As you may know I spent a few days in New York back in December. Despite many previous visits to the Big Apple I had never made it to Brooklyn until this recent trip.
Brooklyn was one of the places I was the most looking forward to visiting and even though I was coming down with a massive cold on the day we made it there, I managed to fully enjoy wandering around this trendy neighbourhood.
It was a beautiful cold sunny day and we decided to cross Brooklyn Bridge by foot to enjoy the stunning views over Manhattan.
We got to the other side of the bridge and managed to get lost before ending up on a Subway to Williamsburg. Williamsburg is totally the kind of places I love and reminded me of Shoreditch in London. If you get off at the 'Bedford Avenue' subway station you're in the middle of the action, the area is filled with street art, cafes, shops, restaurants and let's say it... it's a bit of a hipster nest.
Toby's Estate Coffee
This is a roastery and cafe, located only a few minutes away from Bedford Avenue. I loved the space, very bright and airy, with communal tables, free wifi and a laid back atmosphere. In addition to serving great coffee they also have a breakfast menu and sweet treats. I was delighted to find amazing doughnuts from Doughnut Plant (hands down the best doughnuts I've ever had) being sold there too.
MAST was founded in 2007 by brothers Rick and Michael Mast who decided to make 'bean to bar' chocolate, selling it first in local markets. Their chocolate bars with fancy packaging are now known across the world and they have their HQ in Brooklyn as well as branches in LA and London. We joined the factory tour ($10, available every day on the hour) and the store general manager told us the story of MAST as well as showing us around their little chocolate factory at the back of the shop, we learned how the chocolate was made and they gave us a little tasting at the end.
Roberta's is close to the 'Jefferson St' subway stop and unless you are looking for it you could easily miss it! The red entrance door is small and covered with graffiti but when you venture inside you find a funky pizza spot with communal tables inside and a large outdoor area. It may be a little hyped and over-Instagrammed but the 'Spekenwolf' pizza ($17) which we shared was rather delicious and perfect for a casual lunch.
I came up with a pretty packed food and drink itinerary but the only one that mattered to Mr. FFID was Brooklyn Brewery. They do 'Small batch tours' from Monday to Thursday at 5pm but you can only book 31 days in advance and they sell out fast. I had to set a reminder 31 days before our planned visit and was delighted to secure tickets online. It's $15 per person and well worth it, you hear about the story of Brooklyn Brewery, get a generous tasting, visit the brewery and get to spend some time in the bar afterwards. A must-do if you love beer!
While I was in New York one of my Snapchat followers suggested we go to Brooklyn Winery which I'd never heard of. I'm so glad she did because it was one of the highlights of the trip. Unfortunately we were too late to join the tour of the winery (book online!) but we had a great dinner of wine and food, including an amazing dish of crispy Brussels sprouts which I will never forget. It was brilliant to taste New York State wine while nibbling on cheese, surrounded by locals.
How about you, do you have any favourite spots in Brooklyn? Let me know in the comments.