As a recent grad in 2018, I ended up in Greenpoint as sort of a fluke, based on whoever was kind enough to respond to my apartment hunting inquiries (the real estate struggle is real, y’all). I quickly fell in love with the neighborhood – the quiet, the coffee shops, the vintage stores – and couldn’t bring myself to look at any other neighborhoods when apartment hunting again last year. Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, is the perfect mix of hip and historic, where young creative types and the old Polish guard can coexist.
Accessible by the G train and East River Ferry (though it’s currently on hiatus), Greenpoint sometimes feels like a hidden gem, largely untouched by tourism and not as corporate and gentrified as neighboring Williamsburg. Below are some of Greenpoint’s best places to explore when you’re fresh off campus and new to the area.
Where to Eat in Greenpoint
Paulie Gee’s – A few things come to mind when one thinks of New York – dramatic skyscrapers, Broadway shows, and pizza. Paulie Gee’s has some of the city’s best pies, from classics like Regina (fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, olive oil, and fresh Gotham Greens basil) to weirder options like Edith’s Pastrami Reuben pizza. My personal favorite is the Cherry Jones, with fresh mozzarella, Gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto di Parma, dried Bing cherries, and orange blossom honey. It’s a charcuterie board in pizza form. Who else is doing that but Paulie Gee? (Who is, in fact, a real life person). For a quick slice, hit up the nearby Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop on 110 Franklin Street – just expect long lines on weekends. 60 Greenpoint Avenue
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop – A Greenpoint institution, Peter Pan hasn’t changed much in over 60 years of business. The waitstaff still wear pink and green uniforms and only seating is at the counter. You can get three donuts and a coffee for less than $5 – an absolute steal, especially in this neck of the woods. 727 Manhattan Avenue
Xi’an Famous Foods – As a New York-based chain, Xi’an is not specific to Greenpoint, but we’re lucky to have these spicy hand-pulled, perfectly pillow-y noodles in our neighborhood. Most options are around $10 and will leave you satiated. 648 Manhattan Avenue
Krolewskie Jadlo – If you’ve walked by Manhattan Avenue, you’ve probably noticed the two knights standing guard outside and wondered what kind of establishment could they possibly be protecting. It’s Krolewskie Jadlo, or “King’s Feast” as it’s translated to, with food and portion size fit for a king. Expect classics like pierogies and at least three kinds of borscht. If you’re with a group of carnivores looking to put away a lot of food, try the koryto plate, a smorgasburg of meats, potatoes, veggies, and dipping sauces on the side. 694 Manhattan Avenue
Where to Drink in Greenpoint
The Lot – This outdoor space hosts a radio station and an outdoor bar. Drink options are pretty standard (it’s not quite full service, so mostly beer and wine) but the draw is less for the drinks and more of the scene, tending towards those with stick and poke tattoos and semi-ironic baseball caps. 17 Nassau Avenue
Temkin’s – If you’re a recent grad, your friends are probably going to flock towards Bushwick when it comes to nightlife. And who could blame them? Our bar scene is a little more expensive. If you’re trying to convince your friends to finally meet you in Greenpoint, take them to Temkin’s, where they have reasonably-priced cocktails on tap. 155 Greenpoint Avenue
Ramona – Now, if you do feel indulging in your bougie side, Ramona is the place to be. They have inventive hand-crafted cocktails, like the Handsome Grandson with gin, bay leaf syrup, and pomegranate. Their space is, as my mom would put it, vibe-y (think marble topped bar, wood accents, and dimly lit lightbulbs). 113 Franklin Street
Where to Shop in Greenpoint
Awoke Vintage – With not one, not two, but three locations in North Brooklyn. They have a lot of jeans, and their jewelry selection is especially cute. 688 Manhattan Avenue, 16 Bedford Avenue, 132 North 5th Street
Dobbin Street Vintage Co-Op – An excellent selection of furniture and home goods. Be sure to follow their Instagram account to see their most recent selections, but word to the wise – it moves incredibly fast. If you see something you like, slide into those DMs pronto. 39 Norman Avenue
Dream Fishing Tackle – The most delightfully bonkers store in our neighborhood. Based on the signage alone, one would assume that sporting goods and fishing equipment would soon greet you upon entering. Yes, there is fishing equipment, but you have to walk all the way in the back past the records and vintage furniture (read our profile here for more deets about how this store came to be) Lots of hidden gems to be found here. 673 Manhattan Avenue
Feng Sway – A plant-filled oasis filled with crystals, sassy socks, and fun vintage clothes. Also this sequined Nicolas Cage pillow that I regret not buying last year. It’s a great place to find odds and ends for zhuzhing up your apartment. Though they’re moving into a new space soon, their old location had really great lighting to take pics for dating apps – I’m sure the new one won’t disappoint. 41 Norman Avenue
Package Free – It’s not in Greenpoint, but I’d be remiss not to point out this fantastic shop in Williamsburg with everything any eco-conscious Brooklynite needs. Even if you’re not fully committed to living a zero-waste lifestyle, there are plenty of products that can help you start generating less waste, like reusable portable cutlery, beeswax wrap, and natural deodorant. 137 Grand Street
Where to Enjoy the Outdoors in Greenpoint
You can make a day of wandering the shady, tree-lined streets throughout Greenpoint, but if you’re eager to meet up for a park picnic or spend some quality time outdoors, here’s the lineup: WNYC Transmitter Park for the views, McCarren Park for the space and activities, McGolrick Park for the trees and the farmers market.