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.
The morning stroll takes you down the neighborhood’s most gorgeous block: Guernsey Street, between Norman Avenue and Meserole. The street is filled with architectural perfection. On one side there’s a long line of symmetrical row houses and on the other – multi-family buildings. The street is lined by trees on both sidewalks. Take it in. This is that eye-pleasing Greenpoint to the max.
Hand picking your dream six-pack and filling growlers has your stomach growling. Have no fear! Greenpoint is quietly the best foodie neighborhood in the Brooklyn. So prepare yourself for choices, and more choices. For brunch, you decide on Glasserie. Located in the former Greenpoint Glass Works building on Commercial Street, this Middle Eastern restaurant has gotten buzz around the city for its impeccable service and menu. But brunch here is equally as impressive with house-cured sardines, roast lamb flatbread and lamb kofta with eggs.
Greenpoint style is evident, but often overshadowed by neighboring Williamsburg. Still, if you look around you will find cool places like Wolves Within located at 1874 Franklin Avenue. Open in 2011, the shop focuses on art-driven fashion. Lose yourself in their household goods, clothing and piles of trendy knickknacks.
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.
Just as there are plenty of restaurant options, there’s a boatload of cocktail bars in Greenpoint. Tonight you will hit up the two premiere hangouts. First, Alameda on Franklin Street. The horseshoe-shaped bar seems to have every type of alcohol imaginable (both hard-to-find and traditional). The second is Achilles Heel. The rustic watering hole transports you back to the early part of the century. There’s even a fireplace that the chef often uses for his slow-cooked dishes. For those of you who have lived under the rock for the last few years, these two bars have been featured on two very successful TV shows: HBO’s “Girls” and Netflix’s “Master of None.” There. The connection to celebrity lifestyle? Check.