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Aug 28, 2013 11:05 AM

Planning a trip to Brooklyn in mid-October...where to begin?

Greetings from a Maryland 'hound!! My husband and I have never been to Brooklyn and when we decided we needed a getaway, it seemed a perfect opportunity to visit.

We plan on staying in an apartment on the riverfront, near the base of the Williamsburg bridge. I've been doing some research on this board and quite honestly, am feeling a little (ok, a lot) overwhelmed. My husband and I are mid-to-late 40's, love great wine and cocktails, prefer casual, creative places to white tablecloth establishments, and like to end the evening at friendly pubs with live music.

We'll have 3 dinners, 3 lunches and maybe 1 brunch before we head out. Breakfast will likely be something quick and easy (bagels, wraps, etc.). We'll have a car, but will probably travel by subway or taxi.

If you have any recommendations for me, they will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: thegforceny

      Thank you for the link. I did read that thread, but it seemed pretty beer-centric. Don't get me wrong, I like my beer, but we're definitely more into cocktails and wine.

      Also, we're not opposed to going into other neighborhoods (preferably close to Williamsburg) for a great experience.

    2. With regard to the car: If you are travelling Brooklyn you may want to use the car. It's fairly easy to park in Brooklyn and subways re not as convenient as Manhattan. That being said: DO NOT drive your car to Manhattan. Parking is costly and subways are convenient.
      It 's not clear what type of food you are looking for. If you stay in Brooklyn:
      Henry's End is close to your hotel
      Frankie's, Prime Meats are excellent
      Lucali's for one of the best pizza's ever (not open for lunch)
      Get to Coney Island for a hot dog and French fries on the boardwalk, it's priceless!!
      Totonno's and Spumoni Gardens have excellent pizza.
      Brennan and Carr's for simply luscious roast beef sammiches
      Junior's can't be beat for amazing desserts. Great pastrami sammiches too. Close enough to walk from your hotel.
      Walk over to Atlantic Avenue and shop in the Middle Eastern shops. I like the restaurant Tripoli. It's a bit funky but has great authentic Middle Eastern food.
      Alma in Redhook for Mexican. Try to get a rooftop table and watch the sunset.
      Defonte's sandwich shop in Redhook, get the roast beef, eggplant and mozzarella hero and share it.
      Redhook Lobster Pound for a nice lobster roll. No tables, eat outside on their bench.
      Steve's Key lime pie has a frozen key lime pie on a stick dipped in dark chocolate.
      Pork Slope for funky bar BBQ!!
      Is that enough??

      2 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        Motosport seems to have misread where your post says "williamsburg" as though it said "brooklyn"

        all, or nearly all, of the above recommendations are near the spot where the brooklyn bridge crosses into brooklyn (downtown brooklyn, dumbo, brooklyn heights) as opposed to williamsburg, which is, surprisingly, i know, where the williamsburg bridge enters brooklyn.

        I disagree with some of the recommendations made in the post on taste-issues as well, but for purely geographic reasons you should be aware that none of those recommendations are in the same part of brooklyn as the one in which it appears you will be staying.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          There is more than one bridge to Brooklyn?? The guy I bought it from said it was the only one!!!! My error!! Sorry!!
          That being said, Traif is amazing.
          I don't know much else about Billyburg!!

      2. My three thoughts for dinner in the area are

        Steak - Peter Luger
        Sushi - 1 or 8 (interesting late night scene at the bar here)
        Italian - Isa

        Ideas for lunch
        Burgers - DuMont Burger (RIP Colin Devlin)
        Taco truck on Bedford
        If you're there on a weekend, Smorgasburg

        If you like cheese, visit the Bedford Cheese Shop.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bkeats

          Peter Luger's might be a little more expensive than what we had in mind, but 1 or 8 looks perfect!

          I'll look into your other recs...thanks so much!

          1. re: Christina D

            We love 1 or 8. One of our favorite sushi places. The sommelier/host is awesome. If you want to try sakes and are not familiar with them, talk to him. If you have dinner there and want to do something afterwards, right next door is the Crown Victoria.

            1. re: Bkeats

              Thanks for heads up on CV! We'll definitely add it to the itinerary.

            2. re: Christina D

              I'd do St. Anselm for steak instead of Peter Luger's. I get that it's a destination dinner, but as someone that lives in Williamsburg and has been to Luger's on several occasions, there is nothing here that you can't get at a quality steakhouse in any other major city, save for the bacon, which many NYC steakhouses serve.

          2. There is a short mention of Smorgasburg! PLS PLS try and get to it if you are there on a Saturday. It's an open air Food-fest right on the river with 40+ vendors offering one of the widest arrays of food I have ever seen. there is even a beer "tent". I was so pleasantly surprised when our daughter suggested we go there on out visit to NYC. There are also some nice funky neighborhoods and bars/restaurants nearby

            Limited places to sit and plan on doing "courses".

            Also, the very affordable river taxi stops right nearby and will give you the best tour of the East River, ending up in the Seaport Museum area (and back if you want)


            2 Replies
            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

              Smorgasburg looks awesome! Thanks for the rec!

              1. re: Christina D

                Get there early –– it becomes almost impossible to move around after a while.

            2. Native Marylander here.

              In that immediate neighborhood where you are staying, I recommend Diner and Marlow & Sons for good farm to table type fare. They capture like the early 2000's Brooklyn zeitgeist. Parish Hall does similar food in a bit more of a locavore vain.. Traif and their sister restaurant Xixa, are interesting tapas places that capture a bit more ambitious experimentation. Definitely recommend Xixa at least for a snack and some wine. Wythe Hotel and rooftop bar might also be fun for tourists.

              Can't go wrong with cocktails and oysters at Maison Premiere. I haven't yet tried their newly expanded food menu but heard good things...OTB is a new cocktail bar right there on Broadway. Might be worth checking out...

              Motorino is an excellent Neop. pizza place that just opened a branch there as well...Back to drinks, Dram is very good for cocktails and nice short list of wines...Bistro Petit is a cool little neighborhood French bistro, with a bit of Korean influence. Food is excellent, good value, and BYOB (there's a couple of bottle shops nearby)....

              For live music, ummm, don't know your tastes. Spike Hill has indie/alt-rock bands. There are a couple of music venues like Knitting Factory, Music Hall of W'burg....Maison Premiere will sometimes have live music...Fada, a small open French bistro on Driggs and N.8th often has something jazzy or Euro or Americana going on weekends...

              These are in addition to some of the others W'burg places mentioned. If you have a car and are in town on a weekday (not Mon or Tues though), I would consider going out to Difara's for pizza. If you get there close to opening and order a whole square custom pie, wait won't be too long you could eat off the leftovers for a couple days of breakfast.

              5 Replies
                1. re: Silverjay

                  Seconding Marlow and Sons, Traif, Xixa, and Maison Premiere. Traif is my absolute fave, and Xixa is a must if you like tequila or mezcal. All have excellent food and cocktails. If you really want creativity, you have to go to Traif or Xixa. The stuff they come up with is just incredible-- you can't go wrong with a single thing on the menu, ever, promise. And Maison Premiere has the best cocktails, a great backyard, and the biggest raw bar selection I've seen in New York.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Silverjay got most of the good spots near your apartment. I would only add Samurai Mama for Japanese, Egg for very good and extremely popular breakfast and Pies n Thighs for Southern-ish food.

                    1. re: chompchomp

                      As a heads up - I went to Pies n Thighs yesterday. They close after lunch/right before dinner so there was a decent sized crowd waiting when they reopened at 5p.

                      Good luck enjoying Brooklyn!

                    2. re: Silverjay

                      agree with pretty much everything silverjay recommends. i also particularly like Zizi Limona, near Havermeyer and South 1st. The oxtail dish is amazing