The grand old dame of NYC, Manhattan will always reign supreme, but if you’re looking for the city’s edgier youthish vibe, we suggest braving the bridge for trendy little sis Brooklyn. A honeypot for the hip set with its laidback dining, cultural hotspots and endless shopportunity, here’s how to sample Brooklyn’s best bits in just one day…
Morning: So you’ve done The Met & co, now for something a little different. Begin your journey at the Museum of Food and Drink (aka MOFAD) for a taste of the enclave’s unique culinary heritage. The country’s first ever museum dedicated to food culture is a full-blown sensory experience, with rotating exhibits enabling visitors to not only learn about, but sample a melting pot of immigrant cuisines.
Lunch: Tastebuds tickled? Just a 7min amble through McCarren Park is Heath Ledger-brainchild and casj sunrise coffee joint Five Leaves. As charmingly dishevelled as the heartthrob himself, this quaint nook sports subtle maritime touches with a menu riding the same wave: think all-day flat whites, brine-fresh oysters, leafy salads and homestyle Amish chicken.
Afternoon: Forget Barneys, Brooklyn is all about indie boutiques. A post-lunch shopathon awaits at nearby Scandi-esque fash stash Concrete + Water, eschewing big brands for a neat edit of his n’ hers upcomers (including YMC, Wood Wood, Fort Standard and Han Kjobenhavn). Meanwhile, Mociun is the place for quintessentially Brooklyn keepsakes, such as dreamy stoneware, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and other arty bobs; and nest-featherers will squeal with glee for Sharktooth’s original Swedish shags, Persian carpets, Turkish kilims, and LatAm flatweaves.
Still got pep in your step? Hail a cab downtown for a gentle, revitalising stroll through the lush grasslands, greenhouses, rose gardens and pretty Japanese ponds of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is especially spectacular come autumn when the foliage turns fiery red/orange.
Dinner: Is it that the time already? Back in a cab you hop for Paulie Gee’s mobbed pizza parlour, where traddy crusts meet on-trend toppings. Whether you’d rather a Reuben-sarnie pie or a scrummy vegan slice, these hearty servings come complete with an array of deal-sealing sauces (hello, sake-reduction) and cheery, old-school service. Then cap off your eve (a mere 5min drive away) at hip ship Tørst, with its swell lineup of small-batch artisan brews. Cheers!
MOFAD / 62 Bayard St / +1 718 387 2845 / noon-6pm Fri-Sun / mofad.org
Five Leaves / 18 Bedford Ave / +1 718 383 5345 / 8am-1am daily / fiveleavesny.com
Concrete + Water / 485 Driggs Ave / +1 917 909 1828 / noon-8pm daily / concreteandwater.com
Mociun / 224 Wythe Ave / +1 718 387 3731 / 11am-7pm daily / mociun.com
Sharktooth / 111 Grand St / +1 718 451 2233 / noon-7pm daily / sharktoothnyc.com
Brooklyn Botanic Garden / 990 Washington Ave / +1 718 623 7200 / Tue-Fri 8am-6pm, 10am-6pm Sat-Sun / bbg.org
Paulie Gee’s / 60 Greenpoint Ave / +1 347 987 3747 / dinner daily / pauliegee.com
Tørst / 615 Manhattan Ave / +1 718 389 6034 / noon-late daily / torstnyc.com