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Any & All: Eat-in bakeries, Great beers, Inexpensive & atmospheric - Brooklyn

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I'm going to be staying in Brooklyn Heights for a couple weeks and having been there before I know it can be a little chi chi. I'd really love to explore the area (and I don't mind long walks into other neighbourhoods!) and find some local spots featuring:

* A charming eat-in bakery
* Real hot chocolate (no powdered stuff)
* Unique and delicious beers
* Small, inexpensive restaurants for lunch or dinner (i.e. entrees under $25)
* Fun bars for mid-20 year olds
* To-die for brunch

Some places I'm thinking I'll like (and I know most of these are in Manhattan): the Counting Room bar, Lil Frankie's in East Village/LES, Kuma Inn, Back Forty, Good Enough to Eat, Yonah Schimmel's, New Leaf restaurant, L'Ecole (the French Culinary institute), Little Branch bar, Death + Company.

Any suggestions of some places you really like in the Brooklyn Heights vicinity would be really helpful!

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  1. Hot chocolate = Jacques Torres Chocolate on Water Street in Dumbo. There are 2 options, classic and a version with a hint of chili -- I love the latter, try it at least once!

    My suggestion is to go in the early evening, after sundown. After you buy your chocolate, continue down Water Street to Washington, make a left and go into the park there under the Manhattan Bridge. Head out to the edge of the park and sit by the water at the steps they've built facing the Brooklyn Bridge. The view of the bridges and the city lit up at night is gorgeous.

    Jacques Torres
    66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

    1. It may not be around Brooklyn Heights, but it's a 15 minute train ride. round December, I would say head over to Mona Lisa Bakery then walk it off looking at the lights in Dyker Heights. After that head down to the various bars in Bay Ridge--Salty Dog, Kettle Black, Wicked Monk. Start in the 90's and then work your way down. You won't be able to hit all the bars in 2 months, let alone 1 night.

      Mona Lisa Bakery
      7717 13th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11228

      Kettle Black
      8622 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

      Wicked Monk
      8415 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

      1. Thanks for the replies so far! I really like the business+outing tips! I definitely want to take hot chocolate to the park, and do a little pub crawl.

        Any more would be greatly appreciated!

        1. Id suggest taking the F train from york to 15th st/prospect park west to the Double Windsor, a great beer bar with a good "scene" (can be a bit loud on weekends, but its never that packed, good music, no tvs, nice lighting) and very good food - im partial to their burgers.

          its right across from the intersection of prospect park west and ppsw, half a block from the park, so if you wanted to make a weekend excursion you could combine it with some walking or other park-centric activity.

          Its not really "brooklyn heights vicinity" but its not far (if the F is running, unlike this weeknd) but its worth checking out, in my estimation - i really like that they offer flights of 4 4oz pours so you can decide on what you want (their beer selection rotates regularly, always annoys me when i find a beer i love and they change all the taps the next week).

          The Double Windsor
          210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          2 Replies
          1. re: tex.s.toast

            Thanks tex.s.toast. My boyfriend would definitely appreciate a beer bar, and it'll be nice to walk around the park.

            Still looking for brunch suggestions among others. And is The Good Fork still good?

            Not much going on in the Heights area I'm guessing?

            The Good Fork
            391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            1. re: abco

              No real sit down bakeries in BH - but if you head down Court into Cobble Hill, you will see them. I like Margaret Palca.

              Second Jacques Torres in Dumbo on the chocolate.

              Unique delicious beers? As I observed on another thread, no mico breweries so I don't think there is anything unique but Pete's Ale House on Atlantic has a great selection of beers. If you like english ales, try the Chip Shop also on Atlantic.

              If I take your $25 limit on entrees at face value - not worrying about apps or drinks which will push the check up rapidly, you've got Henry's End for game, Noodle Pudding for credible Italian, Jack the Horse for what I'll call modern american, the aforementioned Chip Shop for fish and chips and fried twinkies which everyone should try at least once and Hibino for Japanese - check the daily specials.

              Since I'm past my mid-20s, this is not my area of expertise but I've been told Floyds is a good spot again on Atlantic.

              Finally a to die for brunch in BH? I don't think there is one ever since Leaf & Bean closed, but Teresa's on Montague has a good selection that's well prepared and cheap.

              333 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Jacques Torres
              66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Noodle Pudding
              38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Leaf & Bean
              83 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

              Henry's End
              44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          2. I would recommend ReBar in DUMBO for unique beers and tapas in a great atmosphere- perfect for mid-20 year olds. They have amazing and unusual beers on tap, and a phenomenal selection of bottles. I also agree with the recommendation of Pete's Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic Ave, not just for their beer selection but for their food as well. Good luck.

            Waterfront Ale House
            155 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

            1. Based on what you like in Manhattan...

              Mixology joints: try Clover Club and Brooklyn Social (both on Smith), Fort Defiance in Red Hook. Quarter, if you find yourself in Sunset Park (20th and 5th Ave), is something of a dark horse in this category. Char No. 4 is cool if you like whiskey.

              There are great beer bars within walking distance of BH: Brazen Head on Atlantic and Bar Great Harry on Smith, and if you are willing to go a little further, 4th Ave Pub, Pacific Standard or Mission Dolores on 4th Ave. Definitely hit Bierkraft while you are here--in addition to being able to pick up a growler of unusual beer, you can now have a cheap pint right there. IMO, all of these are as good as Double Windsor but closer to where you are located.

              For brunch, I've never been that impressed with Good Fork. My absolute faves are: Stone Park (in Park Slope), Fonda (South Slope, great Mexican and nice change of pace from the ubiquitous eggs benedict and pancakes), Buttermilk Channel (in Carroll Gardens), Fort Defiance (but only if you get the fried chicken dish and the bourbon milk punch, in Red Hook), and James (Prospect Heights). Heard good things about brunch at Char No. 4.

              To round out your stay, I'd definitely send you to Mile End for under $25 (but barely) good eats.

              Stone Park Cafe
              324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

              The Good Fork
              391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              The Brazen Head
              228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Clover Club
              210 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Char No. 4
              196 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Buttermilk Channel
              524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              Bar Great Harry
              280 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              Fort Defiance
              365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              Brooklyn Social
              335 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              The Double Windsor
              210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

              Mile End
              97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

              Mission Dolores
              249 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215