A lot of people who visit New York stick to the wealth of experiences that Manhattan has to offer, but head just 25 minutes across the East River to Brooklyn and you'll find tons of amazing neighbourhoods like Greenpoint and Brooklyn to explore."
Thanks to a wave of gentrification bringing new-school cool to old-school industrials exteriors, Williamsburg is no real secret to the hordes of city explorers, but finding the very best places to visit on a quick trip to Brooklyn is still no mean feat. That's why we've rounded up a few of the finest places to hang out on a day (or night) out in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, from food-focused museums to beer bars where you can go bowling. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Greenpoint and Williamsburg:
Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Best restaurants
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
There aren't too many things more NYC than a New York slice: that big, pliable triangle of cheesy goodness with simple toppings, served on a paper plate on the sidewalk. And while the pizza at this new offshoot of legendary Greenpoint pizzeria Paulie Gee's costs more than the traditional $1 (the cheapest slice is $3.50), it's most certainly worth the price hike. 110 Franklin St 11222;pauliegee.com/slice-shop
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
Small and unassuming, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster is a great way to get a taste of the Atlantic without heading out to Long Island. Head down any time and you can splash the cash on chowder and lobster rolls, but it really comes alive at Happy Hour (2-6pm weekdays; 4-6pm weekends): sit at the counter and chase half-price oysters and clams from the raw bar with a plate of baja fish tacos – all of which will set you back about $15-20. Then wash it all down with $5 beers from the likes of Queens-based Finback. 114 Nassau Ave 11222;greenpointfish.com
It's not often that a new upstart gets mentioned in the same breath as an age-old institution, but this Jewish deli on Manhattan Avenue is already being compared to the likes of Manhattan classics like Katz's. Whether you're after a classic pastrami sandwich on rye or a salmon and cream cheese schmear on a bagel, you'll find it here. Sit back with a sarnie and wonder how a place that only opened in 2016 can feel so old-school.
631 Manhattan Ave, 11222;frankelsdelicatessen.com
Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Best bars
Since opening in 2013, Tørst has been on a mission to showcase some of the USA's finest beers and look cool while doing it. How? By throwing out nostalgic Americana and replacing it with clean-lined Scandi minimalism, serving drinks in long-stemmed wine-style glasses to accentuate aroma, and rotating its 21-strong taplist daily to ensure everything is super-fresh. 615 Manhattan Ave, 11222; torstnyc.com
Grimm Artisanal Ales
This taproom and brewery site in East Williamsburg provides a laid back space to enjoy one of New York's youngest, most celebrated and forward-thinking breweries. Run by husband and wife Joe and Lauren Grimm, the light and airy taphouse is the first place to go for any beer lover heading across the pond. To be honest, it's a pretty good bet for people that don't love beer, because they serve oak-aged sours, cider and New York State wine by the glass, and do great Middle Eastern food, too. 990 Metropolitan Ave, 11211;grimmales.com
No trip Stateside is complete without some authentic dive bar action, and this place has a little bit of everything. Pinball and an eight-lane bowling alley? Check. Dozens of American beers on tap, a load of different whiskies behind the bar, and the ability to order in takeout? Oh yes. A bonus event space that regularly holds hard rock gigs and comedy nights? You betcha. Toilets covered floor to ceiling with graffiti, and loo roll suspended from a chain on the wall? All original features, my friend. 200 N.14th St 11211;thegutterbrooklyn.com
Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Things to do
Museum of Food & Drink (MOFAD)
Based just off McCarren Park – the green space between the neighbourhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg – MOFAD is an experiential museum devoted to multisensory exhibitions about NYC's food and drink culture. Exhibitions have covered everything from the history of Chinese American restaurants to sense-bending looks at how our brains experience flavour through aroma, sight and texture on the tongue. More often that not, you'll get to sample top notch grub while you're there, too. 62 Bayard Street 11222; mofad.org
It's not often that we'd recommend going all the way to a place like Williamsburg just to sit in a darkened room, but if there was ever a place to convince us, we'd pick the Nitehawk movie theatre, which sits on Metropolitan Avenue among some of Brooklyn's finest dive bars. Why? Because it was the first cinema in NYC to be licensed to sell alcohol at a proper bar, and also serves proper food to a table at your seat. If you pick the right night, you might be able to pick up a food pairing for your film, too: big doughie pizza while watching Goodfellas? We'll take that. 136 Metropolitan Ave 11249;nitehawkcinema.com
Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Best hotels
The Hoxton Williamsburg
It says a lot about a neighbourhood when a hotel group known for its attention to detail, laidback vibe and experience-led approach to hosting sets up its first Stateside property there. Complete with a rooftop bar and free rental bikes for getting around Brooklyn by day, NYC's first Hox outpost is a thing of poise and design-led grace. Food comes from live-fire restaurant Klein's, breakfast comes to go in a bag hung on your door in the morning, and the views? Well, you can choose between the skyline of Manhattan and the water towers of Brooklyn, so it's fair to say they're pretty epic, too. From £141; 97 Wythe Ave, 11249;thehoxton.com
The William Vale
So you're on an upscale escape, and you've booked yourself a stay at the William Vale on the borderlines of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. But why? Well, firstly, it's got the longest rooftop outdoor pool in the entire greater New York area. Secondly, all its 183 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and open-air balconies. And thirdly, you can't see the whole Manhattan skyline if you stay at a hotel in Manhattan. It's as simple as that, really. From £145.111 N.12th Street, 11249;thewilliamvale.com
In a lot of ways, Franklin Guesthouse is a bit like a mini version of Brooklyn: it's a place where old-time industrial features meet more than a little bit of hipsterfied modern elegance. Here, artsy, airy modern rooms provide you with the perfect space to kick back after exploring the city. They're also the ideal place to fall back into after sampling some of Greenpoint's low-key dining and nightlife scene. From £147. 214 Franklin Street, 11222;franklinguesthouse.com