Bellocq Tea Atelier
104 West St., Greenpoint
An industrial swath of Greenpoint isn’t the first place you’d think to find this charming curiosity shop dedicated to specialty teas, but the hidden, unexpected location is part of the fun (ring the doorbell for entry). Once inside, you’ll find a quiet retreat, with plants hanging from the ceiling and large canisters lining the purple-painted walls, filled with whole-leaf organic teas from everywhere far away: China, Japan, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malawi. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable about any tea-related question, and aside from tea itself, there are a handful of accessories for sale—sticks of Japanese sandalwood incense, Bellocq’s own line of candles inspired by various tea blends, and all thing tea-related.
111 N 12th St., Williamsburg
Inside a 1970s Airstream trailer at the William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini (of Locanda Verde, the Dutch, and Lafayette fame) and team keep the vibe loose and delicious by churning out a simple menu of the ultimate comfort food. The burgers, wrapped in a wax paper sleeve, come with a mix of cheese and a special tangy-sweet sauce on a potato bun. (All the burgers are available as singles or doubles.) There's also a veggie burger, made of black beans and mushrooms, and waffle fries. Don't leave without a soft serve—especially the Berry Gibbs, with strawberry, Nilla wafer, and sweet cream, which lives up to all the hype. And yes, there’s a lot of hype.
142 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
A goop staffer randomly happened upon this gem on Nassau Avenue when she was—appropriately—craving a coffee. Champion is a tiny, subway-tiled hole-in-the-wall that ticks all the boxes: They roast their own beans in Queens (which you can buy, packaged in retro tins for a non-exorbitant price), the counter holds a tempting selection of baked treats and bagels for sustenance, and best for last, you’ll find a decent selection of magazine titles to rifle through should you be caffeinating solo.
620 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint
Whether you’ve had Van Leeuwen on the streets of Brooklyn or parked up on Abbot Kinney, it’s instantly recognizable by its sunny yellow truck. All of their ice cream is hand-made in Brooklyn, and they’re particularly famous for their vegan ice cream, a combination of cashew milk, coconut milk, cocoa butter and carob beans that’s incredibly creamy and indulgent (and a major victory for the dairy-sensitive). They’ve got a few locations now: Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn; the East and West Villages in Manhattan; and the Arts District and Culver City in LA. You can always track their many food trucks on their website.
107 Franklin St., Greenpoint
What started as a coffee and tea shop with flowers and small succulents for sale—what else?—has quickly become much more of lifestyle shop, carrying a mix of mostly local-made ceramics, books, magazines, and small design goods. Stop in for a Blue Bottle coffee, or a Bellocq tea—their studio is next door—and walk out with a couple of small indoor plants, a Postalco notebook, and a Grain Edit beeswax totem candle.
Acme Smoked Fish
30 Gem St., Greenpoint
In business since the '60s, this old-school, family-run operation has cracked the code on how to smoke fish in an all-natural way. Their line, Blue Hill Fish, is so popular that they've opened up a West Coast office to keep up with demand. If you can make it to Greenpoint on a Friday morning, you can snag smoked goods at half price until 1pm. Cash only.
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