A guide of what to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn including where to eat, shop, stay, and hang out!
Go to Williamsburg to enjoy a more relaxed pace and less crowded locale. It’s more residential and you will find things you can’t anywhere else. The abundance of independent boutiques and general lack of national chains is refreshing.
The shopping in Williamsburg is wonderful. There are dozens of shops focused on clothing and home goods – all seem to be well curated and decently affordable.
Brooklyn’s restaurants are diverse and filled with neighborhood charm. You feel more like you can take your time, the dining experience isn’t as hurried as it can be in Manhattan.
Getting to Williamsburg:
You can either take the train (the L, J, M, Z, and G will all take you there) or for a more scenic journey you can take the ferry to North 5thStreet Pier or South Williamsburg.
Parks in Williamsburg:
This 5-acre park along the East River has views of the Manhattan Bridge, a taco stand, a playground, an elevated walkway, beach volleyball courts, bocce courts, a dog run, and pathways for runners.
The park is located in a space that was once occupied by the Domino Sugar Factory.
Marsha P. Johnson State Park (formerly East River State Park)
A 7-acre park also with bridge and Manhattan views, the space was the site of a shipping dock during the 19thcentury and remnants of cobblestone streets and railway tracks can be found within the park. In the summers, the SummerStage concert series brings free concerts to this park. (A photo of this park is the first image in this post).
Located just south of the Marsha P. Johnson State Park, ferry service to Manhattan runs to this park.
A large park with a dog run and a wide variety of athletic fields. Unlike the other parks on this list, this park isn’t along the waterfront, so it isn’t quite as scenic or as touristy. The park is also home to a pool and play center.
What to Do in Williamsburg:
A movie theater with locations in both Williamsburg and Prospect park that shows new release movies and classic films. A full food and drink menu is available to enjoy while you watch the movie.
More than just a bowling alley, Brooklyn Bowl is also a live music venue and a bar/restaurant.
Don’t let the name confuse you, this is a concert venue.
Where to Eat in Williamsburg:
Walk in the door to be greeted by the scent of bacon cooking. You can eat like it’s Sunday all week long at this restaurant that serves brunch daily. I had a classic breakfast of cheddar scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, and toasted sourdough bread. It was perfection. My friend Cait says the pancakes are incredible, I did spot some and they looked thick and delicious.
A sunlit coffee shop specializing in single origin brews. It’s a local hangout filled with people quietly working on laptops. The centerpiece of the space is a large living wall with vibrant green plants. This coffee shop has locations in Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn.
A German-style beer hall filled with long communal tables with an outdoor biergarten that is a popular place to hang out on sunny weekends. The menu features German classics like wursts, spaetzel, and schnitzel. Live music is hosted everyday with two acts on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – the best part is that there is no cover charge.
A sunlight whitewashed vegetarian/vegan restaurant that serves healthy plant based meals and fresh juices. Many of the menu items are available either vegetarian (with dairy products) or vegan (with plant-based cheese).
A food hall and event space featuring over a dozen different eateries. Choose between pierogies, pizza, Vietnamese noodles, ramen, dumplings, bagels, tacos, hummus, and lobster rolls. In the center of the hall there is an area where guests and sit and dine together after gathering meals from separate food stalls.
A casual neighborhood pizza place that makes square Detroit-style pizza. My friend Cait introduced me to this restaurant that has red and white sauce options with a variety of gourmet toppings.
This coffeehouse has 13 locations throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan and seems to be a place where locals like to settle in and get some work done. They serve Stumptown Coffee plus pastries and sandwiches.
You can stop in an enjoy a beer in the taproom or tour the brewery. They are known for hosting events like live music and trivia nights. Weekend tours are free and small batch tours that include beer samples are $18.
A bright welcoming bakery/coffeeshop with a big selection of pastries including macarons, alfajores, and cookies.
A Moroccan restaurant were you can feast on tagines, couscous, bastilla (filo pastry stuffed with chicken and almonds seasoned with cinnamon and saffron), curries, falafel, and more. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner 365 days a year. The first location is in the East Village.
The menu at this eatery lets patrons mix and match types of meatballs (classic, pork, chicken, and veggie to name a few) with a variety of different sauces. They also serve salads, pastas, sandwiches, and entrees.
A taco stand located in Domino Park, Taco Cina is open year-round. They press their own tortillas and they serve tacos and margaritas.
Where to Shop in Williamsburg:
One of multiple locations in NYC, Artists & Fleas has a mix of flea market stalls and pop up shops from local artists and craftspeople.
A large market featuring vintage, design, antiques, collectables, and food. The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays and there are locations in Williamsburg and DUMBO. Check the website for exact hours and locations.
A two level independent bookshop with a wide selection of books. The shop also hosts events like book clubs, author events, and activities for children.
A shop with brightly colored modern furniture, art, lighting, tableware, and other home accessories. It’s a beautiful space to browse around.
This shop is the brainchild of Lauren Singer of @trashisfortossers fame. She’s known for living a promoting a sustainable almost trash-free lifestyle. She was able to fit years of her trash in a single 16-ounce mason jar. Now she is the CEO of the Package Free shop which sells the sustainable products she uses on a daily basis. The store is divided into sections like drinkware, skin care, hair care, food storage, and laundry.
This shop has two locations in Williamsburg, the larger location has a big selection of plants, while the second location has more tableware.
You can find pastel-hued home goods like pillows, blankets, baskets, and tableware. They also sell candles, jewelry, and skincare items.
A game store with a massive selection that also hosts events like Magic The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons nights.
Although the name Ralph Lauren usually makes me think more of preppy clothing, this location has hipster/Western vibes. You can shop lots of denim here and more rugged clothing, not crisp white oxford shirts.
Find classic men’s casual clothing here. Think sturdy tees and sweatshirts in bold colors, along with a mix of home goods and camping essentials here.
Word on the street is the sales at this store are higher than those of the Apple Store down the street. This skateboarding shop and clothing brand is housed in a former delivery truck storage space. The centerpiece of the shop is a wooden skate bowl.
A shop on Bedford Avenue with a huge selection of affordable jewelry along with some fine jewelry.
Here you can shop a mix of boho-chic dresses, succulents, books, and other gifts.
I loved the big selection of affordable women’s clothing at this shop. There are lots of patterned and colorful dresses – I loved that I could find a non-maternity dress that works with my baby bump.
This market features a selection of international brands along with art installations. Each month the market focuses on one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
I loved the sparkly dresses in this store. They have a mix of clothing for women that is fitting for everyday, plus dresses perfect for a special occasion.
Many of the boutiques in Brooklyn are aimed at women and don’t sell men’s clothing. ID menswear focuses solely on men’s apparel. You can find denim, jackets, sweaters, shirts, plus ties and accessories here.
This shop carries a mix of vintage clothing and independent designers. You can find a mix of women’s clothing and jewelry here.
Find children’s clothing, art supplies, toys, games, and books at this shop. I love that they carry wooden toys and educational toys.
Hello Brooklyn is a women’s boutique selling clothing, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories.
A Bedford Avenue “mall” were you can find a mix of independent retailers selling new and vintage clothing for men, women, and children, gifts, books, and home goods.
Shop preppy blazers, smart corduroy suits, and rugby shirts at this store within the North 3rd Street Market.
A popup shop within the North 3rd Street Market, The Little Red Planet is a children’s boutique featuring 30 designers from around the world.
Where to Stay in Williamsburg:
As Williamsburg has become a more popular destination, hotels have flocked to the neighborhood. These hotels are new, stylish, and well located for exploring the neighborhood.
A five-star hotel with stunning views of Manhattan and a rooftop restaurant, all 183 rooms at The William Vale have floor to ceiling windows and balconies.
Rooms start at $199 at this hotel that has 175 rooms – a mix of smaller “cosy” rooms and larger “roomy” bedrooms. Amenities including picking your own check in and check out time and a light breakfast.
A boutique hotel where you can find a cafe, bar, and pool on the rooftop. Many rooms have views of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. This hotel has five different room types which range from rooms with queen beds to suites with terraces. You can read more about my friend Jenn’s stay at the hotel my clicking below:
An independent and affordable hotel located in an old factory building constructed in 1901, The Wythe Hotel has rooms ranging to 200 square feet bedrooms with bunkbeds to larger rooms with kind beds and exposed brick walls. Some rooms have views of the Manhattan skyline.
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