Travel

Williamsburg

Establishment neighborhood
The Hoxton
97 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
We recently stayed at the new Hoxton in Williamsburg and were sorely tempted to play hooky from the office and work from the lobby instead. Communal tables, rich velvet sofas (nab a seat by the fire), dependable Wi-Fi, and floods of natural light make the space a freelancer’s dream. As for the guest rooms, they are labeled as “cozy” or “roomy.” But size really doesn’t matter when you can lie in an insanely comfortable bed piled with pillows and stare at the Manhattan skyline (while devouring the chia puddings delivered every morning). An unexpected delight was the dining scene: The food at the Hoxton's two restaurants is absolutely top-notch. You cannot go wrong with the blistered chicken and a bowl of ridiculously indulgent cacio e pepe with a side of roasted cauliflower, eaten sprawled out in the plush, textural lobby with a friend as we did—made better only by a few glasses of Beaujolais. We also love to frequent the other, equally thoughtful and beautifully turned-out Hoxton properties in London, Amsterdam, Paris, and—the most recent addition—Portland.
Devoción
69 Grand St., Williamsburg
A massive roaster occupies the front half of this vast Williamsburg café, adding an industrial vibe to this otherwise cheerful, sunlight-flooded brick space near the East River. Arrive early to snag a seat (this is freelancer HQ for the surrounding blocks, and tables go quickly), but once you’re in, there’s strong Wi-Fi and stronger coffee. We especially appreciate the daily newspapers and magazines available for catching up on the news the old-school way.
Bakeri
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 Provençal, 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.
Sweatshop
232 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
Australian cafés have been popping up all over Manhattan in the past several years (Two Hands and Ruby’s being two of our favorites). Now Brooklyn is getting a few of its own—including Sweatshop, which was opened on a busy stretch of Williamsburg’s Metropolitan Avenue in 2014 by Melbourne natives Luke Woodard and Ryan De Remer. The menu is full of Aussie classics (including a killer flat white and Vegemite-enhanced sandwiches), and their version of avocado toast is done with chunks of ripe avocado mixed with feta, citrus, and herb oil on a thick slab of sourdough, topped with flaky sea salt and chili flakes.
Bakeri
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.
Treatment by Lanshin
129 Roebling St., Williamsburg
Many of the treatments here call on the power of Chinese medicine to heal, energize, and enhance skin. Founder, acupuncturist, and herbalist Sandra Lanshin Chiu uses gua sha—an ancient Chinese medical massage technique that incorporates a jade skin-care tool to relieve tension, support circulation, and flush out toxins for a brighter, smoother complexion—in many of her treatments. The Acne Rehab is one of her most impressive: The aesthetician uses botanicals, gua sha, and facial cupping to break up stagnation in the underlying tissues and restore balance. (Chiu emphasizes that fantastic skin happens from the inside out—but that it’s also important to pamper the skin’s surface.) And we keep coming back for the cozy cups of licorice root tea, prized in Chinese medicine for its calming effects.
Daya Yoga Studio
360 Jefferson St., Williamsburg
Many New York City yoga classes are as packed as a rush-hour subway car, but cramped quarters aren’t the norm at Daya. The studio’s two rooms are spacious and high-ceilinged, and the classes are transformative. They teach a variety of styles—including Kripalu, Kundalini, vinyasa, and prana—and offer special classes, like the Candlelit Lunar Flow with live music (it’s stupendous to listen as you go through your poses) and Women’s Rejuvenation Circle, a guided meditation and “emotional check-in,” as Daya instructors say. The first early-morning class of the day is Get Up and Flow, which really gets you moving. (Incentive to get up early: One instructor always brings her adorable fluffy dog to class.)
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