Your Millennial Travel Guide to Brooklyn

Guests at McCarren Hotel & Pool can venture over to the rooftop bar for panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and live music.
Guests at McCarren Hotel & Pool can venture over to the rooftop bar for panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and live music.

Whether your clients are visiting Manhattan for a vacation, personal business or a meeting, do them a favor and suggest them to take out time to get over to Brooklyn for some authentic drinking and dining experiences.

Hipster Fun: Williamsburg

Tucked between the East River and Bushwick Avenue is the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood. How to get there? The “L” train subway will remain running until January 2019 before shutting down between Brooklyn and Manhattan for a projected 18 months to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Alternatively, take a cab or an Uber…it’s all quick and easy, just ask a local. 

Once there, take a walk down Bedford Avenue, which is filled with funky shops and restaurants that have helped make Williamsburg a popular destination. A must-visit dining spot? Sweet Chick at 164 Bedford Avenue is so super popular that it draws a crowd even on a Wednesday afternoon. We sampled the fried chicken sandwich served with spicy honey on the side. We also tried the grilled chicken salad, which comes with a spicy kick. This eatery also serves traditional sweet tea and lemonade made with or without a little kick of alcohol. Guess which one we chose. Hint: Be prepared to sit close to other patrons. There is also a communal table along with other seating and a small bar.

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Did someone say pizza? Continue your stroll down Bedford to reach Joe’s Pizza on the corner at 5th Street. We enjoyed a quick slice and though we might sound jaded (we are), you’ll find that New York City pizza is the best in the world. No discussion needed.

Want More? Further along Bedford is Bagelsmith, which serves house-made bagels. And then there’s the Bedford Cheese Shop with its artisanal cheese samples maintained by knowledgeable cheese mongers.

For a dose of entertainment, Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue) shows both new and fan-favorite movies with a twist. This theater has a gourmet concession stand, tableside food and beverage service. We suggest ordering a cocktail in the downstairs bar, Lo-Res, before the show in one of the three theaters. We also suggest checking out the themed-series like Country Brunchin’. This quarterly show brings together country music, brunch and, of course, movies with a splash of Southern fun.

Time to Cool Off

Williamsburg might be a super urban destination, but there is a place to swim and it’s at McCarren Hotel & Pool on North 12th Street. What we love: Guests at this pool can sip Prosecco while relaxing on one of the lounge chairs or cabanas. Want to take a small group to the pool? There’s a package available for up to 10, in which guests can enjoy Boozy Ice Pops and soak up the summer sun. (Food and beverage are included in the package.) After a day of swimming, and sunning, you can venture over to the rooftop bar for views of the Manhattan skyline and live music. This is the perfect way to spend a day in one of Brooklyn’s hottest scenes. To book a special day at the pool, contact Ronny Baroody ([email protected]), director of events.

The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden has wooden bridges, stone lanterns and a Shinto shrine.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden has wooden bridges, stone lanterns and a Shinto shrine.

Brooklyn, we’re not done with you yet. Set along Eastern Parkway near Franklin and Washington Avenues, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights are home to numerous gems for lovers of art, nature and food to check out.

Coffee Time

For caffeine lovers, at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue, is The Pulp & The Bean, which is our pick for the best coffee in the neighborhood (and yes, there is also a Starbucks next door). The bagels here are also pretty darn good. Be prepared for the two sole tables inside to be occupied while you’re there, but do head over to a bench on the nearby Eastern Parkway, which is more peaceful than it sounds, and is one of our favorite ways to start off a day in the neighborhood.

Fun With Nature

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a true gem in this favorite borough of ours. We’re partial not just to the blossom-lined Cherry Esplanade, but also to the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (think wooden bridges, stone lanterns and a Shinto shrine). Here, the conservatories display everything from desert plants to a collection of bonsai trees. In town during the autumn months? It’s still a great time to visit as the gardens are fascinating to observe, even if they’re not in full bloom. Insider Tip: Check out what’s blooming at www.bbg.org/bloom. Better Tip? Admission is free before noon on Saturdays, except for days with special events.

Crown Heights and Prospect Heights are two Brooklyn neighborhoods that border the 585-acre Prospect Park, an urban oasis linked to Manhattan by seven subway lines.
Crown Heights and Prospect Heights are two Brooklyn neighborhoods that border the 585-acre Prospect Park, an urban oasis linked to Manhattan by seven subway lines.

Want to do more? Just next door to the BBG’s entrance on Eastern Parkway is the world-famous Brooklyn Museum, with fabulous permanent and rotating collections and a particular focus on feminist art in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center. As part of the “Target First Saturdays” program, admission is free on the first Saturday of each month. At other times, admission is by suggested donation.

Places to Eat

Glady’s, part of Franklin Avenue’s booming restaurant scene, serves Caribbean food and craft cocktails (they’re partial to rum here) and we say the jerk chicken and plantains are menu standouts, and the ackee and saltfish are a must-try for brunch.

Cheryl’s Global Soul is famous for its comfort food served in a small space with a garden. If you’re in for lunch, definitely check out the salmon hash — our favorite.

For authentic Brooklyn Italian fare, visit Bar Corvo, which offers an awesome lineup of homemade, fresh pasta. But, be sure to save enough room for dessert.

Yes, we know you’re still thinking of pizza (so are we) and we suggest Barboncino, which serves wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pies and a lineup of craft cocktails. If you’re there on a Tuesday, expect some live jazz as well.

Where to Imbibe

Franklin Park is easily one of the most popular bars in the neighborhood, thanks to its outdoor patio and craft beers. We have been enjoying its reading series, which hosts an impressive lineup of fiction and nonfiction writers. It’s held on the second Monday of each month and includes a draft drink special. It draws crowds but that only makes you feel more like a local insider.

For something more low key, visit Butter and Scotch, which serves dessert-themed cocktails. It’s all a combo of a bar and a bakery and is a neat way to end an evening. We also love that its brunch menu includes biscuits and gravy.

This story originally appeared on www.internationalmeetingsreview.com.

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