As a designer, I’m drawn to Brooklyn. It’s an industrial mecca of coffee shops, galleries, boutiques and shared working spaces.
I had a few recommendations from fellow London designers but the majority came from chatting to the locals in Manhattan. They all offered to write a list of their favourite places, most of which were in Brooklyn. I love getting to know the locals, it always helps to get a genuine insight into the place you’re visiting.
I tried to visit as many recommendations as I could, all of which are listed below.
Brooklyn + Williamsburg
Brooklyn Flea – On Sunday, under the bridge in DUMBO, is a melting pot of vintage homewear, clothing and accessories. Make sure you haggle on the price, they are pretty flexible. Take cash, but most of them take card.
Beacons closet – This place is voted NYC’s best buy, sell, trade chain. They are a huge, mixed bag of high street, vintage and high end. I was searching for white vintage levi jeans and came out with a cute stripe Madewell shirt for $15. Bargain.
Pilgrim surf – My first experience of Pilgrim Surf was in Tokyo and it was love at first sight, since then I’ve wanted to visit the original store. They sell menswear, womenswear and of corse, surfboards. Effortlessly cool, designed in Williamsburg and beautifully made in Japan.
Mociun – This was recommended by the girl who worked in the beautiful Still House. It’s a minimalist store offering home textiles, ceramics and jewellery. If I ever wanted a ‘special ring’, it would be here, or Still House.
Feng Sway – They don’t have a website, but they have instagram. This was the coolest plant and vintage store in Willamsburg, sitting opposite Norman 29.
Picture Room – The most beautiful print and art shop and affordable prices.
The Primary Essentials – Showcasing home products by local designers and artisans.
Bellocq – Tea atelier, beautiful custom tea blends, fine full leaf pure teas, charming tea gifts & tea accessories.
29 Norman Ave – Norman is a contemporary restaurant, cafe, in-house bakery and bar. We loved the open space and varnished concrete floor, the highlight was the mirrored ceiling reflecting the Empire State Building.
AP Cafe – An airy white cafe with skylights, offering hot and iced coffee, pastries and savoury bites.
Cafe Mogador – Classic Moroccan flavours with leafy, palm tree outdoor seating drawing a bohemian crowd. I had Moroccan eggs which was honestly, life changing.
Five leaves – Chilled Greenpoint bistro offers New American with an Aussie accent and brunch options.
Smorgaburg Market – Saturday in Williamsburg. Sunday in Prospect Park. We went on Sunday and ate a balanced meal of the best ever vegan burger and the best ever ice-cream sandwich. Make sure you take cash, only a few have card payment options.
The Blue Room @ Wythe Hotel – Art Deco-inspired rooftop bar space with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. We waited in line for about 15 minutes because the rooftop is quite small. It’s worth the wait for the view and sundowners.