NEW YORK (eTN) – With a thriving arts community, diverse ethnic enclaves and some of the City’s most distinct shopping and dining experiences, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood has in recent years become one of New York City’s hippest areas. And with its easy accessibility — just a short ride on the L train from Manhattan’s Union Square — Williamsburg also stands apart as an ideal destination for visitors looking to explore another side of the City.
“Williamsburg is a haven for the young and the hip,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the City’s official marketing and tourism organization. “It is also a draw for domestic and international visitors who are seeking to discover neighborhoods with new dining and culture options.”
In addition to the L train, visitors can take the J, M, Z lines from Manhattan. Those who do take the L, however, will find themselves just a short walk from the Lorimer Street station to the neighborhood’s first hotel, the newly opened 54-room Hotel Le Jolie. Sixteen of the hotel’s rooms offer stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. A choice of king, queen or double twin beds is available, and the hotel offers added pluses like 42-inch, flat- screen televisions, a 24-hour business center, free continental breakfast and minibars. The hotel is an economical choice, with room rates that are under $200, a rare find in New York City (235 Meeker Avenue, hotellejolie.com).
Close by is the hip and cozy Roebling Tea Room, offering coffee, spirits and great food. Located at 143 Roebling Street, the entrance is on Metropolitan Avenue. Relax on one of the comfortable sofas or sit at the long bar and sample some of the delicious fare (roeblingtearoom.com).
Just outside Roebling Tea Room is the hip Boundless Studio, located in the same building, which touts itself as a “melting pot of media, music and clothing.” From accessories to footwear, outerwear, hats, tees and tops, this stylish boutique has plenty for the adventurous shopper (boundlessny.com).
Walking down Metropolitan Avenue heading toward the Manhattan skyline, you will eventually hit Bedford Avenue, where visitors will find some of the City’s hippest boutiques, coffeehouses and food and wine shops.
New coffee haunt Blackbird Parlour has recently opened at 197 Bedford Avenue at North 6th Street. The menu features coffee, tea and dessert, along with a variety of sandwiches and other dishes.
Not far away is Pema New York, at 225 Bedford Avenue. Consisting of hand- knit wool accessories and hemp wear for men and women, the merchandise is designed by Migmar Tsering. Select designer collections in apparel, jewelry, leather goods and footwear are also part of the offerings (pemany.com).
Just next door sits the Bedford Cheese Shop. Located at 229 Bedford Avenue, at North 4th Street, the meticulously kept gourmet shop offers more than just cheese from around the world. There’s also finds like Sag Harbor sea salts, New York State maple syrup and fresh mozzarella. The shop has an old-fashioned feel, and offers a cheese plate of the day and a sandwich of the day (bedfordcheeseshop.com).
Close by is the Brooklyn Brewery, located at 79 North 11th Street. Situated right in the heart of Williamsburg, the brewery offers tours every Saturday at 1, 2, 3 and 4pm. No reservations are required. Happy hour is offered every Friday from 6-11pm (brooklynbrewery.com).
More good beer can be found at Mugs Ale House, located at 125 Bedford Avenue. Known as the “Cheers” of Williamsburg, this popular spot is considered one of the best beer joints in New York City (mugsalehouse.com).
For good wine, try D.O.C. Wine Bar, located at 83 North 7th Street. The rustic Williamsburg enoteca with a Sardinian slant offers delicious cheeses, wines and panini near the waterfront (docwinebar.com).
Located at 331 Bedford Avenue is PT Restaurant, an intimate Italian eatery with a Japanese influence. Diners can relax in a cozy, rustic and industrial atmosphere. During the warmer months, don’t miss the gorgeous garden (ptbrooklyn.com).
For those seeking a trendy atmosphere and delicious food, try Diner, located on the South Side of Williamsburg at 85 Broadway, one block from the Williamsburg Bridge. Located inside a 1920s Kullman Diner, the eatery serves lunch, dinner and brunch, as well as a full bar (dinernyc.com).
My Moon, a Mediterranean eatery built in the old boiler room of a warehouse, features indoor and outdoor seating and large art space that changes every few months. Located at 184 North 10th Street between Bedford and Driggs Avenues, the romantic restaurant has been referred to by Zagat as Williamsburg’s “best place for a first date” (mymoonnyc.com).
For those who want a seriously good meal, try the world-renowned Peter Luger Steakhouse. Serving the finest USDA Prime steaks since 1887, the restaurant is located at 178 Broadway (peterluger.com).