You take a stroll along Manhattan Avenue and peak into the long stretch of Polish and Czech delis. Then you reach the cross section of Bedford and Nassau Avenues. The area is easily the busiest section of the neighborhood. Forget about all the other restaurants and bars (we will revisit!) and just walk to the to-go window at Five Leaves. The brunch is so amazing here that there’s a waiting line around the corner. But today you are just getting their coffee – quite possibly the best in the city – and sampling their pristine pastries.
As you continue to discover this wonderful nabe, you get a sense of the predominant European feel. What stands out the most are the old school churches. Just like in Europe, the churches are the center points of Greenpoint. There’s St. John’s Lutheran Church, which features colorful, Byzantine-style architecture. And of course the gorgeous St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
The food has made you a little sleepy so another walk to nearby Pulaski Bridge will work out the kinks. This is one of the few bridges in the city that you don’t have to take photos through a chain link fence. And the views are magnificent: who can resist seeing the NYC skyline with a little bit of (Newton Creek/) East River life in the mix? Plentiful tug boats and sail boats give off a European flair.
There are strong rustic and artisanal undertones coursing through Greenpoint. Nowhere is that more evident than at Bakeri. The indie bakery and breakfast destination is easily the most adorable and impeccably designed eatery in the neighborhood. The food is equally impressive as they bake their own breads, muffins and macaroons. Like most of Greenpoint, there’s a distinct European feel to the bakery – its roots are from distant Norway.
Finding food in Greenpoint isn’t difficult; it’s deciding on your dinner spot that is. Today, you have three restaurants to choose from. The first choice is Esme, which has the best butternut risotto in town. Then there’s Luksus, a contemporary American eatery tucked away within the confines of Torst (a truly incredible beer joint) with the most original bar snacks you will find like Welsh rarebit and smoked trout. And lastly there’s the Lobster Joint, which features the best lobster-themed dishes in the city. You're your fill of the lobster shepherd’s pie and/or two types of lobster rolls: New England Lobster Roll and Connecticut Lobster Roll. The lobster is even in the drinks here. Care for a sip of Lobster Bloody Mary (with a lobster tail garnish)? The Lobster Joint is too committed to the theme to pass up, unless of course you are allergic to crustaceans.
To scratch your live music itch, land at Brooklyn Bazaar. You’ll feel like having landed at a Lalapalooza concert. The decor is polarizing, as the bar and lounge areas are straight out of “The Great Gatsby.” Hear the sounds of punk and EMO bands in the event room, while indulging in a boatload of Bazaar’s food and boutique stands.