243 Degraw St., Cobble Hill
Poppy’s has long been a favorite catering spot—everything is good, seasonal, and thoughtful. On the weekends, it opens up its café doors to the neighborhood, serving up Poppy’s beloved sweet treats (chocolate babka, carrot pistachio cake), plus tartines and grain salads. There’s a weekend lunch box, too, that’s great if you’re in a rush or want to take something to nearby Carroll Park.
268 Clinton St., Cobble Hill
Go to La Vara with a few friends, because you’re going to want to order everything on the menu, starting with the fried chickpeas and working your way through everything that looks good—it all is. Chef Alex Raij serves up southern Spanish cuisine with Jewish and Moorish influences, so house-cured salt cod is served with citrus, olives, egg, and pomegranate, and a half chicken is served with spiced onions and cumin.
Books Are Magic
225 Smith St., Cobble Hill
Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Boerum Hill residents were rightly bummed when one of the best independent bookstores in all the boroughs (and arguably the country) announced it was closing at the end of 2016. After thirty-five years in business, whatever was to come after BookCourt had big shoes to fill. And it did. Novelist Emma Straub (The Vacationers, Modern Lovers) swooped in with her husband, designer Michael Fusco-Straub, to open the immediately adored Books Are Magic. The monthly lineup of book talks and signings brings out the brightest of the literary world (of which Straub is a clear darling). If it’s your first time, take a picture by the awesome mural before you head inside.
329 Henry St., Cobble Hill
This Brooklyn saloon, with a limited “Bill of Fare” of simple and homey food, including a great burger, is perfect for a late supper and whiskey cocktails with friends. On weekends, the boozy brunch has locals flocking from all over the borough. Photo: Daniel Krieger
Barneys New York (Closed)
194 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill
Barneys buyers are famous for having an eye for spotting trends and designers—and then making them huge. The flagship store on Madison always has incredible, over-the-top displays, plus one of the best buys in the city. The shoe department, in particular, is great. There's also a location on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea.
210 Smith St., Cobble Hill
Like many of its brethren, this bar has a hint of speakeasy décor and the usual cast of suspender-clad and bearded bartenders. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the cocktails they make are good, old-fashioned stiff drinks and inventive combinations. Brunch here is also delicious—great eggs, fried chicken, and perfect pancakes.
Take Root (Closed)
187 Sackett St., Cobble Hill
Chef Elise Kornack (formerly under April Bloomfield at Spotted pig and sous at Aquavit) is as ambitious a chef as we've seen in a long time. The 12-seat space on a brownstone-lined Sackett Street that she runs with her wife (they do everything from hosting, to dishwashing, to waiting tables and cooking) is tasting menu only, with a focus on vegetables. Elise does some stunning stuff with the most simple things: Shitakes and sunchokes are turned into a crunchy, creamy tartare, while a barley miso broth in a dramatically large bowl serves as the mid-meal rest. The space itself is tiny and looks like the inside of a Kinfolk journal—white on white with a smattering of plants and books.
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