Williamsburg is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, as little as one subway stop away from Manhattan, and is bordered to the north by Greenpoint, to the east by Bushwick and to the south by Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Since the 1990s, Williamsburg has transitioned from a traditional working-class Jewish, Italian, Polish and Latino neighborhood into a poster child for urban renewal and gentrification. The North Side and Greenpoint have become some of New York's hottest areas, with new bars and restaurants popping up every month. The South Side still has a very traditional feel with a large Hasidic Jewish population.
These neighborhoods together will give you everything you look for in New York: views, food, people, and plenty to explore. There is something here for every visitor.
- Williamsburg- Take L train from Manhattan to Bedford or Lorimer. The closest water taxi stop is "North Williamsburg" via the East River Ferry. This used to be what Greenwich Village used to be - an artsy scene complete with eclectic galleries and off-beat bars. It has since gentrified with many new high-rise condos with multi-million dollar apartments. Most galleries and artists have long been priced out, moving to Bushwick and other areas. Williamsburg has become a nightlife destination with many bars, restaurants, and clubs drawing people from all parts of the city and surrounding areas. With four new luxury hotels, many foreign tourists are flocking to Williamsburg, looking for something more edgy than Manhattan.
- East Williamsburg- Centered around the Morgan Ave stop on the L train. Seemingly a desolate industrial area, this neighborhood has surprises around every corner. Try out Roberta's Pizza, which gets its ingredients for its fabulous pizzas from its own rooftop farm, and from befriended urban farms in the area. For a drink, head to The Narrows or King's County. Many of New York's underground warehouse parties are thrown in this area as well.
- Greenpoint- At the northern tip of Brooklyn, Greenpoint used to have the second largest Polish enclave in the United States (after Chicago) but gentrification by young people priced out of other neighborhoods has led to a decline in the Polish population and businesses. One publication even declared "Polish Greenpoint does not exist any more." Greenpoint is still home to a sizable Latino population (north of Huron St.) and a growing number of hipsters (see Franklin St.). L Magazine once called Greenpoint the best neighborhood in all of Brooklyn. The part that is quickly getting gentrified centers around the Nassau stop on the G train. The remnants of its Polish past are further up Manhattan Ave and on Nassau Avenue. The abandoned industrial part in the north is now zoned for luxury high-rise development.
- Bushwick- Rich in its own history, Bushwick is home to many brownstones, mansions, and projects alike. Many galleries and artists priced out of Williamsburg have moved here. It can almost be divided into two areas defined by Myrtle Avenue. North of it is the more trendy area with lots of art, bars, and restaurants along with an influx of young creative types. South of it is essentially ungentrified with more long-time residents in lower income brackets. As a low-income neighborhood, shopping can be done on Knickerbocker Avenue, whether for clothes, appliances, or food. The newly restored Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Ave. and Suydam St. is a nice spot to bring the kids and relax in the shade of the trees. While it's not like neighboring "East Williamsburg", Williamsburg, or Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick has its own sense of community, not to be confused with anything else. However violent crime is a still among the social problems in a community with a high poverty rate.
You can take the J/M/Z trains to Marcy Avenue for the South Side or the L to Bedford Avenue for the North Side. The East River Ferry makes stops in both north and south Williamsburg. The G train also runs through the neighborhood. This general area is served by the Bedford Avenue through Bushwick-Aberdeen stations on the L train and the Marcy Avenue through Chauncy Street stations on the J/Z trains. The M stations from Marcy Avenue through Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue also serve this area. There is a bus station at the Marcy Avenue station and at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station in Bushwick. The B39 bus goes over the Williamsburg Bridge along with the J/M/Z trains and goes to the Lower East Side.
- 1 Bedford Avenue. The area around the Bedford Avenue subway stop is one of the most lively areas and a great place to hang out and see hipsters (as well as many tourists).
- 2 The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave (at Havemeyer; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave, L to Lorimer St), ☏ +1 718 782-4842, email@example.com. Th-Su noon-6PM. Small storefront museum with random artifacts from the city's history.
- 3 Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, 135 Broadway (at Bedford Ave/S 6th St; Subway: J M Z to Marcy Ave), ☏ +1 718 486-7372, firstname.lastname@example.org. F-M noon-6PM. Housed in the former Kings County Savings Bank Building, constructed in 1867. Features art exhibitions and displays of historical art and artifacts.
- 4 Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N 11th St (between Berry and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau Ave). The brewery has grown to buildings on both sides of 11th, and they offer tours on both weekends and weekdays. The tour is a lot of fun and educational, and you get tokens to sample some of the delicious brew. They don't have a kitchen, but some great local pizza places deliver to the brewery -- it may seem odd but it's encouraged. There are some no reservation tours on Saturday and Sunday, with reservations required for smaller, more private tours Monday through Thursday. On Friday there are no tours, but it's a popular hangout. More information on tours can be found at their website.
- 5 The Bushwick Collective (Subway: L to Jefferson). The area all around the Jefferson stop on the L train is an open-air gallery of some of the best street art in the world.
- 1 The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Ave (at Lorimer; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave, L to Lorimer St), ☏ +1 718 907-6189. A former garage, The Brick is home to cutting-edge independent theater, The New York Clown Theater Festival, and an annual themed festival each year (past themes included the Moral Values Festival and the $ellout Festival). Tickets are $15.
- 2 Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N 6th St (between Kent and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave), ☏ +1 718 486-5400. Door times usually at 8PM. Hosts larger indie rock concerts for the 18+ crowd. 600-person capacity.
- Shea Stadium. No, not that Shea Stadium. This is an all-ages DIY music venue. -->
- 3 Warsaw, 261 Driggs Ave (at Eckford; Subway: G to Nassau Ave), ☏ +1 718 387-0505. Door times usually at 7PM or 8PM. Music venue located inside the Polish National Home in Greenpoint. Events are 18+. Tickets usually $20-35.
- 4 Union Pool, 484 Union Ave (Subway: L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitan). This is a bar and concert venue. In the summer, they host free live music in their back courtyard.
- 5 Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave (Subway: L to Bedford). This is a large and popular bowling alley that hosts concerts and other events.
- 6 House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave (Subway: L to Jefferson). This eclectic club hosts a variety of events from dance parties to burlesque.
- 7 Good Room, 98 Meserole Ave (Subway: G to Nassau). One of the best electronic dance clubs in the city, with no pretentiousness.
- 8 Bembe, 81 S 6th St (Subway: L to Bedford, J M Z to Marcy). This small club spins African and Latin beats.
- 9 Schimanski, 54 N 11th St (Subway: L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau Ave). Another large electronic dance music club.
- 1 Academy Records Annex, 85 Oak St (at Franklin; Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave), ☏ +1 718 218-8200. Noon-8PM daily. Fairly large selection of vinyl records.
- 2 Earwax Records, 167 N 9th St (between Bedford and Driggs; Subway: L to Bedford Ave), ☏ +1 718 486-3771. 11AM-9PM daily. This record store has operated at various locations in Williamsburg since 1990.
- 3 Beacon's Closet, 74 Guernsey St (between Berry and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau Ave). M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa-Su 11AM-8PM. A big thrift store focusing on clothes, they buy and sell and have lots of variety for men and women. Also lots of shoes.
- 4 Rough Trade NYC, 64 North 9th Street, ☏ +1 718 388-4111. 11:00 to 11:00. The sole American branch of the London-based independent record stores. It is the largest record store in New York. Also features a live music venue, photo booth, and ping-pong table.
- 5 Artists & Fleas, 70 N 7th St (Subway: L to Bedford), ☏ +1 917 488 4203. A large indoor market with many different local craft vendors selling jewelry, clothing, art, housewares, and more. Open on Saturday and Sunday.
- Toys 4 U Located at 232 Lee Avenue, meeting all your toy and game needs. (718) 643-3400.
Get Polish food at Karczma (136 Greenpoint Av.), coffee at Ashbox (Manhattan Av. between Ash & Box), brunch at Brooklyn Label (Franklin & Java), Mexican at Acapulco's (Manhattan & Clay). 5 Leaves, on the north-west corner of McCarren park, is one of the best restaurants of the entire city, built up with the estate that Heath Ledger left behind after he passed away.
There are a few remaining good Polish meat markets along Manhattan and Nassau Avs, too. For some industrial chic, walk down Java Street to its dead end at the East River for great views of Midtown. Nearest subway: G train to Nassau Av. and Greenpoint Av. stations.
- 1 Peter Luger Steak House, 178 Broadway (at Driggs; Subway: J M Z to Marcy Ave), ☏ +1 718 387-7400. M-Th 11:45AM–9:45PM, F Sa 11:45AM–10:45PM, Su 12:45PM–9:45PM. Rated New York's No. 1 Steak House for 23 years in a row by Zagat! Located near the entrance to the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge, this over 100-year-old establishment offers what many connoisseurs consider the best steak in America and it is priced as such. Reservations recommended. Does not accept any national credit cards; debit cards OK.
- 2 SEA, 114 N 6th St (at Berry; Subway: L to Bedford Ave), ☏ +1 718 384-8850. Su-Th 11:30AM-11:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-1:30AM. In a spacious and lively setting, complete with a reflecting pool and Buddha statues, you'll find what some consider among the best Thai fusion food, especially for the money, though sticklers for authenticity complain the food is too sweet. All of the curries are highly recommended, as are the emerald vegetable dumplings with black plum sauce and the green salad with mesclun, bean sprouts, taro chips and peanut dressing. DJs join the fray in the evenings.
- 3 Roberta's, 261 Moore St (at Bogart; Subway: L to Morgan Ave), ☏ +1 718 417-1118. M-F 11AM-midnight, Sa Su 10AM-midnight. Some of the best pizza in the entire city. Great inside and outside. Ingredients taken from rooftop farms around Brooklyn and Queens.
- 4 Five Leaves, 18 Bedford Ave (at Nassau/Lorimer; Subway: G to Nassau Ave), ☏ +1 718 383-5345. 8AM-1AM daily. One of Greenpoint's most popular new restaurants. Great, original food, place with vintage feel and a cocktail bar across the street. Coffee to go sold out the window. This place is very popular, so prepare to wait a little.
- 5 Kabob Shack, 182 Havemeyer St, ☏ +1 718 387-7111. Shockingly cheap for New York, even in Brooklyn. Kabob Shack serves up a simple menu of kabobs and falafel with fries, rice, and a few other side dishes and appetizers. The cooks pay attention to the food and you can feed two people quite well for less than $20.
- 6 Smorgasburg, 90 Kent Ave (Subway: L to Bedford). Open from spring to fall on Saturdays, this large outdoor food fair is in East River Park with many different gourmet food vendors.
- 7 Champs Diner, 197 Meserole St (Subway: L to Montrose). A retro-style diner with vegan American comfort food.
- 8 Two Boots Pizza, 558 Driggs Ave (Subway: L to Bedford), ☏ +1 718 387-2668, email@example.com. Su–Th 11:30AM–9PM, F Sa 11:30 AM–10PM. The Williamsburg location of the New York-based Italian-Cajun fusion pizzeria.
- 9 Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop, 727 Manhattan Ave (Subway: G to Nassau). This is a time capsule of a 1950s donut shop with delicious pastries.
- 1 Barcade, 388 Union Ave (between Ainslie and Powers; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave or L to Lorimer St), ☏ +1 718 302-6464. M-Th 4PM-4AM, F 2PM-4AM, Sa Su noon-4AM. Features at least 30-40 classic 1970s and 80s arcade games, all for 25 cents! Also has 20 microbrews on tap and specialty beer nights.
- 2 Surf Bar, 139 N 6th St (between Bedford and Berry; Subway: L to Bedford Ave), ☏ +1 718 302-4441. A tiki bar, true to form with sand on the ground, coconuts and all kinds of other beach artifacts. They serve tiki cocktails plus your usual bar drinks. A fun place, especially in flip flops.
- 3 Westlight, 11 N 12th St (Subway: L to Bedford, G to Nassau). On top of the new William Vale hotel, this upscale lounge is the highest bar in Williamsburg with panoramic views of Manhattan.
- 4 Brooklyn Barge, 79 West St (Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave), ☏ +1 929-337-7212. Open only during the summer, this outdoor bar floats on the East River.
- 5 Maison Première, 298 Bedford Ave (Subway: L to Bedford). An oyster bar with old-world charm that specializes in Absinthe drinks.
- 6 Spritzenhaus33, 33 Nassau Ave (Subway: G to Nassau). A large indoor beer garden with a wide selection of craft beer. On weekday afternoons, it's a popular place for parents with children. On weekend nights it becomes very packed with young people who come into Williamsburg.
- 7 Jackbar, 143 Havemeyer St (at Havemeyer; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, J M Z to Marcy Ave). A small divish bar with a large collection of vintage pinball machines.
- 8 Radegast Hall & Biergarten, 113 N 3rd St (Subway: L to Bedford). A large indoor beer garden that often has live old-time jazz.
- 9 Lot 45, 411 Troutman St (Subway: L to Jefferson). A large lounge with a quasi-outdoor area and some games like ping-pong.
- 10 Freehold, 45 S 3rd St (Subway: L to Bedford). This is a coffee shop during the day and a stylish lounge in the evening. In warm weather, they have a large courtyard with various games.
- 1 Greenpoint YMCA, 99 Meserole Ave (at Lorimer St; Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave or Nassau Ave), ☏ +1 718 389-3700, fax: +1 718 349-2146. Economy and deluxe rooms daily, weekly and monthly rates; higher prices during peak period. $99 for a double room. $48-69.
- 2 NY Moore Hostel, 179 Moore St (Subway: L to Morgan Ave), ☏ +1 (347) 227-8634, Info@NYMooreHostel.com. Located in East Williamsburg and covered with street art. Dorms around $50.
- 3 The William Vale, 111 N 12th St (Subway: L to Bedford, G to Nassau). This luxury hotel is the tallest in Williamsburg. $250 and up.
- 4 McCarren Hotel, 160 N 12th St (Subway: L to Bedford, G to Nassau). On McCarren Park. $200 and up.
- 5 The Williamsburg Hotel, 96 Wythe Ave (Subway L to Bedford). $220 and up.
- 6 Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave (Subway: L to Bedford). An industrial-chic hotel with a trendy roof bar. $300 and up.
- 7 BKLYN House, 9 Beaver St (Subway: J M to Flushing Ave), ☏ +1-718-388-4433, firstname.lastname@example.org. 2.5 star hotel
- Brooklyn Public Library (Bushwick branch), 340 Bushwick Ave (at Seigel; Subway: J M Z to Flushing Ave or L to Montrose Ave), ☏ +1 718 602-1348. M 1PM-8PM, Tu W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (DeKalb branch), 790 Bushwick Ave (at DeKalb; Subway: J M Z to Kosciuszko St), ☏ +1 718 455-3898. M Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Greenpoint branch), 107 Norman Ave (between Eckford and Leonard; Subway: G to Nassau Ave), ☏ +1 718 349-8504. M Tu 10AM-6PM, W Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Leonard branch), 81 Devoe St (at Leonard; Subway: L to Lorimer St or G to Metropolitan Ave), ☏ +1 718 486-3365. M 1PM-8PM, Tu W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Washington Irving branch), 360 Irving Ave (at Woodbine; Subway: L M to Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves), ☏ +1 718 628-8378. M Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Williamsburgh branch), 240 Division Ave (at Marcy; Subway: J M Z to Marcy Ave), ☏ +1 718 302-3485. M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
|Routes through Williamsburg|
|END ← Long Island City, Queens ←||N S||→ Bed-Stuy → Downtown Brooklyn|
|Financial District ← Lower East Side, Manhattan ←||W E||→ Bed-Stuy → East Brooklyn|
|Chelsea/Greenwich Village ← Gramercy Flatiron/East Village, Manhattan ←||W E||→ East Brooklyn → END|
|Midtown ← Lower East Side, Manhattan ←||W E||→ Forest Park, Queens → END|
|Jackson Heights ← Long Island City ←||N S||→ Brooklyn → Staten Island|