524 Nostrand Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant
In this town, we feel like coffee culture is taken very seriously—layered notes this, caramel notes that—while the world of tea often takes a backseat. But tea has a deep complexity and global culture all its own. Alfonso Wright and Jamila McGill, the duo behind Brooklyn Tea, get it. Their tea room on Nostrand Avenue is the spot for a steaming pot of Japanese sencha or single-estate Assam. The owners are incredibly knowledgeable about tea farming and emphasize the importance of choosing loose-leaf over industrially produced bagged tea. (Tea bags are generally bleached, and the crushed, dusty tea leaves they contain are often of an inferior quality compared to whole, loose-leaf options). Trade your weekend coffee for tea and sip it among the tea connoisseurs that frequent this gem of a café.
385 Tompkins Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant
Bed-Vyne Wine & Spirits is a collaboration from four wine and booze enthusiasts. Instead of sticking to the rubric and categorizing its inventory by region only, Bed-Vyne opts for accessibility and categorizes by taste. Do you like sweet? Dry? Earthy? Floral? Bed-Vyne has it all, and much of it is unusual. On the spirits end, the founders favor locally made and artisanal products and wine produced by Black-owned wineries, plus wines made under their own Bed-Vyne label. Order for local delivery via Drizly or download the custom app to scroll through the inventory and load up your cart.
894 Broadway, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Whether you’re looking for a place to buy flowers, sip coffee, or enjoy a cocktail and dance to a live DJ set, you can find it all under one roof in Brooklyn. Cafe Erzulie—named after the Haitian Voodoo goddess of love, beauty, and dance—is a lush indoor-outdoor tropical cafe. A flower shop by day, it seamlessly transforms into an intimate cocktail bar at night. On Thursdays, there's live Caribbean jazz set under strings of lights in their outdoor space, and on the weekends, the dance floor opens up for some of Brooklyn's best up-and-coming DJ’s. Don’t leave without trying the green tempeh sandwich, and for a drink, the summer sorrel
1057 Atlantic Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant
The particular strip of Atlantic Avenue that Diamond Reef inhabits isn’t exactly a tropical oasis, but the tiki-themed cocktails designed by the famous barmen Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy absolutely are. With wood-paneled walls and bright-turquoise booths, the place is what we imagine a mid-century modern party house would look like. The drinks—like the Booze and Juice, a shot paired with fresh Granny Smith apple juice—are playful, and the backyard, which is huge and heated, is a good time almost any time of year. The bar’s version of the classic Penicillin cocktail (honey, lemon, ginger, and scotch), thrown into a slushy machine and renamed the Penichillin, is especially delicious.
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