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 Provencal, 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.
545 Lorimer St., Williamsburg
Do not leave without ordering Ginanjuice, an infusion of just-juiced carrot-beet-apple-ginger, gin, and Lillet that tastes healthy and bracing, but is also stronger than you think, so pace yourself.
522 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
Half coffee shop, half wellness center, the End is known for its incredible healthy lattes, like the healing Unicorn, which combines ginger, Blue Majik spirulina, and maca into a frothy, bright-blue tonic topped with organic flowers.
342 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
Despite identifying as a primarily Israeli spot, the menu at 12 Chairs is fairly broad, meaning that you’ll always spot something you want. The Hummus is a must-order—smooth, tangy, garlicky and served in a giant bowl topped with even more chickpeas and a side of crunchy pita. On weekends, the chefs make Jachnun (a Yemenite bread spiked with complex date honey, cooked overnight, and served with a jammy boiled egg), the stuffed cabbage is available every day, as are the pillowy pelmeni—overall, really good comfort food that feels light and fresh. The wine selection is a thoughtful list of several Israeli labels amongst others. The place does pack out daily without fail, but the wait is never too long.
Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
This is the closest you’ll come to SoCal in BK. The avocado toast, the breakfast sandwich, the quinoa bowl—they’re all here. There are also malted pancakes served with brown butter and seared mushrooms and ramp kimchi atop flaky grilled flatbread, so something for everyone. The interior is minimalist Scandinavian with blonde wood, pretty ceramics, and lots of greenery, but warmed up by a terra-cotta tile floor, chic marble-topped tables, and a wooden bar that wouldn’t look out of place in a ski chalet. There’s not a bad glass on the entire (all natural, all delicious) wine list. If you can’t handle the weekend crush, pick up the perfect flat white from the to-go hatch out front.
The Four Horsemen
295 Grand St., Williamsburg
A passion project of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, the Four Horsemen is one of our favorite places for natural wine not just in New York but anywhere. Show up early for a seat at the bar or make a reservation ahead of time—this teeny spot packs out every night. The by-the-glass section is tightly edited, while the wine list itself is akin to a small leather-bound novel. The staff is really good about making suggestions if you don’t know where to begin. The food menu is short, concise, and unapologetic—they don’t do substitutions here, but you probably won’t want any. To warm up, split an order of the beurre-blanc-saturated carrots. Then get the pasta with Meyer lemon, bottarga, breadcrumbs, and parsley for yourself, and the budino for dessert. The good vibes are a testament to a loyal crowd of regulars who are comfortable in the space and enthusiastic about the food.
93 S. 6th St., Williamsburg
Tucked right under the Williamsburg bridge on the patio space of its sister restaurant Loosie’s Kitchen, this is the perfect spot for morning freelancing, afternoon meetings, or relaxed happy hour cocktails.
111 N. 12th St., Williamsburg
Andrew Carmellini, the same chef behind Tribeca’s impressive Locanda Verde and Little Park, doesn’t disappoint with his new southern Italian spot located inside Brooklyn's fast-growing William Vale hotel. In the bright, wood-paneled space, you’ll find a selection of wood-fired pizzas, dips (including one with ricotta, hot honey, and garlic), and pasta offerings that include sea-urchin spaghetti and Pugliese penne with rabbit. Also of note: an affogato-syle ice cream sundae called “the Sophia Loren for Two” that involves caramel crumble, meringue, and rum granita.
364 Grand St., Williamsburg
Pretty much everyone we know gives the Detroit-style pizza at Emmy Squared in Williamsburg rave reviews, although there’s a nice line-up of Italian sandwiches here, too: spicy meatball, spicy chicken, and chicken parm, all served on pretzel buns. The restaurant was unveiled this spring by the same couple behind Emily, the duo’s original, widely loved pizza-centric spot in Clinton Hill.
Kings County Imperial
20 Skillman Ave., Williamsburg
In the year since it opened, Kings County has become known for its pretty perfect spin on classic Chinese dishes. The fun back garden patio and the excellent cocktail list also help the cause.
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