This weekend is officially my two years living in New York. I’ve been living in the same apartment since November 2012 so I’ve gotten pretty familiar with the nearby spots. On weekends I love being able to get brunch, lunch, casual dinner, cute date dinner, or whatever without getting on the train. I like trying new places of course, but there are a few places I am finally happy enough with I would write a Yelp review, if I did that sort of thing.
Here are some of my favorite spots in the Bushwick/East Williamsburg/Williamsburg areas.
Dillingers: Coffee Shop, $
This place is around the corner from my house (don’t stalk me). It’s “Russian” inspired and super cute with a back patio. Aside from great coffee drinks and pastries, the food is amazing. I love the grilled cheese with brussel sprouts on Texas toast, and the garbanzo bean, squash, and kale, sandwich also on Texas toast. There are dumplings, pretzel hot dogs, and a few other meal items, all ranging from around $7-10.
One note, this place is very slow. If you are in any sort of rush I would get a simple coffee and pastry because they LAG. Though as a regular, I clearly think it’s worth it.
Cafeteria Mejor : Coffee Shop, $
This Cuban coffee shop has Miami inspired art-deco design and amazing coffee that has butter and salt in it. DALÉ! I typically order the cafe con leche. As a non-milk drinker, this is one of my only exceptions, the whole milk is essential to the Cuban coffee experience. Embrace the thickness. Their tostadas are also amazing (think toast, not anything taco-like) as well as “the meridian” which is a jamon y queso sandwich but with spicy and sweet jam.
Warning, a few of my friends have gotten in weird tiffs with the often moody staff. I am always fine, but just a note. Also, their patio is more like 3 feet of dirt, so don’t bother.
Mominette : Restaurant, $$
I’ve only been here for brunch, but this French place is super cute and has an outdoor area with a glass covering (I actually sat there while it rained). The fried chicken is amazing, and they have cocktails made with green juice that are only $8.
Various Doughnut Shops (I go into detail here) $
Love yourself, eat a doughnut.
King Noodle Restaurant, $$
Right by the Morgan L train, this Asian-fusion restaurant and tiki bar is a great spot for dinner. Despite it’s tacky interior, it isn’t as cheap as you would imagine, with dishes around $16 and drinks really making it add up. But it is the only place in the area where you can drink a frozen Maui Wowie out of a full frozen pineapple.
My go-to orders include: the Chinese broccoli, chicken wings, ribs, and wavy noodles. They also recently started a fried chicken program similar to Momofuku’s but not $72 per chicken breast. I’m looking forward to trying that.
Shinobi Ramen Restaurant, $-$$
BYOB! Need I say more? You can sit at long communal benches or look out towards the street at bar seating and enjoy traditional and funkier ramens while sipping a drink of your choosing. I typically get the spicy pork miso ramen when has a much thicker broth than I’ve had elsewhere and cabbage. The pork buns are great and you get 3, unlike some places that give you two. A table of two that gets pork buns and 1 ramen each will spend about $40 including tax and tip, which makes this place awesome.
Robertas Restaurant, $$
A Bushwick staple. This pizza place is famous. The wait typically sucks, so if you have to wait, there is a great bar (but expensive) and Tutu’s up the street isn’t much cheaper for drinks, though may have more room. Don’t be antsy and opt for the limited menu patio seating.
I’ve had almost every pizza on the menu for dinner and then again for brunch with an egg on top. For brunch I highly suggest the thick cut bacon or duck hash as a side. Definitely on my list of date/go with parents places. Last time I was there they were playing Taking Back Sunday’s “Tell All Your Friends” in its entirety.
Miles Cocktail Bar, $$
I always pass this place as I go to the grocery store and finally checked it out. This dimly lit mixology bar boasts an awesome and diverse menu of all original cocktails created by the owner, who is often behind the bar herself. They also have a small menu of fancy grilled cheeses and meat/cheese plates.
Trophy Bar Bar, $
My go-to happy hour spot is nestled between the Marcy and Hewes stop on the J/M train. My friend Leigh and I have thrown some parties there. The happy hour is $4 draft beer, which includes one of my favorites, Allagash White along with $5 grilled cheese and cheese burgers. I always go for a grilled cheese, add avocado (or bacon, depends how I’m feeling) which is an extra $2 but super worth it.
Union Pool Dive Bar/Venue, $
Not going to lie I pretty much put this one on the list because it’s one of the only places I’ve found in Brooklyn that has Velveeta cheese Tex-Mex style queso. Their food truck in the back is great. I always try to beg the cooks to put a scoop of guac into the queso and they do it 50% of the time. In Summer, they have really good whiskey slushies, but at $10 they probably are just fancier 7-11 coke slurpees.
Warning, I have heard that this place is a “hook up bar” so not so sure about the night time clientele. I’m just here to ingest a pot of fake cheese and go home. But this may work in your favor!
Grass Roots Juicery Juice Shop, $$
Unlike Manhattan, $13 pressed juice isn’t a widely accessible thing in Brooklyn, which I appreciate. This place is on the same street as where I get my nails done (Green Nails, another post about good local salons later). Their juices are $8-10 and super tasty. The shop also has healthy snacks, and some gluten free treats like ginger snaps.
Mr. Kiwi Grocery Shop and Juice Bar, $
Amidst the nastiness of Myrtle Broadway, one corner is a produce haven. If you can make it across the street past your Popeyes/Checkers/Dunkin craving, you will be inside a cute grocery store full of goodies with a great fresh squeezed juice bar that is only $4.