BROOKLYN HEIGHTS & BOERUM HILL

  • Brooklyn Inn; 148 Hoyt St (bar) —go here for: historic ambiance, solid cocktails and beer selection, a late 20s/early 30s crowd
  • Rucola; 190 Dean St (restaurant) —go here for: fresh, creative cuisine, an oversized communal table, vegetable-focused dishes
  • Long Island Bar; 110 Atlantic Ave (bar) —go here for: one of the best burgers in the city, old-school neighborhood ambiance
  • Damascus Bakery; 195 Atlantic Ave (Middle Eastern bakery/grocer) —go here for: baklava, flatbreads, spices and mezze
  • French Louie; 320 Atlantic Avenue (French/Canadian restaurant) —go here for: socca (a style of chic pea pancake) and radishes with black olive butter
  • Ganso Yaki; 515 Atlantic Ave (ramen and japanese cuisine) —go here for: appetizers and the yokohama red chili and roasted sesame paste ramen

BUSHWICK

  • Brooklyn Natural Foods; 49 Bogart St (grocery store/deli) —go here for: solid/hearty sandwiches, health foods
  • Open Studios; 56 Bogart St (artist studios/exhibitions) —go here for: bizarre, intriguing contemporary art
  • Fitzcarraldo: 195 Morgan Ave (Ligurian restaurant) —go here for: seasonal prix fixe menu

COBBLE HILL & CARROLL GARDENS

  • Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain; 513 Henry St (ice cream parlor) —go here for: chocolate milkshakes, egg creams, retro vibe
  • D’Amico Foods; 309 Court St (coffee shop) —go here for: the house-roasted drip coffee
  • Caputo Bakery; 329 Court St (bakery) —go here for sfogliatelle, lobster tails and “bones of the dead” cookies
  • The Jake Walk; 282 Smith Street (cocktail bar) —go here for: top-notch modern cocktails, bartenders who know how to stir & shake off the beaten path
  • Moscot; 159 Court St (eyeglasses shop) —go here for: mod eyewear, back-garden concerts
  • Bien Cuit; 120 Smith St (bakery) —go here for: slow-fermented loaves (like their iconic miche), well-toasted puff pastries
  • 61 Local; 61 Bergen St (public house) —go here for: a few hours of freelance work, local booze and snacks
  • Stinky Bklyn; 215 Smith St (cheese shop) —go here for: smelly and odd cheeses, local/artisanal foodstuffs
  • Hunter’s; 213 Smith St (farm to table restaurant) —go here for: seasonal fare, especially the spring menu’s red quinoa risotto and brook trout
  • La Vara; 268 Clinton St (tapas restaurant) —go here for: shareable small plates influenced by the multi-cultural flavors of Southern Spain,  like the crispy eggplant with melted cheese and nigella seeds
  • The Clover Club; 210 Smith St (speakeasy) —go here for: fresh takes on classic cocktails, seasonal specials (like the gin-based Green Giant with snap peas and tarragon) and live 1920s jazz (selected nights)
  • Nightingale 9; 329 Smith St (Vietnamese restaurant) —go here for: shaved collard salad, fried rice, anything & everything pork, unique lemonades
  • Take Root; 187 Sackett St (locavore restaurant) —go here for: hand-crafted prix fixe menu, beautifully prepared local products, a special celebration
  • Brucie; 234 Court St (seasonal restaurant) —go here for: shared rustic cuts of meat, fresh takes on vegetables
  • Shelsky's; 251 Smith Street (smoked fish shop) —go here for: top notch lox and Mill Basin bagels
  • Dosa Royale; 316 Court St (modern Indian restaurant) —go here for: paper-thin, crepe-like dosas, fresh and flavorful curries, Indian breads that go beyond naan
  • Court Street Grocers; 485 Court Street (sandwich shop) —go here for: incredible edible between two slices of bread, like the "Broccoli Reuben", as well as hip or hard to find condiments from all over the world
  • June; 231 Court St (natural wine bar) —go here for: weird wines (keep an eye out for non-Lambrusco sparking reds!), shared small plates and unpretentious service.
  • Leyenda; 221 Smith St (cocktail bar) —go here for: latin-inspired cocktails and Mexican bites in a warm, rustic space

DITMAS PARK

  • Ox Cart Tavern; 1301 Newkirk Ave (American restaurant) —go here for: my favorite NYC burger (blended meat, creative toppings), especially “la Vaca”

DUMBO

  • Vinegar Hill House; 72 Hudson Ave (farm-to-table restaurant) —go here for: fresh/local better-than-homestyle cookin’, salted caramel custard
  • Jane’s Carousel/Brooklyn Bridge Park; Dock St (park) —go here for: Manhattan views, a few lazy hours lying on the grass
  • West Elm Market—go here for: useful and well-designed home goods, culinary classes
  • Gran Electrica; 5 Front St (Mexican restaurant) —go here for: Mezcal/Tequila drinks, aquachile, whole roasted fish, spicy chocolate pudding
  • Brooklyn Roasting Company; 25 Jay Street (coffee shop) —go here for: a sunny, spacious cafe to meet a friend or a first date

FORT GREENE & CLINTON HILL

  • BAM Café; 30 Lafayette St (bar and performance space) —go here for: Fri/Sat happy hour & free concerts, beautifully lit vaulted ceilings
  • Dino; 222 Dekalb Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: seasonal, simple, fresh cuisine; escarole salad, veal polpettini, outdoor seating
  • Martha; 184 Dekalb Ave (New American restaurant) —go here for: easy drinking cocktails, highly addictive brussel sprouts
  • Mayflower Social; 132 Greene Ave (cocktail bar) —go here for: shoebox-sized ambiance, stiff drinks
  • Emily; 919 Fulton Street (Italian restaurant) —go here for: innovative wood-fired pizzas, cavatelli with ricotta, lemon and poppy seed
  • Roman's; 243 Dekalb Ave (trattoria) —go here for: Shewolf Bakery breads, cauliflower agrodolce and other rustic Italian plates
  • Red Lantern Bicycles; 345 Myrtle Ave (bike shop and cafe) —go here for: house made nut/seed milks, friendly service with edgy style, a quick tune-up
  • Sisters Bar; 900 Fulton St (cocktail bar) —go here for: a bright, beautiful interior, cocktails and light snacks (especially the fried artichokes)

GOWANUS

  • The Bell House; 149 7th St (concert hall) —go here for: small venue headliners, indie up-and-comers
  • Lavender Lake; 383 Carroll St (bar/restaurant) —go here for: elevated bar food (especially the tomato soup and grilled cheese), spacious dance floor, cocktails
  • The Green Building; 452 Union St (event space) —go here for: an upscale farm vibe, large dinner parties
  • Littlefield; 622 Degraw St (bar/concert venue) —go here for: Monday night comedy, Master of Social Gastronomy lecture series
  • Four & Twenty Blackbirds; 439 3rd Ave (pie shop) —go here for: decadent pie by the slice, like the irresistible black bottom oatmeal
  • Brooklyn Boulders; 575 Degraw St (rock climbing) —go here for: a fun alternative to your gym routine
  • Runner & Stone; 285 3rd Ave (bakery/restaurant) —go here for: sprouted spelt and other fresh-baked breads
  • Lucey’s Lounge; 479 3rd Ave (bar) —go here for: vintage living-room flair, quirky artwork, well-balanced and inexpensive cocktails
  • 501 Union; 501 Union St (event space) —go here for: atrium-style lighting, casual open format
  • Threes Brewing; 333 Douglass St (Brewery with BBQ) —go here for: a large group outing, beers on tap, pulled pork, house party ambiance

GREENPOINT

  • The Gutter; 200 N 14th St (bowling alley) —go here for: affordable, low-fi bowling in a dive bar space
  • The Diamond; 43 Franklin St (beer bar) —go here for: unusual craft beers, shuffleboard, the backyard ski gondola
  • Manhattan Inn; 632 Manhattan Ave (piano bar) —go here for: classy cocktails, upscale late night eats, mood lighting, live music
  • Ramona; 113 Franklin St (cocktail bar) —go here for: high-ceilings, a see-and-be-seen weekend crowd, after dinner cocktails
  • Glasserie; 95 Commericial St. (seasonal restaurant) —go here for: inventive, mediterannean inflected dishes and mezze style brunch
  • Ovenly; 31 Greenpoint Ave (bakery/cafe) —go here for: blue cheese + pecan scones with spicy "hot honey", savory sablé cookies, Bellocq Tea
  • Alter; 140 Franklin St (clothing boutique) —go here for: conceptual clothing and unusual jewelry
  • Le Fanfare; 1103 Manhattan Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: beautiful restaurant (and menu) design, the poached eggs with polenta at brunch
  • Sauvage; 905 Lorimer St (Modern Bistro) —go here for: the cumin-laced house bread and butter, crispy-skinned pike, an lovely wine-by-the-glass list 

PARK SLOPE/SOUTH SLOPE

  • Café Steinhof; 422 7th Ave (Austrian restaurant) —go here for: an eclectic, cozy ambiance and mouth watering sausages
  • Oaxaca; 250 4th Ave (taqueria) —go here for: inventive tacos, like beef cheek, cactus and “korean”
  • Piccoli Trattoria; 522 6th Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: risotto, like the cauliflower with anchovy breadcrumbs
  • Talde; 369 7th Avenue (Asian-American restaurant) —go here for: creative twists on pan-asian classics, like bacon pad thai
  • Al Di Là; 248 5th Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: upgrades on comfort classics, from exquisite soups to plate-licking pastas
  • Fonda; 434 7th Ave (Mexican restaurant) —go here for: must-try tortilla soup, chilaquiles, craveworthy (and complex) mole sauce
  • Cafe Regular; 318A 11th St (coffee shop) —go here for: La Colombe coffee, a particularly creamy cappuccino, a true local's hangout

PROSPECT HEIGHTS & CROWN HEIGHTS

  • Weather Up; 589 Vanderbilt Ave (speakeasy) —go here for: bespoke cocktails with hand-cut ice, an enviable playlist, sexy late night lighting
  • Brooklyn Museum; 200 Eastern Parkway (art museum) —go here for: special exhibits, a manageably-sized museum day
  • Breukelen Coffee; 764 Franklin Avenue (coffeeshop) —go here for: Stumptown beans, a simple breakfast, a quiet studying spot
  • Tooker Alley; 793 Washington Ave  (cocktail bar) —go here for: prohibition ambiance, the gin martini menu
  • Bearded Lady; 686A Washington Ave (bar) —go here for: craft cocktails in a modern (see: non-speakeasy) space
  • Crown Inn; 724 Franklin Ave (bar) —go here for: dim-lit banquet seating, a stiff drink on a cold night, outdoor space in the summer
  • The Way Station; 683 Washington Ave (bar) —go here for: nerd-inspired ambiance, live music, quirky people watching
  • Franny’s; 348 Flatbush Avenue (pizza/Italian restaurant)—go here for: incredible clam pizza, fried zucchini blossoms, hot pink lambrusco
  • Bklyn Larder; 228 Flatbush Avenue (gourmet grocery) —go here for: cheese, cheese & more cheese; antipasti, the highest quality provisions, a quiet lunch
  • Mayfield; 688 Franklin Ave (farm-to-table restaurant)  —go here for: "we share everything" eating, oyster happy hour, and plate-licking dishes at remarkable prices
  • Ample Hills Creamery; 623 Vanderbilt Ave (ice cream) —go here for: salted crack (caramel with saltine crackers) 
  • Sharlene's; 353 Flatbush Ave (neighborhood bar) —go here for: a dive bar vibe in a cleaned-up package, vintage tunes
  • Rose's Bar & Grill; 295 Flatbush Ave (neighborhood restaurant) —go here for: unexpectedly creative cocktails, one incredible burger

RED HOOK

  • Brooklyn Crab; 24 Reed St (seafood shack) —go here for: killer cocktails (like their spicy margaritas), corn hole, and freshly caught crustaceans (royale platter & fried whole bellies are my picks!)
  • Baked NYC; 359 Van Brunt St (bakery) —go here for: better-than-your-mom's takes on classic sweets (they were nominated for a James Beard Award you guys!)

WILLIAMSBURG

  • Radegast Hall & Beer Garden; 113 N 3rd St (beer garden) —go here for: brats, sauerkraut, great brews, chill/affordable dining
  • Fatty ‘Cue; 91 South 6th St (Pan-Asian bbq restaurant) —go here for: nasi ulam (rice salad), smoked eggplant nam prik, dragon pullman toast, pickle back chasers
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg; 66 N 6th St (concert hall) —go here for: indie bands or soon-to-be headliners, relatively intimate ambiance
  • Brooklyn Bowl; 61 Wythe Ave (concert hall) —go here for: funk/indie/pseudo-headliner shows, great food, bowling
  • Turkey’s Nest Tavern; 94 Bedford Ave (dive bar) —go here for: absinthe margaritas in styrofoam, McCarren Park-appropriate cups
  • Lodge; 318 Grand St (new American restaurant) —go here for: boozey brunch, holiday/ski-lodge ambiance, comfort food (addictive tater tots)
  • The Woods; 48 S 4th St (bar/nightlife) —go here for: cheap drinks, an amazing back patio, one of the borough’s best dance scenes
  • Post Office; 188 Havemeyer St (bar) —go here for: bourbon, rye, unusual cocktails, just-edgy-enough ambiance
  • Maison Premiere; 298 Bedford Ave (bar/restaurant) —go here for: oysters, yes, but also expert cocktails and a Midnight in Paris vibe
  • Zizi Limona; 129 Havemeyer St —go here for: mezze and other mediterranean eats, shared plates
  • Saltie; 378 Metropolitan Ave —go here for: crazy sandwich combinations on addictive foccacia, spoon-licking good soups
  • Rough Trade; 64 North 9th St (record shop/music venue) —go here for: free live music, small venue intimacy, up-and-coming bands
  • Reynard; 80 Wythe Ave (bistro in the Wythe Hotel) —go here for: brunch — roast beef with watercress, zucchini and sunny side up eggs
  • Loosie Rouge; 91 South 6th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: shoebox ambiance and an incredible playlist, refreshing cocktails like the horseradish-infused "horse kick"