1434 Dekalb Ave., Bushwick
In this part of Bushwick, Dweebs (on the corner of Dekalb and Wilson) acts as the neighborhood’s communal office, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a small, flower-filled patio to draw in the area’s creative minds. There are outlets everywhere and a printer that actually works. And as any local will tell you: The bagels and coffee are the best you’ll find off the Jefferson L train stop. Photo courtesy of Bridget Kenny.
99 Scott Ave., Bushwick
You can’t go wrong at this vibrant Vietnamese street-food restaurant that serves incredible banh mi, pho, and mouthwatering meat, fish, and veggie vermicelli plates.
93 Scott Ave., Bushwick
There’s no place like Honey’s—and not just because you feel like you’ve stepped out of Bushwick into some other realm as you sit in one of the wooden booths surrounded by cinder blocks and concrete. (Fun fact: The space, once a restaurant-equipment repair shop, was designed by one of the set designers for the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild.) Honey’s is the tasting room for Enlightenment Wines, as well as a meadery/mead bar—the only one we’ve come across in Brooklyn—and it serves exquisite cocktails infused with the ancient alcohol. (Made from honey fermented with well water and mixed with various spices and herbs, mead figures strongly in Norse mythology but is much older than that.) The herbalist owners pick many of their ingredients upstate, which is reflected in fresh, always-inventive drinks like the Montauk-seawater-infused Ocean Martini.
The Three Diamond Door
211 Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick
Brooklyn vibes are strong at the Three Diamond Door, where the tattooed bartenders look as imposingly cool as they are friendly and easygoing. There’s no bar in the area more festive on Friday and Saturday nights, when every inch of the place is packed, including the yard and back bar room where amazing dance music blares. There’s prosecco on tap, an excellent selection of beers, leather booths to sink into, and incredible people-watching.
56-06 Cooper Ave., Bushwick
There’s no dearth of awesome tiny bars in New York City—but Nowadays is something else entirely. With its sprawling outdoor space that easily fits DJs, dance parties, and picnic tables, it’s the ultimate spot to while away summer Saturdays sipping cocktails and grazing on incredible food (the White Rhino sandwich is cauliflower-caper-Gruyere heaven). On the border of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens, the breezy hangout is a fantastic time day or night. In colder months, everything moves indoors—you lose the whimsy of partying with friends under the night sky, but you gain a legit dance floor (with a smoke machine).
Urban Jungle Vintage and Thrift
118 Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick
A vintage-clothing mecca if there ever was one, Urban Jungle is huge and brimming with all manner of treasures: Perfectly tattered Levis, t-shirts and sweatshirts from the ‘80s and ‘90s so soft from wear and awesome that most NYC vintage stores would get away with charging a cool hundred for them (Here, most of the t-shirts go for under $12.) You’ll also find vibrant Mexican blankets, army fatigues, cowboy boots, ponchos, fur coats, everything and anything, really—and all inexplicably reasonably priced. The one criticism, if you can even call it that, is that the place is truly sprawling (it spans almost a whole block), so just make sure you’re in the mood to do some serious rack sifting.
Pearl’s Social and Billy Club
40 St. Nicholas Ave., Bushwick
With rustic wall-hangings and candles tucked into cozy corners, and a curio-shop feel, the atmosphere at Pearl’s is a draw in and of itself, but the cocktails are incredible. There are shots of bone broth (the same broth also infuses their perfect Bloody Mary) or tequila-spiked kombucha; beers galore, and wine, much of it served in adorable Mason jars. The bartenders dole out delicious snack bowls with pretzels, sesame-crunchy-things, and other savory crisps to accompany your drinks. This is the sort of place that compels you to stay and sip into the night—unless you happen to be there on a sunny day, of course, when sitting outside with a bone-broth Bloody Mary is heaven on earth.
17 Ingraham St., Bushwick
Tasty Mexican food and tiki cocktails meld seamlessly at El Cortez, a casual, laid-back spot that’s perfect for a one-on-one date or a pack of friends.
Momo Sushi Shack
43 Bogart St., Bushwick
The lighting is dim (great for date nights), the vibe is casual (the long communal tables are a striking flourish with lots of room to stretch out), and the sushi, hand rolls, and maki are out-of-this-world.
215 Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick
Everything in this next-level grocery is fresh, local, and exquisite.
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