Travel

Brooklyn Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Devoción
69 Grand St., Williamsburg
A massive roaster occupies the front half of this vast Williamsburg café, adding an industrial vibe to this otherwise cheerful, sunlight-flooded brick space near the East River. Arrive early to snag a seat (this is freelancer HQ for the surrounding blocks, and tables go quickly), but once you’re in, there’s strong Wi-Fi and stronger coffee. We especially appreciate the daily newspapers and magazines available for catching up on the news the old-school way.
Bakeri
150 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
A tiny café in the heart of Williamsburg, Bakeri is one of the original neighborhood hangouts in this ever-evolving slice of Brooklyn. All of the bread and pastries are made in-house, but locals also swear by the breakfast items, like organic eggs Provençal, baked in tomato sauce and served with a side of sourdough rye, and the lunch salads, like grapefruit avocado with kale, red onion, fennel, pepitas, and sea salt. Most people take their food to go, but the main dining room is small, cozy, and highly recommended in winter, while the backyard is a shady, cool escape in the middle of hot, humid NYC summers. There are also outposts in Greenpoint and the East Village in Manhattan.
Bellocq Tea Atelier
104 West St., Greenpoint
An industrial swath of Greenpoint isn’t the first place you’d think to find this charming curiosity shop dedicated to specialty teas, but the hidden, unexpected location is part of the fun (ring the doorbell for entry). Once inside, you’ll find a quiet retreat, with plants hanging from the ceiling and large canisters lining the purple-painted walls, filled with whole-leaf organic teas from everywhere far away: China, Japan, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malawi. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable about any tea-related question, and aside from tea itself, there are a handful of accessories for sale—sticks of Japanese sandalwood incense, Bellocq’s own line of candles inspired by various tea blends, and all thing tea-related.
Sweatshop
232 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
Australian cafés have been popping up all over Manhattan in the past several years (Two Hands and Ruby’s being two of our favorites). Now Brooklyn is getting a few of its own—including Sweatshop, which was opened on a busy stretch of Williamsburg’s Metropolitan Avenue in 2014 by Melbourne natives Luke Woodard and Ryan De Remer. The menu is full of Aussie classics (including a killer flat white and Vegemite-enhanced sandwiches), and their version of avocado toast is done with chunks of ripe avocado mixed with feta, citrus, and herb oil on a thick slab of sourdough, topped with flaky sea salt and chili flakes.
Mister Dips
111 N. 12th St., Greenpoint
Inside a 1970s Airstream trailer at the William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini (of Locanda Verde, the Dutch, and Lafayette fame) and team keep the vibe loose and delicious by churning out a simple menu of the ultimate comfort food. The burgers, wrapped in a wax paper sleeve, come with a mix of cheese and a special tangy-sweet sauce on a potato bun. (All the burgers are available as singles or doubles.) There's also a veggie burger, made of black beans and mushrooms, and waffle fries. Don't leave without a soft serve—especially the Berry Gibbs, with strawberry, Nilla wafer, and sweet cream, which lives up to all the hype. And yes, there’s a lot of hype.
Smith Canteen (Closed)
343 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
This grab-and-go café and coffee bar is tucked into an old pharmacy from the turn of the twentieth century (tile floors and original shelving that now displays indie journals). It also happens to be run by Cherry Bombe's Kerry Diamond. The team whips up their own fresh almond milk daily, and the turmeric latte is the thing to order; there’s also a solid menu of green, black, and herbal teas, plus the standard espresso drinks you’d expect from a spot like this. Their new baker, Gabi, is known for her strawberry, basil, and quinoa muffins—they’re usually sold out by 9 a.m. Photos: Naian Gonzalez
Champion Coffee
142 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
A goop staffer randomly happened upon this gem on Nassau Avenue when she was—appropriately—craving a coffee. Champion is a tiny, subway-tiled hole-in-the-wall that ticks all the boxes: They roast their own beans in Queens (which you can buy, packaged in retro tins for a non-exorbitant price), the counter holds a tempting selection of baked treats and bagels for sustenance, and best for last, you’ll find a decent selection of magazine titles to rifle through should you be caffeinating solo.
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