254 36th St., Sunset Park
Avocaderia is—believe it or not—the world's first avocado bar, located appropriately in painfully hip Park Slope. The creamy, green superfood is celebrated here in its every possible form with toasts, salads, bowls, smoothies, and more. The brainchild of Franceso Brachetti—who made his way to NYC via an avocado-saturated stint in Mexico—with his cousin (a former architect) and best friend (a former journalist) import the freshest, most perfectly ripe avocados from Mexico's avocado belt to create everything from an avo burger (this one is for the purists, it's a lot of the green stuff, really), to flavor-packed salads and smoothies that will keep you going all day. The pretty, plant-filled space doesn't hurt either.
Norman & Jules
158 Seventh Ave., Park Slope
This Brooklyn store is among our very favorite toy shops, and for good reason: Just about everything, from the wooden toys, to the hand-sewn cloth dolls, to the musical instruments and craft kits (of which there are many), is intended to ignite a kid’s imagination. And in keeping with their small, sustainable vibe, they feature the work of many small, local Brooklyn designers.
316 Fifth Ave., Park Slope
Owner and buyer Jen Mankins has built a bit of an empire out in Brooklyn, drawing Manhattanites out to shop in the process. Her eye is both quirky and cool, meaning that you’ll find a pretty irreverent (and bright) mix here, along with picks Alexander Wang, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Tsumori Chisato. The racks for men are just as on point. She has three outposts in Brooklyn, including ones in Cobble Hill and Williamsburg.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope
The original outpost of Four & Twenty Blackbirds is a little out of the way (Gowanus), but the amazing pies justify the trek. We're thrilled to find them in a more accessible spot at the Brooklyn Public Library.
al di là Trattoria
248 Fifth Ave., Park Slope
This homey, casual, and very popular neighborhood trattoria doesn't take reservations, but you can wait in their charming wine bar next door. The menu hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1998—it’s pretty much perfect Venetian fare, with particularly excellent pastas. They take reservations for groups of 6-10 only.
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