This hotel is authentic Brooklyn. A disused former factory on the Brooklyn waterfront painstakingly converted in to one of New York’s grooviest new hotel destinations.
The restaurant, Reynards cooks food in a wood fired oven with a menu which changes daily. They have relationships with providers of every source of food they serve, from their farmers to their coffee roasters. The menu naturally centers around whatever their farmers have on offer making for delicious, fresh seasonal fare. The restaurant attracts a local crowd of Brooklyn hipsters adding to the authentic style of the place.
The 72 rooms are spacious and airy with high ceilings, some with entire walls of glass windows and magnificent views of Manhattan. Beds are made of reclaimed pine salvaged from the building and the furniture in the room is locally made. The mini bar offerings are seasonal which is both totally original and thoroughly in keeping with the ethos of the hotel.
For anyone visiting New York and seeking a hip and luxurious experience, you can’t get better than the Wythe Hotel. Across the road from happening music venue Brooklyn Bowl and a short stroll to all of Williamsburg’s finest, you’re in the heart of hipster heaven. The subway ride in to Manhattan is just one stop which means you get to sample the best of both worlds.
Wythe Hotel. 80 Wythe Avenue. At N. 11th Street. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. 11249
We only LIKE coffee that’s made just so. We’re very particular and don’t like it milky, bitter, too strong, too hot, too cold yadda yadda yadda. The owners actually herald from California and promise to only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster so that we may enjoy coffee at its peak of flavor. They roast coffee on vintage gear and watching any of the coffee being brewed is a thing of great beauty.
They only use the finest organic, and pesticide-free, shade-grown beans and it’s all served in a beautiful airy space by serious young coffee experts. The baked goods are delicious, extremely homemade and very grown up. Apart from a few stools and benches, there are no seats here and no wireless so you won’t find the hanging around in coffee bar scene. Instead, it’s more like nipping in to a coffee bar in Europe, where you get your coffee in a lovely cup and lean against a counter, drink it and go about your day. Of course you can get your coffee to go, but it’s not nearly so nice out of a paper cup.
Blue Bottle Coffee 160 Berry Street New York. 11211
WHERE TO EAT
ISA is a restaurant born of the coming together of two great forces. Namely the former chef from Il Buco and the front man from Freemans. As you’d expect the place is a total hipster foodie mecca, in fact many say it’s the coolest restaurant in New York at the moment.
The space is modern rustic woodsy with thick exposed beams, wide plank floors and natural wooden tables dotted around. The kitchen is fully open to the diners which makes for a great show.
The dishes are both surprising and straight forward at the same time. Food is sourced locally as you’d expect but at first glance with dishes like tartare with creme fraiche, broth poured over foie gras and fresh peas and a whole squid baked. We suggest choosing lots of tiny dishes with maybe one main course to share as it’s all about tasting everything at Isa.
An off-beat wine list with such selections as Orange Wine (a dry wine the opposite of rose) ends up being just as pleasing and perfect as the food itself. The staff is really well-informed about everything and are delightfully friendly and professional at the same time.ISA. 348 Wythe Street. Between 2nd & 3rd Street. Williamsburg. Brooklyn. NY 11211. Tel: 347 689 3594 Brunch weekends 11.30am – 3pm. Dinner nightly 6pm – 11.30pm (10pm Sundays)
The food at Marlow & Sons is delicious, the restaurant space ambient and beautifully lit (which we always appreciate). It’s also crazy cheap, which only makes our love for the place stronger.
On the way out we spend hours browsing the front part of Marlow & Sons which is a true old school general store. Everything is wonderfully curated and they sell gorgeous things like classic French Aigle boots, old school Stanley thermos flasks, scrumptious hand knitted blankets and sweaters, dark denim jeans and hand-made leather footballs.
Marlow & Sons is a fabulous place to eat, drink or just grab a chic coffee with the added bonus of being able to outfit yourself and leave looking as hip as any other grooved out Williamsburger.Marlow & Sons. 81 Broadway, Williamsburg, NY 11249
There are no Ompaloompas to be found in this artisan chocolate factory, just gorgeous Brooklyn hipsters wearing white coats, delicately hand wrapping the organic chocolate bars in fine gold foil. Rick and Michael Mast, two bearded Brooklyn brothers have made it their lives work to bring beans directly from the source to their factory in Brooklyn. Made on their own specially designed machines, with sophisticated flavors like Almonds & Sea Salt and chocolate nibs, this chocolate is outstanding.
The chocolate cookies they make fresh daily using rich fresh chocolate, may be the best in the world.
Mast Bros Chocolate, 111 North 3rd Street , NY 11249. Tel: 718 388 2625
WHERE TO SHOP
Owned by two succesful fashion stylists, April Hughes and Marina Burini the store sells their beautiful finds from trekking the world on fashion shoots. The store feels very bohemian and global.
There is a unisex perfume they have which might be the most dreamy scent we’ve ever found. It’s called Shigenobu Twilight and is made by a Brooklyn perfumer. The architect designed bottle is made of raw cedar wood. The cedar wood scent along with unusual top notes of yuzu fruit, shiso leaf and black pepper as well as hinoki and violet leaf makes it one of those extraordinary smells that people would constantly ask you what you’re wearing.
Gorgeous hand-made blankets, one of a kind jewelery, divine smelling soy candles made by local Brooklyn artisans, a unique selection of stunning pottery, clothes and books from around the world.
Unlike so many stores in New York where the staff are a little too cool for school, the people working here are so friendly and chatty, it just makes you want to hang around in the store longer.
Beautiful Dreamers. 326 Wythe Avenue. Ground Floor. NY 11249
Owned by Chris Gentile, the man behind the now closed Mollusk BK, the store is a peaceful space with lots of fresh clean wood everywhere and lots of gorgeous surf boards. You won’t find a better selection of surf boards or a more friendly bunch to buy one from in the City.
The bikini’s rock, cute as cute can be with a laid back surfer girl fashion vibe.
Clothes for men and women like super bright rain slickers, board shorts, a nice range of carefully selected Vans and styling canvas bags. As you’d expect from any surf store, there’s a sweet range of cool t-shirts too.
A lovely coffee shop at the back of the store right behind the surf boards makes this a place to hang out and relax and totally drink in the cool surfer vibe. We can’t think of anywhere better to grab a coffee, try on a swimsuit and daydream about surfing.
Pilgrim Surf & Supply. 68 N. 3rd Street. Williamsburg, NY. 11211.Tel: 718218-7456
Shoe Market, a super cute shoe store. Cutting edge designs at super affordable prices. This store always carries the shoes of the season and is a great place to score hard to find cool shoes not found anywhere in Manhattan.
Shoe Market, 160 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 11211
Sells unique, well priced, funky as heck items for the home. Great lamps, accessories and furniture.
A&G Merch, 111 North 6th Street New York, NY 11211
Full to the brim with great items for the home. We love the Australian Murchison-Hume cleaning products, the famous laser lights in the window remind us of Darth Vader’s light saber and at around $100, a great buy.
The Future Perfect, 115 North 6th Street, NY 11211
WHAT TO DO
Brooklyn Bowl is dare we say it, glamorous, well at least for a bowling alley. Set in an enormous former industrial building you know something is different from the moment you set foot in the space.
You enter in to a vast expansive airy space where on one side, you sign in to bowl and on the other you can go and eat. But this food isn’t any old bowling alley grub, the food is Blue Ribbon brassiere and they serve deliciously yummy things like to die for fried chicken, amazing salads and vegetable dishes as well as interesting foodie sandwiches with sides of salad.
There are 16 lanes and each lane has two super comfortable deep buttoned brown leather Chesterfield sofas with a coffee table between them. It feels like you’re in a luxe living room lounging, eating Blue Ribbon food and enjoying a trendy drink and you just get up and bowl whenever your turn comes around.
But it gets better, right beside the bowling lanes is a huge dance floor and a stage. You can sit on your Chesterfield sofa, slighty elevated from the dance floor and watch the fun unfold. Every Thursday Questlove from The Roots DJs great tunes which turns the place on its head and in to a jumping party. They have regular live bands on the stage and it’s such a cool happy venue that we can’t think of a better environment to catch your favorite act.
They are open for Sunday brunch which is mellow and low-key or night time for a totally kicking party scene. Whatever you’re in the mood for, if bowling is what your feeling then it doesn’t get any cooler than Brooklyn Bowl.
Brooklyn Bowl. 61 Wythe Avenue. Williamsburg. NY. 11211. Tel: 718 963 3369
The Brooklyn Flea is open on the waterfront in Williamsburg for the summer season. Looking at Manhattan across the water and sifting through the flea market is a perfect way to wile away a lazy Sunday afternoon.
What’s special about the Brooklyn Flea is that it’s not just a bunch of vintage clothes, furniture and toys. Of course there’s a lot of that stuff but there’s also funky fare from local Brooklyn artisans. Beautiful handmade candles, soap and body products by Apotheke are made just down the road.
The food is our favorite and the vendors are abundant. Make sure you arrive very hungry or you’ll kick yourself if you don’t have room to try the many delicious options on offer. The absolute best donut we’ve had anywhere in the entire world is at this market. Made by a tiny bakery called Dough located deep in Brooklyn, they serve delectable grown up flavors such as blood orange with candied orange slices. They were so moist and delicious we were rendered speechless for ten minutes after eating one.
Instead of going to the Brooklyn Flea by subway from Manhattan, we love to take the East River Ferry. It leaves from Wall Street and zooms across the East River and drops you right on the pier in front of the market. It’s makes us feel very glamorous to arrive by boat. Soda’s made in Brooklyn, amazing food vendors, gorgeous people to admire strolling around and some vintage shopping, we’re so excited it’s that time of year again.Brooklyn Flea. Williamsburg. Sunday. 10am-5pm, Rain or Shine—Reopens April 8, 2012 East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 + 7). Williamsburg. NY. The East River Ferry