it comes to prices.  Come here prepared to spend a little for the prime location, upscale cocktails, and light bites.

Here’s the skinny though. This is great all year long because of the indoor area with floor to ceiling windows. The outdoor area is the best, and the seats are first come, first serve, so we recommend coming right when they open if you have your heart set on the outdoor deck area.

Rooftop Bar Hop 

best rooftop bars in Brooklyn El Nico at Penny Hotel in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Okay, I know I mentioned Westlight as its ‘own’ of things to do in Williamsburg, but there’s a whole boatload of great rooftop bars in Brooklyn located in this neighborhood!

A few of my favorites include El Nico , a rooftop bar on the top floor of the Penny Hotel (a cool art-forward hotel and stay in the neighborhood as well). From this stylish rooftop you can enjoy the full skyline view including the Empire State Building and pair that with the great Mexican-fare you can order here while you soak in a skyline sunset.

Lillistar is another supreme choice located at the Moxy Williamsburg Hotel. The outdoor terrace here has cool views of the Williamsburg Bridge and I honestly think I actually like the indoor area better than the outdoor terrace somehow. The indoor bar is funky and has a DJ booth set up and offers regular live sets.

The Water Tower Bar at Arlo Williamsburg is one of the more unique of the rooftop bars in the city. The bar is set inside a steel and glass encased water tower and overlooks the skyline and rooftop pool of the Arlo Williamsburg.

Enjoy Dinner & a Show at Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk-Cinema-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

One of the most unique experiences and things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is Nighthawk Cinema. Established in 2011, it is New York’s leading dine-in theater complete with a full-service bar and one of the best movie theaters in Brooklyn .

I love independent theaters and the whole story behind Nitehawk. You know how I mentioned antiquated prohibition-era laws earlier in regards to the Brooklyn Brewery? Well, those same old laws that prohibited alcohol to be served in a movie theater setting were changed thanks to Nitehawk Cinema!

Now you can sit back and relax in their theaters, order a beer or kitchen item and have it delivered to your seat as you sit back and enjoy the show. I particularly love the fun, artistic intros they create before the movies too with local artists.

The other cool part about Nitehawk Cinema is that they don’t only show new releases, they do special screenings of old-school classics regularly and fun events like Spoons and Toons, a retro-cartoon screening and hosted show with an unlimited cereal bar and cereal-inspired cocktails!

This movie theater is definitely something to check out if you’re looking for things to do in Williamsburg indoors or need a break from walking around or rainy day activity! They also have another location at Prospect Park West and is one of the best things to do in Park Slope if you find yourself in that area of Brooklyn.

Cinephiles Run, Don’t Walk to Spectacle Theater

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Spectacle (@spectaclenyc)

If you’re a cinephile and love all things film, this is what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for you! Spectacle Theater is a volunteer-run movie theater is known for screening rare and under-appreciated films every day of the week for a reasonable price of $5 making it one of the most affordable things to do in Williamsburg too!

The location is small but the concept is what makes this theater stand out from the others. Spectacle Theater allows you to bring your own food and drinks which is a very rare occurrence in modern-day movie theaters.

What’s pretty cool is that when rent prices were skyrocketing in the area, the community successfully ran a fundraising Kickstarter campaign to help continue this awesome theater and community project led by local volunteers.

The space is limited and can fit no more than 30 people so plan on getting there early to find a good seat. This is an awesome date night spot and a must add to your Williamsburg, Brooklyn guide and checklist!

  • Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Bike Lane

One of the best ways to get around in the city is by bicycle. It can be quicker to bike than car, subway, and ferry depending on where you’re going. And while cyclists can ride in regular traffic, there are certain roads that have better bike lanes that feel more safe and friendly to those of us on two wheels.

Insert the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Bike Lane, this is a 26-mile route and protected bike lane along the Brooklyn waterfront including Williamsburg. You can actually go all the way from South Brooklyn to North Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenpoint using this route!

You don’t own a bike right? Don’t worry, you can use Citibike! There are stations all over the place (although parking in Williamsburg during weekends and evenings can be a chore when docking stations are full). Download the Citibike app and you can see which stations are closest to you, just make sure to check where you’re going to make sure there will be open docks – it does become a problem in this area.

And a tip, as a Citibike member I have to say that the e-bike rentals from Citibike can get quite costly very quickly, even with a membership (without a membership the prices are absurd). If you’re not wanting to spend alot, use the regular bikes. If you’re trying to get somewhere quick, the e-bikes are a great option but they are currently $.26 a minute ($.17/minute for members) and a subway is $2.90 for a single ride. Just some food for thought as I have surprised myself on e-bike rentals and a bit shocked at the price.

  • Walk the Williamsburg Bridge

Manhattan-Bridge-view-from-Domino-Park-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

The Williamsburg Bridge isn’t as scenic as the Brooklyn Bridge walk (from DUMBO), but it does offer a unique perspective of the city. And on the Williamsburg side, just below the bridge you have Domino Park and a handful of great restaurants and bars.

There’s a pedestrian path and a bicycle path, so pick your route! You can alternatively drive across the bridge as well. The pedestrian route begins at Bedford Ave and S 6th Street.

See our full guide on how to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge for tips since this is one of the best Brooklyn walks for views!

It’s a little over a mile so wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget to bring your camera because the Williamsburg Bridge is the perfect spot for a photoshoot!

Play Unlimited Skeeball at Full Circle Bar 

Williamsburg Full Circle Bar and SKEEBALL bar in Brooklyn

One of my favorite bars in the neighborhood and one of the more fun things to do in Williamsburg is head to Full Circle Bar tucked away down a more offset area of Grand Street. Of course there are drinks, but for $5 you can play unlimited skeeball in the back!

They even have leagues for those who want to get serious with the sport! This is a fun hang-out spot, date spot, and place to just play some skeeball while enjoying a nice adult beverage!

If you’re looking for a great bite to eat, head to Emmy’s Squared just down the street before or after your brewskee ball playing!

  • Take a Gander Down Bedford Avenue

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol by KOBRA Fight For Street Art in Williamsburg

Be sure to walk down Bedford Avenue from the Williamsburg Bridge all the way to McCarren Park! You’ll find tons of murals and street art, shops, places to eat, bars, street vendors, and tons of people watching for street style and more right here.

Explore Williamsburg’s Street Art Scene

Muhammed Ali mural by Brolga in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Even the advertisements and what would be traditional billboards elsewhere are actual pieces of art covering entire sides of buildings disguised as street art as well as stores like Warby Parker embracing the hipster neighborhood (I mean their entire brand is hipster) with their murals to even Dunkin Donuts with entire wall-size murals.

You can’t help but love the splashes of color from artists all over the world including some of the biggest names in the street art world scene like pieces from Kobra, Brolga, ROA, and JR to name a few.

The point being, there are tons of great artists on display here whether you’ve heard of them or not. Be sure to check them out, one of the best streets to see them is by walking down Bedford Ave, then cutting down individual streets and you’ll find even more!

I really love the Kobra murals in the neighborhood, although the Elvis Presley, War is Hell mural didn’t seem to survive heavy tagging, the Andy Warhol and Basquiat, Fight for Street Art is still in great shape after years.

Read more on all the best murals & street art in Williamsburg.  And if you love street art, check out our guide to the best Brooklyn street art as you can easily add street-art heavy neighborhoods like Bushwick to your time exploring around all the best Williamsburg attractions.

  • Vintage & Thrift Shopping

Wonders of Walter thrift and vintage store in Williamsburg Brooklyn

When I say Williamsburg is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC for vintage shopping , I mean it. This neighborhood has a high concentration of quality, curated vintage and thrift stores. Easily one of the most popular things to do in Williamsburg is to take in the vintage/thrift scene. You can easily spend a whole weekend only doing this and still not get to all the spots!

Below are a few, but be sure to check out our entire guide to the best vintage shopping in Williamsburg , there’s a lot more!

Awoke Vintage –  A cool thrift and vintage shop reselling the coolest threads located in the Mini Mall off of Bedford Ave. While the space is small, they have curated a great collection of women’s clothing including a sizeable collection of vintage Levis!

L Train –  I’ll be the first to admit that many of the trendy Williamsburg vintage spots charge a high finders fee for their items (I mean living in this city ain’t cheap). There are a few exceptions and one is L Train, there are several locations throughout the city, many of which make up the best thrifting in Brooklyn and the Williamsburg location is no different. I always find something here too.

Malin Landaeus –  This upscale, chic vintage store in Williamsburg only sells the finest of vintage treasures from their amazing boot collection to women’s clothing and locally designed accessories. This is where you’ll find some really unique and stylish pieces!

Mother of Junk –  Finally a vintage and antique store for everyone! You can find great housewares, accessories, and other fun finds in this fun antique store.

Wonders of Walter –  This cool vintage reseller and collector sells items out of their garage-style location when the weather is nice right on Berry Street. Find all kinds of vintage gems here for both men and women.

Buffalo Exchange – Find cute vintage clothing at this trendy chain. Not only can you buy but you can trade clothes, jewelry and other accessories here as well! Check them out on 504 Driggs Avenue.

Grand Street Local –  Your go-to vintage shirt shop selling all kinds of vintage finds with an emphasis on menswear and unisex clothing.

Plus BKLYN- focuses on plus-size vintage and thrift finds!

10 ft Single by Stella Dallas & Stella Dallas Living – two of my favorite vintage stores in the entire city. 10 ft Single is younger, this is where you’ll find denim, vintage tees, and more fun thrifting finds and Stella Dallas Living is where you’ll find vintage clothing and fabrics from the last century!

  • Enjoy the Williamsburg Foodie Scene

Birria Landia birria tacos from the taco truck on Metropolitan ave in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Where do I even begin? Williamsburg is hands down one of the best foodie neighborhoods in New York City. There are SO many good restaurants in Williamsburg that it’s really difficult to repeat a place you love as there are just so many places to try. Whether you’re looking for a great spot for brunch in Williamsburg , casual eats, or a nice sit down meal – your options are absolutely endless.

I am going to do my best to just give a quick rundown of a few great spots depending on what you’re looking for.

For quick bites in Williamsburg, don’t miss the Birria-landia taco truck (evenings only) for their sensational birria tacos (don’t forget to order a side of that consome for dipping). It’s messy and delicious. 

Another quick and quality bite to eat is at Milu , they offer fast, casual Chinese cuisine – everything I’ve tried here is amazing. Go to Mekelburg’s by Domino Park for 

One of the best slices of pizza in New York City can be found at L’Industrie , there are a few other trendy slice shops in the neighborhood like Fini Pizza , but nothing beats L’Industrie! Best Pizza and Joe’s also offer reliable, classic slices if you find yourself needing a late night slice.

Some of the most coveted restaurants (and hard to get reservations) are located in Brooklyn. So if you can get a reservation, consider it a sign and eat here. Misi and Lillia are famed for their pasta dishes. Laser Wolf often only has late-night reservations available for their Middle Eastern fare and gorgeous rooftop setting in The Hoxton.

Peter Luger Steakhouse is one of the most famous steakhouses in New York City, dating back to 1887, it’s the third oldest steakhouse in the city and cash only.

Oh, you want a great weekend brunch? Sunday in Brooklyn is one of the best spots, they even have a fun winter and holiday pop-up, Snowday in Brooklyn if you’re looking for the best holiday-themed restaurants in NYC too. Cafe Mogador and Diner are also favorites for brunch.

I can easily get carried away in this section and write a whole guidebook, so if you want to know more about the foodie scene in Williamsburg, I’ve linked to both our brunch and regular restaurant guides above in the first paragraph of this section.

  • Enjoy Free Pizza at Alligator Lounge & The Charleston

free-pizza-at-the-Alligator-Lounge-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

It sounds too good to be true, in a city that is as expensive as ever can you believe that there are two bars that offer a free personal, wood-fired cheese pizza with every drink purchase?

One of the best cheap things to do in Williamsburg is head to either (or both) of these dive bars that offer a free personal pizza with each drink you order. That’s right! You get a FREE personal pizza with your drink order!!! The free pizza is cheese, but if you want toppings you can add them on for a buck each.

The drinks aren’t overpriced (and don’t expect anything fancy) at both the Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Ave ) and The Charleston (174 Bedford Ave).

Are you a Nathan Fielder fan? If so, you’ll recognize the Alligator Lounge from The Rehearsal !

Hit Up Some Cool Neighborhood Cafes

interior of Devocion coffee shop in Williamsburg Brooklyn

One of the best things to do in Williamsburg, being the cool neighborhood it is are check out the gorgeous and great cafe scene here! Whether you have some work to do and need a great spot to sit for a bit while sipping on a latte or you just need a little pick me up, there are a ton of great cafes in this neighborhood to check out.

See our full guide to the best Williamsburg coffee shops for more!

Devoción – Probably the most well-known of cafes in Williamsburg because of how beautiful this space is, Devoción sources their coffee from the finest beans in Columbia and offers one of the most inviting and beautiful atmospheres for hanging out with a cuppa in the city.

Fiction/BK Speed – This laid back cafe is a great place to get work done or just come in for a cup of coffee, beer, or light snack with the occasional live music performance.

Black Brick Coffee –  If a cafe could scream Williamsburg with its decor, this would be it. This dimly lit, brick-walled cafe serves up Stumptown Coffee and has a chill, hip, and inviting vibe.

Hungry Ghost Coffee –  A gorgeous space with a succulent covered wall and cozy atmosphere which has other locations throughout Brooklyn.

Bakeri – This charming Scandinavian cafe in Williamsburg has a French feel to it and famously delicious baked goods.

  • Check out the Bar Scene

Philomenas bar in Williamsburg brooklyn

Williamsburg is also known for having a great nightlife scene, from swanky cocktail bars to ‘dad dive bars’ you can find it all here. As already mentioned earlier as suggestions for things to do in Williamsburg you also have bowling alleys/bars and arcade/bars as well as cheap dive bars that give you a free pizza with a purchase of a drink.

Check out our guide to the best bars in Williamsburg and also great hidden speakeasies in NYC (where you can find more Williamsburg hangout spots).

A few of our favorites include Fresh Kills for incredible cocktails curated to your taste preferences and Philomena’s offers craft cocktails including flaming drinks to drinks made with specialty infused ice cubes with ingredients like habanero or tajin.

Maison Premiere and Hotel Delmano win for aesthetics, setting, and vibe. Go to Dolly’s Swing and Dive for a fun, faux dive bar with an ode to Dolly Parton in the restroom.

For great beer, head to Talea Beer Co. to visit an awesome female-founded brewery here in Williamsburg or the Other Half Brewing tasting room by Domino Park for some of the best hazy IPA selections in the city.

  • Hang Out at Brooklyn Art Haus

exterior of Brooklyn Art Haus in Williamsburg Brooklyn

I love finding places that really strive on creating spaces for creatives. If you’re looking for one of the coolest hang out spaces for creatives and things to do in Williamsburg consider paying a visit to Brooklyn Art Haus.

Located right off the Metropolitan subway station, Brooklyn Art Haus offers a cafe and work space by day, bar, and a restaurant, and by night you’ll find many different performances and programming to attend from circus acts to comedy shows.

This giant space and venue was created for creatives, by creatives. Find a gallery with contemporary artists where you can hang out and work on your laptop or sip a cocktail with friends. You can rent studio space here and more. So yes, there’s a cafe + bar + event space + performances + studios + gallery, what else am I missing?

Whether you’re looking for what to do in Brooklyn at night or day, you can come here!

  • Relax at Bathhouse

If you’re looking for a chic, urban oasis and one of the best spas in NYC for a day of relaxation, check out Bathhouse. This is one of the most relaxing and pampering yourself things to do in Williamsburg and I’m all here for it.

Come for massages, exfoliations, and scrubs. Soak away your aches and pains in the communal pools, saunas, or steam rooms set in a cool, former 1930s factory. The ambiance here is insane, the halls are backlit and filled with plants and plenty of relaxation areas to unwind.

Want to stay all day? Easy, there’s even a restaurant on site so you don’t have to leave.

  • Get Some Boozy Ice Cream

Tipsy-Scoop-boozy-ice-cream-sundae-in-Williamsburg-Brooklyn

I did not realize I needed or wanted a 21+ ice cream parlor, but here we are. I LOVE Tipsy Scoop in Williamsburg. This artisinal ice cream shop sells boozy ice cream flavors and makes over-the-top boozy ice cream sundaes! 

There are special seasonal flavors that change out frequently and they even offer fun boozy ice cream workshops and classes that make for a fun activity with friends or hands-on date idea.

You can eat in the shop or even grab pints to go, what a great idea if you’re swinging by a house party nearby to come with boozy ice cream?! The shop is strictly 21+ over and all their ice cream is boozy!

  • Ride the Ferry

NY Ferry in Greenpoint Brooklyn

One of the best ways to to get around and see the city is by taking advantage of the NYC Ferry service! Along the East River you have some of the best skyline views of Manhattan and you get to see some of the most famous landmarks in the city by water from the skyscrapers to the East River Bridges on your commute!

There are two different ferry stops in Williamsburg, the North Williamsburg stop and the South Williamsburg stop. Both of these are serviced by the East River Ferry route .

These stops include:

  • Hunter’s Point South (Long Island City, aka LIC in Queens)
  • East 34th Street (very close to Midtown )
  • Greenpoint (Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, fun to explore)
  • North Williamsburg 
  • South Williamsburg 
  • DUMBO Fulton Ferry 
  • Pier 11 (this is Wall Street in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District )
  • Smorgasburg

mozzarella sticks from Big Moz at Prospect Park Smorgasburg

One of the most beloved summer in the city activities is the weekly Smorgasburg open-air food market with popular food vendors from all five boroughs presenting endless options of cuisine to try.

Smorgasburg is best enjoyed with friends though. Especially friends with similar food interests so you can all order something different and try each other’s food.

The Williamsburg Smorgasburg event takes place on Saturdays in Marsha P Johnson Park, if you want to venture further around Brooklyn you can also attend Smorgasburg on Sundays in Prospect Park too!

The Williamsburg location tends to get crowded and offers a great backdrop of the city skyline, which makes for a great place to enjoy the view while you try a bunch of different food!

This is a seasonal event though, it takes place during spring-end of summer.

  • Take a Tour of Williamsburg

finding street art in Williamsburg Brooklyn

See the best of what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by joining a tour with a professional and knowledgeable local guide to teach you about the city history through walking tours, tasting tours, and historic tours!

Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour

Check out the best things to do in Williamsburg and learn about the borough in this Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour . This 3 hour walking tour takes you through the best of the Williamsburg neighborhood with a knowledgable guide.

See all the trendiest spots in this neighborhood while learning about the history and its influence on the contemporary culture of Brooklyn. See the different street art and murals, find out what the coolest local spots are, and learn about the historic buildings as you pass.

You won’t want to leave Williamsburg after! Book your Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour through Williamsburg

Best of Brooklyn Food, History, and Culture Tour

This half-day tour takes you through the best of Brooklyn paired with history, culture, and most importantly food! Hop aboard a luxury bus for this 5-hour tour with tastings in some of the coolest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. This is easily one of the best ways to see the best things to do in Brooklyn with a local expert and guide.

You’ll make stops at traditional eateries featuring cuisines from all over the world, see why this city is a melting pot of cultures through your taste buds. You’ll also visit the trendiest neighborhoods and learn about the history and iconic landmarks in Brooklyn along the way.

Your tour ticket includes all your tastings, transportation, a bottle of water, and a guide! They can accommodate to dietary requirements when you make your booking too. Book your “Best of Brooklyn” Half-Day Food and Culture Tour 

Flavors of Williamsburg Food Tour

Another awesome food tour that covers the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg. Don’t make the mistake of coming without a completely empty stomach on this 3-hour food journey through one of the most popular areas in Brooklyn.

You’ll learn about the rich culinary history, visit iconic restaurants and eateries, and sample amazing treats along this small-group tour with an expert local guide!

You’ll also get to see some of the best views in Brooklyn while you learn the history. If you have dietary restrictions please contact the tour company after you book they can accommodate to your needs ahead of time. Book your Flavors of Williamsburg Tour 

Getting Around Williamsburg

inside NYC subway by Katie Hinkle

Now that you’ve read about all the best things to do around the neighborhood in our Williamsburg Brooklyn guide, here’s how to get around.

There are a few different ways to get into and around Williamsburg but a lot of the action is right under the bridge so you won’t need to go far.

From Manhattan, take the L Train to Bedford Avenue and you’ll be right in the heart of all that’s trendy in Williamsburg

From Queens or a different part of Brooklyn , take the G train to Metropolitan Avenue. After getting off at Metropolitan Ave, Bedford is only a short walk away.

If you feel like walking or taking a Citi Bike for a ride, then the Williamsburg Bridge is always an option to get to where you want to be as well as the East River Ferry which connects Williamsburg to Manhattan, both downtown and midtown, as well as Greenpoint, DUMBO, & Long Island City.

There are a few subway stops that service Williamsburg on the G, J, M, Z, and L lines:

  • Metropolitan Ave/Lorimer Street Station (G & L lines)
  • Bedford Ave Station (L line)
  • Broadway Station (G line)
  • Graham Avenue Station (L line)
  • Flushing Avenue Station (J, M, Z lines)
  • Morgan Avenue Station (L line)
  • Grand Street Station (L line)
  • Marcy Avenue Station (J, M, Z lines)
  • Montrose Avenue Station  (L line)
  • Hewes Street Station (J & M lines)

Where to Stay in Williamsburg

inside a room at Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn

Not sure which neighborhood to stay in? Check out our entire guide for the best places to stay in Brooklyn by area and budget to help you plan your trip, or pick from one of these amazing Williamsburg hotels below.

William Vale Hotel

Referred to as “Williamsburg’s Only True Luxury Hotel,” The William Vale Hotel strives to provide a memorable experience for all guests. An award-winning chef, monumental pieces of art and custom metalwork details in the rooms are key to having an exceptional stay at this hotel.

The William Vale Hotel is respectfully rated 5-stars. With amazing views of the Manhattan skyline and the location being only blocks away from many venues and restaurants, this hotel has everything you could hope for.

The rooftop bar, Westlight, which is mentioned earlier in this article of things to do in Williamsburg is located right at the top of the William Vale Hotel. There is also a high-end Italian restaurant and a 60-foot long pool that is deemed the “longest pool in Brooklyn and the greater New York City.”

Book Now on Booking.com | Compare Prices for Later on Hotels.com | See Rates on Expedia.com

Hotel Le Jolie

This 3-star hotel is located only a short walk away from the Metropolitan Avenue subway station as well as from the shops along Bedford Avenue making it a great location to explore what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Continental breakfast and free wifi are some of the perks in this European-style hotel. This hotel provides free on-site parking on a first come first serve basis with a fantastic location to explore the best of Williamsburg.

Arlo Williamsburg

Arlo Williamsburg (formerly the Williamsburg Hotel) is one of the trendiest hotels for a trendy neighborhood sitting at eight stories high and has 147 rooms. Located on Wythe Avenue, this hotel is also walking distance away from many nearby shops and restaurants.

The rooms are brilliantly decorated with custom decor, large windows with natural light, views of the city, designer toiletries, and some even have balconies with some of the best views Brooklyn has to offer.

Besides being in a great location, The Williamsburg Hotel also has a stylish rooftop pool with incredible views of the city!

What to do in Williamsburg Map

Awesome Things to do in Williamsburg (Post Summary):

  • Dive into NYC’s Past at The City Reliquary Museum
  • Rooftop Bar Hop
  • Enjoy Dinner & A Show at Nitehawk Cinema
  • Cinephiles Run Don’t Walk to Spectacle Theater
  • Play Unlimited Skeeball at Full Circle Bar
  • Explore Williamsburg’s Street Art Scene
  • Hit Up some Cool Neighborhood Cafes

Enjoyed this post on the best things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn and this Williamsburg Brooklyn guide? Bookmark for later or share the love below on Pinterest.

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35 Best Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is one of NYC's most emerging neighborhoods, and here's what is has to offer!

Corey Fuller

New York City is always changing, growing, and expanding…and nowadays, waterfront neighborhood Williamsburg in Brooklyn has become one of the hottest around. From their evolving restaurant scene to the cultural street art and creativity that runs through the community, it’s a meteoric rise that many have taken notice of in recent years. To make the most out of visiting, we’ve put together a list of the best places to eat, things to do, and places to stay in the area. Here’s the perfect itinerary for a day in Williamsburg.

Table Of Contents

Best Things To Do In Williamsburg

Best shopping in williamsburg, best restaurants in williamsburg, best bars in williamsburg, best hotels in williamsburg.

Let’s start with Williamsburg’s best attractions and things to do in the area! From vintage shopping to notable food festivals , there’s so much happening here. See our favorite things to do in Williamsburg below:

1. Bedford Avenue

New York City, United States - April 23, 2016: Crowds of people walking along Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on a beautiful Weekend afternoon.

Williamsburg’s main strip of Bedford Avenue (conveniently located off the L train) is chalk full of trendy restaurants and shops that you should spend time exploring! We suggest starting at the south end of the street and heading north, trying out spots like Joe’s Pizza or a table at Sweet Chick , before eventually landing at McCarren Park!

2. Domino Park

View of Domino Park in NYC

Catch some sun or walk your dog through Domino Park, Williamsburg’s stunning waterfront park that offers incredible Manhattan skyline views. The 5 acre park is one of the best in all of NYC , and spans from S 5th Street to Grand Street. During the spring and summer, it’s the perfect place to go for a jog or lay out for a picnic. There’s also an awesome playground for kids , taco stand, and remnants of the old Domino Sugar Factory .

3. Smorgasburg

People shopping at Smorgasburg

Every April – October, NYC’s premier seasonal food festival returns to Williamsburg, with over 100 food vendors ! Smorgasburg is an open-air food market that takes over Williamsburg’s waterfront on Saturdays , where visitors can stop by and feast on the finest food around. Smorgasburg’s 2024 season is set to start up on April 6 !

Where: 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn

4. Brooklyn Brewery

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Williamsburg’s powerhouse brewery is one of our favorite things to do in the area, and is a great place to stop for a pint along your travels. It’s home to their in-house brewed hops which you can taste test (and bring home with you), as well as unique brewery tours which give you a behind the scenes look at how the beer is made!

Where: 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn

5. Brooklyn Bowl

bowling alleys

In the mood for some bowling ? Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl is one of our favorite alleys to hit some strikes, listen to some tunes, and hang out with friends. Their high-tech lanes make them one of the best in the area, and their DJs and live music they book pairs wonderfully with the food provided by NYC’s Blue Ribbon !

Where: 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

6. Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema is much more than your average movie theater . The Williamsburg entertainment spot is a movie + dining experience that you can’t get in many other places. You’ll be able to watch your desired movie alongside a table-side food and beverage service that has speciality menus.

Where: 136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn

7. Live music 

Concert performance and crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY.

If you’re looking for night time plans in Williamsburg, you should definitely take advantage of Williamsburg’s night clubs and live music venues ! Some of our favorites in particular are Music Hall of Williamsburg , Brooklyn Steel , and Baby’s All Right …which welcome in the largest touring artists in the world!

8. McCarren Park

Brooklyn, New York USA - March 27 2021: Crowds of People at McCarren Park in Williamsburg Brooklyn Relaxing on the Grass during Spring with Pink Cherry Blossom Trees

McCarren Park is the much larger park in Williamsburg at 35 acres , and it’s the perfect place to grab some fresh air or a spot on the grass during a nice day. It’s home to so many amenities as well that are available to the public, including a public swimming pool , a full size running track, soccer fields, a tennis center, and much more .

9. Williamsburg Bridge

Pedestrian walkway across the Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City

The eye-catching Williamsburg Bridge connects Brooklyn to Manhattan, and its pedestrian walkway can be a good little stroll if you’re looking for a change of scenery! The route is just over 1 mile long , and will take you right into the Lower East Side after about 30-40 minutes or so. It’s also great for bike rides too!

There’s a reason Williamsburg has become so trendy and  cool , and it has a lot to do with the vibrant shopping scene that’s taken the neighborhood by storm. Many call it the vintage capital of NYC, but it’s more than that…thanks to hole-in-the-wall boutiques, seasonal pop-ups, and more.

10. Artists & Fleas

Vendors at Artists & Fleas market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For over 20 years, Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg has been showcasing 50+ individual vendors every weekend in their Brooklyn location. Ranging from vintage clothing to art, they turn their former dry goods and provisions warehouse into a shopoholic’s dream of a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Artists & Fleas is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 6 pm .

Where: 70 N 7th St

11. McNally Jackson

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

One of New York City’s most notable independent bookstore chains McNally Jackson has a storefront in Williamsburg! Stop by this lovely literary spot to pick up your next read or even to chat with the lovely staff that loves books as much as you do!

Where: 76 N 4th St Unit G, Brooklyn

12. By Liv Handmade

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

This sustainable clothing brand based locally in Williamsburg earned our Secret NYC stamp of approval and rightfully so! The studio storefront in Brooklyn is home to plenty of hand-crafted garments created by Liv herself. We’re talking everything from formal wear to her own “Essentials” line!

Where: 293 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn

13. Awoke Vintage

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Awoke Vintage started out in Australia back in 2007 before reaching the streets of Williamsburg, and now it’s a great spot to score your next vintage piece of clothing. There’s a reason it’s been visited by the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Emily Ratajkowski and more ! There’s also a few other locations just a little north in Greenpoint too!

Where: 132 N 5th St, Brooklyn

14. Seven Wonders Collective

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Yet another vintage clothing spot on our list, Seven Wonders Collective stocks tons of locally-curated vendors on their shelves.

Where: 203 Grand St

Williamsburg’s culinary scene is one of the best in Brooklyn, and even New York City as a whole. The buzzy neighborhood has attracted local and foreign newcomers that are infatuated with eye-catching cuisines and aesthetic dining rooms. Check out our list of the best restaurants in Williamsburg below.

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

We’ll start with one of Williamsburg’s hottest Italian restaurant reservations, and it’s Lilia. Chef Missy Robbins is at the helm here, and it’s gained extreme notoriety in recent years for pasta dishes like the Pink Peppercorn Mafaldini and Rigatoni Diavola . There’s also fish and meat on the menu too, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a table you can’t pass up a chance at what many call “ the best pasta in NYC. ”

Where: 567 Union Ave, Brooklyn

16. Le Crocodile

Interior or Le Crocodile in Williamsburg, NYC

Le Crocodile is located inside the Wythe Hotel and takes our spot as the best French restaurant in Williamsburg. The all-day brasserie not only has a gorgeous dining room, but also a divine menu inspired by Paris. We recommend options like the Roast Chicken with Herb Jus and Frites , Escargots with Parsley, Pernod, and Fennel , and Leeks with Vinaigrette and Hazelnuts .

Where:   80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

17. Laser Wolf

Patio at Laser Wolf

Score a table on the rooftop of The Hoxton, Williamsburg and you’ll be delighted to an award-winning Isreali spot that includes Manhattan skyline views. All the food here is cooked over charcoal grills, meaning their meat skewers and salatim are some of the best around.

Where: 97 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

18. The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen NYC

The Four Horsemen is the brainchild of James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, and it’s a delightful wine bar -restaurant combination that you should definitely have a meal at. Of course the natural wine is the celebrity on this menu, but don’t discount bites from their concise menu like Manila Clams , Crispy Potato Pavé , and Olive Oil Poached Cod .

Where: 295 Grand St, Brooklyn

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

From the same team as Lilia comes Misi, yet another Italian sit-down spot known for handmade pasta and vegetable antipasti. Everything on the menu is delicious, but some of our personal favorites include the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta-filled Occhi , Mezze Rigatoni , and Fettuccine w/ Buffalo Butter .

Where: 329 Kent Ave, Brooklyn

20. Maison Premiere

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

If you’re seeking the best oysters in Williamsburg, Maison Premiere is an oyster bar is your best bet. Their New Orleans-looking dining room is quite welcoming and their expansive menu of oysters is enough to make your jaw drop. Not to mention they have the largest absinthe list in the US and wines imported from all corners of the globe.

Where: 298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn

21. L’Industrie Pizzeria

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

If you only have time to stop for a slice of pizza amongst your Williamsburg travels, let it be at L’Industrie. Don’t be discouraged if you see a line out the door of this pizza shop, it’s worth the wait! Grab a slice of their burrata pizza and thank us later.

Where: 254 S 2nd St, Brooklyn

22. Birds of a Feather

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Birds of a Feather is our vote for the best Chinese restaurant in the area, and it’s because their Sichuan cuisine is masterfully carried over from Asia right into Brooklyn. Try out their homemade dim sum , spicy Sichuan noodles, and everything in between. It’s from the same group as Michelin-starred spot Café China , so you know it’s incredible.

Where: 191 Grand St, Brooklyn

23. Sunday in Brooklyn

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

For a no frills American restaurant , head to Sunday in Brooklyn, which we highly recommend for brunch as well. It’s a neighborhood feel good kinda spot where you can order American classics like a double cheeseburger, hot chicken sandwich, spinach & artichoke dip, and french onion soup . Or go for brunch and get pancakes, steak & eggs, plus more …

Where: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

24. Birria Landia

Several tacos on a plate

Perfect for on-the-go adventures, Williamsburg’s favorite food truck , Birria Landia is home to some of the best tacos in the entire city . The food destination is now nationally recognized as one of the best, and many flock from all over just to experience their mouth-watering birria tacos, tostadas, and quesadillas topped in consome .

Where: 491 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s bar culture is awesome, and attracts a unique crowd that you won’t find in other parts of NYC! There’s a balanced mix too, ranging from hotel cocktail bars to under-the-radar dives . Here’s our favorite places to drink in Williamsburg right now!

25. Barcade

Games at Barcade® NYC

Combine a dive bar with a classic arcade and you get the appopriately named Barcade! Sip on cheap drinks while running up the score in arcade games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Tetris . There’s also locations in Chelsea and East Village in Manhattan!

Where:   388 Union Ave, Brooklyn

26. Rocka Rolla

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Where’s our rock music fans at?! Rocka Rolla’s dive bar will fully immerse you into the culture of the genre, from the blasting ACDC over the loud speakers to the neon band signs on the walls. Grab a beer served in a huge cup and grab a booth while you catch up with friends or people watch around you. It’s one of the best social spots!

Where: 486 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn

27. Radegast Hall & Biergarten

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Step into Williamsburg’s raucous beer hall and be greeted to German brews, picnic table-style seating, and live music on certain nights. Stop in for a European draught while you feast on jumbo pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzels, and frankfurters (among more).

Where: 113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn

28. Union Pool

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Despite not actually having a pool table, Union Pool is a popular weekend spot that welcomes a regular Williamsburg crowd frequently. You can hang in their front room at a booth and chat with friends, or make your way to their outdoor backyard for more mingling and a pull-in taco truck. They even have live music in a backroom on certain nights!

Where: 484 Union Ave, Brooklyn

29. The Commodore

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

This corner bar is from the team behind Pies ‘n’ Thighs , and attracts a crowd thanks to their kitschy cocktails and fried chicken .

Where: 366 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn

30. Westlight

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Elevate to the 22nd floor of The William Vale and you’ll walk right into one of our favorite rooftop bars in Williamsburg. Westlight is the perfect spot to impress a date or some friends, thanks to their glassed-in bar room and outdoor table space too.

Where: 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn

31. Bar Blondeau

Interior of Bar Blondeau Williamsburg

Bar Blondeau is a French-inspired cocktail lounge that resides in the Wythe Hotel on the Williamsburg waterfront. We recommend trying out their seafood-forward menu and sipping on a glass of their imported natural wines …pinkies up of course.

Where: 80 Wythe Ave, 6th Floor

Looking for a place to stay in Williamsburg? The neighborhood is full of beautiful boutique hotels that are perfect for your accommodation. Many of them even have rooftop swimming pools, spas , and more ! Check out our favorite Williamsburg hotels below.

32. The William Vale

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Since opening in 2016, The William Vale is one of the best…thanks to their amenities, waterfront views, and exceptional rooms. The hotel offers 183 rooms of different price ranges and views, as well as a massive pool, rooftop bar and seasonal skating rink, winter spa, rooftop movie screenings, and a whole lot more .

33. Arlo Williamsburg

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Arlo Williamsburg (formerly The Williamsburg Hotel) is another luxury hotel located along the strip of Wythe Avenue, and features beautiful rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a rooftop pool, a Water Tower bar, events like Candlelight Concerts , and more . It’s the perfect place to eat, stay, and play.

Where: 96 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

34. Wythe Hotel

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

The Wythe Hotel is an old Brooklyn factory-turned boutique hotel, and the rustic and chic vibes blend beautifully with modern day accents. It’s home to rooms that range from classic Brooklyn stone walls to elevated lofts with leather couches . There’s something for every budget, including at the in-house restaurant Le Crocodile and Bar Blondeau.

Where: 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

35. The Hoxton Williamsburg

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

The Hoxton Williamsburg has 175 rooms that come complete with modern services and is extremely accessible to the Williamsburg neighborhood. Within the hotel itself, it’s home to multiple restaurants ( Laser Wolf, K’Far, Jaffa Cocktail and Raw Bar), as well as being a stone’s throw away from everything else the area has to offer.

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

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New York Dearest

Written by An NYC Local

15 Wonderful Things to Do Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Local’s Guide)

By Antonina | Updated: February 21, 2024 | Leave a Comment

Best things to do Williamsburg Brooklyn

A local covers the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Once an industrial waterfront district, Williamsburg has undergone a significant transformation in the past decade. Vacant warehouses and factories have been converted into art studios, trendy shops, and chic restaurants. There’s a gravitational pull to this area for locals are visitors alike, here’s a handful of fun things to do in the area.

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on  Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods +3 to Avoid) . Don’t have time?  Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC,  hands down.

Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Table of contents: williamsburg things to do.

  • Spend the Evening at Domino Park

Sift Through the Racks at Awoke Vintage

  • Enjoy Drinks on a Rooftop at Westlight

Celebrate a Special Occasion at Peter Luger

Spend a rainy day at mcnally jackson.

  • Eat Your Weight in Goods at Smorgasburg
  • Or Just Go For a Stroll in Marsha P. Johnson State Park

Show Off Your Skills With Axe Throwing

  • Grab Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn

Soak Your Stress Away at The Bathhouse 

  • Catch Some Sun at McCarren Park
  • Enjoy Some of the Best Pasta in Brooklyn at Misi
  • Go on the Hunt For the Best Coffee Shop
  • Grab Beers at Brooklyn Brewery
  • Hang Out at the Pier

Further Reading for Williamsburg

Further reading for brooklyn, things to do williamsburg (helpful map).

Domino Park Sunset, romantic things to do Williamsburg

Catch Sunset at Domino Park

Address: 15 River St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Hanging out at Domino Park is one of the best things to do in Williamsburg thanks to the impressive Manhattan skyline that looms across the East River. The views are unrivaled and there’s a magic that comes with being by the water (especially during sunrise & sunset!).

The five-acre park sits on the Williamsburg waterfront and offers ample seating facing the water which many New Yorkers come to clear their minds. They have giant reclining chairs that are a great place to tan or otherwise just enjoy the view.

Domino Park is also a great place to bring kids to burn off energy if you’re in need of a break. Along with plenty of room to run around there is also a playground for kids to enjoy. With that said, during the summer you’ll find all the kiddos swarming around the two water features the park offers in a blissful frenzy. It’ll be hard finding a better thing to do in Williamsburg with kids!

Best Vintage Stores Awoke Vintage

Website: Awoke Vintage Address: 132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Awoke Vintage is gaining popularity, and rightfully so. Starting as a single store in Williamsburg, it has expanded to three thrift stores across New York City in just a decade. The shop has a delightful charm, and its inviting neon sign outside makes it impossible not to stop by—it’s one of the best things to do in Williamsburg.

Thrift shopping in NYC can be hit or miss, but Awoke Vintage has made it easier. Just follow them on Instagram, check out their stories, and message them if you see something you like. They’ll send you an invoice, and you have an hour to pay before the item goes back on the shelf. Plus, you can choose to have it shipped or pick it up in-store.

Here is a quick round-up of other great vintage stores in Williamsburg:

  • Brooklyn Woke Vintage | 158 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States
  • Chickee’s Vintage | 135 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States
  • L Train Vintage | 629 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States
  • Monk Vintage | 500 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States

Westlight Rooftop Bar

Enjoy Drinks at Westlight Rooftop Bar

Website: Westlight Address: 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

What better backdrop for a photo than the sweeping views of New York City? Westlight is one of the best rooftop bars in Brooklyn located on the 22nd floor of The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg.

The meticulously crafted drinks and delectable small bites are just a few reasons why a visit to Westlight is considered one of the best things to do in Williamsburg. With floor-to-ceiling glass panels, this Brooklyn rooftop bar provides a 360° view of the city.

This is my go-to rooftop bar in Brooklyn and one of my favorite things to do in Williamsburg when I have friends visiting from out of town. After every visit, I fall more in love with the NYC skyline.  I highly recommend ordering the fries here, I dream about them often!

Website: Peter Luger Address: 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Enjoying the unforgettable steaks at Peter Luger is a top-notch experience in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Dating back to 1887, this  cash-only establishment  takes great pride in focusing on perfectly cooked dry-aged steaks and keeps frills to a minimum (luckily for us).

We celebrated my husband’s birthday at this iconic NYC restaurant and landed in the porterhouse for two. The steak came out sizzling hot (generously buttered, of course), and within one bite we found ourselves speechless. The filet minion portion of the cut had a velvety smooth texture that is hard to put into words and get out of your head.

Local’s Tip:  If you’re visiting during the lunch hour make sure to order the burger (often considered one of the  best burgers in New York City ).

McNally Jackson Williamsburg NYC

Website: McNally Jackson Address: 76 N 4th St Unit G, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States

When looking for charming New York City bookshops ,  run , don’t walk, to McNally Jackson. This beloved bookstore was originally founded in 2004 by Sarah McNally.

The flagship store is located in the heart of SoHo and —  to nobody’s surprise  — spread like wildfire over the course of 15 years. There are currently three locations across NYC and one of them happens to be in Williamsburg. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, the bookshop is huge, clean, and modern. It’s easy to get lost among the shelves as you pick up titles that catch your eye, looking for gems.

The bookstore is warm and inviting for people of all backgrounds so it has become a neighborhood hub for bookworms. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Williamsburg with kids since they have a dedicated seating area and book selection.

Smorgasburg NYC

Eat Your Weight at Smorgasburg

Address: Marsha P. Johnson State Park, 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

One of the top things to do in Williamsburg for foodies is Smorgasburg, often dubbed “The Woodstock of Eating.” It’s a highly anticipated event in NYC during spring , gaining the title of the largest weekly outdoor food market in the U.S. With vendors from across the city gathering in one place, you can sample a wide array of cuisines.

The Williamsburg location, held at Marsha P. Johnson State Park every Saturday from April to October, is the original and most popular spot. With over 60 vendors, it’s a food lover’s paradise, attracting 20,000-30,000 visitors weekly.

Brooklyn Brewery

Enjoy a Pint at Brooklyn Brewery

Website: Brooklyn Brewery Address:   79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Brooklyn Brewery needs no introduction. This New York City microbrewery has made headlines for its perfectly balanced lagers that can be found in stores across the country, heck I even saw them in a grocery store in Paris.

Visiting has to be one of the best things to do in Williamsburg whether it’s for a casual hangout or date night. You’re greeted by cozy leather couches, wood-trimmed everything, and ample picnic tables. Come to think of it, it’s very reminiscent of those epic basement hangouts we all dreamed of in high school.

And as if it wasn’t already one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Brewery makes ordering a breeze. Every table is equipped with a QR code, simply scan and place your order. The food and drinks will be delivered when ready!

Locals tip:  Brooklyn Brewery offers brewery tours, if interested, you can read about the  small batch tours

Sunday in Brooklyn Brunch NYC

Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn

Website: Sunday in Brooklyn Address: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States

Sunday in Brooklyn is a neighborhood favorite, aiming to be a go-to spot for cocktails, dinner, and the best brunch in NYC . With an open and bright feel, including a summer rooftop garden and wood-burning ovens in winter, it’s a perfect hangout.

Their standout dishes include cheddar biscuits with sausage gravy and thick pancakes with hazelnut maple praline syrup. Whether lounging in the living room-like atmosphere or enjoying the seasonal delights, brunch on Sunday in Brooklyn is a top pick in Williamsburg.

McCarren Park Brooklyn

Relax at McCarren Park

Address: 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Right on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, McCarren Park is a hotbed for anyone hoping for a breath of fresh air. It’s impressive that the more than 100-year-old park has managed to remain a popular stomping ground for locals.

The park has plenty of fields and courts that enable you to partake in a variety of sports. The ability to play soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball all within the park makes visiting one of the best things to do in Williamsburg. As you’d expect, this is also one of the best things to do in Williamsburg with kids. With tiny NYC apartments, the park is a gem that provides energetic littles to burn off some steam.

The park even has a pool! Since it’s operated by the city you can enjoy one of the best things to do in Williamsburg for free, the pool will only cost you a brief wait in line! For opening dates check the NYC Park’s website .

Best things to do Brooklyn Misi

Try to Score Reservations at Misi

Website: Misi Address:   329 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Before I receive any hate mail, yes I am fully aware Misi is a new kid on the block in a town full of historic Italian restaurants. However, I’d be remiss not to mention it as one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, the food is damn good!

Misi makes all their pasta by hand and every bite is a testament to their skill.  I’ve tried the spinach and mascarpone-filled Tortelli, sheep’s milk ricotta-filled occhi, and buffalo butter fettuccine, and making me choose just one is akin to making me pick a favorite child.

And do yourself a favor, when visiting make sure to order the whipped ricotta toast, you’ll thank me later. Pair it all with a glass of wine and you’ll understand why enjoying a meal at Misi is easily one of the best things to do in Williamsburg!

Best coffee shops NYC

Go on the Hunt For the Best Coffee Shops

Sure, going from bar to bar is a good way to spend an evening, but what if you don’t drink or you’re bored on a random Tuesday at noon? To that I say, go cafe hopping! If you’re in the neighborhood and are searching for fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn, I challenge you to bop around coffee shops to find the best one.

Williamsburg is renowned for having some of the NYC’s best cafes . It’s easy to walk the busy streets and come across numerous coffee shops that overflow in the area. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a list of things to do in Williamsburg that doesn’t mention the elite coffee scene, so might as well see what all the fuss is about!

Quick round-up of the best coffee shops in Williamsburg:

  • Qahwah House
  • Partners Coffee
  • Hungry Ghost

Further reading: Need more options? Check out 10+ Bold Brooklyn Coffee Shops .

North 5th Street Pier and Park Williamsburg NYC

Stroll North 5th Street Pier

There are few places in New York City as relaxing as Williamsburg. Having so much access to parks along the water give the neighborhood irresistible easy-going vibes. As such, one of the most iconic things to do in Williamsburg is strolling the pier at sunset.

My favorite area is North 5th Street Pier because the skyline views are unparalleled. You can expect to see folks using the pathways for exercise, picnic blankets being splayed out and every bench filled.

Hatchets and Hops in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Website: Hatchets and Hops Address: 98 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States

Whether you’re just trying to impress a date or you need to let off some steam, one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is to throw some axes. And yes, it’s just as therapeutic as it sounds! At Hatchets & Hops, folks can enjoy one of the best bars in Williamsburg while literally chucking axes at targets.

I suppose in retrospect mixing booze and sharp weapons sounds a tad dangerous… but Hatchets & Hops does a great job at creating a safe and welcoming environment. The bar sticks to beer and cider and leaves the liquor for “throwing axes in the woods” — their words not mine.

Oh and not to mention there is a highly trained instructor hanging out with you the whole time. Between the instructor and the cages that surround the targets safety is paramount when you’re enjoying one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Website: The Bathhouse Address: 103 N 10th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States

I know I’m not the only one with enough knots in my back to warrant a badge from the Boy Scouts. Luckily one of the best things to do in Williamsburg is to stop at The Bathhouse to relax and unwind. The spa pulls all the stops to make you comfortable. Located inside a former warehouse, it has a cool and mysterious allure. There’s an array of pools and saunas to loosen up your tense muscles but you can take it a step further. 

The Bathhouse offers a slew of massages (that can be booked as a couples massage, too) to get you back to tip-top shape. And as if it’s not already one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, The Bathhouse even offers exfoliating scrubs.  

Quick Recap of the Best Things to Do in Williamsburg NYC

  • Hang out at the pier 
  • Grab beers at Brooklyn Brewery 
  • Enjoy drinks on a rooftop at Westlight
  • Go thrifting at Awoke Vintage
  • Go on the hunt for the best coffee shop
  • Show off your skills with axe throwing
  • Go for a stroll in Marsha P. Johnson State Park
  • Enjoy some of the best pasta in Brooklyn at Mini
  • Catch some sun at McCarren Park
  • Celebrate a special occasion at Peter Luger
  • Eat your weight in goods at Smorgasburg
  • Spend the day at the Bathhouse
  • Get lost in McNally Jackson’s
  • Grab brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn 
  • Spend the evening at Domino Park

Bakeries in Williamsburg:   15 Wonderful Bakeries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Local’s Love) Best Pizza in Williamsburg:   10 Spots to Grab The Best Pizza Williamsburg Has to Offer Where to Drink in Williamsburg:   22 Bustling Bars in Williamsburg Best Brunch in Williamsburg:  15 Brunch Spots in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Things to Do in Brooklyn:   25 Best Things to Do in Brooklyn (Perfect for First Time Visitors) Best Pizza in Brooklyn:   12 Best Brooklyn Pizza Spots That’ll Keep You Coming Back! Where to Find the Best Bagels in Brooklyn:   The 10 Best Bagels in Brooklyn (The Local Foodie) Breweries in Brooklyn:   10 Thirst-Quenching Brooklyn Breweries Guaranteed to Impress

And there you have it folks, my rundown of the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As always, don’t hesitate to let me know if we missed anything.

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About Antonina

Hi there! I'm Antonina. Like so many folks, living in New York City was always a dream of mine. Now it's my reality! I started New York Dearest as a means to share my passion for NYC with locals and visitors alike.

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The 10 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Astrid was the Senior Special Projects Editor at TripSavvy.

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Williamsburg , one of Brooklyn's most buzzing neighborhoods, straddles old and new. Yet some things in this hipster hood remain timeless. You can explore the lively arts, music, and boutique scene here, compose the next great American novel in numerous cafes, dine at some excellent restaurants, and soak up the youthful and creative energy.

The neighborhood's hip scene plays out against a backdrop of old industrial buildings, modest attached homes (though there are now many expensive waterfront high-rises), and a long-standing residential Jewish community. If there's one neighborhood that's indicative of the "new Brooklyn," it's Williamsburg: even if you've lived in Brooklyn for 1,000 years, Williamsburg can sometimes seem like foreign terrain. If you're planning on exploring this exciting neighborhood on your next trip to New York City, here's what to have on your list.

Go to the Cinema

Courtesy of Nitehawk Cinema

If you've been dying to see the latest indie film that everyone keeps talking about, you're likely to find it playing at Nitehawk Cinema . This dine-in movie theater is just a few blocks away from the main action on Bedford Avenue and a favorite haunt among the film-loving hipsters of Williamsburg. You can expect a mix of independent and blockbuster films in the regular mix of programming with an occasional cult classic slotted for the midnight showing. Arrive with an empty stomach and order from the eclectic menu of truffle-flavored popcorn and duck confit tacos, and wash it down with a drink.

Another great option for cinephiles is the unique Spectacle Theater . A former bodega that was converted into a one room only micro-cinema, Spectacle is where to go to find super unique, hard to find B-movies from around the world. The cinema is completely volunteer-run, with every screening priced at just five dollars.

Eat in a Williamsburg Restaurant

Williamsburg is one of Brooklyn's foodiest neighborhoods, popping with excellent eateries, from fine dining to a beloved taco truck with a line every warm night. Visitors enjoy a wide range of restaurant options—take your pick by cuisine, ambiance, price, or location. To start, consider the classic Peter Luger Steakhouse or Marlow & Sons for rustic, farm-to-table cuisine.

Drink Good Beer

Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

For a relaxed experience, visit the Brooklyn Brewery, a local institution that helped reinvent the beer industry in Brooklyn. The borough was once home to many major brewers, but Brooklyn Brewery ushered in a renaissance when it was founded in 1988. Now, Williamsburg is home to plenty of destinations for suds , including Skinny Dennis , a honky-tonk dive bar with 18 beers on draft, and Basik, an underrated bar filled with locals, and Radegast Hall & Biergarten, which is well-loved for its varied offerings of pretzels and sausages.

Visit a Cocktail or Wine Bar

Interested in a casual experience that costs less than dinner out, but feels fancier than just having a beer? Head to one of the interesting cocktail bars in the neighborhood and imbibe in a carefully-crafted cocktail at an atmospheric bar like Night of Joy or Fresh Kills . If wine's your thing, explore some of the neighborhood's small wine bars like The Four Horseman , a sleek, modern spot with an expansive wine list and one Michelin star, or the intimate Sauced , which features a backyard and feels like hanging out at an old friend's home.

Williamsburg's full of creative people who toil at their day jobs but revel in their "real" work as musicians or performers, writers, or artists. If you'd like to see the creative spirit of Williamsburg on full display, you'll have a lot of choices when it comes to the art form. Whether you prefer poetry readings and trivia at Pete's Candy Store , music performances at the Music Hall of Williamsburg , Brooklyn Steel , or National Sawdust , or theater at The Brick , there's always something interesting going on any given night.

Shop for Vintage Gear

 Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

If it's vintage clothing you're shopping for, Williamsburg has a lot to offer, and in different price ranges. For a "hunt-and-find" experience, head to Awoke Vintage (which also has two locations in neighboring Greenpoint), where inexpensive basics mingle with designer duds. But there's no shortage of other vintage shopping in the neighborhood , from the funky 10 Ft Single and Stella Dallas to Monk Vintage.

Hang Out at McCarren Park

Williamsburg, unlike some New York City neighborhoods, is home to plenty of green space. McCarren Park is centrally located between Nassau Avenue, Bayard, Manhattan Avenue, and North 12th Street. It has baseball fields and basketball courts, playgrounds, running tracks, and dog run areas. On Saturdays, try to get there between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the farmers market, which runs year-round.

Take a Cooking Class

Given the locavore, farm-to-table ethos in this corner of Brooklyn, it's no surprise that one can also find interesting cooking classes. Need to learn how to carve a hock of ham? What to do with knives? How to make a killer pie crust? Take a class at Hudson Table . You can learn how to make your own fresh pasta at home or receive an in-depth lesson on the art of pickling and canning your own condiments and toppings.

Walk or Bike Across the Williamsburg Bridge

It may not be as famous or as picturesque as the Brooklyn Bridge , but the Williamsburg Bridge played an important role in New York City history and was once the world's longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1903. There are both bike and pedestrian lanes and it makes a nice alternative trip to the often-crowded Brooklyn Bridge. Be careful exiting the bridge on the Manhattan side, where there's always traffic.

Brooklyn Bowl  is an unusual venue: it's half-bowling alley, half-concert venue, and the food is prepared by one of Brooklyn's leading names in restaurants, Blue Ribbon . Concerts are sometimes sold out, so buy tickets in advance, and don't forget to book a lane in advance if you don't want to wait. For regular bowling, head a few blocks north to The Gutter , another bowling alley with a bar that has vintage overtones.

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Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

18 Quirky & Fun Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn (From A Local)

By Jessie Festa. This guide to things to see in Williamsburg contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Willamsburg is a hip Brooklyn neighborhood known for its array of unique and top-notch offerings. From the restaurants to the shops and beyond, almost every business adds an innovative twist to their goods — while also delivering high quality.

In fact, when researching what to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn you’ll find some of NYC’s best rooftop bars, eateries, boutiques, and event spaces.

As a local New Yorker, it’s one of my favorite neighborhoods and where I spend much of my time — not to mention where I often take my NYC photo tour and NYC photo shoot guests. On top of all the fun things to do in Williamsburg, you’ll also find epic views that make for amazing pictures.

Now, with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help, check out the below list sharing how to spend a day in Williamsburg — or longer, because you’ll certainly never get bored here.

💡 Short on time? Some of my top picks for exploring Williamsburg, Brooklyn include: Hotels: 😎 The Arlo Williamsburg (hip & trendy) 😍 The William Vale Hotel (luxury property with amazing views) 🎨 Pod Hotel Brooklyn (funky & functional hotel on a budget) ➡️ Click here for a list of Williamsburg hotels ! Tours: 📸 NYC Photo Journeys Tours & Shoots (my company!) 🚴 A Day In Brooklyn Bike Tour 🥘 Williamsburg Brooklyn Food Tasting & Walking Tour 📍 Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg ➡️ Click here for a full list of tours in Williamsburg, Brooklyn !

Table of Contents

Best Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

On that note, let’s dive into our list of best places to visit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I’ve also plotted many of these spots on a Google Map — which you can grab in my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit . Add the map to your phone to have it ready to go!

1. Take a photo tour of Williamsburg with NYC Photo Journeys

a private photo shoot is one of the top things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Want to have fun in Williamsburg and have photos taken of you exploring the neighborhood?

Shameless plug: I own a photo experience company called NYC Photo Journeys that offers private NYC photo tours , professional NYC photo shoots , and private NYC influencer shoots — with Williamsburg being one of the most popular locations visited!

For the tours, you pick a route and get a tour led by a certified guide and photographer, leaving with professional photos from the day to keep.

With the photo shoots, we’ll go over exactly what you’re looking for to come up with a concept and locations that bring your vision to life.

Above you can see a photo from a custom photoshoot that visited Williamsburg. You can also see more examples here on Instagram .

2. Eat quirky ice cream flavors at OddFellows

oddfellow ice cream in williamsburg

Address: 40 River Street + 855 Lorimer Street

When looking up New York tourist information , you’ll likely read a lot about the local food — which shouldn’t be missed!

Like many Williamsburg establishments, OddFellows Ice Cream is focused on artisanal eats. Their small-batch homemade ice cream is crafted with hormone-free New York ingredients.

What makes this a quirky stop isn’t necessarily the sustainable process by which it’s made, but the flavors. While they do rotate what is on the menu, you can expect options like:

  • Tobacco Leaf-Smoked Chili Huckleberry
  • Chorizo Caramel Swirl
  • Beet Pistachio Honey Goat Cheese, and Grapefruit Jalapeno Sorbet
  • Strawberry Tomato Sorbet
  • Manchego Pineapple with Thyme
  • Sesame Kumquat Pumpernickel
  • Miso Butterscotch Cherry

Those adventurous enough to try these unusual flavors are often pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of the innovative combinations.

This is a great spot if you want to cool down during a hot NYC summer . Additionally, it’s very close to the waterfront, where you can head with your ice cream cone to take in incredible free views of NYC .

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn today, you’ll be happy to know they’re open daily.

3. Explore quirky NYC history at the City Reliquary

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Address: 370 Metropolitan Avenue

One of the many reasons NYC is so popular is its many cultural institutions. New York is full of prestigious museums housing important collections that showcase the city’s history.

While the City Reliquary certainly features meaningful pieces of Big Apple heritage, it’s not the types of things you’d find at the New York Historical Society or the Museum of the City of New York.

First, there are innovative rotating exhibits like “Keep Your Eye On The Donut” — which looks at highlights in NYC’s donut history — and “Over Spilt Milk,” a showcase of pivotal milk moments and artifacts and stories of farmer struggles.

In the permanent collection, view pieces like L-train paint fragments, a “very old shovel,” horse bones, a decaying birthday cake, geological core samples, Statue of Liberty memorabilia, vintage signs, a burlesque booth, and other oddities and bits of “junk” that tell the story of New York City.

Make sure to check their event calendar as there’s always something going on at this atypical establishment.

Their space is truly one of the best things to do in Brooklyn and one of the most unique things to do see in NYC ! It’s also a top attraction if you’re going to New York alone and want to enjoy an interesting place on your own without feeling awkward, or if you’re looking for non-touristy things to do in NYC .

4. See experimental theater at The Brick

things to do in williamsburg

Address: 579 Metropolitan Avenue

The Brick is not your usual theater. In fact, if you’re looking for unique things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this should definitely be on your list.

Featuring experimental shows, fringe-style performance, and nerd humor, it’s home to the annual Clown Festival and Comic Book Theater Festival.

Check their schedule to see what quirky events are on the calendar for when you’re looking fun unusual Williamsburg things to do, as there’s sure to be something you’ve never experienced.

5. See the street art in Williamsburg

Williamsburg’s funky streets are home to plenty of murals and street art.

Some of the most popular street art locations in the neighborhood include:

  • The enormous black and white photo mural on Broadway Avenue at the corner of Bedford Avenue
  • The vibrant love wall at 175 Marcy Avenue
  • The colorful, geometric mural of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat at Bedford Avenue and 9th Street
  • The donut and heart wall at 265-273 Bedford Avenue

Just one neighborhood over in artsy Bushwick , you can discover even more street art and graffiti as part of the local Bushwick Collective. It’s one of the most Instagrammable places in New York City , and is also a top spot for street photographers.

6. Play, eat, dance & drink at Brooklyn Bowl

Address: 61 Wythe Avenue

The Brooklyn Bowl , one of the top Williamsburg attractions , is where locals head when they want to see live up-and-coming musical talent for cheap; however, one can also experience the joy that is buzzed bowling.

Drink Brooklyn-sourced beers and international wines and spirits while enjoying 16 lanes, concerts projected on big screens over the pins, a DJ on Saturday nights, and a social atmosphere.

Bonus: visiting Brooklyn Bowl is one of the best things to do in NYC after midnight !

7. Hone your butcher skills at The Meat Hook

things to do in williamsburg

Address: 100 Frost Street

At The Meat Hook they don’t just sell sustainable farm-raised meats, they teach you how to cut them through a variety of butcher and cooking courses held in conjunction with the Brooklyn Kitchen.

Some butcher classes offered include Knife Skills, Whole Fish Butchering, Pig Butchering, and Knife Sharpening.

If you’re more interested in the cooking side of things, some options include Thai Street Food, Advanced Cake Decorating, A Taste of Spain, Homemade Pizza with Roberta’s, Empanada, and Handpie Making and the Art of Braising.

This experience is a must when looking for quirky things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn!

8. Catch a movie at Nitehawk Cinema

Address: 136 Metropolitan Avenue

A fun winter date night in NYC or rainy day activity in Williamsburg is catching a movie at Nitehawk Cinema; however, this independent dine-in movie theater is not your average moviegoing experience.

With a tasty menu to choose from, you can order food and drinks directly to your reclining seat. Don’t miss their delicious cocktails!

Being an independent movie theater, Nitehawk Cinema also has some more offbeat offerings in addition to showing the latest blockbuster movies. They also have regular screenings of classic, foreign, arthouse, and cult films.

Regardless of the weather or season, catching a movie at Nitehawk Cinema is one of the best places to go in Williamsburg for entertainment!

9. Shop artisan wares at Artists & Fleas

things to do in williamsburg

Address: 70 N. 7th Street

This weekend artist, designer, and vintage market sells eclectic goods and period clothing, with an endless supply of one-of-a-kind pieces, gawk-worthy fashions, and unusual products.

At Artists & Fleas , you can purchase everything from whimsical women’s clothing to gold-gilded leaf necklaces to posters printed on recycled NYC cycling maps and much, much more.

Even if you’re not interested in shopping, it’s worth stopping in for an atypical browse and to enjoy a coffee and the live DJ.

Pro tip: This market is a top pick if you’re looking for a great New York City souvenir or gift that supports locals!

10. Bike the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway

If you’re looking for active outdoor activities in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then spend the afternoon biking along the scenic Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It’s one of the best things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn!

This designated bike lane runs for over 18 miles around Brooklyn, showcasing beautiful views of the waterfront. One of the prettiest stretches runs right through Williamsburg.

You can use CitiBike, an affordable bike rental service in New York, for your journey. Pick up a bike at the Kent Avenue and N. 7th Street bike station, and ride south along Kent Avenue, where you can take in some of the best views of the water and the Manhattan skyline to your right.

Continue riding until you reach the DUMBO neighborhood, where you can cross the Brooklyn Bridge (either on foot or by bike!)

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is great for cyclists of all skill levels, even if you aren’t comfortable with biking on city streets, because it’s a protected bike lane.

11. Get crafty at The Painting Lounge

things to do in williamsburg

Address: 438 Union Avenue

The Painting Lounge is a BYOB paint spot where you can get tipsy while learning to paint a masterpiece.

You’ll first trace a drawn-for-you outline of the picture through carbon paper, so it’s pretty foolproof (and even if you’ve had too much merlot you’ll still head home with something worthy of your living room wall).

Tip: Afterward, head next door to Barcade for craft beer and retro video games, one of the top nostalgic Williamsburg Brooklyn activities.

12. Enjoy a picnic with a view

Some of the best picnic spots in NYC can be found in Williamsburg. On a nice day, there’s no better way to spend the afternoon than packing a picnic lunch and a blanket, and soaking up the sun in one of Williamsburg’s green spaces.

Here are some of the top picnic spots in Williamsburg:

  • Domino Park on the Williamsburg waterfront offers great views of the Manhattan skyline and the Manhattan Bridge . However, it is on the small side.
  • McCarren Park is a larger green space in Williamsburg with picnic tables, barbecue grills, and plenty of grassy areas where you can spread out an enjoy a picnic.
  • Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a park in Williamsburg along the East River. It offers great waterfront views and views across to Manhattan.

13. Test your spice threshold at HEATONIST

Address: 121 Wythe Avenue

One of the unique Williamsburg activities is to test your spice levels!

You may have heard of a wine sommelier, or even a beer sommelier (a cicerone), but did you know there is such a thing as a hot sauce sommelier?

At least there is at HEATONIST , where staff can help you choose the perfect hot sauce for your dish.

Inside the shop — which features 100+ varieties of small-batch hot sauces — you can also do a free guided tasting.

Just make sure to bring your own water, as they don’t sell it and things can quickly get spicy!

14. Shop with purpose at Bulletin

Bulletin in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Address: 145 Wythe Ave

Looking for a gift shop that holds nothing back and isn’t afraid to shout their feminist beliefs from the mountain tops?

Enter Bulletin .

This store sells goods for women, by women.

Everything is unique, and if you’re a woman you’ll likely find more than a few items that speak to you, whether it’s the “Equality” tees, the “Think Outside My Box” totes, the “Boss Babe” rings or something else.

Bonus: You’ve got to love those gorgeous all-pink walls.

15. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Martha’s Country Bakery

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Along with locally beloved homemade treats, like one of the best slices of cheesecake in New York, Martha’s Country Bakery features an expansive beverage menu and is one of the most Instagrammable cafes in NYC .

Here you can order traditional lattes and teas, as well as more unusual drinks, such as Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate — served frozen or hot — and a Cappuccino Milkshake. It’s really one of the best places in Williamsburg for those with a sweet tooth!

Want a cup of quirky coffee?

Upstate Stock features a number of innovative lattes, like a Campfire Latte laced with smoked maple syrup.

After sipping, peruse their adorable shop of New York-made goods.

16. Eat your way through Smorgasburg

Address: 90 Kent Avenue

Foodies will not want to miss Smorgasburg , an outdoor food market held every weekend from April through October in Williamsburg’s Marsha P. Johnson State Park.

The food market features all NYC food vendors with unique and inventive global-inspired cuisine. Come hungry because there are dozens of delicious options to try!

There’s plenty of seating in the park overlooking the river and the Manhattan skyline, or you can bring a picnic blanket and sit on the grass.

Speaking of food, Williamsburg has a number of food tours in Brooklyn that focus on this area if you’re still hungry!

17. Let the good times roll at Freehold

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Visiting Freehold  is one of the more fun things to do in Williamsburg NY. Here you’ll find a hotel without hotel rooms.

You read that right. This enormous venue features numerous spaces, from beautiful daytime workspaces similar to what you’d find at a boutique hotel to a separate cafe room to back lawn.

Notice the travel-themed accents, like a front desk check-in area and humorous sign sharing the Lobby Rules, like “Ping Pong Olympians must play with off hand”.

A few fun and quirky onsite experiences include:

  • Lobby comedy shows each month — one of my favorite free things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • Sipping cocktails from their large eight-person punch bowls, like the “Waterbury Royale” made with vodka, fresh watermelon, lime, and sparkling wine
  • Playing backyard ping pong or searching the interiors for the hidden game room with skee-ball and Big Buck Hunter
  • Strike a pose in the photo booth
  • Move through the multiple spaces to feel like you’re constantly switching venues

Freehold is also a top spot for boozy brunch in NYC and is one of the best Williamsburg Brooklyn bars !

18. Take in a 360-degree view at one of the best bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

view of manhattan from williamsburg

Love rooftop bars? Westlight is a rooftop cocktail bar in Williamsburg on top of the luxe William Vale Hotel offering one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline you can find.

Whether you’re visiting NYC in the winter or the warmer months, you can enjoy the rooftop as there is a large enclosed dining room with retractable, translucent walls.

Additionally, there is an outdoor terrace that wraps almost completely around the building for nearly 360-degree views!

Fun Things To Do In Williamsburg Brooklyn [Video]

Enjoy this guide on what to do in Williamsburg for a quirky day? Then check out my video below!

It features a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan followed by more cool things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

You’ll discover some of my favorite spots along and around Bedford Avenue, Kent Avenue, and Driggs Avenue, from rooftop bars to thrift stores and beyond.

I made the video a few years after writing this post, so think of it as bonus suggestions to the guide below.

Best Tours In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Now that we’ve covered what to do and where to go in Williamsburg, let’s dive into the best tours!

While I lead private photo tours through my company, NYC Photo Journeys , there are also a number of fun public tours in Williamsburg offered by other companies. These include some of the best walking tours in Brooklyn , like:

  • 🥘 Brooklyn Food Tour: The Flavors of Williamsburg
  • 🚲 A Day In Brooklyn Bike Tour
  • 😍 Best Of Brooklyn Half-Day Food & Culture, Bus & Walking Tour
  • 🏙️ NYC Private Tour with a Local, Highlights & Hidden Gems, 100% Personalized

➡️ Click here for a full list of tours in Williamsburg, Brooklyn .

Best Places To Stay In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Looking for accommodation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

➡️ Click here for a list of Williamsburg hotels ! Some of my personal favorite trendy Williamsburg hotels include The Arlo Williamsburg and The William Vale Hotel .

Prefer self-contained stays? 

➡️ Click here to check out unique local rentals! You can also use this map to search for local stays:

And if you’re interested in living in a hotel in NYC , there are numerous extended stay hotel options too!

Travel Insurance For New York City

While you hope everything runs smoothly, sometimes travel just doesn’t go according to plan.

This is why I recommend always purchasing travel insurance. The scary truth is it only takes one bad accident to lose everything — or be thankful you were covered.

Personally, I use SafetyWing, as they’ve got a large network, offer both short-term and long-term coverage (including limited coverage in your home country), are budget-friendly, and offer $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

Frequently Asked Questions About What To Do In Williamsburg NYC

Q) what are the best things to do in williamsburg.

Some of the best things to do in Williamsburg are to see the street art, book a food tour, bike the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, and visit the City Reliquary.

Q) Is Williamsburg NY worth visiting?

Yes, Williamsburg is worth visiting. There are many cool things to do and see, including eating at some of the most delicious and Instagrammable restaurants in NYC . You can also enjoy epic views of the Manhattan skyline for free from Williamsburg’s waterfront area.

What are your favorite fun things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

If you’d love to spend your day exploring with a local while also leaving with professional photos to keep, check out my private NYC photo tours , influencer shoots , and custom photoshoots . For a quick snapshot of what to expect, you can also visit @nycphototour on Instagram . You can also email [email protected] with inquiries.

Enjoyed this post on the top things to do in Williamsburg? Pin this guide on what to see in Williamsburg NYC for later!

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About dale p..

Dale is a native New Yorker and an NYC-based travel writer and blogger. She loves sharing insider tips about New York City travel and other destinations with others.

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Ohhh..I LOVE this kind of lists! I have an ever-growing bucket list that has now reached over 600 items, and you’ve just added 12 more.

By the way, I saw your NYC photo tour. I’ve never been to the US, and judging from the current situation it might be a while before I travel anywhere, but I’ll bookmark that for my future trip. Have a good day!

My name is robin williams, I am a travel blogger, I love to travel Mostlly in USA. This is the very nice post about quirky & fun thing to do in williamsburg, brooklyn. Thank you for sharing this post.

Great article, thanks for sharing with us! It was really well written and simplified, even little kids can understand the language written here, thanks alot!!!

This list blows.

Nice article and content fantastic.

Wow!! this content is so fantastic also images are looks awesome too..

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12 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn + MAP

Home | Travel | North America | United States | New York | NYC | 12 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn + MAP

There are lots of cool things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , so if you’ve never been to this Brooklyn neighborhood , it’s worth checking out.

Known for its large communities of immigrants and artists, Williamsburg has a multi-ethnic atmosphere full of art, fashion, and music. Its diversity also applies to the food scene, as you can find everything from artisan products and gourmet meals to kosher delicacies.

The nightlife in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is also vibrant and exciting, so if you’re visiting as a couple or with friends, be sure to grab drinks or catch a movie here. It’s one of the best things to do in Brooklyn .

Of course, this neighborhood is great for all ages, and you’ll find everything from shops and museums to green spaces and recreational activities. Plus, Williamsburg’s western edge is bordered by the East River, so you can get beautiful views of Lower Manhattan.

To help you plan your trip, I’m sharing the 12 best activities in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , as well as the top restaurants and where to stay.

1. Visit Domino Park, the best thing to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

One of the best places in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that you can’t miss is Domino Park . It’s one of the best parks in NYC , and it’s right along the East River, so you can get beautiful waterfront views and a nice breeze.

Domino Park, activities in williamsburg brooklyn

The park got its name from the Domino Sugar Refinery that once stood here, and a few tanks are still there. Another popular part of the park is the central area, which has a performance space and a fountain. It’s a relaxing hangout spot where you can people-watch and catch views of the Williamsburg Bridge.

In addition, Domino Park is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities in Williamsburg, Brooklyn . Along with a playground and dog run, there are volleyball and bocce courts that are open to the public. Also, keep an eye out for the Tacocina food truck that shows up seasonally.

2. Williamsburg Bridge, a must-see in Williamsburg

The Williamsburg Bridge is one of the major bridges in New York City , connecting Manhattan’s Lower East Side, one of the top neighborhoods in NYC to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. You can’t come here without seeing this spectacular suspension bridge, and I recommend biking or walking across it, although you can also drive or take the train.

Williamsburg Bridge, what to do in williamsburg brooklyn

The bridge opened in 1903, sitting 135 feet above the water and spanning 1,600 feet across the East River. A peculiarity are the signs at the end of the bridge, which reference the area’s Yiddish-speaking population. One says, “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” while the other says, “Leaving Brooklyn, Fuhgeddaboudit!”

Also, on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, you’ll find landmarks like Domino Park and the Continental Army Plaza , known for its statue of George Washington. Peter Luger Steak House, one of the best restaurants in NYC , is also nearby.

3. Grab drinks at the Brooklyn Brewery, a fun thing to do in Williamsburg with friends

This neighborhood is known for its hip culture and buzzing nightlife, and the Brooklyn Brewery gives you the best of both worlds. Located at 11 th Street and Wythe Avenue, it’s Williamsburg’s hottest microbrewery and one of the best places in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to hang out with friends.

The bar was established by a James Beard Award-winning brewmaster and has become well-known for its seasonal ales and limited-edition beers. Depending on when you visit, you can order a pumpkin ale or the Brooklyn black chocolate stout. There are also tried and true classics like Brooklyn Lager.

Brooklyn Brewery, best bars in williamsburg brooklyn

The Brooklyn Brewery also has its own premium brews like the tropical Pulp Art Hazy IPA and The Stonewall Inn IPA, which was created in partnership with local LGBTQ+ organizations. The dedicated bartenders and lively patrons are all super friendly and welcoming, so it’s an awesome atmosphere.

In addition to beer, the brewery serves sodas, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks, and also hosts events like movie screenings, parties, live music, and comedy shows. You can even do a tasting tour to learn about brewing science, beer history, and the brewing process. The tours are offered for free on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Of course, even if you just pop in for a quick beer, this is one of the best bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , so I highly recommend it.

4. Admire Williamsburg’s unique murals and street art

Another fun thing to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is to check out all the cool street art . There are murals throughout the neighborhood, although there are few that you must see.

First, the Fight for Street Art mural is one of the most famous pieces of public art in Brooklyn. It’s located at North 9 th Street and Bedford Avenue and was created by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. While it’s a vibrant, colorful mural, it’s actually a reference to the 1985 black-and-white photo of artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Mural art in Williamsburg, best places in williamsburg brooklyn

Kobra has another piece in Williamsburg, specifically at Fabiane’s restaurant on Bedford Avenue. It’s known as the Elvis Presley War is Hell mural and depicts Elvis clad in military gear and a helmet that says, “War is Hell.”

Another must-see in Williamsburg is the Mona Lisa of Williamsburg at the corner of Broadway and Bedford Avenue. This iconic mural was a collaboration between Colossal Media and high schooler Steven Paul, who won a photography contest. His award-winning photo was transformed into a four-story mural through a partnership with The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

I also suggest the colorful artwork on the National Sawdust building at North 6 th Street and Wythe Avenue, as well as The Chronicles of New York City in Domino Park. If you’re super interested in graffiti and street art, this walking tour is the perfect way to see more creations and learn about the history and culture of Brooklyn’s murals.

5. Stroll through the Jewish Quarter, something you must do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

As I mentioned, Williamsburg is a multicultural neighborhood, and it’s best known for its Hasidic Jewish community . Thousands of Hasidic Jews live here, and it’s actually the headquarters for the Satmar Hasidic faction.

Jewish Quarter, guide to williamsburg brooklyn

They started coming here shortly before World War II, led by several Hasidic leaders. Then, in the 1990s, the Hasidic Jewish population grew again, and now this area is known as Williamsburg’s Jewish Quarter . It’s specifically in South Williamsburg, around Lee Avenue, so if you come here, you’ll notice signs in Yiddish, kosher bakeries, synagogues, and men dressed in traditional black clothing, fedoras, and yarmulkes.

Without a doubt, visiting the Jewish Quarter is one of the most unique things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , so if you want to learn more, consider taking this bus tour . It’s a contrasts tour that’ll take you across the different cultures of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, and it’s one of the top tours in NYC .

6. Marsha P. Johnson State Park, one of the best places in Williamsburg

The Marsha P. Johnson State Park is the best place to go in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for some fresh air. Formerly known as East River State Park, it was renamed in honor of Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ rights movement in NYC.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park, unique things to do in williamsburg brooklyn

The park spans 11 acres along the East River, offering views of Midtown Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge. It has plenty of large grassy areas for you to lounge, sunbathe, or have a picnic. There are also tables and benches scattered throughout the park, as well as a playground and dog run, so it’s not uncommon to see lots of kids, adults, and puppies mingling here.

So, if you want to enjoy some outdoor activities in Williamsburg , this is a great place to go. It’s right on Kent Avenue, close to many restaurants and some of the best hotels in Brooklyn .

7. Bedford Avenue, the best place for shopping in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Another thing that Williamsburg is great for is shopping, so if you want to pick up some souvenirs during your trip, you’ll find plenty of stores and retailers here.

Bedford Avenue, brooklyn williamsburg shopping

The main shopping street in Williamsburg is Bedford Avenue , which stretches for 10 miles through the neighborhood, from Flushing Avenue to Division Avenue. Some of the best shops on Bedford include Spoonbill & Sugartown Books , Catbird jewelers, and the vintage boutique Think Closet . Awoke Vintage is another awesome vintage shop in Williamsburg, New York with lots of items from the 1970s and 80s.

Another interesting street to check out is Berry Street , which runs from Division Avenue to McCarren Park. Lots of cool Williamsburg attractions can be found here, including Nitehawk Cinema. I also recommend walking along Wythe Avenue, another important street. It runs parallel to Berry Street and has a large cluster of bars, restaurants, and shops.

8. Go thrifting at Brooklyn Flea and Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg

While I mentioned the vintage shops on Bedford Avenue, I must recommend two markets in particular: Brooklyn Flea and Artists & Fleas, the best flea markets in NYC . Going thrifting is one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn since you can find one-of-a-kind and handmade products here.

Brooklyn Flea, attractions in williamsburg brooklyn

First, the Brooklyn Flea is a huge flea market at 6 th Street and Kent Avenue. It’s known for its wide array of treasures, from vintage clothing and accessories to antiques, collectibles, and furniture. You can also shop for handicrafts from local designers and artisan food items. The Brooklyn Flea is open every weekend from April to December.

Right next door, you’ll find Artists & Fleas , another popular weekend market. It’s in an old warehouse with over 50 vendors selling artwork, clothing, and other vintage pieces. In addition to the unique items, you can also buy from local brands, so it’s a great indoor activity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , especially for shopaholics.

9. Check out McCarren Park, an outdoor activity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

McCarren Park is another green space to check out in Williamsburg, Brooklyn . It’s on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint and has all kinds of facilities and services to make for a fun day out.

McCarren Park, things to do in williamsburg brooklyn

On any given day, you’ll see dog walkers, joggers, children, and groups of friends hanging out here. The park covers 36 acres and is one of the best places in Williamsburg to attend free events or get some exercise. If you visit during the summer, you can pick up fresh produce and other items at the farmer’s market.

The McCarren Play Center is a recreational center here with a weight room, an outdoor swimming pool, and other facilities. The rest of the park includes barbecue areas, a playground, and sports fields for handball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and tennis.

10. Watch a movie at Nitehawk Cinema, a couples’ thing to do in Williamsburg

If you’re staying here after dark and you’re looking for things to do in Williamsburg, NY at night , consider a movie at Nitehawk Cinema . This independent movie theater shows a variety of first-run, art house, and cult-classic films, although it sometimes shows mainstream movies, too.

Nitehawk Cinema, williamsburg brooklyn restaurants

It’s also a dine-in theater, so you can get cocktails and small plates delivered to your seat while you watch the film. The cinema is one of the top landmarks in the neighborhood, and a great example of Williamsburg’s artistic culture.

If you want to experience the nightlife in Williamsburg, Brooklyn , or you’re looking for something to do for date night, you can’t go wrong with a movie. Nitehawk Cinema shows special screenings like “Anime After Dark” and adults-only films, although it does have kid-friendly matinee shows, too. You can visit the theater’s website to see current screenings and showtimes.

11. City Reliquary, one of the most fun attractions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

If the weather is bad or you want to dive into more New York City history, head to the City Reliquary . As one of the best museums in Brooklyn , you can expect all kinds of interesting knick-knacks, artifacts, and memorabilia.

This small, non-profit museum chronicles Brooklyn’s past and includes relics from the other NYC boroughs. The walls are adorned with all kinds of items, such as old objects from New York’s most famous hotels and landmarks, like a brick fragment from the Flatiron Building.

City Reliquary, museums in williamsburg brooklyn

You’ll also find geological items, Statue of Liberty collectibles, old Dodgers portraits, and original objects from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The City Reliquary also has a rotating roster of community collections, and it occasionally hosts workshops, artist’s lectures, and film screenings.

So, if you want a closer look at the area’s history, this museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a must-see. It’s open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

12. Bike along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, something to do in Williamsburg as a family

Finally, if you’re short on time but still want to do some sightseeing in Williamsburg , rent a bike and cycle along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway . It’s a wonderful outdoor activity to do in NYC , especially as a family.

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway stretches 26 miles and connects to various parks and greenspaces across the borough, from Greenpoint through Williamsburg, all the way to Bay Ridge. Specifically in Williamsburg, it travels along Kent Avenue, under the Williamsburg Bridge, and runs parallel to the East River and Domino Park. Then, it continues past Bushwick Inlet Park towards Greenpoint.

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, downtown williamsburg brooklyn

Given the scenic views and length of the path, it’s not unusual to see lots of cyclists, runners, and pedestrians along the Greenway. Parts of it are still under construction or only in the planning phase, but the section through Williamsburg is complete.

Best of all, this activity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is accessible to locals and tourists. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent a Citi Bike at one of the kiosks in the neighborhood, such as the ones at 4 th Street and Wythe Avenue, or Metropolitan Avenue and Wythe Avenue.

Where to stay in Williamsburg

If you decide that you want to extend your visit to Williamsburg, Brooklyn with an overnight stay, I recommend staying in one of these accommodations:

  • The Williamsburg Hotel – This is one of the best Brooklyn hotels with luxurious rooms and a convenient location between McCarren Park and Bushwick Inlet Park.
  • Pod Brooklyn – Located near the Williamsburg Bridge, this is one of the best cheap hotels in Brooklyn where you can enjoy lovely facilities without breaking the bank.
  • The William Vale – This hotel has one of the best rooftop bars in NYC , not to mention glamorous facilities and excellent service. It’s also one of the few hotels in NYC with a pool .

Where to eat in Williamsburg

This neighborhood is known for its melting pot of cultures and art forms, and that includes food. Below are my top recommendations for where to eat in Williamsburg, Brooklyn .

First, Peter Luger Steak House is one of the best restaurants in New York City right by the Williamsburg Bridge. This Michelin-star restaurant serves USDA Prime meats that are dry-aged for the best flavor. In addition to delicious ribeye, strip steak, and sirloin, it serves hearty sides like mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

Peter Luger Steak House, williamsburg brooklyn restaurants

For something quick and easy, head to Joe’s Pizza on Bedford Avenue. They serve amazing NY-style pizza, one of the best foods in NYC that you must try while you’re in the Big Apple. Also on Bedford Avenue is Martha’s Country Bakery , which has a variety of cakes and pies, as well as danishes, strudels, tarts, cookies, and New York egg creams.

Another restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn you should check out is Radegast Hall & Biergarten . This lively beer hall has live music and is open for brunch and dinner. It’s the best place to get grilled meats like bratwurst and kielbasa, as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads. You can also come here for beer or wine and appetizers like latkes.

Finally, the Williamsburg Smorgasburg at Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a food market with over 75 artisan and gourmet food vendors. It’s open every Saturday from April to October.

Map of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

That’s it from me! Don’t forget to check out my map with all the hotels, restaurants, and attractions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that I recommended.

If you have any questions or you’d like to suggest your favorite thing to do in Williamsburg , leave me a comment below. I’d be happy to hear from you! Have a fantastic trip!

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Our Guide to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

By Alex Erdekian

Catbird Brooklyn

In many ways Williamsburg Brooklyn is the avocado toast of New York City (it may also be responsible for avocado toast in New York City). It's trendy, it's young, and yet it still prompts the thought, “Why didn't I think of that?” whenever you get a taste. In this Brooklyn neighborhood, you'll find vintage and artisan shops, an intimate indie music scene, and of course, very good brunch . Hip, but a slower-paced than many parts of Manhattan, it produces a mood change as you emerge from the L train to wide open sky, unobstructed by towers. The bustle of the city melts away, but the freshness and creativity stays. And you return again and again because sometimes in life, you just want avocado toast. This is our guide to Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Catbird Brooklyn

Catbird Arrow

Bedford Avenue might have morphed into a bit of a tourist trap in the past few years, but there is still a smattering of stores to take note of along the neighborhood's main artery. Catbird is one of them, a shoebox-sized space that has been selling delicate, responsibly made jewelry to locals for the past 16 years. Consider it jewelry for the everyday: thin, gold stacking rings, vintage-inspired engraved lockets, and pearl adorned hoop earrings are among the bestsellers, as is the barely there 'Sweet Nothing' bracelet, which the store even offers to weld permanently around your wrist on site. There's plenty of trinkets to take home with you, too—John Derian plates and Astier de Villate candle holders included—and for those one the hunt for an engagement ring, Catbird's Wedding Annex is just a short walk away on Metropolitan Avenue. — Lale Arikoglu

McCarren Park Brooklyn

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McCarren Park is the pulse of North Brooklyn, as loved in Greenpoint as it is in Williamsburg, and touches both neighborhoods. It has a track, a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, and other sports facilities. The people watching is superb, attracting all walks of life. In a single stroll through, you might spot a gargantuan shaggy sheepdog strutting, a family of six rollerblading with the mom blasting EDM out of her phone, and an extremely active block party that you're tempted to crash. There's always something going on, be it the Saturday farmers market, the Renegade Craft Fair full of hand-crafted and DIY goods of all kinds, or an outdoor concert. — Alex Erdekian

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Inside the quirky "Williamsburg Mall" (essentially just a former industry building now split up into a bunch of shops), Spoonbill became my go-to for its continuous rotation of thoughtful new releases, unique cards and journals, and ever-updated sales racks. The small space has been around since 1999 and is impressively filled—it manages to be jam-packed without being overwhelming; you'll be impressed by the breadth of what they carry (don't miss the chance to moon over the rare titles) but still able to find what you're after. And if you're anything like me, you won't make it out the door without a few extras, too, whether a Premium Sketchbook or a coffee table homage to Paul Thomas Anderson. — Corina Quinn  

Partners Coffee Brooklyn

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Partner’s flagship roastery, previously known as Toby’s Estate for those who may not keep up with some of the business dealings of the third wave coffee movement, is not really a coffee shop. It is a 360-degree coffee experience. The space is a modern café on steroids ( a common sight in this city ): a full wall of windows streams in light on the Scandi decor, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves hold information on coffee, where it grows, and all manner of brewing equipment. In non-pandemic times, baristas at a classroom in the back will teach you how to do everything from pull a shot with the right amount of crema to compose latte art in your kitchen. During COVID they have reconfigured the indoor seating area into a market with items like dry goods, condiments, and juices from a number of local purveyors. Then, of course, there’s the coffee: Exquisite single origins and blends, brewed up however you like. — Noah Kaufman

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You have probably heard about the otherworldly mafaldini. You have probably also heard about the impossibility of getting a reservation. Both reputations are well-earned. Missy Robbins’ Lilia has been one of the hardest tables to get in the city since it opened in 2015 and for good reason. The pastas—all of them—are works of carby art, but the little dishes that round the meal like cacio e pepe frittelle and grilled clams complete the experience. Reservations remain hard to come by, even outdoors, even in the winter, but you can still swing by Lilia Caffe, connected to the main restaurants, for olive oil cake and vespers to give you taste while you refresh your Resy calendar. — Noah Kaufman

BATHHOUSE Brooklyn

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Sure, FiDi has beloved, storied Russian bathhouses, where entry is a bargain. But Bathhouse with a capital B is Williamsburg's answer to the day spa experience. Opened in 2019, this sleek space mixes elements of its repurposed factory setting—brick walls and old chimneys remain—with modern amenities, like a steam room that has the night sky projected onto the ceiling, and three heated hammams. After days of walking around the city, a 60-minute massage or professional stretch session will feel better than ever. — Megan Spurrell

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The Williamsburg outpost of London's Rough Trade record store is a haven for music nerds, chock full of vinyl, spanning mainstream and independent artists. Set inside one of the neighborhood's ubiquitous former warehouse spaces, it's easy to wile away an hour or two here: stacks of hip hop, soul, and 60s pop records sit side by side with extensive electronic and country collections, while the staff-curated section could be spliced straight out of a  High Fidelity scene (the store did, in fact, transform itself into the fictional record store for an event pre-COVID last year). There are also books to browse—everything from the illustrated history of jazz to a deep dive into French new wave—and in non-pandemic times, an intimate venue space that hosts nightly shows. — Lale Arikoglu

Full lunch spread at Williamsburg's The Four Horsemen

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Most mentions of the natural wine-focused restaurant a few blocks from the Metropolitan stop on the G train include the fact that one of the co-owners is James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, but this is no case of a bored celebrity casting about for credibility in some different area. The wine list here is unlike almost any other you’ll see at a restaurant in the city, with bottles, regions, and styles you’ve never heard of before. The brilliant staff can take your preferences and guide you toward a glass or bottle of what you want. Best of all, amidst the shutdown of dining in New York, Four Horsemen spun up Next Door Space where much of their wine is available for delivery at reasonable prices. — Noah Kaufman

Kings Co. Imperial Brooklyn

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A fresh take on Chinese-American food can be found below the BQE at Kings County Imperial, whose menu reps a range of regions. This is the kind of place where lotus roots for salad are grown out back and soy sauce is “on tap.” Dan dan noodles, crispy garlic chicken, and a unique dish of theirs—mock eel made of fried shiitake mushrooms—are some dishes that must be ordered. It's no substitute (nor does it try to be) for the city's authentic Chinese , but it is innovative and defies categorization. Atmosphere is hard to come by these days, but Kings County Imperial is blessed with a candlelit garden patio that has it to spare. It’s perfect for a date or a small group. — Alex Erdekian

Radegast Hall  Biergarten Brooklyn

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I marvel how Radegast remains the great unifier in a city famous for making it hard to meet new people. Step inside this fun, light, and typically buzzing beer hall and you're just begging to make friends with the table next to you. In the restaurant section you can order from a full German menu, but if you sit in the beer hall section, you can run to the grill at the back and order wursts, kraut, and fries at your leisure (no one will judge multiple trips). Though it's a beer hall with a large list to support it, Radegast specializes in having something for everyone, and it employs some of the area's best bartenders, too. The cocktails deliver if that's more your thing; the wines by the glass are delicious. On weekends, look out for live music from local acts, and the large TVs screening major sporting events throughout the year (this is the hub come the World Cup). Came for 'just one' and accidentally stayed five hours? That's the power of Radegast. —Corina Quinn

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Win Son Arrow

On a buzzy little corner in East Williamsburg, you'll find the plant-filled windows of Win Son (and, come summer, an outdoor scene on the sidewalk). Behind them, young Brooklynites dig into the restaurant's Taiwanese-American dishes—everything from crispy scallion pancakes to the heartier lu rou fan, which features pork belly and a soft-boiled egg over rice—washing everything down with cold Taiwanese beers, and cocktails mixed with jasmine-infused bourbon (among other things). You'll likely have to wait, but never fear: The restaurant opened a new bakery catty corner to it, which serves sweet and savory pastries with coffee that you'll want to have time for.  — Megan Spurrell

Bamonte's Brooklyn

Bamonte's Arrow

This is a red sauce joint lover’s red sauce joint. You’ll notice walking around Williamsburg there is precious little left from a time before Brooklyn became an adjective (as in “Have you been to that vintage shop connected to the sourdough bakery? It’s so Brooklyn.”). Bamonte’s remains stalwart though. Huge portions of Italian and Italian-American comfort food is all you’ll find on the menu, but as soon as you walk in and see the red drapes and tuxedoed waiters, that’s all you’ll want. This is where you come for a break from the Williamsburg-ness of it all. — Noah Kaufman

Heatonist Brooklyn

Heatonist Arrow

If you're the kind of person who puts hot sauce on everything, this place will be your heaven. It's a fairly small store in the heart of Williamsburg that sells more than 100 different kinds of small batch hot sauce. There are mild, medium, spicy, and burn-your-mouth spicy bottles in cool flavors like pineapple habanero, jalapeño tequila lime, blackberry hibiscus, and ghost pepper and blueberry. Everything is all natural, with no preservatives or extracts. It's not the kind of sauce you'll find at your average grocery store. — Maddie Flager

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

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Best Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Best Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Home of the hipsters, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in nyc.

Image of author Selwyn

Loved by musicians, artists, and creatives of NYC, Williamsburg has become increasingly popular and has grown in recent years. The vibe and atmosphere here is incredible and attracts people from across the globe. From vibrant street art, unique shopping opportunities, to the eclectic coffee shops, conceptualized restaurants, and food trucks, the area is bustling with creativity and energy.

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Table of Contents

What is Williamsburg Brooklyn known for?

Bedford Station in Williamsburg

Williamsburg was another former NYC working-class neighborhood that turned into one of the city’s most trendy and desirable locations. It seems like an on-going pattern here in the city when it comes to gentrification. The neighborhood is located on the north side of Brooklyn and just south of Greenpoint. This area has skyrocketed into popularity amongst the younger adult population. The neighborhood has definitely come a long way from its reputation as being a dangerous area in the 1970s. Today, it has become pretty much gentrified and there are many things to do in Williamsburg.

Williamsburg has drastically changed since the mid-1990s when low rents attracted young creatives and young professionals from around the world. When you visit this part of Brooklyn today, you will find a very special place with a great atmosphere. It’s a place that is loved by the people that reside there. Williamsburg is more than a huge contrast to the busy, noisy, and sometimes strict life in Manhattan. In Williamsburg, it seems like it’s more carefree which is refreshing and you certainly notice that vibe once you step foot in the neighborhood.

Top 5 things to do in Williamsburg

Arguably being the trendiest neighborhood in NYC, Williamsburg is filled with a lot of unique things to do. Visiting this eclectic neighborhood is one of the best things to do in Brooklyn . There’s always something going on, especially for young adults. Whether it’s hanging out with friends, enjoying the nightlife, or just simply exploring the area, the options are endless. Here are our top 5 things to do in Williamsburg.

Our recommended things to do in Williamsburg

Williamsburg bridge.

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Walk or Bike Across the Williamsburg Bridge. The bridge starts in the Lower East Side in Manhattan and it takes you directly to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Walking or biking across this bridge will give you wonderful views of Manhattan and Domino Park making it a great experience. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one with CITI Bike.

Brooklyn Brewery

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For the people who love beer and want to experience the process in which it takes to make the classic beverage, The Brooklyn Brewery is perfect for you. This brewery opened up in 1988 and is one of the most popular, if not the most popular beer in Brooklyn.

Domino Park

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This park is named after the original Domino Sugar Factory because, well it was literally right there. Actually, the factory is still there, but it isn’t in operation. It’s NYC’s newest park and it is beautiful.

L Train Vintage

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There are thrift stores everywhere in Williamsburg. If you’re looking for vintage anything, this is the place to be. Check out L Train Vintage or other stores in the area.

Brooklyn Bowl

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High-tech lanes, live music, and an energetic scenery with a vintage feel. Brooklyn Bowl is the typical Williamsburg vibe. Come here with friends and strike your way in this amazing bowling alley in the heart of the trendiest and arguably the most popular neighborhood in New York City.

What else is there to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn?

Williamsburg Brooklyn

Other than the top 5 mentioned above, there are still other numerous things you can do in the borough. Williamsburg is continuously growing and is a place for creatives and young professionals. The area is always evolving so something is always happening. The atmosphere is definitely much more laid back than Manhattan and that can be a nice change of scenery.

Enjoy a movie at Nitehawk Cinema

Williamsburg is unique in so many ways. Even watching a movie has to have some type of twist. Nitehawk Cinema is a perfect example of showcasing the Williamsburg atmosphere. Not only is it a movie theater, but you have the option of dining in. The theater offers its guests a menu that includes a list of food and drinks. It’s also the first theater in New York to have a liquor license.

Discover the creative scene in Williamsburg

More than 6500 artists are living their creative life in Williamsburg. Actors, musicians, photographers, and pretty much anyone with a creative background enjoy and have helped foster an environment for great restaurants, clubs, galleries, and unique shops.

Residents of Williamsburg live in urban lofts that used to be former factories/warehouses or rent a luxury apartment at the waterfront giving them sensational views of the Manhattan skyline. Most of the old factory buildings are full of street art giving the area are an artistic flair. While walking around you will see an overwhelming amount of bikes and skateboards compared to Manhattan. There’s no stress or hurry in Williamsburg. It’s a different lifestyle in this neighborhood. Check out this amazing walking tour in Williamsburg to experience the history and culture of the area.

Additionally, for more street art, make sure you check out Bushwick, Brooklyn .

Explore Williamsburg with a camera

Williamsburg Brooklyn is an interesting neighborhood. Even though it’s gentrified, you can still see how Williamsburg was once like back in the day. Warehouses have been repurposed into either cafes, apartments, or small businesses which makes for some interesting photo content. Additionally, street art can be found in almost every corner. If you’re a fan of taking photos, Williamsburg is a great location to get street photography.

Enjoy awesome views of the Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline

Our favorite place in Williamsburg has nothing to do with hip clubs, vegan restaurants, or thrift shops, but it has great views and a lot of places to rest. It’s NYC’s newest park as well. Domino Park in Williamsburg is located right on the East River is a great place to check out. To get there, you just walk Grand Street to the water and it will be right there. You can’t miss it. Domino Park on the East River invites you to play volleyball, picnic and go for a walk. The view of Manhattan is terrific. Our tip: come during sunset.

Activities and Tours in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Williamsburg isn’t a really big neighborhood, but it does have a bunch of things to do. Here are some tours in Williamsburg and in Brooklyn that we recommend.

  • Brooklyn: 3-Hour Williamsburg Bites Food Tour – Taste and discover the very best of what Williamsburg has to offer In this 3-hour food tour. Delicious and gourmet foods from the neighborhood are curated perfectly for a memorable experience. Come hungry and leave satisfied. Book your Brooklyn food tour here.
  • Brooklyn: 3-Hour Street Art Private Tour – Brooklyn, especially Williamsburg is a neighborhood filled with various attitudes and personalities. Experience the numerous street art located in the area. See how the art movement has evolved and transformed this unique borough. Check out tickets for the street art tour.
  • Brooklyn: 3-Hour Small-Group Brooklyn Beer Tour with Lunch – Beer is known as a social beverage since it is usually consumed with friends and even strangers. The people that love beer and just simply having a good time, this tour is for you. Check out this 3-hour Brooklyn Beer tour along with lunch.
  • From Manhattan: Bronx , Queens, and Brooklyn Half-Day Tour – Do you want to experience all of NYC? The city isn’t just Manhattan. There are a total of 5 boroughs. On this NYC bus tour , you’ll experience 4 out of the 5 and will take you through the main sights especially around Williamsburg.

Where should I eat in Williamsburg?

Things to do in Williamsburg

The food scene is something else in Williamsburg . You can say that this borough is pretty much a place where young creative professionals can come and create some really unique things. Food is no exception. Here, you can find numerous restaurants with their own special twist, or cafes that serve artisanal teas and coffees. Yes, coffee is coffee, but in Williamsburg, each cafe has a reason as to why theirs are different from the rest of the pack.

Restaurants in Williamsburg

There are a lot of amazing restaurants in Williamsburg to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese Steak Salt + Charcoal , or some really good fried chicken at Pies-N-Thighs , Williamsburg has it all.

The borough is filled with good eats. It’s home to some of the best restaurants in New York City, and possibly the country. For example, you have Peter Luger, which has arguably the best steak, Roberta’s which is home to some really great pizza. Compared to Manhattan, the vibe is completely different in this borough as well. It tends to be more relaxed and casual.

Cafes in Williamsburg

Just like we mentioned above, cafes are located on pretty much every corner. Each one is different from each other. If you want some really great coffee and pastries then you’ve come to the right part of NYC. More often than not you’ll encounter people that are genuinely passionate about coffee and make sure each cup of brew is fresh. Coffee-making in Williamsburg has an artisanal approach. Waiting for a cup of joe could add an extra 5 minutes to your wait time but it’s definitely worth it. Cafe’s worth checking out in Williamsburg are Devocion , Black Brick Coffee , and Partners Coffee (formerly Toby’s Estate).

Smorgasburg in Williamsburg

Vendor at Smorgasburg Williamsburg

At the Smorgasburg Food Market , you can find all the unique foods Williamsburg has to offer. From pastries to Ramen Burgers, this is the place for foodies. Smorgasburg means “a mix of food” and offers a huge selection of small stalls offering the most delicious local delicacies.

The most popular open food market in New York City takes place every weekend during spring and summer months, attracting New Yorkers and tourists to Williamsburg. There you can eat, drink and enjoy the magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline on the East River Waterfront. This is actually one of the best things to do in Brooklyn in general.

The market is always open on Saturday (rain or shine) from 11 AM – 6 PM.

Smorg-To-Go

This summer season, Smorgasburg is introducing Smorg To Go . Fans will now be able to place an order online and be able to pick up their food 51 N. 6th. Street. It’s right across from Marsha P. Johnson State Park so you can take your food there and have a nice picnic with an amazing view of the Manhattan Skyline.

Shopping in Williamsburg

Vintage Shopping

Williamsburg could be considered the SoHo of Brooklyn in terms of shopping opportunities. It’s actually one of the best places when it comes to shopping in NYC . However, what makes Williamsburg different from SoHo is the different amount of independent and NYC boutique stores . If you like flea markets, second-hand stores, or vintage items, we suggest coming to Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Second-Hand, thrift stores and vintage shopping in Williamsburg

L Train Vintage Brooklyn

The more mainstream and big retailers like ZARA and H&M will be nowhere in sight in this neighborhood. Stores that sell unique products dominate this part of town. In Williamsburg, shopping at thrift stores , second-hand and vintage stores is pretty much a lifestyle. Places like Buffalo Exchange,   L Train Vintage, and Beacon’s Closet are just some of the most popular stores.

Other shops & flea markets are run by artists themselves and offer a variety of handcrafted products made by locals. Bedford Avenue is a great spot to find clothes or a special gift for someone. Shopping in Williamsburg is in complete contrast to Manhattan and the glamorous shops of Fifth Avenue.

Also worth mentioning, is Brooklyn Flea . This is a centralized location where vendors come together and sell vintage pieces. In the spring and summer, you can find this at the patio of the Williamsburg Hotel . During the winter, Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea come together under one roof at The Winter Market located at 25 Kent Ave in Williamsburg.

Mainstream Stores in Williamsburg

There might be more independent and thrift stores in Williamsburg, but there are some notable mainstream shops that have opened up in the area. With all of the gentrification happening in the neighborhood, it only makes sense for the bigger stores to open in the area. Some of these stores include The Northface, Apple Store Williamsburg, Supreme, and J. Crew.

Williamsburg Boutiques

Boutiques are everywhere in Williamsburg. This type of store is very specific and is specially curated for their customer. Depending on the boutique, you’ll be able to find designers that you might have never heard before which can lead you to very unique pieces. Sword-Smith and Bird are just a couple of boutiques we love.

Things to do in Williamsburg: Museums

Everything about Williamsburg is just very different and unique. It’s out of the ordinary and that’s what makes it so special. This includes its museums as well. There are many museums in NYC that cover many different topics. Here are a couple of pretty cool museums to check out in the neighborhood.

Two museums in Williamsburg to check out

Museum of food and drink.

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The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) presented its first exhibition to the public in 2013 which all started through Kickstarter. The campaign raised more than $100,000 which was the most ever raised by a museum. The Museum of Food and Drink tells the story of different cuisines throughout the world and visitors will experience a hands-on approach and are encouraged to smell, touch, and taste. It’s very interactive, great for foodies.

Museum of Pizza

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The Museum of Pizza is exactly what it sounds like. For pizza lovers, it’s perfect. It’s the world’s only immersive art experience dedicated to the iconic pizza pie. Pizza This quirky museum targets the “next generation of learners” and was started out by a youth media group called “Nameless Network.” The Museum of Pizza is located inside the hotel, William Vale.

Staying in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Many young people love staying in Williamsburg during their trip to New York City.  Due to its reputation and relaxed atmosphere, Williamsburg has become an increasingly popular spot to stay. It promises a different experience than Manhattan and shows people the less commercial side of New York City. We recommend staying in these hotels in or near the neighborhood.

Hotels in Williamsburg

The williamsburg hotel.

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5 Stars | The Williamsburg Hotel is located in the popular neighborhood in Brooklyn, Williamsburg. This area is known for creatives and young professionals. It has a very rustic and artistic atmosphere.  It is a 5-star hotel with fantastic views: from the roof with its restaurant as well as from the pool you can look out over the Manhattan skyline. Not only that, but it is very well-connected to the Subway , so you can quickly get anywhere you want to go.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

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1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is located in DUMBO Brooklyn. It’s not too far from Williamsburg and is just a few stops away by train. If your budget allows you, it might be a good idea to spend your stay here and visit Williamsburg in a day. The borough isn’t that big so you don’t necessarily need a hotel there. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge gives you wonderful views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge.

Wythe Hotel

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The Wythe Hotel is special. The spot is located in an old factory that has been refurbished into a luxury hotel. Its located on the waterfront and has 70 rooms. It also boasts views of the Manhattan skyline.

Nearby Neighborhoods To Check Out

If you’re in Williamsburg, make sure to check out these nearby neighborhoods.

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How to get to williamsburg.

There are multiple trains that lead to SoHo. You can take the L  to various stations, The G train from Queens or the M  train. To be completely honest there aren’t many commuter options to Williamsburg, but it is definitely worth checking out.

Neighborhoods That are Similar to Williamsburg

If you enjoyed Williamsburg in Brooklyn, then make sure to check out these Brooklyn neighborhoods such as DUMBO , Park Slope and Red Hook.

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FAQ: Williamsburg Brooklyn

Is williamsburg expensive.

Because of gentrification and young professionals and creatives moving into the neighborhood, Williamsburg is a little bit more expensive than other neighborhoods in Brooklyn. However, prices are still reasonable and it just really depends on where you look.

Is Williamsburg safe?

Williamsburg is considered safe. Just like in any city that you’re unfamiliar with, just make sure to be aware of your surroundings and belongings.

Is Williamsburg Brooklyn worth visiting?

The neighborhood is definitely worth visiting. It’s an area that is continuing to evolve as more people move into the borough. Shops, restaurants, and new residential buildings are being built. Hotels are being put up as well. Williamsburg will drastically change in the years to come.

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Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.

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23 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Posted on Last updated: December 21, 2023

Categories Brooklyn , Things to do , Williamsburg

23 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn you came to the right place.

Williamsburg in Brooklyn is one of the coolest and most popular neighborhoods in the city to explore and has a lot to offer. It’s well known for its great nightlife, fantastic food scene, and for having the best vintage stores in the NYC.

Hope you enjoy our list of the best things to do in Williamsburg!

best things to do in williamsburg brooklyn nyc

Hang out in McCarren Park

I’ve always had a soft spot for Williamsburg since I lived there for five years. One of my favorite things to do with my friends was hanging out in McCarren Park. You can either come here to people-watch or sit down with a coffee and a bagel. It’s the perfect hang-out spot when the weather is nice.

Walk over the Williamsburg Bridge

One of the best and most iconic things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is to walk or bike over the Williamsburg Bridge. This is a great way to start the day if you’re coming from Manhattan.

Explore Bedford Avenue

One of the best parts of Williamsburg is Bedford Avenue. You’ll find lots of cool murals and street art, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and much more. Bedford Avenue is always busy with people and perfect for a weekend stroll.

Bowling at The Gutter

If I could only recommend one spot in Williamsburg it would be The Gutter. I always have such a great time here! This is one of the most fun bars in Williamsburg with vintage bowling lanes, board games, and pool tables.

Watch a movie at Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema is a dine-in movie theater showing indies, blockbusters, and some classic movies. This place is a great option for a rainy day.

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Brooklyn Flea

One of the best things to do in Williamsburg is to shop at Brooklyn Flea located on N 6th Street. Here you can explore vendors selling vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, sunglasses, and much more! Since Brooklyn Flea is indoors, this is also a great option for bad weather.

Second-hand shopping at Beacon’s Closet

Second-hand shopping is one of the absolute best things to do in Williamsburg and there are many stores to choose from. Beacon’s Closet is one of the most popular second-hand stores in Williamsburg, and the best according to my experience. Here you can shop both vintage and affordable pieces – for both men and women.

Visit Quimby’s Bookstore

This is the perfect store if you’re looking for a gift for someone, or if you’re just in the mood to browse. Quimby’s Bookstore sells things like books, notebooks, candles, and postcards.

Thrift shopping at Buffalo Exchange

If you’re looking to thrift some more affordable items, Buffalo Exchange is the spot for you. I love this store and never leave empty-handed. They have a wide variety of affordable second-hand clothing , shoes, and accessories from trendy brands like Ganni and Jaded London but also some fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M. Don’t forget to check out their design items behind the register.

Restaurants

butchers daughter brunch restaurant vegetarian

Smorgasburg

This is a must-visit spot if you consider yourself to be a foodie. Smorgasburg is a weekly outdoor food market showcasing a curated selection of food vendors. You can get everything from ramen burgers to New York-style pizza and Koran BBQ. There is definitely something for everyone here. It’s located right next to the water in Williamsburg in Marsha P.Johnson State Park.

Bagelsmith is famous for its massive and sturdy. This was my personal go-to place when I used to live on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg a few years ago, and I could not recommend this more! They don’t have many seats there so I would recommend taking your bagel to-go (maybe to McCarren Park).

If you’re looking for a good dinner spot in Williamsburg I would highly recommend Lilia. This is a very popular go-to spot for many locals where you can enjoy some delicious Italian dishes like ravioli and gnocchi.

Juliette is one of my favorite restaurants in Williamsburg with a killer French-inspired menu. This place is perfect for a weekend brunch. Try to get a table in their beautiful garden room full of hanging plants.

L’Industrie Pizzeria

You can’t go wrong with a classic NY slice. L’Industrie Pizzeria has some of the  best pizzas in New York  City and is a must-visit while you’re in Williamsburg.

This place is not featured enough on the internet. Surfbar has been one of my favorite restaurants for years and has amazing seafood (shrimp tacos are my favorite). It has the coolest and most unusual interior I’ve seen in New York City and has a surf and beach theme. The floor is filled with sand and the walls are covered with surfboards and other beach decor. They even have a cozy backyard where you can sit during the warmer months.

The Butcher’s Daughter

The Butcher’s Daughter is the perfect spot if you’re in the mood for brunch. Here you can enjoy some healthy but also delicious vegetarian dishes like avocado toast, salads, smoothies, and more.

Best things to do in Williamsburg brooklyn NYC

Enjoy a drink with a view at Berry Park’s rooftop

Berry Park is one of my personal favorite bars in Williamsburg . This bar has a very relaxed vibe where you can listen to music, watch sports games, play foosball and darts, and enjoy a magical view of the Manhattan skyline. I would only recommend coming here during the warmer months when the weather is good since the best part is sitting outside.

Bowling and live music at Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl is one of the best and most fun bars in Williamsburg. Here you can go bowling and listen to live music while enjoying some unexpected amazing food and an impressive selection of craft beers. Check out their website for a list of current events.

Enjoy the view from the 22nd floor at Westlight

If you want a view, head straight to Westlight. This bar is located on top of the Williams Vale Hotel and will give you the best view in Williamsburg. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline with one of their great cocktails. This is the perfect place to bring visitors from out of town (trust me they’ll be impressed).

Play arcade games at Barcade

One of my favorite things to do in Williamsburg is to play games while having a drink. Barcade is the perfect place for this! Here you can play some old arcade games like Pacman, pinball, and Donkey Kong while having a drink or one of their many craft beers on tap.

Beer tasting at Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery has been a local favorite in Williamsburg since 1988. This is a great bar if you have a love for beer. You can either book a tour of the brewery or sample beer in the tasting room.

Visit a dive bar and eat free pizza

A dive bar is perfect for you if you’re looking for cheap drinks and free pizza. Yes, you heard me right: free pizza . Two bars I would recommend would be The Charleston and Alligator Lounge. Just ask the bartender about the pizza when you order your drink.

How to get to Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

If you’re coming from Manhattan I would recommend taking a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge and enjoying the beautiful view.

Another option would be the take the L train to Bedford Avenue, the J, M, Z train to Marcy Avenue, or the G train to Metropolitan. Here you can read more about how to get around in New York .

What do you think are the best things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Feel free to leave a comment!

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Things to Do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

This post covers 13 great things to see and do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn today, tomorrow, or any day.

We include where to see great street art, get stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, eat fantastic food, see concerts, shop vintage, dance, drink, and more! 

We also share a half-day itinerary so you can make the most of the time you have in Williamsburg.

WHERE IS WILLIAMSBURG BROOKLYN?

Williamsburg is reached easily by subway, ferry, bike, and even on foot. Use this link to Google Maps to get directions from your point of departure.

The L train runs through the heart of Williamsburg.

Williamsburg Map

You can catch it in Manhattan along 14th Street.

Get off at Bedford Avenue if you want to be at the epicenter of the neighborhood.

Subway 

  • L Train to Bedford Avenue or Metropolitan Avenue
  • G Train to Metropolitan Avenue

Check out our helpful guides to navigating the New York subway system and which MetroCard to buy .

Ferry 

The NY Ferry has a stop in Williamsburg at North 6th Street. Read our post on NYC ferries for more information.

East River Ferry

On Foot or Bike

Many people walk or bike over the Williamsburg Bridge. The entrance to the bridge is Lower Manhattan on the Lower East Side . 

It is an easy walk, and although it is noisy due to the subway line that runs on the bridge, the views of the harbor, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge are outstanding.

If you want to cycle over you can use a Citi Bike, the NYC bike share program, or find out about renting a bike here .

TOP ATTRACTIONS AND BEST PLACES TO GO IN WILLIAMSBURG

Williamsburg is known as a hotbed of 'hipsters'.  But there were a lot of holdovers from the days before Williamsburg was gentrified. 

You'll find artists, bohemians, locals with Latino heritage, and an enclave of Hasidic Jews on the southern border.

It is true that it's trendy and can be a bit of a scene. Those who like that vibe will love it here.

Even if you prefer a low-key vibe, that's fine too! You can stroll the streets admiring mural art, dine on scrumptious food, and get jaw-dropping free skyline views.

No matter what you are into, a visit to Williamsburg is worth it if you want to experience NYC like a local.

Here are 13 of the best things to do in Williamsburg.

1. See Great Street Art

Brooklyn is known worldwide for its street art and Williamsburg has quite a lot of the best murals.

One location to check out is the corner of Bedford Ave. and North 9th Street. Also, you may find some excellent works on Moore Street and Wythe Avenue.

Williamsburg Street Art Mural

Read about other places to see street art and graffiti in Brooklyn.

To see murals by world-famous street artists in NYC, join our pay-what-you-like street art an d graffiti tours .

2. Get Stunning Free Skyline Views of

Head to a Williamsburg waterfront park for great views of Midtown Manhattan and the East River.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park (formerly East River State Park) is one of the neighborhood's bigger green spaces and a lovely place to have a picnic.

The views are priceless but will cost you nothing! Read about other free NYC skyline views .

Domino Park

Domino Park , the site of the former Domino Sugar refinery, is smaller but has fun activities like beach volleyball.

There's a playground, which is perfect if you are traveling with kids. Traveling with Fido? There's even a dog run!

TIP: In 2024, Macy's announced that both these parks would be official viewing locations for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular ! Here's hoping it stays that way for a long time.

3. Eat at Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg is a top destination in Williamsburg and each weekend somewhere between 20,000-30,000 locals and tourists attend this food market.

With over 100 local food vendors selling cuisine with innovative twists, attending Smorgasburg is a super way to spend an afternoon - and admission is free!

In the warmer months (April - September), it is held on Saturdays at the Marsha P. Johnson State Park, at 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7 St.). 

In the winter (October- March) it is held on both Saturday and Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm, at 25 Kent Ave. on the 8th Floor.

They have a small satellite location at the plaza outside the Oculus in the World Trade Center on Fridays. 

4. Relax in McCarren Park

McCarren Park is a focal point of the neighborhood with plenty of things to do all year long. 

The park has baseball and softball fields, two dog parks, and a Greenmarket on Saturdays. In summer, the park hosts a series called Summerscreen .

At Summerscreen, fun cult movies are shown for free, and there is live music beforehand. Also, the park has a large swimming pool open in the summer.

Read more about the series and others in our Summer Guide to NYC .

5. Have a drink at a rooftop bar

For phenomenal nighttime views of the Manhattan skyline, you can't do much better than one of Williamsburg’s rooftop bars.

Two of the best are in hotels. The Ides is on the 6th floor of the Wythe Hotel and Westlight is on the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel .

View of the Williamsburg Bridge at night

The first two of these hotels are boutique hotels and not cheap, but certainly less expensive than some of the upscale hotels in Manhattan and more chilled out!

6. Enjoy the Nightlife

People from all over New York City come to this neighborhood for its nightlife, bars, and dance clubs.

The bar scene is endless. From wine bars to cocktail lounges, dive bars to craft breweries, it’s hard to choose. 

You can find a watering hole to suit your style from this list of best bars in Williamsburg from The Infatuation.

For dancing, take a look at this list of dance clubs in Williamsburg . 

You can find other nightlife suggestions from our post on things to do at night in New York City .

7. Take a Free Brewery Tour 

In the past few decades, Brooklyn has been at the forefront of the development of craft beers.

The Brooklyn Bre w ery  was ahead of the pack when it opened in 1988.

The Brewery's unique beers can be found in at least 25 states and in 20 different countries!

They offer a free tour of the brewery every half hour from 1 pm-5 pm on Saturdays and from 1 pm-4 pm on Sundays.  

The tours are first-come, first-serve- no reservations necessary. Click  here for more information.

For more free and budget-friendly activities, see our post on what to do in NYC for free .

8. Shop for Vintage Clothing

Williamsburg is known for its vintage stores. Just a few to go to are Amarcord , Awoke Vintage , and 10 Ft Single by Stella Dallas .

For second-hand shops, head to Beacon’s Closet at 74 Guernsey St. and Crossroads Trading at 135 N. 7th St.

9. Visit a One-of-a-Kind Museum

This City Reliquary Museum is a small, somewhat quirky, but very interesting museum that highlights New York City’s past.

Here you can see a permanent display of New York City artifacts and rotating exhibits. They host cultural events as well. 

The City Reliquary is located at 370 Metropolitan Ave. Its hours are Thurs - Sun, 12 pm- 6 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

  • General Admission $7
  • College Students, Educators, and Seniors: $5
  • Children 12 & Under Are Free

10. Take a Walking Tour

There are a number of tours of Williamsburg including walking tours, food tours, street art tours, and bike tours. 

Here are two well-regarded tours:

Williamsburg Walking Tour

This 2-hour walking tour offers an overview of the neighborhood.

Your guide will cover the history and culture of Williamsburg while taking you to see some of the most notable sights.

You’ll see vibrant street art, the spectacular waterfront, boutique-filled hipster streets and more. 

Tour Details:

  • Offered every day at 3 pm
  • Adult $ 32 / Child (under 15) $ 20
  • More information and purchase tickets . 

Williamsburg Food Tour

This 3-hour tour introduces you to the sights and tastes of the neighborhood. 

You will sample 6 different foods, including some of the best pizza in NYC!

In between tastings, your guide will share the history of the neighborhood while taking you to see the stunning waterfront, large-scale street art, and the ‘hipster’ scene.

  • Offered Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 12 pm
  • Adult $68 / Child (ages 4-11) $58
  • Includes 6 food tastings and water
  • More information and purchase tickets .

New York Walking Tours

11. Hear Live Music

Some of the best small music venues are in Williamsburg. They attract both top alternative bands as well as up-and-coming performers.

You can find shows every night of the week and at all price ranges, even free!

Williamsburg Live Music

Check out these venues for well-known bands:

  • Brooklyn Bowl  (a music venue AND a bowling alley!)
  • Brooklyn Steel  
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg

For free music, head to Pete's Candy Store where you’ll see unknown and unsigned bands. Who knows? They may be the big stars of tomorrow, as is the case with many bands who have played there. 

12. Let your sweet tooth run wild

Everything on the menu is to die for at Martha’s Country Bakery . Have a slice of cake - they have 20 kinds, like Carrot, Red Velvet, and Chocolate Mousse. 

They also have 10 kinds of cheesecake, 21 flavors of cupcakes, 11 types of pies, cookies, gelato, strudel, the list goes on and on. 

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Try their take on classic cookies: linzer tart, rugelach, ice box, and lace cookies. Wash it all down with a Cafe Au Lait, Dirty Chai, or a New York Cream!

13. Catch a flick at the Nitehawk Cinema 

The Nitehawk Cinema is a full dine-in movie theater showing films from an array of genres and serving up comfort food done right.

Take your pick from indies, blockbusters and the occasional cult classic shown at midnight. Settle in to watch your movie with your dinner at your seat.

The menu has small plates like Shrimp Cocktail and Waffle Fried Tenders. For a main, order their Mediterranean Tacos or the Fried Chicken Sandwich with pimento aioli and citrus slaw. 

See a matinee on the weekend before 3 pm and you can order from the brunch menu which includes a one-of-a-kind dish of whipped egg white pancakes, Fruity Pebbles (yes, the kids’ cereal), black sesame syrup and whipped cream.

Half-day Itinerary for Williamsburg

Here’s an itinerary that will take you two-three hours, and can be enjoyed in the mornings and afternoons. 

It can easily be extended into an evening out. We noted on the map where some local music venues and movie theaters are.

If you can swing it, go on a weekend day, but that’s not to say there’s nothing going on in Williamsburg every day of the week!

There are loads of great restaurants, unique shops, excellent street art, and spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. 

While the destinations are wonderful, strolling the neighborhood and soaking in the vibe is enjoyable as well.

Getting here

The itinerary starts at the Bedford Avenue L train subway station (See directions above).

Once you exit at Bedford Avenue, you will be in the heart of Williamsburg. 

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

1. Bedford Avenue

Stroll south on Bedford (against the traffic) to get a feel for the neighborhood along its “main street”.

If you haven't eaten breakfast yet, grab a bagel at Bagelsmith (189 Bedford Ave) or a doughnut at the phenomenal Doughnut Plant (198 Bedford Ave).

When you get to Metropolitan Avenue, turn left and walk down one block to Driggs Avenue. Turn left and head north (against the flow of traffic).

Walk along Driggs Avenue for ten blocks and do some window shopping along the way. 

If you are looking for “gently used” contemporary clothes (as opposed to vintage clothes), Buffalo Exchange at 504 Driggs is a great stop.

2. McCarren Park

When you reach McCarren Park , head on in. Walk around and sit on a bench for a bit. There’s a dog run that’s always fun to watch. 

On Saturdays, there is a green market with fresh produce, meats, cheese, and more sourced locally from upstate New York or Long Island.

Sometimes there are special events like book sales. Check the schedule here .

When you are done in the park, head back in the direction you entered. 

Use the map provided and walk one block along North 12th Street, to Bedford Avenue. 

Head south on Bedford, against the traffic flow.

3. Kobra mural 

At the corner of Bedford Avenue and North 9th Street, you can see the famous mural of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra.

If you want to see more street art, North 6th Street between Bedford and Kent Avenues is a good stretch to see some.

For street art aficionados, check out these pay-what-you-like street art and graffiti tours .

4. North 6th Street

For three blocks as you walk toward the river, do some window shopping. Keep your eyes out for street art murals that pop up from time to time.

If you want to wander the surrounding streets, go ahead. But don’t stray too far, as the next stop is a waterfront park with a jaw-dropping view.

5. Marsha P. Johnson State Park

This popular park is the perfect place to sit and watch the water and, of course, take pictures of the Manhattan skyline.

On the weekends from April to September, sample great local food at Smorgasburg . 

6. Head back to Manhattan

If you are ready to head back to Manhattan, you can hop on the East River Ferry next to the park. Read more about the NY Ferry .

Feeling adventurous? Walk over the Williamsburg Bridge. The entry to the pedestrian path to the bridge is #8 on the map. 

When you cross the bridge you’ll be in the Lower East Side , another great neighborhood to visit.

Not ready to wrap up your time in Williamsburg?

If you want to stay for some after-dark fun, have a sunset cocktail at a rooftop bar .

Hear live music , go dancing , or have dinner and watch a movie at the same time!

RELATED POSTS

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williamsburg brooklyn tourism

30+ Fun Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Ready to explore one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods? Williamsburg is known for its vintage shops, exceptional food scene and hipster vibe. There’s so much to do right off the L-train, so let this guide kick start your adventures. With more than 30 fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn, you won’t have any trouble building your perfect Williamsburg day trip itinerary.

Getting There

If you are heading to Williamsburg from Manhattan, you will most likely need to take the L-Train. This line makes stops along 14th Street in Manhattan. Depending on where you want to start exploring in Williamsburg, you can get out at Bedford Ave, Lorimer St, Graham Ave. or Grand St.

You can also take the J or M trains from Manhattan to South Williamsburg. If you are traveling from Queens or another part of Brooklyn, take the G train to the Metropolitan Av or Broadway stations.

Want to take a ferry? Hop on the East River ferry at Wall St/Pier 11 to reach North Williamsburg.

Transportation in Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a very walkable area, so once you arrive you can travel on foot. If you prefer, you can take the subway to get around Williamsburg. But most things are close enough that you shouldn’t need to get on the train. Another option is to rent a Citi Bike and pedal around the neighborhood.

Good to Know

You might have heard about the L Train shut down that interrupted subway service on nights and weekends to Williamsburg. Luckily, this project wrapped up ahead of schedule in April 2020 and regular subway service has returned to the L Train.

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Delicious Eats:

Williamsburg has tons of incredible eateries. The only question is where to start! This list just scratches the surface but these are the Williamsburg restaurants that I’ve loved or have my eye on:

  • Llama Inn (50 Withers St)- Come here for the chic atmosphere and modern Peruvian dishes from Chef Erik Ramirez. You’ll enjoy elevated twists on classics like Lomo Saltado (my favorite) and ceviche in this Bib Gourmand and 2 Star NYTimes- reviewed spot. Enjoy craft cocktails with dinner or on the rooftop bar. You’ll find options like the Llama Del Rey (Pisco, Rum, Red Wine, Chicha Morada, Lime, Grilled Pineapple, Pink Peppercorn) in this cocktail program, which was expertly created by Lynnette Marrero .
  • Joe’s Pizza (216 Bedford Ave)- If you are looking for a classic NY slice, you’re in the right place. Joe’s first opened in Greenwich Village in 1975 and it has since opened multiple locations throughout the city (including this spot in Williamsburg). It’s a no fills spot that was once named “best pizza in New York” by New York Magazine . As you pick up your order, admire the walls which are filled with photos of celebrities enjoying their slices.
  • Best Pizza (33 Havemeyer St)- When making a food list for NYC, how could you just include one pizza spot? Frank Pinello (graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park) opened Best Pizza in Williamsburg in 2010. He combined what he learned in school, throughout his career and what his Sicilian grandmother taught him to create incredible wood-fired slices.
  • Tacombi (242 Metropolitan Ave)- You’ll find these bright, inviting Mexican eateries in a few locations around NYC. The Williamsburg outpost is close to the Bedford Ave station. So, it won’t be too long once you hop off the L Train until you are enjoying authentic Mexican tacos or aguas frescas.
  • Le Crocodile (80 Wythe Ave)- The Wythe Hotel is home to this 3 Star NYTimes-reviewed French brasserie. Brunch, lunch and dinner are available in the dining room, terrace or charming sidewalk cafe.
  • Lilia (567 Union Ave)- Here you can enjoy Italian seafood and pasta dishes in a renovated autobody shop. It’s from Chef Missy Robbins , who happens to be one of President Obama’s favorite chefs.
  • Reunion (544 Union Ave)- This is an Israeli cafe serving breakfast dishes all day. Order a mezze spread or try one of the best shakshukas in NYC .
  • Birds of a Feather (191 Grand St)- This bright Szechuan spot comes from the same team who runs Cafe China in Manhattan. Here you can try modern and original takes on classic Szechuan dishes.

The Best Treats:

30+ Fun Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn- The Adventuring Millennial

When you are thinking about all of the fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn, don’t forget about getting a treat (or two)!

  • Mr. Dips (111 N 12th St)- Stop by Vale Park for ice cream with a view. Order a specialty ice cream cone from the vintage airstream and enjoy your Chocolate P.B.D. (dark cocoa + salted peanut butter drip) or Lickety Split (banana-berry twist + soda fountain toppings) while soaking in the waterfront sights.
  • Milk Bar (9382 Metropolitan Ave)- If you’ve never tried Milk Bar, the Williamsburg location is a perfect place to start! This is Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s imaginative bakery where you can order slices of birthday cake or try cereal milk soft serve.
  • Martha’s Country Bakery (263 Bedford Ave)- Once you see the pastry case, it’s going to be hard to leave with just one treat. This is a classic American bakery serving everything from cheesecake slices to cake pops.
  • Doughnut Plant (198 Bedford Ave)- This NYC-doughnut staple serves a variety of sourdough, yeast, vegan and cake doughnuts. Fun fact- this bakery created the world’s first filled square doughnuts .
  • Dun-Well Doughnuts (222 Montrose Avenue)- This all-vegan doughnut shop has a rotating menu of over 200 flavors. You’ll find classics like vanilla sprinkle and creative combinations like pistachio raspberry pie.
  • Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (204 Wythe Ave)- Here you’ll find artisanal scoops made from high-quality ingredients. Both dairy and non-diary options are available in a selection of flavors like Honeycomb, Passionfruit Layer Cake and Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Chunk.

Where to Grab a Drink:

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Williamsburg has tons of breweries and wine bars. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Talea Beer Co. (87 Richardson St)- This women-owned brewery (the first one in NYC!) just opened in March 2021 and already has so much buzz. It’s the type of place to go with people who don’t usually like beer. You can relax at a sidewalk table, order a flight of brightly colored sours (the Pink Berry Punch Sour Ale is especially delicious) and catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Brooklyn Brewery (79 N 11th St)- This microbrewery evolved in the 1980s from two Brooklyn neighbors quitting their jobs to follow their brewing dreams. Today, their brews are available in more than 30 counties. Enjoy the local brews for yourself in the indoor or outdoor tasting rooms. There’s currently a waitlist to be notified when brewery tours start up again.
  • Hound’s Tree (335 Bedford Ave)- Get a taste for Long Island’s North Fork in Williamsburg. Hound’s Tree is the only estate winery tasting room in NYC. Browse the curated menu for a selection of Hound’s Tree’s best wines plus food pairings from New York growers and fishers.

The Essential Coffee Shops:

Williamsburg is packed with excellent cafes. But if you have to narrow it down, here are the ones you can’t skip.

  • Devocion (69 Grand St)- If you’ve been following my adventures for a while, you’ll know that Devocion is my favorite coffee shop in New York . The Williamsburg location is huge, has a greenhouse feel with the skylight + tons of plants inside and serves incredible fresh coffee that goes from being harvested in Colombia to being roasted in Brooklyn just 10 days. Whatever you do- don’t forget to get a croissant while you’re here!
  • Hungry Ghost Coffee (231 Bedford Ave)- Hungry Ghost first opened in Brooklyn in 2012 and now the local chain has 13 locations around the city. This cafe partnered with Stumptown Coffee from the beginning and continues to serve excellent espresso drinks.
  • Partners Coffee (125 N 6th St)- The Williamsburg roastery opened in 2012 (under the name Toby’s Estate) and the Brooklyn company has only continued to grow. You know you want to order a cortado with their flagship Bedford espresso to go so you can sip it outside on Bedford Ave.
  • Blue Bottle (76 N 4th St Store A)- In the 2000s, the first Blue Bottle locations opened in California. They served coffee to order made with the pour-over method. Today, locations have expanded to Japan, Korea and other US locations. Order a pour over or a New Orleans-style iced coffee.
  • Variety Coffee (368 Graham Ave)- This Williamsburg-based roastery serves some of the best coffee in the city. Sit at one of the sidewalk tables to get some work done or catch up with friends as you sip your iced latte (that’s what I’m drinking anyways).

The Best Things to Do:

williamsburg brooklyn tourism

Alright, we’ve talked about the food + drinks, so now it’s time to dive into all of the fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

  • Domino Park (300 Kent Ave)- This 5-acre park on the East River is my favorite spot to relax in Williamsburg. Here you can take in the views of the Manhattan skyline or the old Domino Sugar Refinery. You play bocce or beach volleyball before visiting Tacocia for some delicious tacos and cocktails.
  • Marsha P. Johnson State Park (90 Kent Ave)- This park is partly under construction but once it fully reopens, it will feature tons of updated amenities. This park used to be called East River State Park and offers an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline. It was recently renamed in honor of Marsha P. Johnson , the legendary Black transgender woman who pioneered the LGBTQ civil rights movement in NYC and was a major figure in the Stonewall Uprising.
  • McCarren Park (776 Lorimer St)- This sprawling park is part of both the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. It’s the perfect place to BBQ, go for a run or meet up with friends to play soccer or baseball. A greenmarket is held here year-round on Saturdays.
  • Sample eats from the area’s best food trucks at Smorgasburg – The country’s largest open-air food market has attracted thousands of hungry visitors to Williamsburg since it first launched in 2011. The Williamsburg location is expected to reopen in Summer 2021 so stay tuned for updates. (P.S. a new Jersey City location is officially opening this summer!)
  • Ride the ferry – If you want to get out on the water but stay on a budget, the ferry is the way to go. For just $2.75 you can hop on the ferry at North Williamsburg and travel to Wall St./Pier 11 while taking in the incredible views of downtown Manhattan. The ferry also travels from Williamsburg to Greenpoint, 34th Street in Manhattan and Hunter’s Point South.
  • Awoke Vintage (132 N 5th St)
  • Amarcord Vintage Fashion (223 Bedford Ave)
  • Buffalo Exchange (504 Driggs Ave)
  • 10 ft Single by Stella Dallas (285 N 6th St)
  • Artists & Fleas (70 N 7th St)- this vintage market is only opened on Saturdays + Sundays
  • Go for a Citi Bike ride – See the sights while getting in a bit of a workout. There are multiple Citi Bike stations in Williamsburg + some great routes (like this one along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway ). If you don’t have a membership, you can take a single 30-minute trip for $3.50. Or, buy a $ 15-day pass that gives you unlimited 30-minute trips (but to go longer than 30-minutes without paying you would have to dock and unlock a new bike after each 30-minute segment).

Ready to explore Williamsburg? There’s so much to do! I hope my guide to some of the most fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn helped give you some inspiration for summer fun!

Looking for more than just fun things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn? Check out these posts:

Your Guide to Visiting the High Line Park in Summer 2021

Central Park Self-Guided Walking Tour

If you liked this post, feel free to share it or pin it!

30+ Fun Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn- The Adventuring Millennial

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Global Munchkins

Travel + Global Inspired Lifestyle

April 18, 2023

Top 15 of the Best Things To Do In Williamsburg Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is an up-and-coming neighborhood filled with chic, boho vibes, music, art, and a prevalence of young adults. The community has never been more lively following a rezoning in 2005, making Williamsburg a great destination for New York natives and tourists alike.

Manhattan draws millions of tourists worldwide each year with its tried-and-true sights and landmark attractions, but visitors need only take a short subway ride or hop over the Williamsburg Bridge to visit one of the hippest cities in all of New York.

Here are our favorite things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Our List of the Best Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

We have found there is a TON of things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn and think it can be overwhelming if you are visiting. That is why we thought it was best to break it down with our list below! Enjoy!

The Williamsburg Bridge

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

If you’re headed to Williamsburg from Manhattan, going over the bridge might be the first activity you do anyway. New York natives often overlook the Williamsburg Bridge, considering it a component of commuting instead of an artistic and architectural attraction. 

Nonetheless, the Williamsburg Bridge, a cerulean suspension bridge constructed from 1896 to 1903, is a sight itself and offers walking, biking, photo ops, and a view of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

There are also plenty of restaurants in the vicinity or underneath the bridge for an unbeatable view. Grab a cup of coffee or a slice to get the day going when you first make it into town.

Domino Park

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Just north of the Williamsburg Bridge you’ll find Domino Park, a brand new public park that includes 5-acres of property, a dancing fountain, a children’s playground, dog run, volleyball court, bocce court, and a sports field.

Opened in 2018, the park is named for the iconic Domino Sugar Refinery which was a conspicuous sight along the banks of the East River. The refinery operated throughout most of the 20th century, and was a total titan in terms of sugar production.

It was for that reason that they shut it down in 2004 because they could no longer sell all that was being processed.

Now, parts of the refinery have been demolished and repurposed into functional pieces for the park and art. Reclaimed syrup tanks serve as statues. All wooden structures like planters and benches are made from wood that was used at the refinery.

Domino Park is not just a great public park, but it contains a storied history and shows us how we can combine recycling, reusing, and repurposing with recreation.

Take a Walking Tour

Williamsburg is full of history and charm, and a walking tour is the perfect way to explore it. Choose from a variety of tours, including street art, food, and architecture.

Prices vary, but most tours start around $30 per person. If you have a teen that is really into Art, like our Ella, then it is worth checking out!

McCarren Park

Another famous park on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint is McCarren Park. While Domino’s 5-acres include everything you need in a quaint little hangout spot, McCarren sprawls across 36-acres. That’s four city blocks!

The park features softball and soccer fields, volleyball courts, tennis and handball courts, and a running and walking track. On the east side lies the McCarren Play Center,  the Bathhouse, a great brick structure designed and constructed in 1936 by Robert Moses, and a sizable pool.

Unfortunately, the pool remains closed for the 2022 season due to the national lifeguard shortage. However, the adjacent bathhouse received historical landmark status as of 2007, and remains a site for tourists to visit nonetheless.

Don’t Miss Out on The Shopping

Shopping in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is not to be missed! We listed some of our favorite places below!

Explore Bedford Avenue

This bustling street is the heart of Williamsburg and is filled with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon browsing and people-watching.

Check out the vintage clothing stores

Williamsburg is known for its vintage shops, and there are plenty to choose from. Some of our favorites include Awoke Vintage, Stella Dallas Living, and Monk Vintage Thrift Shop. Prices vary. You know our Ella was all over the vintage stores and absolutely loved them all.

Brooklyn Bowl

Bowling pins

Brooklyn is known for their art and music scene among many other things, and one place where the effects can be seen is at Brooklyn Bowl. Right to the west of McCarren Park, Brooklyn Bowl sounds like your run-of-the-mill bowling alley, but it’s so much more.

By day, families may enjoy Brooklyn Bowl as a great spot for food and bowling using their numerous high-tech lanes. In the evening, the place becomes a haven for live music acts, food, drink, and, you guessed it, bowling too!

Where else can you get a dose of live rock music while knocking down pins and knocking back brews? It’s a unique experience, and guaranteed to stand out in your mind for years to come after a visit.

Westlight Rooftop Cocktail Bar

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Head north to the William Vale Hotel and head to the 22nd floor rooftop bar, Westlight. The lounge offers balconies and glass-in sections that provide guests with a panoramic view of the skyline and near 360-degree viewing of Brooklyn and the adjacent Manhattan.

While the skyline is a visual feast, especially at night when the bright lights illuminate everything in sight, there’s plenty to see at Westlight from the chic decor to the food and mixology artistry.

Fare includes bar basics like sliders and other appetizers, while signature drinks and premium liquors comprise a comprehensive menu of cocktails.

Westlight is a great restaurant and bar, and a superb dining experience all-around.

Visit the Brooklyn Brewery

Beer isn’t just for adults! This family-friendly brewery offers tours and tastings for all ages.

Visitors can take a tour of the brewery to learn about the brewing process and the history of the Brooklyn Brewery. The tour guides are knowledgeable and passionate about beer, and they’ll walk you through the entire brewing process, from the selection of ingredients to the packaging of the final product.

The tours are free, but if you’re 21 or older, you can opt for a tasting of their delicious beers for an additional cost.

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

For more beer drinking and retro recreational vibes, head south from McCarren Park and hit up Barcade, Williamsburg’s bar-arcade combo that boasts vintage videogames and a wide selection of craft brews to sample.

Pac-Man, pinball, and Donkey Kong provide endless entertainment reminiscent of the arcade heydays of the 1980s. In keeping with this theme, most games cost merely a quarter, and patrons revive the old tradition of stacking quarters on the machine to signify their place in the queue.

Even without the video games, Barcade is a great place to have a drink because of their constantly rotating selection of high quality beers.

Visit the George Washington statue

Did you know that Williamsburg has a statue of George Washington? It’s located at the intersection of Broadway and Havemeyer Street and is worth checking out for any history buff.

Peter Luger’s Steak House

Founded in 1887, Peter Luger’s Steak House is a cash-only old school steakhouse renowned nationally and globally as one of the best steakhouses anywhere in the world.

Using only the finest and most robust cuts of USDA Prime beef, the steaks are second to none and cooked to perfection every time. For maximum flavor, Peter Luger’s uses a dry aging technique on site that regulates the temperature, humidity, and air circulation.

There’s a lot of tradition and care that goes into each Peter Luger’s steak, and it very well may be the best steak you’ve ever had. The sides are standouts as well, and their creamed spinach may be just as famous as the beef.

You can’t go wrong having dinner at the famous Peter Luger’s. Just be sure to make reservations in advance, as the restaurant fills quickly, and bring cash.

Brooklyn Flea and Artists & Fleas

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Brooklyn and Williamsburg are renowned as havens for art and music, but also for fashion and style. A great place to find unique and distinct threads that you can’t get anywhere else requires visiting any of Williamsburg’s prevalent flea markets like Brooklyn Flea and Artists & Fleas.

Artists & Fleas is an especially eclectic marketplace where designers, collectors, curators, tastemakers and fashionistas converge in a creative community of shoppers and sellers. You might find one-of-a-kind styles to sport at your next night out or custom crafts that will work excellent in your apartment back home.

Flea markets may house all sorts of diamonds in the rough. To stop by and check out the wares, head north from Domino Park and the Williamsburg Bridge. Note that the markets are only open on the weekends.

Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema is an independently-run theater founded in 2011 to provide more than just the movie, but a viewing experience like no other. The theater enjoys status as the first movie theater in New York State to receive a liquor license and the first to provide table service during the movie.

The food is excellent at Nitehawk Cinema, and patrons can enjoy a wide variety of cuisines including American usuals like burgers and salads and Caribbean cuisine like jerk chicken tacos and shrimp ceviche.

In addition, the beer selection is vast and there are premium spirits for signature cocktails and bar classics brought right to your seat during the movie.

Nitehawk Cinema surpasses the Hollywood blockbuster popcorn movie experience and elevates it to a sophisticated viewing experience like no other.

Take a Food Tour

Williamsburg is home to some of the best food in New York City. Take a food tour and try everything from pizza to bagels to artisanal chocolates. Prices vary. We found this great list to help you choose!

Devocion Roastery and Coffee Shop

things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Everyone in Brooklyn knows that the best way to spend a morning or early afternoon is by making a pit stop at a cafe or coffee shop. While endless Dunkins and Starbucks line everywhere in New York, Williamsburg offers more depth to the experience with a wealth of excellent coffee shop options throughout the neighborhood.

Devocion is one of the best around, and they claim to offer the freshest and most flavorful cup of coffee you’ve had anywhere around. We love the coffee, but also are impressed by the architecture of the building and decor of the interior which dates back to when the area was a working waterfront district. 

Industrial flair pervades everything from exposed steel beams and classic Brooklyn bare bricks for a visual experience that sends you back in time while you enjoy an excellent cup of coffee. 

Although Devocion is an unassuming coffee shop where you can have a great cup, it’s also a microcosm of Williamsburg. Everywhere you look and every place you visit is dripping with rich history and old construction that gives us a glimpse into an older world that’s been all but forgotten in our modern day.

Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn: The Overall

Through the art, music, and fashion renaissance happening in Williamsburg right now, we’re seeing an honorable nod to the old ways and a blooming of the new.

There’s a lot to love about Williamsburg, Brooklyn right now.

Map of Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

What is brooklyn known for.

Brooklyn is the home of attractions like Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and Prospect Park, plus some of the best New York pizza. There are plenty of parks, hip shops and music and art venues to explore.

When is the best time to visit Brooklyn?

Any time of the year is great to visit, just be prepared for the cold in the winter months. Fall is a great time overall to visit.

What are foods to try in Brooklyn?

Hot Dog from Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island Bagel from Bagel Hole in Park Slope Porter House from Peter Luger Steak House in Williamsburg Fried Calamari at Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay Italian Biscotti from Court Pastry in Carroll Gardens

Where do you stay in Williamsburg Brooklyn?

There are several great Williamsburg Hotels, including the Williamsburg Hotel and the Wythe Hotel.

If you enjoyed our list of things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn, you might also like:

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Williamsburg Visitor Map & Self Guided Tour - Brooklyn

This page provides information for visiting Williamsburg, Brooklyn - the neighborhood where our Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour takes place. First there is a map, and then there is a self-guided walking tour route. This page focuses on the "hip" Northside of the neighborhood. To travel here, take the L subway line to Bedford Avenue station.

Map of neighborhood

Self-Guided Walking Tour Route of Williamsburg

Arrive in Brooklyn at the Bedford Avenue subway station. Exit towards Bedford Avenue. Take in the surrounding scene - it's a busy, eclectic intersection of shoppers, party-goers, friends meeting up to socialize, etc. You can check out Goorin Brothers hat shop, which has a collection of stylish headwear. Or get a snack at Martha's Country Bakery.

Walk east along North 7th Street and take the first right turn onto Driggs Avenue.

Proceed 1 block along Driggs Avenue. You will pass a huge vintage shop called Mother of Junk . Turn right onto North 6th Street. On this block you will pass the Spire Lofts - an old Catholic church which has been converted into apartments. It costs around $4000 per month to rent an apartment here! Turn left at Bedford Avenue. On the corner is Donut Plant.

Old church building

Take your time strolling along Bedford Avenue. This is the main shopping street around here. The street is lined with boutiques, fashion and restaurants. There are also usually numerous street vendors offering interesting products. As you proceed you will reach the block on Bedford Avenue between North 5th Street and North 4th Street, which is a top place to browse. Catbird is a popular jewelry shop. Soap Cherie offers handmade soaps and fragrances. And there is the Bedford Avenue Minimall which contains several shops including The Little Market in Brooklyn (a flea market featuring approximately 10 vendors).

graffiti on wall

Continue walking along Bedford Avenue past Whole Foods and the Apple Store. Turn right onto North 3rd Street.

Walk one block and pass Berry Street. On the corner is Radegast Hall , a lively German-style beer garden. On weekend afternoons there is usually live music.

Continue on North 3rd Street to Wythe Avenue and turn left. Then walk 2 blocks and turn right onto Grand Street. You will pass Devocion coffee roaster. Consider popping inside to grab a beverage and enjoy the repurposed industrial interior, which features a living green wall. Next door is Croxley's , a sports bar that offers more than 80 different beers.

Walk past Kent Avenue and you will arrive at the great new Domino Park . On this site used to be the largest sugar factory in the world. Notice large construction - the site is a huge real estate development which will contain 2400 apartments.

In the park you can enjoy the NYC skyline view and take photos. Look around for the World Trade Center, Empire State Building and various other skyscrapers. The large bridge on your left is the Williamsburg Bridge.

You can also people-watch at the diverse residents of Brooklyn who patronize the park.

View of riverfront park

Upon exiting Domino Park, walk north along Kent Avenue. Then turn left onto North 3rd Street. Walk until the end and you will reach a nice promenade along the river. Turn right and walk along the water's edge. You will reach the North 5th Street pier.

graffiti on wall

Continue walking north and you will pass the NYC Ferry . This can be taken to DUMBO and Downtown or Midtown Manhattan. Exit out to North 6th Street, and then walk one more block to North 7th Street.

On Saturdays is food market Smorgasburg within Marsha P. Johnson State Park on the left (closed in winter). It contains 100 vendors offering hot tasty food.

Continue straight on North 7th Street. On Saturdays and Sundays is Artists & Fleas market. It contains 100 vendors offering handmade goods and artisanal crafts.

graffiti on wall

Turn right onto Wythe Avenue. You will pass National Sawdust , a cool venue for classical music. Turn left at North 5th Street.

Walk one block straight. Look out for a new mural by local artist Isabelle Ewing , and a large squirrel by famous Belgian artist ROA . Please do not enter the gate!

Turn left onto Berry Street and walk 1.5 block, then turn around for a large mural by Faith 47 . Then backtrack and turn right onto North 6th Street. You will pass Le Labo perfumery and SEA Thai restaurant.

Turn right onto Wythe Avenue. Walk straight for 3 blocks. You will pass popular Cafe Mogador , and Heatonist hot sauce shop (pop in to sample many spicy flavors!)

At North 10th Street you will pass the Williamsburg Hotel , which features the large Water Tower Bar (cleverly disguised as a rooftop water tank) and a rooftop swimming pool. You can detour left and walk to the end of the hotel, then look inside the all-glass corner rooms to spy on the people inside (look out for the shower in the 2nd window from left). Then return back to Wythe Avenue. You can also detour further on North 10th Street to Kah Kow artisanal chocolate factory. They are an artisanal purveyor of Dominican chocolate. Grab a free sample!

Now continue on Wythe Avenue in the same north direction and you will pass the Wythe Hotel . This building was originally constructed in 1901 as a German barrel factory. They offer a rooftop bar too.

Hotel building

Walk another block towards North 12th Street. On your right is the Brooklyn Brewery (tasting room open at 5pm on weekdays and all day on weekends). Then there is Brooklyn Bowl , and the William Vale Hotel . Feel free to take a rest in the Vale Park one level up. You can also go up to the rooftop bar and enjoy the Manhattan view with a nice beverage.

Mural with a beer-related theme

Turn right onto North 12th Street. Then make a left and cross the plaza beneath the hotel. Make a right turn onto North 13th Street. Then make a right turn onto Berry Street. You will pass several rotating mural artworks. Then turn left onto North 12th Street.

On your left is McCarren Park. It's a fairly large park that contains various sporting facilities and a gigantic public swimming pool.

Turn right onto Bedford Avenue. Walk straight for several blocks. Look out for murals by Jorit Agoch , Eduardo Kobra and more.

You have returned back to the subway!

Additional Nearby Williamsburg Options

Hasidic jewish district.

Walk to nearby South Williamsburg for the famous Hasidic Jewish community. Although it is located very close to the "hipster" district, the Jewish area is extremely different!

Directions: Walk south on Bedford Avenue. After approximately 15 short blocks, turn left onto Division Ave. Then turn right onto Lee Avenue.

Lee Avenue is the main shopping street. You will encounter many religious kosher businesses. This district continues approximately 1 kilometer along Lee Avenue.

Nearby businesses to visit: Gottleib's Deli - an old fashioned European Jewish delicatessen. Kaff's Bakery - kosher bakery offering many classic European & New York treats.

To return to Manhattan: take the J or Z subway line from Marcy Avenue station. Or take the G line at Flushing Avenue station, and transfer to another line for Manhattan.

View Our Guide to Hasidic Jewish Culture (Beliefs & Practices)

Hasidic Jews walking on street

Bushwick Collective Graffiti & Street Art

Just 15 minutes by subway will take you to one of the most famous graffiti mural districts in the USA! The Bushwick Collective and surrounding streets contain dozens of beautiful street artworks.

Directions: take the L subway line an additional 6 stops away from Manhattan, to Jefferson Street station.

View Our Guide to the Bushwick Collective Street Art & Graffiti

mural of a man's portrait

Enjoyed this Williamsburg Map? Make a charity donation

This map is provided for free. To show appreciation, please donate to the following nonprofit agency which supports low-income Brooklynites: St. Nicks Alliance. Your donation will support affordable housing, educational programs and job training. They serve Williamsburg and surrounding areas. Thank you in advance!

Copyright Jeffrey Stirewalt 2019. Under no circumstances is this material to be copied, sourced, referenced, reproduced etc. Any breach of this copyright will be pursued aggressively under the Digital Millennium Act and through all possible legal channels. But please share this and link to it!

Home / Directories / Parishes /

Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord

Brooklyn (williamsburg), new york.

Founded 1908

Diocese: Diocese of New York and New Jersey

Deanery: New York City Deanery

228 N 12th St Brooklyn (Williamsburg), New York 11211

Website: roct.org

Parish Contacts

Lay leadership.

General Location The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, on the southeast corner of the intersection of Driggs Ave and N 12th St.

From the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Rt 278) north or east bound Exit at Metropolitan Ave and Williamsburg Bridge (exit 32) and proceed along service road 2 lights to Union Ave.  Turn left onto Union and proceed to North 12th St.  Go about one block and the Cathedral will be on the left.

From the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Rt 278) south or west bound Exit at Metropolitan (Exit 32B) and turn right onto Union Ave.  Proceed down Union 3 blocks (to the park) to North 12th St.  Proceed down about 1 block, the Cathedral will be on the left.

From Long Island Take the Long Island Expressway (Rt 495) west to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (Rt 278) west/south.  Exit at Metropolitan Ave (Exit 32B) and tirn rightonto Union Ave.  Proceed down Union 3 blocks (to the park) to North 12th St.  Proceed down about 1 block, the Cathedral will be on the left.

by Subway We are 5 blocks from the Bedford Ave station on the L Train (14th St-Canarsie Line).  Walk 4 blocks north on Bedford Ave and 1 block east to Driggs Ave.

We are a stroll through McCarren park from the Nassau Ave Station of the G Line.  Walk south on Nassau Ave then diagonally southeast through the park.  You can’t miss seeing the Cathedral standing on the other side of the park.

By Bus The B61 bus runs between Jackson Ave / Queens Plaza south in Long Island City.  If coming northbound, get off at Bedford Ave and N 12th St, and walk one block east.  If coming southbound, get off at Driggs Ave and N 12 St, and cross street to Cathedral.

Schedule of Services

4:00 PM Vespers (Fall and Winter).  6:00 PM Vespers (Spring and Summer) Saturday Evening

9:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by Church School and fellowship hour. Sunday Morning

Confessions are heard one half-hour before all Liturgies and following Saturday evening Vigil. Confessions

Please visit the Weekly Schedule on the parish website, or call 718-387-1064 for Holy Days and other seasonal services.

Parish Background

The founders of this parish came from Galicia, a crownland of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, located in the southeastern section of today’s Poland, north of the Carpathian Mountains.  Due to economic problems and crop failures, the migration to America began about 1880.  Answering the need for cheap labor and the availability of low cost housing, they settled in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas of Brooklyn, Blissville and Maspeth sections of Queens.

Liturgical services were first held in the home of Lukas Taras, who lived on North 7th St in Williamsburg.  Upon locating more fellow countrymen who wanted to start an Orthodox Church, they collected $160.  This was used as a down payment with a mortgage of $16,000 to purchase a vacant wooden Methodist Church (1859).  It was located at North 5th St and Bedford Ave.  The church was named after St Vladimir.  The building was renovated to conform to Orthodox traditions, including a beautiful hand-carved 3 tier oak iconostas constructed by a German firm Dopple.  Various organizations contributed all the necessary liturgical items.

On Saturday, April 5, 1908, the first Vespers service was served and on Sunday, April 6, 1908, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated.  Both services were celebrated by (Saint) Archpriest Alexander Hotovitsky from St Nicholas Cathedral.  The first rector was the Rev Theophan Buketoff, who came from Montreal, Canada.

As the parish grew, a larger church was needed.  A site was found halfway between Williamsburg and Greenpoint consisting of 5 building lots on the corner of North 12th St and Driggs Ave, purchased for $16,000.  The architect, Louis Allmendiger based his design for the new church on the Cathedral of the Dormition within the Moscow Kremlin, having 5 domes supported by four large columns.  The Schneider Company was contracted to build it for $117,000.  Work began in 1916.

World War I created material shortages and insufficient funds delaying completion.  Due to the shortage of funds, the N 5th St church was sold in 1919, and church services were conducted in the incomplete building.  The Rev John Krohmalney led a drive to complete the church whose cost had risen by $20,000.  Various organizations and individuals donated the stained glass windows, and the Trinity Brotherhood donated to 1002 lbs, tone “A” bell.

Two additional altars were added.  The north one was dedicated to St Vladimir.  The center one was to the Transfiguration of our Lord and the south one was dedicated to the Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary.  This required two additions to the original iconostas that was transferred from the N 5th St church.

Metropolitan Platon consecrated the church on September 3, 1922.  Patriarch (Saint) Tikhon presented the parish with the revered Holy Icon of the Mother of God of Pochaev, which now hangs in a place of honor over the Royal Doors.  The back has an inscription “In Blessing to the Russian Orthodox people of Brooklyn”.

The Depression put the parish into financial difficulty.  Loans made by individuals and organizations could not be paid, people were begging for repayment.  The church committee was afraid it might have to close the church.  The VRev Constantine Buketoff arrived in February 1932 from Bayonne, NJ.  With the assisting church committee, the slow, painful job of paying off loans was accomplished.  It is said that through the parishioners’ “nickels and dimes”, the church finally became debt free.  Metropolitan Leonty ceremonially “burned the mortgage” in October 1950.

With the help of Matushka Mallitza Buketoff, the Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women was founded in 1932.

By a decision of the Synod of Bishops, Transfiguration Church was raised to the rank of Cathedral in 1932.

With the returning veterans of World War II, English was introduced into the Divine Liturg in 1946.

By a decision of the Bishops’ Sobor, Fr Constantine was awarded the Mitre by Bishop John in 1952, for his many accomplishments in organizing Orthodox churches.

With the birth of the “Baby Boomers” after the war, a Church Sunday School was organized in 1949.

Rev Nicholas Yuschak was ordained in the Church on November 7, 1953.  This began the era of two priestts being attached to Transfiguration.  English Divine Liturgy was served at 8:30 AM and Slavonic Divine Liturgy was served at 10:00 AM, with Sunday School classes held at 10.  Rev Daniel Hubiak followed as the next second priest.  During this period, the Sunday School had over 150 students.

Rev Alvian Smirensky was ordained on September 14, 1958 replacing Fr Hubiak.  Rev Innokenty Semoff followed Fr Alvian in 1961.  Rt Rev Constantine Buketoff retired in September 1964, having faithfully served Transfiguration Cathedral for 32 years.  Due to circumstances at the time, the era of two priests attached to the Cathedral ended.

VRev Igor Tkachuk was appointed Rector on October 1, 1966.  Through his guidance and efforts, restoration and beautification of the church continued.  The Cathedral now contains beautiful and irreplacable Icons, Gospels, and liturgical items.  During his tenure, one of our parishioners, John Sokolich was tonsured a Reader, reaching the rank of Protodeacon, the first attached deacon of the Cathedral.  He was later joined by Dn Alexis Bona.  Fr Igor retired in October 1984, and was made Pastor Emeritus by Archbishop Peter of New York.  Fr Igor fell asleep in the Lord on November 8, 1995.

VRev Anatoly Fiedoruk followed Fr Tkachuk as Acting Rector.  VRev Boris P Vlasenko arrived in August 1986 and served until his retirement in 1991.  Rev Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk arrived in November 1992 and is the present Rector.  In 1993, Peter Andryuk was ordained Subdeacon and in 1996, Boris Slootsky was ordained Deacon.  In April 1997, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America elevated Father Wiaczeslaw to the rank of Archpriest, and in March 2004, the Holy Synod of Bishops presented the honor of the Jeweled Cross to Father Wiaczeslaw in recognition of his faithfulness and priestly ministry.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the forebearers of Transfiguration Cathedral are members and/or founders of Orthodox parishes scattered throughout the United States, especially those organized in the 50s and 60s.

The 5 copper cupolas topped with Patriarchal crosses are visible far and wide in the New York area.  It is considered the largest of about 25 churches in the New York Metropolitan area.  Its well-known picture has appeared in local, national and international newspapers and magazines.  The historic picture taken in 1922 was displayed at the American Exposition in Moscow to show a Russian Orthodox Church in the United States (1954).  Viewers have seen it in commercials, on television, and in the movie “House on Carroll Street”.

Stories and pictures of the Cathedral have appeared in various books.  Among them are The History of New York City, of Brooklyn, The Architects Guide to New York City, and Landmarks of New York State.  On November 19, 1969, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord a landmark of New York City.  In recognition of its historical and architectural significance, it was listed on the National Register of Historical Places by the United States Department of the Interior, April 16, 1980.

In 1996 all of the parishioners decided that our over 80-year-old Cathedral needed general renovation and that our focus should be on the cupolas, windows, and roof.  The lowest contract bid in 1999 was $1.4 million; $1.6 million in 2000.  Because the parish did not have this amount of money, we tried to get grants from the federal government.  After a few years of striving for a grant, we received $350,000 from the Parks Department.  Even though we received a grant, galloping inflation raised the cost of the project again.  In 2003 a contract was signed to work on the first phase of the project (5 cupolas and windows), which was completed in 2004.  Now we are working on collecting funds for the second phase of the restoration project (the roof).

The year 2008 marks our Centennial Year.  We would like to invite everyone to celebrate this great event with us on September 13-14, 2008.

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  1. 30 AWESOME Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn (Local's Guide + Map)

    Walk the Williamsburg Bridge. One of the more active things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is walk the Williamsburg Bridge. Besides being an easy way to get you to/from Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, the bridge is a monument in its own right. The Williamsburg Bridge isn't as scenic as the Brooklyn Bridge walk (from DUMBO), but it does ...

  2. 35 Best Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Smorgasburg's 2024 season is set to start up on April 6! Where: 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn. 4. Brooklyn Brewery. Source / Brooklyn Brewery. Williamsburg's powerhouse brewery is one of our favorite things to do in the area, and is a great place to stop for a pint along your travels.

  3. 18 WONDERFUL Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Address: 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Enjoying the unforgettable steaks at Peter Luger is a top-notch experience in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Dating back to 1887, this cash-only establishment takes great pride in focusing on perfectly cooked dry-aged steaks and keeps frills to a minimum (luckily for us).

  4. Williamsburg, Brooklyn Guide

    Williamsburg. Photo: Gabby Jones. Though it's become more refined in recent years, Williamsburg still has a hipster vibe—as evidenced by indie music performances, gallery shows and shops run by local artisans. Distilleries and wineries show off the neighborhood's flair for locally made spirits, while Smorgasburg packs in creative food ...

  5. The 10 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    George Rose / Getty Images. View Map. Address. 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA. Phone +1 718-963-3369. Web Visit website. Brooklyn Bowl is an unusual venue: it's half-bowling alley, half-concert venue, and the food is prepared by one of Brooklyn's leading names in restaurants, Blue Ribbon.

  6. 18 Fun Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn (From A Local)

    6. Play, eat, dance & drink at Brooklyn Bowl. Address: 61 Wythe Avenue. The Brooklyn Bowl, one of the top Williamsburg attractions, is where locals head when they want to see live up-and-coming musical talent for cheap; however, one can also experience the joy that is buzzed bowling.

  7. 12 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn + MAP

    6. Marsha P. Johnson State Park, one of the best places in Williamsburg. The Marsha P. Johnson State Park is the best place to go in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for some fresh air. Formerly known as East River State Park, it was renamed in honor of Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ rights movement in NYC.

  8. A Guide to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    In many ways Williamsburg Brooklyn is the avocado toast of New York City ... Bedford Avenue might have morphed into a bit of a tourist trap in the past few years, but there is still a smattering ...

  9. Guide to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Brooklyn Brewery Things were a little different in Williamsburg when this brewery opened in the mid-1990s, but the popularity of its beers has remained steadfast. Take a tour (free on weekend afternoons) or venture straight for the airy tasting room.

  10. Williamsburg

    We spent a weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and had a most enjoyable time. It's a great place for walking, people watching, eating, and hanging out. There's so many cafes, restaurants, and great places to eat outdoors and inside. Some nice parks, and a great waterfront overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Read more.

  11. 22 Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (by a local)

    Ako Sushi - My go-to spot for sushi in Williamsburg; Ako serves sushi rolls and sashimi in a relaxed setting. Dine indoors or outdoors in their intimate courtyard. Tabare - Uruguayan restaurant serving empanadas, sandwiches, churrasco steak and other dishes in a dimly lit, cozy setting.

  12. Best Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

    Williamsburg isn't a really big neighborhood, but it does have a bunch of things to do. Here are some tours in Williamsburg and in Brooklyn that we recommend. Brooklyn: 3-Hour Williamsburg Bites Food Tour - Taste and discover the very best of what Williamsburg has to offer In this 3-hour food tour.

  13. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    By varla83. The Metropolitan Pool and Recreation Center is one of many such centers throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City... 26. Other Half Brewing - Domino Park. 2. Breweries. Williamsburg. By Q7912PStant. I really wanted to like the domino park location since I'm a long time fan and supporter of Other Half.

  14. 23 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Brooklyn Flea. One of the best things to do in Williamsburg is to shop at Brooklyn Flea located on N 6th Street. Here you can explore vendors selling vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, sunglasses, and much more! Since Brooklyn Flea is indoors, this is also a great option for bad weather.

  15. 21 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (From a Local)

    Bowling Fun at The Gutter. No trip to Williamsburg would be complete without stopping by The Gutter —a vintage bowling alley for those aged 21 or older that opened in 2007 with eight classic hardwood lanes from Midwest alleys. This unique spot also features a music/event area as well as. I've always been fascinated by the vibrant and ever ...

  16. Things to Do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    They have a small satellite location at the plaza outside the Oculus in the World Trade Center on Fridays. 4. Relax in McCarren Park. McCarren Park is a focal point of the neighborhood with plenty of things to do all year long. The park has baseball and softball fields, two dog parks, and a Greenmarket on Saturdays.

  17. 30+ Fun Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn

    Doughnut Plant (198 Bedford Ave)- This NYC-doughnut staple serves a variety of sourdough, yeast, vegan and cake doughnuts. Fun fact- this bakery created the world's first filled square doughnuts. Dun-Well Doughnuts (222 Montrose Avenue)- This all-vegan doughnut shop has a rotating menu of over 200 flavors.

  18. Top 15 of the Best Things To Do In Williamsburg Brooklyn

    Williamsburg, Brooklyn is an up-and-coming neighborhood filled with chic, boho vibes, music, art, and a prevalence of young adults. Check out our list of the top things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn! ... Brooklyn is the home of attractions like Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and Prospect Park, plus some of the best New York pizza. There are ...

  19. Williamsburg Visitor Map & Tourist Recommendations

    Williamsburg Visitor Map & Self Guided Tour - Brooklyn Submitted by Jeff on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 20:03 This page provides information for visiting Williamsburg, Brooklyn - the neighborhood where our Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour takes place.

  20. 171 N 1st St APT 5C, Brooklyn, NY 11211

    171 N 1st St APT 5C, Brooklyn, NY 11211 is pending. Zillow has 6 photos of this 2 beds, 2 baths, 970 Square Feet condo home with a list price of $1,820,000.

  21. Mama Lee

    Williamsburg - North Side, Brooklyn, NY. 0. 1. 1. May 25, 2024. 1 photo. Amazing food and fabulous service! We were treated very kindly by Mama Lee and the rest of the staff. Our dishes came out fast and delicious and we will definitely be sure to return if in town! ... Would take a nyc tourist here.

  22. Parishes

    The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, on the southeast corner of the intersection of Driggs Ave and N 12th St. From the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Rt 278) north or east bound. Exit at Metropolitan Ave and Williamsburg Bridge (exit 32) and proceed along service road 2 ...

  23. Shomrim (neighborhood watch group)

    The Shomrim patrol groups were first established in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush, and Williamsburg in the late 1970s and early 1980s. [2] [6] [13] Similar patrols were later established in Haredi neighborhoods in Monsey, New York ; [ citation needed ] Baltimore , Maryland; [3] Miami , Florida; [16 ...

  24. The 13 Best Places for Moscow Mule in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    The 13 Best Places for Moscow Mule in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Created by Foursquare Lists • Published On: July 16, 2021. Share. Tweet. 1. The Ides at Wythe Hotel. 80 Wythe Ave (at N 11th St), Brooklyn, NY. Hotel Bar · Williamsburg · 162 tips and reviews. Jordan Crook: Beautiful view. Moscow Mule delicious.

  25. No sleep till Brooklyn: how hipster Moscow fell in love with Williamsburg

    Ferma and Williamsburg Studio are also running street food kiosks in Gorky Park; Ferma's, which slings Mexican corn inspired by Cafe Habana, features a rusty metal sign that Tardatyan lugged home from Brooklyn Flea market and NYC-brand condoms at the counter. Granted, some of these details betray a whiff of hobbyism.