Welcome to the Insider’s Guide to Brooklyn, our personal guide to every single neighborhood of our favorite borough. Each week, we’ll be hanging out with some of our favorite local residents to visit their essential shops, cafes, eateries, and more to inspire your next day trip in Brooklyn, New York.
words by Apneet Kaur
From an appearance on HBO’s Girls to a rap video filmed in Bushwick titled Brooklyn Girls, pop culture seems to have fallen in love with the artsy and eclectic neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY. But there’s more to the Bushwick community than warehouse parties and the Morgan stop.
For many of us who live or work here, there was initially an attraction to the gritty vibe and DIY community that brought us to the area. Through the years, Bushwick residents have built their lives around this vibrant and creative energy that pulses through the neighborhood.
New York City has a storied history, yet a face ever-changing, and the neighborhood of Bushwick is no exception. Though the neighborhood has been going through many changes as of late, it’s undeniably a phenomenal place to put down roots. With new residents and businesses come new connections. The thing that makes Bushwick so attractive is that you have the freedom to be who you are. Artists have flocked here to the point where they’ve created a unique, welcoming artistic community for themselves.
Bushwick Open Studios, an annual art festival that began in 2006, now draws more than ten thousand people to the area. The local festival is the largest open studio event in New York City, but one that still feels like you’re going to a friend’s place to view their latest work.
Bushwick is vast, and you can find “neighborhoods” within the neighborhood itself. Between the four subway lines that run through the area, there are different pockets of Bushwick that offer diverse entertainment. For instance, the Myrtle/Broadway stop has lots of dive bars, while the Jefferson stop offers tons of great dining options.
From taco bodegas to bookstores that double as bars, Bushwick has locals and visitors enthralled with its off-the-cuff charm and innovation. Read on to see our picks for the best of the neighborhood, both old and new.
SuperCrown Coffee Roasters
WHERE: 8 Wilson Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237
WHY: Supercrown Coffee Roasters is a newcomer to Wilson Avenue. This coffee shop is doing things differently with specialty drinks that set this “craft café” apart. Take, for instance, the “Shot in the Dark,” a chocolate and coffee drink that’s meant to be savored. At $7 a cup, it’s best reserved for a #treatyoself kind of morning. By Lynn’s standards, “it hits me right where my adolescent and adult life meet… which means you can’t judge me for drinking hot chocolate at 8 AM! It’s technically coffee!”
Supercrown also has a super serious subscription program that delivers beans to your doorstep each month. Check it out here.
WHERE: 120 Knickerbocker Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237
WHY: Urban Jungle is one of the sister stores of L Train Vintage that stretches along the L train, of course. There are usually great deals to be found here, with lots of deadstock vintage and an endless supply of army jackets and vintage Levi’s and Wranglers.
Jamal’s southwestern printed coat was found at this neighborhood spot. “I get tons of compliments on it every time I wear it,” he says.
Pine Box Rock Shop
WHERE: 12 Grattan Street Brooklyn, NY 11206
WHY: My pug is my PFF (pug friend forever), and when the weather allows, he’s usually tagging right along with me on my days off. One of the places we like to go together is Pine Box Rock Shop. You’re sure to run into a pup or two in the afternoons. It’s a double win for us: playtime for him, catching up with human friends for me. Pine Box also has a stage for live music and the entire bar is vegan!
WHERE: 50 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
WHY: Heavy Woods is our go-to meeting place where we usually end up on the weekends for brunch. Since we’re all bloggers, we sometimes use the time after our meal for photography and creative collaborations.
As for the menu, Heavy Woods does southern cooking right. You can’t skip the Crispy Chicken Biscuit!
- Molasses Books – Molasses sells new and used books and is a cozy place to catch a read. They also host events like poetry readings and comedy shows. Their bar serves both coffee and beer. It’s a bookstore/bar/library all in one, and it’s open ’til midnight!
- Little Mo – The founders of Little Skips, a beloved neighborhood coffee shop, opened Little Mo in 2014 and brought Vietnamese favorite, Pho, to Myrtle Avenue.
- Regalo de Juquila – This deli serves some of the best tacos around. It’s right next door to Happy Fun Hideaway, making it a great pit stop to grab food before enjoying the backyard bar at HFH.
- Boobie Trap – A cheap and fun dive bar with board games and barbeque.
- Dear Bushwick – A English country kitchen right in the heart of Bushwick. The food is fantastic – perfect for an intimate date night. Order together and share the plates, as they are on the smaller side. Don’t skip the Smoked Eggs & Butter!