As a New Yorker, it’s hard for me to imagine what I’d put on my itinerary if I only had one quick weekend jaunt to explore this entire amazing city. Covering every awe-inspiring, off beat nook and cranny would be physically impossible, and perhaps that’s exactly why those who live here have a penchant for sticking to their own neighborhoods.
Of course, first time visitors might feel the need to hit the big tourist attractions, but my suggestion for those embarking on a second or third visit? Consider dedicating a weekend to the phenomenon that is Williamsburg. Once perpetually up-and-coming, the area has now officially arrived as a destination for shopping, craft cocktails, music, food and more.
Set yourself up for an epic Instagram of the Manhattan skyline by checking into one of the area’s multiple waterfront hotels. The William Vale, for one, is a sleek building perched atop a landscaped promenade (home to an airstream trailer serving elevated burgers and fries) with a chic rooftop bar offering more views. The property plays host to a robust events calendar with offerings like fitness classes and rooftop movie nights.
For dinner, head downstairs to The William Vale’s upscale Southern Italian eatery, Leuca, where you’ll enjoy house-made pasta, wood-fired pizza and more from Chef Ander Carmellini.
There are endless things to do on a Saturday in Williamsburg, but if you have limited time in town (and love food) there’s really only one choice: Smorgasburg. The free open-air market pops up every weekend from April through October and will make any foodie think they’ve died and gone to heaven. Must-try items for 2017 include raclette sandwiches, John’s Juice, Destination Dumplings and more.
Later, work off your day of indulgence with a walk to nearby McCarren Park. Or, head south towards the Williamsburg Bridge, where you can stroll over the East River on a pedestrian-friendly path.
End your day at Maison Premiere for a classy cocktail and oysters. Inspired by Paris and New Orleans, this adorable outpost boasts a horseshoe-shaped bar, an Absinthe fountain and a lovely outdoor garden.
Like the rest of the country, Brooklynites like to brunch, and in Williamsburg, the place to do so is Egg. Once a fledgling pop-up, this establishment is super serious about breakfast—owner George Weld and chef Evan Hanczor even published a cookbook dedicated solely to morning recipes.
One thing you can’t escape in Brooklyn? Vintage. End your weekend with an afternoon treasure hunt, wandering in and out of the countless thrift stores and antique shops. Be sure to hit L Train Vintage, Mother of Junk and Antoinette.